By Lacy O'Connell
Summer jobs and stomach ulcers
Ah, the lazy days of summer. School is finished. The sun is shining. Thereís nothing to do now but kick back by the pool. Who wants a margarita?
Well, thatís a nice little fantasy, isnít it?
In truth, I can see myself wearing 20 pounds of padding while picking golf balls off of a driving range. Yes, itís time to begin the Great Job Hunt.
For me, the Job Hunt is the source of more stomach ulcers every year than midterms, papers, and finals put together. I, along with a bunch of other students, will now proceed to run screaming through the city, waving resumes in the face of every potential employer in an attempt to find a decent summer job. Thereís this teeny auctioneerís voice in my head: go-get-a-job-update-your-resume-whereís-your-job-go-get-one-now-now-now! This obnoxious voice starts to follow me a few weeks before exams, and gets louder and more intense every day.
Iíve had some pretty interesting summer work as a result. Iíve spent several years as a grease wench behind the counter of your local burger joint. Iíve had jobs that required traipsing through the cityís biggest cemeteries on the hottest day of the year. Iíve calmed down many irate people over the phone as a secretary, and calmed down just as many runny-nosed children as a babysitter.
Likewise, my friends have had jobs that yield more than enough stories around the barbecue pit. Iíve heard about sod farms, about being a security guard in dank buildings, and about some of the most unrewarding retail work in the history of humankind. Students will do just about anything to pay their tuition fee.
Personally, I would have liked to spend the summer as a starving artist ≠ if not for the fact that starving artists make no money by the very nature of their work. My parents didnít like that idea, and neither did my bank account. In fact, my bank account disagrees with most of my job choices ≠ anything remotely artistic tends to be a bad idea. However, answering phones and flipping burgers is some of the most financially rewarding work Iíve ever done. Too bad I had to spend three years smelling like cow, though. I donít think it did much for my popularity.
However, there are worse jobs. For example, putting on a bear suit and holding a chunk of steak in the middle of the woods, acting as human bait for scientific research. Or perhaps diving for quarters in St. Johnís harbour (I donít think the tetanus shots are worth it).
Itís been a great year at MUN for me; Iím actually kind of sad that itís over. Now I have to go be an adult and find a paycheque. I keep having terrible visions of picking up trash along a deserted highway, where I am consequently hit by a speeding bus. Not that Iím morbid about the work itself. I wouldnít mind picking up trash; I just donít want to be hit by a bus. I suppose you have to take what you can get, though.
I think it will be a good summer. Once I find work and the auctioneer goes to bed for another year, I can relax and focus a little bit better. Itís important to stay positive about these things, right? No doubt Iíll find something interesting and fun to occupy my summer. There are plenty of student jobs out there.
Or youíll find me with a wetsuit and a syringe by St. Johnís harbour, holding a handful of wet quarters.