Bowcraft: All work, no play

by Fiona Rosenthal

Got fun? This was the slogan for the amusement park I toiled in during July and August, which I often referred to as the world’s worst summer job. My coworkers and I joked that the only fun we had came as soon as we left work. Working at Bowcraft involved long hours in the hot sun, unpaid breaks, minimum wage, mean customers and a horrible blue polo shirt. And yet, I also learned a lot from it in fun and unexpected ways.

As teenagers, we often have our heads in our phones and, in turn, aren’t always great with people. I suffer from this and can be terribly shy. But when I had five disagreeable adults arguing with me about prices, I had to learn to explain the rules calmly. I was constantly saying, “Sorry, I have no control over that, but you can speak to my manager about it.”

My paychecks were rewarding, yet also disappointing when I saw how much I had lost to taxes. My hours were long and I had to miss out on concerts and days at the beach due to work. My days felt tedious because working with the general public can be exhausting. But despite these drawbacks, the biggest thing I learned this summer was the value of hard work. I also learned that I do not want to work at Bowcraft for the rest of my life.

But doing it for a summer was not all bad. I met some people who are now my best friends. It’s surprisingly easy to bond when you’re complaining about cleaning up vomit together. I would not have survived without my friends. They understood how much I hated to work the swings or why I only liked to work the top of the slide. These people became my lifelines when I needed water on a long shift or a milkshake at the diner after a long day.

There were terrible aspects to my job that I never want to relive. My awkward tan lines, the aforementioned vomit, and a painful cut (from opening the gate to a ride) are just a few of the things I could have lived without. But overall, when I think back on it, Bowcraft was definitely a learning experience. I wouldn’t mind going back next summer and sporting my powder blue polo to make some more money for college.