Tuesday, July 01, 2008

She works hard for the money

If you're anything like me, summers off...weren't. They were spent working, or as my dad liked to say, learning the value of a dollar. Considering that for the most part, I worked for my parents in their clothing store in Ocean City, MD, this shouldn't come as a shock.

Most of my memories of those working days are pretty good. Certain songs make me feel like I'm right back there, hanging bathing suits, straightening racks and watching for shoplifters. Ah, the good ole days.

One thing I really remember was how dumb the tourists were. Some of the most memorable questions were:

Where's the beach? Considering you could walk from the bay side of this barrier island to the ocean side in less than 10 minutes in most spots, this one could really be answered by walking outside and looking east.

How do you get to the 94th Mall? Hmm. I guess getting in your car and driving to 94th street would be too easy.

Do you live here? No, I'm the only 15-year-old legally allowed to vacation alone. But that got boring, so I decided to get a job.

Where's the boardwalk? You know that 2.5 mile strip of wood and concrete that runs from the inlet to 27th street, features two amusement parks, a pier, the life-saving museum and has all those kites flying over it? You haven't seen that? Then it's in Delaware.

Are these shorts on sale? No, we just fill the racks with display only clothes. In fact, this whole store is actually storage space for the summer clothes I'm not wearing. Thanks for stopping in, though.

I could go on, but you get the drift. Did you get asked dumb questions at your summer job?


  1. ROFL--boy, you got some fun ones...my summer jobs were usually flipping burgers or making pizzas. Ah, fun.

  2. Oh honey, tell me about it. It's not just the tourists who ask stupid questions. My fave was when I was a manager for Bath and Body Works. Our uniform was a red and white checked apron. At least once a day I got the question:

    Do you work here?

    Um. No. I just really like wearing a tablecloth. Here's your sign.

  3. LOL! Too funny.

    I'm not sure I ever got dumb questions, although not all customers were a real treat.

    One summer I waitressed in an Irish pub. Know who the worst drunk customers are? Priests. I kid you not. The pub was about a quarter mile from the golf course where the diocese always had their priest golf outings.

    Drunk Irish priests grabbing your butt = BAD

  4. I never worked a summer job where I had to deal with people too much. One we used to get at the u-pick strawberry farm where I worked was 'do you sell already picked strawberries or do I have to pick them myself?' - especially bad since they had to drive by the stand piled with containers of berries to get to the parking lot. Mostly though, I worked with critters during the summer. They never ask stupid questions. ;o)

  5. Around here, it's always tourist season. I've gotten the beach question before. I figured these people were really geographically challenged. "Which way is north/south?"
    I really would say and point: "Well, the beach is over there *point point*, we're on the east coast *wave arm back and forth* so, north *point* south *point* east *thumb* and west." Got it?

  6. ROFL!!

    We have t-shirts here that say "Where in the H*** is Green Harbor?" We used to deliberately send tourists to Duxbury beach.

    Begone, non-townies.

  7. My sister used to work at JoAnn Fabrics - her top question:

    Do you sell fabric here?

  8. I got one today (I work in a property management office). Guy wanted to complain about the air in his apartment. He didn't like it.

    Not the air conditioning mind you--we don't have that.

    Not an odor. Just "the air" in general.

  9. funny!
    I never had a summer job... I wanted to work and my mom said "no, you will work for the rest of your life, enjoy life while you can!"

  10. Anonymous8:10 AM

    No summer job for me. My parents said that school was my job.

    And I agree with Mel that it's not just the tourists who ask stupid questions. I did a couple stints in retail in my early 20's. That's when I pretty much realized I am *not* a people person, and vowed never to work in retail again.

  11. I worked at Disneyland for two summers in an ice cream parlor. There was a nice long list of flavors on the wall and every third person would still come up to the register and ask for a flavor not listed. HELLO BOZO?! You stood in line for 40 minutes and that list is all you had to look at! Did you see Rocky Road? NO!