Where is all the help?

Summer help has always been hard to come by but it seems harder and harder every year.  I had dinner with a group of friends last night and the restaurant did not have enough staff to cover everyone if it was filled to capacity.  So we began the discussion of why this is happening.

When I grew up, during our college years, we worked as a counselor, retail, waitress, babysitter, manual labor, etc.  Enjoyed the summer, put some money in our pocket, and went back to college in the Fall.  Now life has changed. 

Kids are getting internships starting in High School.  It is tough to land a really great summer job that will look good on the resume.  As much as I admire the drive of each of these kids to get all their ducks in a row to insure the killer job when they graduate, or the one that goes on the resume to get you into the college of your choice, I do wonder what happened to enjoying one’s youth. 

There was always a new sense of community and camaraderie with summer jobs.  New people you meet for a few months and work the grunt job with.  Nothing too cerebral.  That was saved for the school year.  Instead, the pressure to compete harder.  If you don’t play the game, you are screwed.  Who is brave enough to just not play by the new rules and sling hash all summer instead?

As each summer goes by, it gets harder and harder.  You look around and wonder, where is all the help?

Comments (Archived):

  1. artifact

    They might get killer jobs in the future but most are lacking life experience. So many young students on that fast track have very rarely made a choice on their own. Their parents are their every step of the way. I feel sorry for them, and they might have nice bank accounts sooner then later, but they will suffer in other ways and so will their employers.

  2. JAH

    Some of the best memories of college were late at night after the restaurant closed sitting on boxes behind the dumpster drinking beers and talking life with the other staff.

  3. Peter

    Three thoughts:

    1. A lot of young people today are angling for more impressive jobs and internships to beef up their resume so they can get a better job after graduation or get into a better grad school.

    2. With college costing more, more people are taking Summer classes to get out of school in 3 years.

    3. College starts earlier now. It used to start after Labor Day but now a lot of schools want you back late August — which means they have to leave their jobs during the busiest week of the year.

  4. Craig Plunkett

    Summer help on the East End has been severely affected by the restriction on summer visas. All of the Irish kids that used to come over for the summer to work in Montauk can’t do that this year because of the administration’s immigration stance, and most middle class Long Island kids don’t really want to do the jobs that are available during the summer. But all their parents complain about the illegals that will do the sweaty work that their kids won’t. It really is a shame. There’s nothing like some heavy duty grunt work to put the desire for education in a young person. “Boy, I don’t want to do **** for the rest of my life, one summer was enough”