In Honor Of Summer: The Worst Summer Job Experiences
KHTS is looking for the most pitiful summer job stories.
In the next few days, all area high schools and colleges will be out for the summer, leaving students with the annual joy of finding a summer job.
Some part time work is great during the hot months. Others are about the most dreadful memories we have from our childhood.
In honor of the next generation of minimum wage summer employees, KHTS is holding a contest to determine the worst summer job experiences from our listeners.
To enter, simply email your story to email@example.com. Over the next few days we'll pick our favorites and the top 8 will each win a family four-pack of tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific for use by July 31, 2009.
All stories must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00, June 2nd to be considered. When submitting your story, be sure to include your name and contact information. The top stories will be posted on our website next week, along with the author's name. Winners will be notified by KHTS AM-1220.
To help you get thinking, here are our worst summer job stories. See if you can guess which stories belong to which KHTS staffers. Answers are listed at the bottom.
Authors include (in no particular order):
- News Director Carol Rock;
- Morning Show Host Brandon Gibson;
- Afternoon Drive Host Jason Endicott;
- Office Manager Connie Jones;
- Station Manager Jon Dell.
The ultimate summer job where I'm from would consist of scooping ice cream for your friends, working a lifeguard station at the water park or even summer camp counselor. Picture this: a 16 year old kid getting up at 4 a.m. to go shovel with no gloves, backhoe and build pools in 100 degree heat with 95% humidity. Working 12 hour days for 10 bucks an hour and being too tired to go out at night and hang out with my buddies. If that's a summer job, O.J is a preacher.
Near the end of my junior year in high school I discovered the fine art of forging my mother's signature in an effort to ditch school. With just a couple of dollars to buy Jack-in-the-Box tacos and 35 cent-per-gallon gas for my best friend's Mustang, life outside of school could be very good. I still think of Laguna Beach fondly. Inevitably, all the ditching had a consequence. The school decided to forgo giving me mind-numbing detention and gave me a job working in the school office for the few weeks remaining in the school year. Come summer I was moved to the gymnasium. This was my worst summer job. A summer program opened up the gym to local kids. They came to me to check out basketballs, karem boards, pool cues, etc. The best part: I learned about bank shots in pool. The worst part: the kids called me "Coach". It was easier for them to give me that generic name but I dreaded it. I went to the beach for sunning and hanging out with friends. No surfing, no jogging, no volleyball. No sports. At least on my off-days, Laguna Beach still beckoned. I did learn my lesson and didn't ditch a day my senior year. No more being called Coach.
I had the privilege of working my first job at the old Plaza 3 Cinemas on Lyons Avenue. As the newest employee I was given all the delightful tasks like cleaning up the theaters between movies (yes, we cleaned between movies). You haven't lived until you clean up soda, popcorn and the occasional kid's-movie-candy-overdose-barf incident. Another newbie assignment was shutting down the lights in the projection rooms at the end of the night. This wouldn't have been so bad except for the mile-long dark hallway you had to traverse and the fact that everyone else at the theater spent weeks convincing me that the upstairs was haunted.
When I was 16, I had my first summer job- like many Santa Clarita teenagers- at Six Flags Magic Mountain. I had decided pretty late into the season to start working, so the job I originally wanted- ride operator- wasn't available anymore. Instead, I was assigned to the park's PSA team. I believe the acronym stood for Park Service Attendants, but I could be misremembering. Anyway, the PSAs had the unenviable task of cleaning up after the thousands of park attendees all day. Some parts of the job were okay- I walked several miles every day and got a lot of exercise, plus I got to come into the park and ride anything I wanted for free anytime- the majority of my time spent there was pretty grueling. Santa Clarita summers can be very hot- temperatures over 100 degrees are commonplace- which meant spending all day outside was a massive exercise in avoiding heat exhaustion. My least favorite part of the job, however, had to be "Vomit Patrol"- yes, I was one of the people responsible for cleaning up the mess that guests would leave after having lunch and then deciding to ride Colossus, Freefall or Revolution one too many times. There was a special code used on the walkie-talkies for this type of situation- I don't recall the exact code- but when it came over the radio, your heart instantly sank.
I love the park now, but that summer was rough!
My worst summer job....hmmmmm. Might have been when we lived outside the L.A. area and I thought working at a veterinarian's office was a good idea. One day, a man brought in two "kids" - baby goats - to be neutered and I approached him with my best customer service care. Drawing on my own experience with dogs and cats, I told him that his goats would be comfortable in their cages and might be a little woozy when he picked them up the next morning. The vet overheard me talking to the man, who he recognized, and both of them started laughing heartily. Little did I know that "fixing" kids involved a momentary distraction and a quick snip that doesn't even phase the goat. The man - and his kids - were on their way within the hour. I think the vet is still laughing at his "city" helper.
For good measure, KHTS Co-owner Carl Goldman shares an early employment story of his own. It was a little too long to run in this article, but you can read it by clicking here.
Stumped? Here are the answers:
Story 1 (pool builder): Brandon Gibson
Story 2 ("Coach"): Connie Jones
Story 3 (Plaza Cinemas): Jon Dell
Story 4 (Six Flags): Jason Endicott
Story 5 (country vet): Carol Rock
Remember, share your own summer story with us and you could win a family four-pack of tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Just email your story to email@example.com by Tuesday, June 2nd at 5:00 p.m.