I am appalled by the amount of college students I have come across lately that have never held a job before.
You know the type : They have Mommy and Daddies platinum credit card and are constantly complaining about how hard life is for them. They can’t wash their own clothes. They don’t know how to pump gas. They don’t how to pay rent. They call their parents at the slightest sign of distress.
I wish I was making this up. If there is anything that I’m thankful for in life, it’s my ability to be completely self-sufficent. From age 15, I’ve held numerous jobs and have bought my own things. In the past, I’ve :
Worked at a plant nursery digging holes. (Yes, it was that glamorous)
Worked at McDonald’s asking “Would you like fries with that?”
Worked at Albertson’s as a courtesy clerk (aka Alberton’s bitch)
Worked at Pita Pit mopping bathrooms.
Worked at a Lavender farm chopping down stuff in a field.
Worked in a Thai Restaurant with a crazy boss.
Worked in another Thai Restaurant with an equally crazy boss.
Worked in my college dorms making sandwiches and washing dishes.
And this is only half.
Yes. Most of these jobs sucked. Actually wait, ALL of these jobs sucked. Even though miserable jobs, when I reminse about my work history, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything. Why?
1.) You Learn How To Work Fast - Run! Grab fries! Go mop the floors! Go make an ice cream cone! Take out the trash! Go! Go! Go! When I worked at McDonald’s, I was in the best shape of my life (ironically). The entire shift consisted of running back and forth putting orders together as fast as you could. From the outside, working at the Golden Arches seems like a picnic. On the inside, it’s a chaotic mess. Working at McDonald’s taught me how to work fast on my feet, deal with irate customers, and practice my customer service ability.
2.) You Learn The Value of a Dollar – There is nothing more gratifying than your first paycheck. You put in the hours, you pushed those Albertson’s carts, and you mopped bathrooms for hours – FINALLY - the reward. Working a minimum wage paying job is the best way to learn how to appreciate money.
3.) You Appreciate People- Learning to deal with various types of people is an art that can’t be throurougly taught within the walls of a school. You have to practice. During my time spent at all of these jobs, I’ve had to deal with customers that were lovely, to customers straight from hell. During my time spent at McDonald’s I remember one cashier getting so frustrated with a customer that he threw the headset into their car yelling “TAKE YOUR OWN DAMN ORDER!”. Fortunately, I was not this cashier. In life, there are times you must bite your tongue, smile, and say “have a nice day!”. McDonald’s taught me this.
4.) You Learn What Not To Do – Some of the businesses I have worked for have been complete train wrecks. They have no systems in order for doing things, their signage is falling apart, and the owner has no clue how to run a business. Lucky you! When you start your own business or become manager – you’ll be miles ahead of the game. By paying attention to what works and what doesn’t work within a start-up can help so much with your own projects. Learn from mistakes on someone else’s dollar.
5.) Co-Worker Relations – I’m not sure what is worse – dealing with irrational customers or dealing with lazy employees. At every single job I have ever had there is always this one guy. You know him. He sucks up to the manager. Calls in late. Doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do. Over, and over again. Learning how to deal with these types of situations are things you’ll have to deal with throughout life. Why not learn it at 15 instead of 25?
From french fries to working in the fields, holding a crappy job can teach more than any standardized type of education. What kinds of crappy jobs have you held?