Students with jobs

Underpaid and overworked is the motto of student workers everywhere.

For some, however, the job can be especially daunting. Brian Marquez, junior, has had his fair share of tedious work-related incidents in the mere seven months he has worked as a cart pusher. He was once nearly ran over in the parking lot.

“It was my first night closing, and I was cleaning up the parking lot,” Marquez said. “One customer decided she wanted to speed up to like 100mph while I was crossing the street. She ended up stopping, getting out of her car, and actually hitting me, before questioning why I was crossing the street in the first place.”

John Meneses-Brown, junior, also has found misfortune in the workplace. While filtering the oil inside frying machines, he discovered the woes of hardened grease.

Meneses-Brown said, “Every time I go in, I end up with a new cut on my hands.”

Over the winter vacation, Brandon Rosado, junior, used his earnings to help out a customer.

“I work at Texas Roadhouse in takeout, and it was right before New Year’s. He was the last customer of the night,” Rosado said. “His meal was $39 or $40, but he said he only had $20. So I said, ‘You know what, it’s New Year’s, it’s the last day. I’m gonna pay for your meal.”

High school students are ideal for menial jobs with menial wages that adults generally will not put up with or cannot get by on. Teen workers, especially those in the food industry, typically end up with the short end of the stick as far as wages go. Most make less than $9/hour, and many no more than minimum wage. Ricky Vandersteen, junior, has a higher-paying job, though sometimes better jobs come with worse experiences.

“I work at Southern Bowl making $8.50 an hour,” Vandersteen said. “Once, though, a drunk lady fell on me. Another time a kid ended up puking on my shoes.”

Outside of the typical commercial businesses and corporations, students like Marquez have also found jobs within family businesses.

“I worked with my grandpa before going to Mejier,” Marquez said. “I helped him put decals on trucks, mop floors, and just with general maintenance.”

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