Mitchell Sparks | Staff Writer
Once the 2:50 p.m. dismissal bell rings, students are free to do whatever they please. Athletes head to practice or a game. Students involved with music stay after school to perfect their craft. Students involved in clubs stay to meet with fellow club members to discuss their respective club objectives. But some students are not involved within the school’s extracurriculars but head out the doors immediately to work.
Senior Hannah Bumps has been working at the YMCA since the end of freshman year and serves as a lifeguard.
“My responsibilities at the YMCA are mostly just making sure everybody is following the deck rules and making sure everybody is safe,” Bumps said.
Bumps does not usually work at the YMCA during the school year as she enjoys being a lifeguard during the summer when it’s nicer out.
“I like being outside more so I can get a good tan,” Bumps says, joking. “I’ll pick up a shift or two during the school year but it’s hard with my other job.”
Not only does Bumps work at the YMCA, she works at Texas Roadhouse where she is a hostess and a carry-out correspondant.
“I like working at Roadhouse more because it pays more than the YMCA and I get to work with three of my closest friends.”
Bumps does not participate in any after school extracurriculars but she is perfectly fine with that.
“Extracurriculars don’t provide any financial benefits, I like working more so I can save for college and a new car.”
Senior Rayder Kopetsky has worked multiple jobs throughout his high school career. His first job was a cashier in the garden center at Walmart.
“Walmart was by far my least favorite,” Kopetsky said. “I got paid a good amount but it wasn’t worth it because it was very slow most of the time and I didn’t work with the best people.”
His second job was serving as a shift manager at Papa Murphy’s where he made pizzas, counted the register and did computer work for the store.
“Papa Murphy’s was by far my favorite. I loved the fact that I got to work with my closest friends. The general manager at that location was very nice and respectful of me and understood that school was first on my priority list.”
Kopetsky says he wish he still worked at Papa Murphy’s but the pay was just not enough for his expenses.
He has found a balance between good pay and having fun as a kitchen crew member at Arni’s Pizza and Things.
“I like Arni’s a lot because they pay weekly. I already know how to make pizza and people who I worked with at Papa Murphy’s work at Arni’s now so it’s a very fun and easy job for me.”
After working for three different companies in the span of a year, Kopetsky knows what’s important about having an after-school job.
“Working for multiple companies has taught me that money isn’t everything and enjoying where you work is much more important.” He added, “Life is a whole lot easier when you love your job.”
Senior Nick Frangello works in electronics and the photo center at Walmart. He also helps in the paint, hardware, home office and fabric departments as well. When he first got the job at the beginning of junior year, he knew nothing about electronics and was worried he wouldn’t perform up to Walmart’s strict standards.
“My training was inadequate at first because we didn’t have many associates that knew electronics to teach me,” Frangello said.
After working at Walmart for 14 months, Frangello has learned not only about electronics, but also how to work with customers.
“It’s a blessing in disguise dealing with aggravated customers,” he said. “I had to learn how to treat these people not only as Walmart customers but as real people. It has taught me how to deal with people in high stress situations outside of work as well which is a good life skill.”
One high stress situation was when Frangello got robbed two months into the job.
“One evening around this time last year, I was alone in the electronics section checking out an iPad Air for this customer who seemed up to no good in the first place,” Frangello says. “I scanned the iPad and turned away to grab a bag to put it in and the man reached over the counter and took the iPad and started running for the doors. I yelled for someone to chase him but no one got to him in time before he sped off with his unpaid iPad and never got caught.”
Getting robbed is an unusual situation for student workers after school. But working is a common denominator for many students. Whether they are paying for a car, saving for things like college or working because they need some cash in their pocket, student employees balance responsibilities the same way students involved in extracurriculars do.