Monday, June 15, 2015

Remember Those Summer Jobs?

I was lucky. I never had a truly awful summer job. For instance, I've never had to stand on the sidewalk wearing a gorilla suit and a sandwich board trying to get customers to stop and buy a vacum. 

As a teenager I worked for the provincial government at a provincial park in a historic stone chalet with beautifully terraced gardens that led down to the lake. The two-story structure was built in the Dirty ‘30’s. It was originally a thirteen-room hotel, dining room and beer parlour. When I worked there it had already been converted to administrative offices but you could feel the history every time you walked through the front door. Often I worked the evening shift, in the quiet I sometimes sat and tried to picture it as it was back then, a bustling dining room, and rooms with beds and washstands. The same rooms that I knew as offices. What would the women be wearing? The men? The staff?

Also, the chalet was supposed to be haunted. I never experienced anything 'weird'. Thank goodness. I'm not exactly the brave-in-the-face-of-paranormal-activity type. 

Kind of neat, huh? It was! We had a lot of fun. Probably too much fun. There were a lot of us. There were also kids that worked at the other resort hotels, cafes, restaurants, cabaret halls. We all got along and we were there for a good time, not a long time. 

The unsavory part of the job was cleaning out the residence we lived in during those summer months. Which was also a blessing because it meant we didn't have to pay rent. But in those days we stayed in the residence that young offenders stayed in the winter months. During the tourist season they moved to their summer camp away from the families of campers into the bush.

Yeah. They were teenagers. They didn't necessarily want to be there. They were great kids on the whole, ones who'd made unfortunate choices, but they weren't neat. Or tidy. And they didn't care about the space. Believe me, it was obvious. Shudder.

First the sanitation crew went in to hose it down. Then the housekeeping crew did their thing. Then we went into the rooms with Lysol and whatever else was needed and scrubbed it down again. But other than that it was a pretty sweet summer job!

How about you? What did you do for a summer job? Any horror stories? Any sweet summer job memories?


B.E. Sanderson said...

So many summer jobs. Mucking stalls, washing dogs, herding itinerant youth. I spent one summer telemarketing - raising money for the university part time and working for the local PBS affiliate part time. Waitressing was probably the worst, but that job only latest a month. And looking back, the job itself wasn't as bad as the people I worked for.

Your summer job sounds fun. I can totally see you imagining in your off times. =o)

jblynn said...

Worked at a summer camp. Hot and miserable most of the time. Never again.

Karyn Good said...

B.E. I have also worked as a waitress at a gas station. And, yes. Who you work for can make or break a summer job experience! I was lucky, the people I worked for were lovely. I'd like to say I'd enjoy a summer of mucking out stalls but I can already hear my dad laughing. I grew up on a farm. Worst. Farm. Girl. Ever. Besides my sister. Thank goodness, we have a brother!

Karyn Good said...

LOL, JB. Spending the summer at camp herding children would not be my idea of a good time.

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