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Summer jobs rant . . .

aunt beaaunt bea Registered User Posts: 8,378 Senior Member
My dd2 has a "summer" concessions job at a large zoological park. (She will be attending her grad school in the fall.) Every night, she comes home, exhausted, throws her sticky uniform in the washer and proceeds to tell us about her daily adventures. She knows that people are hot and tired and my dd has a thick skin, so she is just incredulous at how some people behave toward young people who are working concessions jobs.

1) A customer yelled at dd's new coworker because the worker didn't know what type of apple juice was being served. When my dd said that the juice was Minute Maid, the customer yelled at both my daughter and coworker saying that "NO, Minute Maid is NOT apple juice!". She proceeded on a rant saying the "girls have some nerve trying to pass that off as apple juice!" The customer finally left, and my dd realized that the coworker was near tears, so she took her coworker to the back and started laughing. This made the girl ease up and she started smiling.

2) My dd often works at the beer cart and knows how to pour on tap (wonder where she learned that!) but, she constantly gets yelled at because of the price. The workers work in teams, so if a coworker is unfamiliar with the brands and tastes, the coworker gets yelled at by people who question why the worker is working at a beer cart.

3) Food gets made as it is ordered, so there is a small wait, (it's told to each customer and is also posted). The food is your typical fare: hamburgers/hot sandwiches, fries, soft drinks, cookies, etc. This is not a specialty restaurant. They try to accommodate dietary limits and allergies but they can't change their products. The workers have had trays and drinks thrown at them if:
a person has to wait,
doesn't have alternate foods (tofu, wheat grass, etc.), won't "make up a pizza for a child" (restaurant doesn't have pizza)
AC is not working, etc. The "kids" are amazed at the behaviors that adults will display when they don't get their way.

4) A customer insisted and yelled that she was entitled to a free refill because she had purchased a refill cup. My dd pointed out to the customer that the cup was from an aquatic park that was not related to the zoo. The customer then insisted that it shouldn't matter because a "refill was a refill".

We've told dd that people's emotions depend on their day, mood, meds, problems, etc. and to not take it personally. She's thick-skinned and knows that the lives of these people in their homes must be really bad and she feels sorry for them. Her concern is for her younger co-workers who are visibly shaken and become upset. She tries to tell them: it's REALLY not you, it's THEM. She tries to comfort them but has a hard time explaining adults behaving BADLY. I can't explain away the behavior.


Replies to: Summer jobs rant . . .

  • 3kidsMultipleSports3kidsMultipleSports Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    edited August 9
    One of my kids is a referee for his job. It's a perfect job for him for scheduling around his sports and the money is good, but there is a shortage for a reason. The kids are very seldom the problem. The parents and coaches on the other hand are often crazy - at recreational level too. He too is thick skinned, but at times it is just amazing how adults will act. It's hard to know what to tell them. I guess it is a learning experience and hopefully helps them know how NOT to act :)
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Registered User Posts: 32,827 Senior Member
    I used to do sales for youth sports photography. I'd work the sales booth and take the teams back for pictures and whatever.

    The kids were never the problem. Parents were horrible. And not the young millennial parents- the older ones with more money who thought that gave them the right to treat me like dirt.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,736 Senior Member
    Some of the reactions seem extreme but it's all par for the course with retail jobs and dealing with the public. Employees just need to let it slide off their backs and laugh about it later. Working retail at least once in one's life is a good rite of passage because you learn:

    1. To respect service people and treat them kindly and with patience
    2. That you want to get a good education so you don't have to stay in that line of work
    3. To not take things personally and how to deflect with humor and grace.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,408 Senior Member
    I worked in the kiddie island section of a large amusement park. I had a pretty good summer. I just remember a few moms getting really mad that their kids got wet on a water ride. Hmmm.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,521 Senior Member
    Yes, this is the motivation to work hard in college and get a 'real' job.

    My daughter refuses to become a referee because she sees them getting yelled at all the time. And it is the parents. We had a case so bad that the 16 year old called her father to come and help her get from the field to her car. The next week the 16 year olds were all assigned to work with a 'striped shirt' (adult ref) and the parents were sent a notice to stand down or they would be banned from the field. Coaches told to keep parent in line or the games would be forfeited. My brother is a full time referee, and you can't believe the things people say about him. He was accused of being drunk for a match, that the coach saw him in a bar before the game. Luckily, he could prove he was on a field reffing another game at the time in question. He's not a small guy, and has had to break up more than one fight.

    My nephew loves being a referee. He doesn't care who yells at him as long as he's making $50 per game.

    Other daughter is working at a bike/boat rental place in the park. She likes it a lot, but there are people who make it not fun. The workers are only following the rules their bosses give them. Yes, you need an ID to rent a $2000 boat or surrey bike, even if you look like a nice guy. Daughter has no power over the weather and if it starts raining with 15 minutes left on your rental, she can't make it stop or refund your money. Yes, paddling paddle boats is hard work and no, you can't get a refund if you can only make it for 45 minute out of the hour.

    Sometimes she prays for rain.
  • youceeyoucee Registered User Posts: 1,031 Senior Member
    Things like that make them realize why they're going to college. My kids have come home with similar tales from grocery store and Domino's jobs. The lying that some people will do to get free food is unbelievable, even in an expensive part of the city. One son's ear nearly fell off from the language someone used calling in to complain about their order. My son had a good sense of humor and tougher skin than I thought and handled it well.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,551 Senior Member
    edited August 9
    One of my kids is a referee for his job. It's a perfect job for him for scheduling around his sports and the money is good, but there is a shortage for a reason. The kids are very seldom the problem. The parents and coaches on the other hand are often crazy - at recreational level too. He too is thick skinned, but at times it is just amazing how adults will act. It's hard to know what to tell them. I guess it is a learning experience and hopefully helps them know how NOT to act

    As a referee, does he have power to give technical fouls, yellow/red cards, etc. (or equivalent) and ejections to the misbehaving parents and coaches?
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,754 Super Moderator
    My D is working as a YMCA camp counselor in downtown Portland for the second summer in a row. Last year, the kids with behavior or mental health issues were placed in one class. This year, they have been placed in regular groups. Some of them have quite serious issues. D is 19 and her co-leaders are her age or a year younger. She comes home beyond fried and very frustrated. Some days she and three other counselors are in charge of almost 50 kids! It's absurd. I hope she doesn't work there next summer.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 1,746 Senior Member
    The Minute Maid anecdote is odd, but the rest seems mostly normal. If you work fast food, you will get complaints about the prices and the wait. If you work at a beer cart, you don't need to be a craft beer snob, but you should know something about the half dozen or so beers you have on tap. There's people with special dietary restrictions who think restaurants should accommodate those restrictions.
  • LVKrisLVKris Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    Ah...pool jobs.

    My oldest S worked as a lifeguard one summer at a Las Vegas Strip resort hotel. He "saved" many drunken fools from drowning by telling them to just stand up in the four foot deep pool - lol.

    Younger S worked as a pool attendant at a different hotel on the Strip. Let's just say that people took the whole "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" thing seriously.
  • SuburbMomSuburbMom Registered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Sounds about par for a crappy summer job. She's learning some great lessons, though - especially if she's the one counseling the younger employees!

    My son really wanted to avoid fast food and applied for one job, but because he was only 15 at the start of summer he's ended up spending a large portion of his summer work hours cleaning up at a petting farm. Seeing this post makes me realize I need to remind him how lucky he is to be dealing with animals and not the parents this summer!
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,946 Senior Member
    edited August 9
    Thanks for starting this humorous thread. I once had a customer at a motel restaurant in a summer resort area berate me for putting the teabag in the hot water. Or for not putting it in the steaming water. Or I dunno what. All these years later and I don't know how you're supposed to do this.

    Back when drinking age was 18, another year I swapped to being a cocktail waitress. Much more fun.
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