What Was Your Worst Summer Job?

Think that summer job in fast food that you had as a teen was a nightmare? How about selling vacuum cleaners, door-to-door? People on the street in Culver City, Calif., talk about their worst summer jobs.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.


You may have left your summer job behind years ago. But those memories can linger. And that's not always a good thing.

DAY TO DAY producer Sky Rhodes spoke with a number of folks here in Culver City, California about their first experiences in the working world.

Ms. REESA PARRAS(ph): The worst I ever had was selling vacuum cleaners, Kirby vacuum cleaners, and that was a door-to-door job. You could actually get $500 off of each vacuum cleaner that you sold, but if their credit was substandard or below perfect, then you got like $25.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROBERT PARLAND(ph): When I was 15, I was hitchhiking to the beach and a fellow picked me up and he made some kind of weird advancements. And I was a little naïve. I just got out of the car at Mandival(ph) and Sunset, and later that day I had a job interview at a bakery and I accepted it.

A week later, the baker came back from vacation. I couldn't believe it, but it was the guy who picked me up. My dad was sitting there having coffee, because he was proud that I was, you know, my first summer job and I was waiting on him. And I said, dad, that's the guy. And he just me yanked me out of there. So I went to the drugstore, got a job there as a delivery boy, and he gave me a car without brakes, and my dad yanked me out of there.

Ms. VONTY McCRAY(ph): The worse summer job I ever had was working on campus and it was supposed to be three people working the dish line, and it was just basically two of us. We had the whole conveyer belt backed up, plates are falling off, and you just used to leave that job sounding like a hog.

Food looked wonderful when it's like separated on a plate. But when it's all mixed in together like milk and eggs and bacon and bread and everything just piled on a plate together, it just smells disgusting.

Mr. DAMIAN ANASTAFIO(ph): When I was 17, summer job, got a job with the Hartford Boiler Company in Hartford Connecticut. I got up at 6 A.M., got a truck with some 110-year-old guy. He made me drive the truck - I'd never driven a truck before, and he handed me a torch. So we'd take apart the boiler in the basement. I never ran a torch before. It took me like 40 minutes to get it started. I started taking it apart piece by piece. He came down about two hours later. I was covered in sweat and I'd taken off about half - one side of the boiler, and he flipped. He was like that's the new boiler. You were only supposed to take apart the old boiler. He started yelling at me and I totally ruined like a $10,000 boiler.

AMOS: That was Damian Anastafio, Vonty McCray, Robert Parland and Reesa Parras, speaking to us here in Culver City, California.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.