Summertime Blues

We all did it. We scooped ice cream until we tore a rotator cuff. We taught archery to nine-years-olds at a YMCA day camp--until the program was shut down because of "fraternization" between the 43-year-old camp director and a junior counselor. We rode rapids as a rafting guide and made up elaborate lies about the local flora and fauna. We painted houses on ladders that must have violated half a dozen OSHA regulations. We watched coworkers at the mall rob the register blind, and then blow the money every night on party-packs of Robitussin.

People told you that your summer job would teach you the value of work, and pay for your first car, and help you save for college. And maybe it did. Yet many of us instead learned that jobs are for suckers and that just showing up each morning could fill our guts with dread.

A few years--or a few decades--may have dribbled by since then. But City Pages wants to give you a chance to purge your past. We're looking for true, first-person stories about your summer jobs. Our plan is to run your accounts in our summer issue, which hits newsstands in June. (Some pieces will likely run online.) The ideal length is between 150-450 words. The deadline is THURSDAY, MAY 27 (or thereabouts).

Be colorful and concise. Now is the time to confess how many whip-it hits you took in the back of the DQ. Tell us about the year-round coworkers whom you feared and pitied. Talk about the day you realized that work, for all its frustrations, was hugely preferable to moldering away in school. Tell us what really happened.

Please send your stories to: [email protected]. Along with your story, please include your age and hometown, and an email address for any questions.

Please don't think of this task as a job. Call it a charitable contribution to today's youth.

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