Back to the Old Grind: Junior balances schedule with multiple jobs

Abbas at GameStop.

In high school it is the status quo for students to have a part-time job, but very rarely do you hear about a student with more than one job. Regardless of the extra money they would earn, very few students would be willing to give up their free time for multiple jobs. In this way, junior Lexy Abbas does not fit the norm, as she’s had multiple jobs for several years.

Abbas is currently employed at two different places in Cedar Falls. She began working at Taste of India on West First Street in May, and she began her job at GameStop on Brandilynn Boulevard a few months later in September.

Previous to her employment at these two venues, Abbas worked at The Core, a comic book store on Valley Park Drive. It was her first job, which she started when she was 15. She said it was a very “chill” job, but she only got eight hours a week working there. In December 2012, Abbas was laid off from The Core due to a lack of business in the store. After that, she applied to Little Caesar’s on West First Street, where she began working in tandem with Taste of India in January of 2013. “[It] was really convenient when I had 15 minutes between jobs because they’re right next to each other,” Abbas said. She eventually quit her job at Little Caesar’s in August of 2013 because she hated the amount of cleaning work the job entailed.

Abbas now enjoys her job at Taste of India very much. She works as a waitress, and, because it’s a small business, she does a lot of work in the store. Abbas seats people, takes food and drink orders, cleans off tables, rings people up and cleans the bathrooms at the end of the night. She gets paid $10 per hour for doing this, which doesn’t include tips (although she said that not many people tip), and she can buy food for 50 percent off.

“I love working at Taste of India because the pay is great, and I have amazing co-workers that always make working fun,” Abbas said.

For Abbas, working at GameStop is just as enjoyable as her job at Taste of India. At GameStop, she works as a game adviser. This requires her to stand behind the register and talk with customers and her co-workers. Abbas helps customers find the video games they are looking for and rings them up when they are ready to purchase a game.

She receives minimum wage ($7.25 an hour) at GameStop, in addition to getting 15 percent off everything in the store except new systems.

Abbas said, “I like GameStop because I’m surrounded by video games, and it’s a really chill, slow-paced job, unlike waitressing.”

Even though Abbas may enjoy her work, having multiple jobs has its difficulties. She works almost every night during the week, in addition to a double shift on Saturdays in which she works at Taste of India in the morning and GameStop at night. Abbas also works the dinner shift at Taste of India on Sundays.

This takes up a lot of her time during the week, which makes it difficult to complete her homework or attend certain events. She oftentimes has to leave play practice early in order to go to work and has to miss local shows that she’d like to go to on occasion.

However, she makes the best of each occasion. Abbas makes sure to request days off every so often so she can see her favorite local bands perform, and she tries to find times during school to finish her assignments, even though most of the time she ends up sacrificing sleep to get her homework done.

“The most difficult thing is that I’m exhausted 90 percent of the time, but it keeps me out of the house and is self-satisfying,” Abbas said.

The main reasons Abbas chose multiple jobs are that she likes to keep busy and has big plans for leaving when she turns 18. Because of her big plans, Abbas figured she should begin saving money early, and having multiple jobs was a simple way to do just that.

She believes having multiple jobs will absolutely benefit her in the future, as she takes great pride in her work ethic and likes doing a good job and improving. Because Abbas has never particularly enjoyed school, she plans to launch straight into a career after high school, and even though working multiple jobs is working well for her, she said it may not work well for others. Addressing those who are thinking about working multiple jobs, Abbas said, “Make sure you’re physically able to handle [working multiple jobs]. Even if you aren’t, you’ll be sore for months. Apply at places that you go to a lot because your co-workers will become your best friends, and if you don’t like someone at work, it makes it not as fun. It’s a big commitment, and you have to be okay with not seeing your family for almost days at a time. If you’re cool with that, then go for it.”

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