Jun 28, 2010

Summer Jobs

My mother wrote a blog entry today about getting your teenager to work during the summer. Of course she used an anecdote from my own childhood, when I was the first from our family with four kids to get a job for the summer. Essentially it was because she demanded it. What she may not have known is that I did want a job (money = freedom) - I just had no idea how to go about doing it!

Yes, there was babysitting, but I didn't have any nanny connections. Plus, I didn't relish the thought of watching kids all day.

Instead, with the push from my mother (and a ride), I applied at McDonald's (where I forgot to fill in my DOB), Fashion Bug, Walgreen's (I think?), and Boston Market. At Boston Market, I bumped into a girl I knew from marching band who worked there 'cause her older brother got a job there, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I went on to spend over five years working there on and off, during school when I was in high school, summers, sometimes just for a winter break home from college. My arms and fingers still bear scars from the heat lamps and very sharp knives. My brain still associates the chicken smell with high school and hormones.

Things I learned:

1. If you ride your bike to and from Boston Market (2 miles each way) at least 4 times a week, you will lose weight even if you're eating Boston Chicken twice a day.

2. You really have to scrub a floor if you want to get rid of a bug infestation.

3. A 'crew' of workers is brought together by its leaders. Our favorite managers (and the ones we worked hardest for) were the ones who worked hard themselves, and were funny and honest.

4. People of very different economic and family backgrounds can work together well, and even become friends. I had friends from the 'Tech (Nashoba Tech), from my own high school but different crowds than my usual marching band comrades, single moms, and many, many Brazilian immigrants.

5. Having a paycheck of your own is awesome.

6. It's way easier to work with your siblings than pretty much anyone else. This is only true when the work occurs outside of the household and you're getting paid and directed by someone who is not your parents.

Where did you spend your high school summers?


  1. Aww! I totally remember you working at Boston Market. I love their pot pies.

  2. LOVE what you learned :-)

    Casey paved the way for her two brothers to work at Boston Market -- where our family developed a reputation as "hard workers."

    I LOVED to get the leftover chickens. They were so good. I've tried to inject chickens with vinegar like Boston Market, but it never seems to work. Maybe I need to roast them longer.

  3. When I worked at Boston Market, we would marinate the chickens in apple cider vinegar + special ingredients for a long time in the fridge. That's probably what gave them their delicious flavor. However, we also used to make a lot of the sides in the store - including the mashed potatoes - which are now just shipped in bags and steamed to heat them up. Such is the life when you get purchased by McDonald's.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions! Makes this much more interesting.