A school-free summer

I’ve been looking forward to this summer all year because I knew that it would be absolutely school-free (except for that little thing called dental school applications and interview prep). After last year’s scorching hot months spent in nine hours of annoying summer school and studying every spare second outside of normal homework on DAT prep, you could say this year is much sweeter. Now that I’m well into senior hours on my degree plan, there was nothing I really could take, and given the fact that it’s my last real college summer, I was totally fine with that. Since I’m not a business or design major looking to land swanky internships in uptown Dallas and downtown Houston like some of my closest friends, my choices were pretty standard for college part-time jobs.

I originally had extensively discussed with my favorite doc in town about working for him as a surgical assistant at his OMFS practice. This obviously would have been my summer dream job because not only would it be probably full-time with weekends and nights off, but I would have been getting even more up-close, first-hand experience with all the fascinating and intense blood and guts of my potential future career as a surgeon every single day. A few months ago though, the doc broke the news to me that he was actually already overstaffed and wouldn’t have enough work for me after a girl just came back from maternity leave and hiring a new full-time registered assistant. I was super bummed, but of course I understood the circumstances. As a pre-dental student that doesn’t have my RDA, it’s basically impossible to get hired for pay at any dental office that you haven’t shadowed or volunteered with extensively and doesn’t already know you personally.

I then went on to apply to over ten places in Waco, mostly in the food/drink business or retail. Most weren’t interested in hiring just for summer or simply never responded to the online applications. After some stressful weeks of waiting and hoping at least one or two would work out and getting a few interviews (all during the time of finals), I eventually got hired to be a sales associate at GAP and a server at Shorty’s Pizza Shack – my favorite pizza joint in town. I was so glad that I wouldn’t be jobless and then probably forced to go back home for the summer to be bored out of mind or work somewhere I would dread every day.

Now that I’ve had either training or a few shifts at each place, I’m starting to get in the swing of things. Here’s some initial thoughts on each…

GAP:photo

1. 50% off full price employee discount at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Enough said.

2. Mostly independent work, and I enjoy being given little projects to check off each shift.

3. I really don’t like pushing the GAP card. I’m not a pro sales major, sorry.

4. “Recovery” doesn’t refer to exercise or post-op – it’s the lovely task of refolding and sorting sizes throughout the entire store before I can leave.

5. Really laid back people that are easy to work with.

6. I have some shifts that are “on-call.” Am I already a doctor?

7. An upbeat and interesting music playlist to sing along with when I’m in the back scanning for LRT.

8. Not too shabby pay for retail.

SHORTY’S:shortys

1. Pizza, Beer, Sports. College hangout paradise.

2. If I thought Gap was laid-back…

3. On night one (of ever being a waitress in my life), I pretty much was already waiting my own tables and felt like I had the hang of things. I knew I was always cut out for the restaurant business.

4. I can now successfully carry four pitchers at once and more than one large pizza.

5. After serving two 21st birthday guys, I realize the confidence boost they get when I ask for their ID and the flirty banter when I gladly bring them another to keep on celebrating. I turned 21 not too long ago, so I understand 🙂

6. Free snacks when it’s not as busy is always a plus.

7. The total in tips at the end of the night are actually going to be way more than I first thought.

Between these two gigs and still teaching cycle a couple times a week (talk about a funny dichotomy – serving pizza and beer one night and leading sweaty classes as a fitness role model the other), I think I’ll definitely keep busy. I’m excited to see what these jobs will bring in the next few months and the people I’ll get to come in contact with every day. If you’re in Waco, come see me in my element!

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