What’s the best or worst summer job you’ve ever had?

With teen unemployment running high, summer job seekers may have had to take what they could get. Today’s Question: What’s the best or worst summer job you’ve ever had?

  • Steve the Cynic

    Ran out of divisive questions to ask, huh?

  • I was the voice of Paul Bunyan for a couple summers at Paul Bunyan land in Brainerd. That was a great job but alas, the park is no more…

  • Angie

    The best summer job I had without a doubt was a Trail Guide at Camp Menogyn. It is half way up the Gunflint Trail right on the edge of the Boundary Waters. You don’t get paid a lot but your room and board is taken care of, the food is fabulous and you are camping and changing teenagers lives all summer long in the beautiful boundary waters. Many trips go into Canada and as far as Northern Canada and Alaska! My husband and I were both campers and staff at the camp and the friends I met there over 10 years ago are still my closest friends. Doing something more life changing makes a lot more sense to me than working at a retail store or other seasonal job just to make a little more money that ends up being spent on things that people don’t need.

  • Al

    It’s Friday, Steve. The questions are usually pretty light on Fridays.

    My best/worst summer job was actually the same one. I did an internship at a non-profit in Washington, DC. My supervisor gave me little work to do despite repeated attempts to involve myself in the organization. I was young and didn’t always understand what he was asking me to do. I was eager to learn, but he had little patience for questions. I’m not sure why he expected a college intern to understand his job perfectly from day one. It was incredibly frustrating. In the end, the job was a lot of minesweeper and solitaire, which got old after a few days.

    However, they put me up in a nice place in DC for the summer and I had plenty of time to myself and to explore the city with friends. They also sent me to New York and Connecticut, and to a conference in Atlanta. It was one of my favorite summers but with frustrating work days.

  • Jared W

    I worked at a chicken factory during a summer between college 5 years ago. It was the worst because A. It was a chicken plant, nuff said. B. It was the graveyard shift 11pm – 7:30 AM, and 3. besides working next a toothless old lady, my position was in the chiller where they cut the chicken up… 35 degrees all night (and I had no AC so trying to sleep during the day with 90 degree heat and then freezing at night at work) worst 2 months at 10.50 an hour I ever made. all I can say is, learning experience.

  • Amy

    My worst job was detasseling corn when I was 13. I wanted a job so badly that I said I was 5’2″ on the application (a requirement to be hired) when I was only 5’0″. There was a reason you needed to be taller! It was hot, dirty and hard work for the $3/hour I got paid.

  • Philip

    The worst: being a caddy at the White Bear Lake Yacht Club. You’re a scrawny teenager walking around with a golf bag weighing the same as you, get the privilege of listening to some guy who makes way too much money curse and throw his club because he got another bogey, and then get a $2 tip from the cheapskate. Ah, the development of character.

  • Chris

    I grew up on a Dairy farm, so every summer is included in the worst summer job category. Milking cows, bailing hay, feeding calves, working land..etc for 12-15 hrs a day. But, now looking back at what I learned and being able to play on the land (for a couple hours a days) makes me realize it was also the best summer job.

  • Steve

    My worst summer job was detassling corn in Illinois. It was hot, stifling with long days-it was a temporary job for several weeks but it taught me the value of hard work and the money was good because i was living at home! I was a college student during the summer!

  • Steve

    My worst summer job was detassling corn in Illinois. It was hot, stifling with long days-it was a temporary job for several weeks but it taught me the value of hard work and the money was good because i was living at home! I was a college student during the summer!

  • Jan DeChampeau

    Worst Job Ever…dragging a crate behind you while you were picking potatoes…I was 12 years old. My mother dropped my brother and I off at seven in the morning with a sack lunch….we did this till five in the afternoon….hot, dirty…when you filled your crate you put in a colored chip, took another crate and continued through out the day….at the end of the day they counted your chips….25 cents a crate………wow………….I have picked potatoes, rocks, and mustard..What I have learned….Farming is a VERY hard life, and they do not get paid enough for what they do…

  • Peggy

    Worst summer job: Just married, 20 years old. (1969) Hired as a phone solicitor in South Bend, Indiana. Given pages of a phone book and told to lie if necessary to whomever answered to complete a buy of something I don’t even remember. Quit 2 hours into the job after talking to a woman who had just buried her son. What I learned? To this day, all calls through my answering machine and there are some jobs not worth the money.

  • SL

    My best summer job was at a pancake syrup/jam factory in Duluth, MN in the late 80s. My best friend, older brother and boyfriend spent hours boiling syrup and hand pouring into bottles – in a room with no airconditioning. After our shift, we would cross the street and swim in Lake Superior. No better reward for hard work.

  • Donna

    My first summer job was working at the processing plant for the sweet corn harvest. I worked the husking machinery, which removed the husks from the corn. 7 days a week, 12 hour days. Very dangerous work-a student had an arm severed that summer harvest. Many of the employees were either students or women who had worked the summer harvest each year of their adult lives.

    Lesson learned-get a good education

  • bsimon

    cheese factory:

    boring, monotonous and a great incentive to finish college.

  • Gary F

    Summer after high school.

    Tire warehouse. Unloading semi-trucks full of tires. You couldn’t wash the black off the two middle digits of the inside of your fingers even though you wore gloves. You couldn’t wash the black out of your skin on your thighs. Semi-truck tires had to be stacked in piles of 10, you couldn’t get help until numbers 8,9 and ten or your manhood would be questioned. #7 was tough near the end of the trailer on a hot day.

    Good job for an 18 year old kid. Pretty much made up my mind that I would to make a living with a strong mind and not a strong back.

  • Terri Nowicki

    The best summer job I had was when I was in high school. I worked at the Taste of Minnesota back when it was on the State Capitol grounds. I sold LaCroix mineral. It was hot that summer but we were around ice, so it was okay. All the attendees were so friendly and fun, the musical stage was directly behind my booth and the best part was the fireworks were amazing as they glowed off the white marble of the capitol. (too bad Taste of Minnesota will never be that fabulous again.)

  • shd

    My parents were self-employed, so my first summer “job” started when I was 5 helping them in the store on the weekends.

    By going to work with my parents every weekend for 8 years, I met many other shop owners and did some work for them.

    At 10, I was a part-time candle-maker earning $1/hour (in 1990). I learned how to make candles the traditional way – I made my own molds, dipped them in large vats of hot wax, carved them, and then dipped them in acrylic.

    I’m not sure if I should have been doing this kind of work, but it taught me how to earn and manage money at a young age.

  • Amy

    Worst job ever was as a server/table busser at Old Country Buffet. Nothing like cleaning up tables, chairs and floors after parents let their pack of wild kids wreak havoc… pools of melted ice cream, sprinkles all over the table, floor and chairs, smeared mashed potatoes, chicken bones, etc. It was just gross.

  • annie

    The best summer job I ever had was working at a family camp in Alexandria, MN during college. I was a kitchen worker but I spent my evenings swimming, boating, and sitting by the camp fire. The worst was my summer job working at a local movie theater selling concessions.

  • Nick

    I used to be a hot tile roofer. I remember that day. -Mitch Hedberg

  • Yasameen Sajady

    My original plan for the summer was to do research but my proposal was not accepted… So I took a job working at country music festivals in Minnesota and a couple in Wisconsin. I really don’t enjoy todays popular country music but I’ve met and developed relationships with some very good people. Surprisingly most vendors at these things have great stories!

    Best summer job!

  • Pat Ciernia

    By far, the best summer job I ever had was ‘history interpreter’ (i.e. costumed tour guide) at Historic Fort Snelling. Imagine being paid for playing dress-up, but throw in working muskets, artillery, and a full-scale stone fort to act out in. Add to that a generally appreciative audience, a decent hourly wage, and a cadre of smart and funny coworkers (many were history and/or theatre majors), and you could understand why some people applied year after year to work at the Fort — some for over 25-30 seasons. It also led to some of the most enduring friendships I can imagine, and (given the modest staff size) a proportionally large number of romances and marriages, including my own. My spouse and I continue to play dress-up (as late 18th/early 19th Century voyageurs) and raised two children in period clothes.

  • Matt

    Promptly quit after one day erecting the massive party tents you see at weddings, county fairs, and other outdoor events.

    The 50 pound jackhammer used to drive the stakes which hold the tent lines was more than a third of my body weight.

  • Sarah

    THE BEST! Working for Anoka County Library! Who would have ever thought a summer job would turn into my career?

  • Kevin M

    Worst: temping in the receiving department at a catheter factory. Not much else to say.

    Best: landscaping for my mother’s old boss, who lived in a beautiful house on a bluff above Stillwater, and routinely let us take two-hour lunches with cocktails at the Freight House across the river.

  • Heather R.

    My best summer job was the year I graduated from high school. I took a job at a resort in western Wisconsin cleaning cabins. They hired a boy my age to take care of the golf course, but he left part way through the summer, so I got to do his job as well, though without an increase in pay. It was much better than what I was doing. In addition to “carpeting” the sand greens, I got to replace the torn up sod every morning after the skunks finished hunting for grubs. To do all this, I even got to drive the resort’s car with a push-button transmission, without even having my license. (I didn’t leave the property.)

    Most of my better jobs since then have been traditional “men’s” jobs.

  • Jon

    Worst: I worked for a scam company, even after I knew it was a scam. I was selling Quill office supplys, door to door. More than any thing, the people and work environmnent was bad. It was like following a sales ‘cult’. The company has changed it name to Blackstone Consulting.

  • Regarding the Post on Blackstone Consulting Inc. We have Never worked with a company named Quill, There is a man named Jeremy Johnson (His company was formally known as Issac Group and Changed name to IDGI) We have no association to this company nor have we ever worked with the company named Quill.

    If you have any questions please email me or call the office at 952-473-4000


    Jeremy Reboulet

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