Weekend Woes And Minimum Wage: Why Your Part Time Job Sucks

By: Natasha Ní Bhuacháin

 

Summer job? It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll get loads of hours and have savings coming out of your ears when you get back to college, you thought.

One of those two statements turned out to be correct in the end, and I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one. Oh, Summer jobs. I recently stumbled into my first ever seasonal career, and in all honesty it’s the worst possible one I could have found, but my Mam was right; I now know what kind of job I’m suited to. NOTHING WITH PEOPLE IN IT. Absolutely a silver lining, thanks Mam.

Let me tell you a bit about my day: we open up in the morning, and my responsibilities include dragging out giant metal boards proclaiming our enthusiasm at being open to the public (up a flight of stone steps that don’t love me), and hanging out precariously balanced wire frames that carry all varieties of postcards, all of which, I’m sad to say, feel like caged animals and free themselves in gusts of wind – did I mention that these white cages of death are hung in what is famously known as the ‘Wind Tunnel Of The Western World ©’?

But that’s not all. I then flick on the fluorescent lights that frame my till with pure white sunbeams and regretfully put on the CD – oh yes, the CD. Just the one. 12 tracks of pure Celtic dazzlement on an infinite loop. That’s the problem with Summer jobs; the mirages. It gets too hot, and in my case we have to wear all black which kind of sucks. Only kind of, though, I mean I still feel super cool (NOT PHYSICALLY) when I wear all black, like Daredevil, or Westley from The Princess Bride. But Westley never had to sweep a floor to the sick beat of ‘The Walls of Limerick’. Summer jobs are tough.

 

But I haven’t talked about the perks yet. Money, obviously. The number one perk, the literal reason I don’t just vault out the window (then climb over the wall, jog through the gate and sort of shimmy under an unnaturally large and spiky bush) and leave, never to return. Another perk of my workplace is the free tea and coffee. Now, I live in Ireland, so having free tea is like having Jesus descend on a cloud and boop you on the nose every time you have a cuppa. The last perk is knowing the code for the back room, which admittedly isn’t much of a perk, but is still somehow cool, and each of the many times* I go to pee I key in the code and watch as a green light appears, validating me, and for a second – just a tiny little second – I feel included.

*Disclaimer: I pee a lot. Tea is a natural aphrodisiac, ok? And it’s free?! Don’t judge me. I sell hand painted watercolours of Molly Malone’s boobs for a living, I can do what I want.