The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

The voice of the students

The Catamount

The Reality of Working in High School
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From scooping ice cream to stocking shelves, most teens work their first jobs being paid minimum wage for some extra cash. It’s easy to assume that the work is easy since the hours are flexible and often entail repetitive tasks. But this may not be the case for the students who juggle school work and a real job. Many students complain about long hours, unfair pay, and poor management, among other issues. Here are three anonymous students and their working experiences while in school. 


Student A works for a family-owned chain in food service. They have worked there for a year.

Student B works two jobs: one is in retail at a large chain, and the other is in food service. They have worked both at the same time since early summer. 

Student C worked at a family-owned restaurant for two months and had a later job at a restaurant where they worked for approximately a year. 


“Why did you pick your job?”

Student A: “Honestly, I picked it because I thought it would be easy, and I had a few friends working there.”

Student B: “I picked the food because it’s fast-paced, and time goes faster. I picked retail because it’s just common sense and easy to pick up.”

Student C: “Actually, the job picked me more than I picked it. My friend told me that their business was desperate to hire anyone, and I went in for an interview and started the same day.”


“What’s the worst thing about working?”

Student A: “For me, it’s the scheduling conflicts. Sometimes, if I want to hang out with my friends, the schedule won’t come out until late, and then I can’t go. But it’s nothing major.” 

Student B says that they hated cleaning. “It’s the worst. The food does not come off the floor.”

Student C did not enjoy any part of their experience. “I worked long hours at 16, and I sometimes wasn’t allowed to leave after my shift even though it was my curfew.”


“What’s the worst thing that’s happened between you and a customer? / Do you have Karens?”

Student A: “Sometimes they’re just really short with you. One time, we had a DoorDash driver. They’re usually just really frustrated ‘cause they have to wait for the food, yet they come in before it’s done.”

Student B: “Well, since I look 12, I just play dumb […] and get my manager involved […] I have Karens daily.”

Student C: “One time, a customer was waving at me, but I couldn’t tell what she wanted. But, she asked me for a menu, but I told her that they were virtual and at the front door since it was during the 2020 lockdown. She started yelling at me, and I had to get my manager.”


“Is your schedule hard to manage?”

Student A: “It’s fine for school because they usually release their schedules at the beginning of the month, but for other activities, it can be hard.”

Student B: “I’m a running start student, so I can work unique hours, and with my retail job, I just pick up shifts when I can.”

Student C: “I worked during the summer, but once school started again with all my activities, I just didn’t want to go back to that job.”


“Should all students Work?”

Student A: “Everyone should give it a try. It’s a good experience.” 

Student B: “I think everyone should. I have friends who don’t work, and it shows. They just expect things, they don’t work for it.”

Student C: “Yes, but whether it be during the school year or summer is a person-to-person basis.” 

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