Summer Jobs | Teen Ink

Summer Jobs

November 3, 2014
By PotatoYeti, Cupertino, California
More by this author
PotatoYeti, Cupertino, California
0 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Author's note:


 It all began when the bell rang. Free at last. I didn't have to deal with homework, bullies, teachers, projects, basically anything related to school. I just completed my sophomore year of high school.
"So what are you doing over the summer?" Jeffery asked. Jeffery is my best friend. He has blond, short, and curly hair with freckles and a New Yorker accent. We have known each other since second grade and have never split up or got into any fights since then.
"Nothing," I quickly replied. "How about you?"
"My parents and I are going to Hawaii."
"Well, see you in a couple of months."
"Yeah. See ya," and off he left. The reason I was so bummed was because I had nothing to do over the summer. The night before I had discussed it with my parents and they said that they had too much work this summer. Dad had to travel to Armenia for one month in a couple of weeks and Mom and her team and PayPal were getting moved over to another building site. They were just too busy.
We began to eat dinner at around five o'clock, which was pretty early. While we were eating I asked Dad, "Hey Dad, why can't I do anything over the summer? I can take care of myself and Andrew, and I could drive to places so we could have fun and hang out."
Andrew is my little brother. Though he is the most annoying, the spoiled, most rotten, brattiest child on the planet, I still love and care for him. He helps me find my lost items, he gives me hugs every time he sees me, and he just convinces everyone that he is so cute. Also, usually kids my age don't drive because their parents think they are too young. Most can legally drive, but their parents, unlike mine, still think they can't handle a car. The only reason why my parents let me drive is not because of my maturity level, but my age. My parents sent me to school two years late for their own reasons, so I am eighteen years old, about two or three years older than my classmates.
"Will, we have already discussed this," Dad said. "We don't have time to do things this summer. Maybe next summer I could spare time to plan a trip to a fun place, but we can't afford to do things this year." As soon as he said the word "afford", a brilliant idea popped into my head. If we were having problems with time and money, I could take some stress off their hands and get my own part time job over the summer!
"Dad," I said. "I think I have a plan for the summer."

The next morning I woke up at 11:30, due to the fact that I was cerfing the internet and watching YouTube until 2 A.M.. I got out of bed and went to the kitchen to see my dad looking at ads in the newspaper, trying to find me a new job. Later that night,  Dad announced to the family, "Will's got a new job at the Home Depot!"
"Wait, you already got me a job," I asked him in confusion.
"Yep! The Home Depot had hiring ads on the newspaper, so I called them. We arranged for you to get the job!"
He handed me my schedule for work.
"When am I starting," I asked.
"Well, at least it's better than nothing."
I was pretty confident about my first day of work. I woke up at 8 a.m. and got to work by 9:30 on the dot. The manager greeted me politely.
"Hi," he said. "My name is Bill Sultan. You can call me Bill."
"Nice to meet you," I replied nervously. "I'm Will Reister." I shook his firm hand with a tight grip, trying to give him the impression that I was mature and not afraid to speak to him.
"Oh I know who you are. Your dad and I talked on the phone last night. I will be your new boss."
He assigned me to do a couple of easy tasks, like moving around and sorting the paints, which I did, taking my time. I got out of work at 5 p.m. and drove home. My parents cooked me a celebration dinner for getting a job, which consisted of steak, mashed potatoes, and salad with my dad's homemade dressing, and for dessert,  ice cream cake. I came back the next day, doing slightly harder but manageable tasks, like arranging and wiring. Everything went well for the first three weeks, doing different jobs, until my boss and I had a huge fight.
"Why didn't put up the posters of our half off deal yet, or put the crates in the storage room, or turn on the lights for the lights section," Bill asked me, with a sign of that he was pretty annoyed.
"I was setting up the plants and fertilizer bags in the garden section. Sorry I couldn't get to it yet, but I'll do it after I spray the plants with water."
"Look, I'm tired of you slacking off every day and delaying all of your work to make me do it when you are not here."
The truth is, I actually had never slacked off since the first day I started. I was pretty diligent with my work and never took a break when I had the opportunity to do so.
As we argued more and more, the heat inside me was boiling up.
"Sorry sir, I will try to get things done faster. I just think it is a little unfair that you are blaming me for my lack of ability to do work faster while I am busy doing other tasks."
He shouted violently ,"Man I don't give a monkey's left nut on what you think! It's the truth!" "And by the way, YOUR FIRED!"
"Hey man, you can't fire me."
"Oh yeah, and why is that?"
"Because I QUIT!". As I said that, I threw my jacket on the ground and began to walk away.
Obviously I wasn't going to leave my jacket there, so I jogged back, picked it up with no guilt at all, and left the Home Depot.
That night at dinner, Mom asked me how my day went.
"I quit."
Dad almost choked on the chicken that he was eating.
"You WHAT?"
I responded, "That idiot manager, Bill, has the worst temper in the world. He lashed out for no apparent reason and blamed me for not being able to do tasks quicker."
"Well, if he made you uncomfortable, I think you did the right thing," Mom  replied, trying to comfort me. "There are plenty of other jobs that you can apply for."
Though that job didn't go so well, I still got my first paycheck: 175 dollars in my pocket.
I tried looking for more jobs during the week, and finally found one that was willing to hire. It was actually the only one I could find, so I told Mom to not blame me that  I chose a job that sucked. Dad had left for Armenia so I couldn't tell him that I was going to apply for selling used cars.

 It was Tuesday when I went to the car dealership. At first, I thought it was going to be a nice dealership with all fancy cars and tea dispensers and vending machines. I drove forty-five minutes to where it was, but I was disappointed when I got to the dealership. The place was nothing like as it was advertised. On the ad, it showed a glistening white dealership with classic cars shining in the sun. It had the classic cars, and they did look pretty nice, but the actual building was built with rotten wood, there were almost no windows, and the area was covered in dust. I walked in the building, and saw the walls covered in antelope heads and fur caps. The floor had an enormous black bear skin rug. I assumed that the owner was a hunter. He came out of his office and greeted me.
"Hallo! How are yous today? My names are Amand! You must be Weel," He said to me. Amand had and immensely strong accent from a place that I don't know of, but I was guessing he was somewhere from Europe.
"Yes I am here for the job."
"Hokay. Weel, we getting started on cleaning out de cars."
"I don't mean to be rude, but my name is pronounced Will."
"I sees. Weel."
"No, Will."
"I give up."
Amand taught me how to take care of the cars. Though his directions were horrible, I learned a thing or two. By two o'clock, our first customer came.
"Hi, I was wanting to see if I could see some of your cars."
Amand took care of this customer. He said, "Hokay, I show you."
They walked around for a little, with Amand showing him a couple of cars, until he spotted a crimson red Ford that had a broken window and missing back seats.
"Ooooh! This car, it good car," Amand squealed.
"But the windows are broken and the seats are missing," the customer said with confusion.
"I know, but that good car."
"Yeah, I think I'm gonna go. Thanks for the tour!"
"It good car though!"
But he was too late. The customer had already screeched off into the distance. Amand walked back to me with a sign of sorrow. Poor Amand. He had lost a customer, which he hadn't had in a long time. I comforted him due to his misery, and I learned that this wouldn't be a good job to keep. I talked with Amand for a while that I would quit, and he understood. Before I left, I gave him tips to practice on how to greet customers and show them around so he wouldn't lose one again, just to not ditch him without any thing to think about.
I got home and told Mom what happened. She was proud of me for making my own decisions, and encouraged me to get one more job over the summer. It turned out she had an idea for my last job. Mom had a friend that taught ping pong at the community center. Her friend was going on a vacation and looking for a person to teach the classes while she was gone.
Mom asked me, "You have some experience with table tennis, right Will?"
"Then you'll be perfect! That reminds me, I have something for you."
Mom took me to the basement, telling me how Dad used to be a professional table tennis player in high school. She took out a dusty box and opened it. Inside were a pair of ridiculously small sporty shorts probably about my middle finger's length from my waist.
"When you wear these for ping pong tomorrow, you'll be representing our family," she said to me.
"Aw hell no! Are you serious?"
"Yes Will. Hey, you dad even wore these when he played.
She showed me the pictures and I threw up.

 I felt a little excited that I was going to be teaching a bunch of little kids how to play ping pong. I drove to the community center, ditching the ping pong shorts at home, and finding myself in a class with a bunch of fat, annoying kids. I got a the attendance clipboard and took roll. I gathered up the students about to tell them what to do, when I realized I had no idea what I was doing. I picked out one of the kids from the group.
"Yo kid, what's your name," I asked him. He was a chubby kid eating Lays.
"Hey Free Willy, listen up. What do you guys usually do?"
"Thirty forehand and thirty backhand."
"Then get to it. All of you." Five minutes later, William and his friend were done.
"We did thirty forehand and thirty backhand."
"Great," I replied sarcastically. "Now do another thirty."
"Ugggh," they replied in agony.
"Make that forty!"
Throughout the day, I became friend with Andy, who was a Chinese fourth grader, and a kid named Assem, an Indian fifth grader. At the end of the day, Andy stayed for a little while.
He said, "Will, ca-"
"Before you say anything else," I interrupted. "I want you to call me Shir-Fu." Shir-Fu in Chinese means "master".
"Yes Shir-Fu. I wanted to see if I could play a game of ping pong with you!"
"Hey little guy, sorry, but I have to go. Maybe next time."
"I'll give you ten dollars!" And as he said that, he pulled out a ten dollar bill.
"Alright Andy, you got me convinced."
We played two games, both times giving me ten dollars.
"Again, again!" Andy pulled out a twenty dollar bill.
Another couple of games passed until his sister picked him up and I drove home. That night, I had a dream that people were hunting me down because I took the money from Andy. When I woke up, I realized that I had done something really bad. I taught Andy how to gamble. I drove to the community center, hoping karma hadn't caught up to me yet. Confronting Andy and apologizing, I gave him his money back and a lesson on not to do what I did.
"It's okay, Shir-Fu. I forgive you. I thought we were having a good time, but I know that I shouldn't gamble in ping pong or anything else."
"Good! I learned a lesson too today," I exclaimed.
I assigned them with the daily warm ups and gave them a lesson on topspin and backspin. They were practicing when I saw that William was drinking pearl milk tea (in China, they call the pearls in the milk tea Boba).
"Yo Free Willy, you know what Boba means in Chinese? It means boobs! You keep drinking that, that's whatchu gonna get! Man boobs! Doesn't your dad send you here to lose weight?"
After I said that, he spit it out immediately, and threw away the drink.
"Look, I'm sorry I made you throw it away, but let's try to eat healthier next time, okay?" I said apologetically.
I walked around showing the other kids how to improve their swing and not slam down  at the ball, which a few of them were doing. I realized that I really liked this job and it'll sustain me for the rest of the summer. Mom and I talked about keeping the job for a little longer, and we agreed on it. This was going to be a great summer after all. And the best part is, Jeffery's trip didn't make me jealous at all.

 After my experiences for the jobs, I now know what it is like to work and how tough it was. I learned that you shouldn't take what you have for granted, for that your parents and mine work really hard to make a living every day. Help them out once in a while. The moral of the story is: be thankful for what you have. 

Similar books


This book has 0 comments.