Summer jobs aren’t hard to come by as a young teen, especially if you’re a spry one at that. My first job wasn’t anything glamorous, but I was relatively proud with what I was able to achieve. I made some friends, some of which I still talk to, and I also got to make some cash. It wasn’t anything long-term, more so something that was just going to pay for my beer all summer. I ended up getting a job at a local golf course, I had to take care of the greens (and all of the grass in general) – the only problem is that I had to work the night shift every now and then. The night shift is pretty scary, you can already imagine what it’s like to be at a golf course by yourself in the middle of the night. It doesn’t help that golf courses are usually located in the middle of nowhere (at least, that’s how it works in Canada apparently), so you really do have to look out for coyotes and such. When you hear them howl it sends shivers down your spine, but after a few shifts I was comfortable with everything I had to manage. I’m going to share some of my experiences with you guys, because I believe that the best way to go about sharing a story is through the internet. None of my friends want to hear me rant about this junk anyways, so I’m thankful for all of my readers out there!
The first day on the job was awkward to say the least, because I wasn’t really aware of what I needed to be doing. I felt like a deer in headlights, and since I was this strapping young man, it almost seemed as if they wanted me to carry most of the load. I have no problem with manual labor, but it was almost like they were using me for everything and anything. The very first thing we had to do was clear debris, as we were getting ready for the summer and we needed to clean up as much as possible. As such, a lot of branches and extra wood was piling up, and it was our job to take out the trash (so to speak).
I was the go-to guy for this job, since I was lifting everything heavy. I was working with a crew of middle-aged people, none of which were around my age. I didn’t know why that was, but I would figure it out a bit later (you’ll want to hear about that part). There was a lot of equipment to become acquainted with, but after about 3 or 4 shifts I knew where I stood on the team. I was the lifter of heavy things, as well as the guy that would chainsaw unnecessary branches (or even small trees) down. Life was good, and I was making a decent amount of money as well.
The Night Shift
This is the reason they had me working wither older people: I was the only one crazy enough to do night shift. Nobody young was working with us because they had no reason to, they were just training me to take over the night shift position. The first week I was on day shifts, but then I remembered that the guy who had hired me said “don’t get too comfortable”. I got my own little golf cart to drive around, which was pretty cool. I also had my own personal lawnmower, the owner of the gold course had actually just given me the money to buy one I personally preferred (thanks to www.gardenplaza.us, I got the best fit for me). There was a little trailer attached to the back of the golf cart so that I could carry everything with ease, and that came in handy. I didn’t want to lug around a few pieces of equipment one by one, although that would have killed some time – the thing about night shift is that you never really had time to kill.
I figured it was going to be a cake-walk, like I was going to just sleep my shift away in the barn without having to worry. Turns out you have to be constantly looking out for problems during night shift, and you have to water every single green on the hour. That means I would be working 12 hours shifts throughout the summer, I had absolutely no time to hang out with my friends. The time I spent off of work was well used, as I slept and nothing more. In all honesty, usually first jobs suck, but the money was a good enough reason for me to deal with the negatives.