What is your work schedule like?
“I work at Chick-fil-a, and I usually work about three days a week, sometimes less, sometimes more. [I work] Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and I usually work about a six-hour shift with a twenty-minute break throughout that because I’m eighteen. I usually get about 18-20 hours a week.”
How did you find the job you have now?
“First, I got into it just to get a scholarship for college. Then my mom kind of pushed me to work [at Chick-fil-a], and then [I realized that] it was actually a fun job and everyone [there] was so nice.”
What motivates you to work?
“I work because I need to support myself. [A] single-parent family income does not support the entire family, so I do my part by pitching in and covering my own expenses.”
Do you feel that having a job interferes with your social life or excludes you from social events?
“Oh for sure. It’s so difficult to schedule things with friends around work because then you have to take off work. For me, you can only take so many days off before you get a warning. Some football games I couldn’t go to because I was working. It’s kind of frustrating, but I know that I won’t miss out on it all.”
Does having a job interfere with your school schedule?
“It interferes with my school schedule a lot. If I get a really big load of homework, it’s bound to be on a day when I have to work. Then, I don’t get home until 10:15 or 10:30, and I still have an hour and a half of homework to do, which puts me in bed at about midnight. I’m exhausted by that time, so sometimes I just don’t do [my homework].”
Do you think that working teaches you life lessons?
“Working teaches you a lot of life lessons because you have to know how to do taxes and fill out all these forms. You can [also] learn about all of the different benefits that your job can offer you. [Having a job] teaches you that one day there are going to be people who are your boss and will tell you what to do. [It also helps with] working on the fly; if someone asks you to do something, you do it, and you do it without question.”
How has working broadened your horizons?
“I’ve definitely met a lot of different people working who’ve had a lot of different experiences. I’ve learned some things about the restaurant business that I didn’t know before. I [also] get to make a lot of new friends and, sometimes, I get to use my Spanish. I work in a community in Kentwood, so there are a lot of Spanish speakers there. I get to listen to all of the kitchen staff speaking Spanish.”
Do you think that all students in high school should think about or pursue and job?
“I definitely think most students should do that because it’s an experience you need to have before you graduate high school. Having a job while you’re going to school and playing a sport is a difficult thing to juggle. When you go out into the world as an adult, you’re going to have to juggle a lot of other things, [so] it’s good preparation for that.”
Do you have any stories?
“At Chick-fil-a, there’s a huge [myth] around employees running food out to people if they forgot something. [Once] one of my coworkers noticed that someone who had just come in at closing time had forgotten their frosted caramel coffee and he said “Oh, I’ll go run it to them” So, the car was already driving to East Beltline and my coworker sprinted through the door and to the beltline where the car was about to turn, knocked on the window, and gave them their coffee.”