Mishaps at students’ summer jobs

Camille Botello, Staff writer

Often college students work over the summer to make extra money, but what some people don’t know is that they encounter many bizarre situations.

There’s always the classic “you messed up my order” type of customer, the older man or lady who gets just a little too up close and personal, and of course those who don’t tip.

Most students that have worked are more than a little familiar with these types of customers, but some have experienced things much worse.

Many students undoubtedly have experienced similar work mishaps like the stories below, so at least these students know they’re not alone.

Naomi Kincade, ‘20, decided to work at a burger joint in Portland over the summer. “I applied to a place where my good friend already worked– my interview took 5 minutes, and was very casual. Everyone who worked there seemed cool, and the manager hired me immediately,” she said.

She was excited to start until she looked at the schedule. “Later when I was filling out my new hire paperwork, I logged into the app we used for scheduling, and saw that there was another trainee. I read the name and my stomach dropped. It was my ex-boyfriend,” said Kincade.

Mel van Hurck, spent the summer as a sailing instructor in the Netherlands. One windy night he went out for a lesson, but realized quickly that it was a bad idea.

“There were strong winds and because it was dark, we stayed into the shallow areas of the lake that had a lot of seaweed growing. Then we tried to use the motor but it got overheated because the seaweed was plugging up the engine,” van Hurck recalled.

Because of the high wind speeds, he decided not to set the sails because if they did the boat would have likely capsized. After being stranded for a couple of hours they were saved by the lake patrol. Hopefully the student wasn’t too traumatized by his lesson gone awry.

“I work at a race track in Canby, Oregon over the summer that rents go-karts,” Courtney McGrath, ‘20, said. “Because the go-karts are gas powered, we have a 250 gallon gas tank on the property. One day my coworker was drawing from the bottom of the tank, and pumping through an air filter to get the dirt out of the gasoline. Unfortunately, the static electricity safety mechanism malfunctioned and an electric shock set the gas can on fire. Naturally, my coworker kicked the can and the gas trailed back to the tank, which immediately went up into flames. He set a 250 gallon gas tank on fire,” said McGrath.

There’s perhaps nothing worse than almost burning down your place of work. Luckily, her coworker wasn’t fired for the incident.