Work with a Purpose - A college essay

October 20, 2011
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Most teens take the easy way out. They don't care whether they are working for minimum wage or not, they go for the easy jobs, the ones that take no skill. Most of my friends work for Bromley Mountain (a local amusement park during the summer). I worked for Bromley for five days, but could not stand the boredom, lack of atmosphere, and the kids pushing you around. I never felt accomplished at anything. When I got the job at the golf course, I knew I would have to wake up early, and there is almost nothing I hate more in the world than getting up before your bones are ready. As I drove through town to work each morning, I never passed another car – it was like driving in a ghost town.

I was the rookie groundskeeper at Equinox, and got all the jobs no one else wanted: weeding, weed whacking, mowing, shoveling rocks, raking sand traps and picking up sticks. Oh how I would have loved to sit on a riding mower going back and forth all day! For once in my life I wished I was the old veteran, because with every job I did, it seemed like God was mocking me.

The worst of my jobs was mowing “small tees,” all thirty-one of them. It’s just pure torture. Picture yourself trying to mow thirty-one small suburban lawns with absolute precision for five hours straight while trying to stay ahead of a group of golfers. To make matters worse, the horrible heavy lawn mower needed to be loaded, parked and latched to a trailer every time you moved to the next tee. Time never seemed to pass fast enough.

Even though mowing small tees was pure horror, raking bunkers (sand traps) topped the bad list. Imagine yourself and two others raking sand all day long. There were over one hundred bunkers, and every single one needed the edges raked to perfection, some of them even by hand. Sure, we had a special three wheel vehicle to help us out, but it didn't make life easier. Not to mention every time you turned the darn thing on, you get electrocuted. Your back hurt, your arms hurt and your shoes were full of sand by the end of the day. And half the work was just for aesthetics anyway. I mean really, do mowing lines need to be straight? Do bunkers really have to be raked every other day?


There was only one thing that made the work hours sweet, and that was the delicious, mouth-watering food we were served. “Food so good is makes me want to slap your mama,” the chef often said. He prepared a new dish for us every single day - never serving leftovers, greasy chicken fingers, or peanut butter sandwiches. The food ranged from beef brisket to shrimp jambalaya! Oh, the daily surprises were endless; you never knew what you were getting next.

On top of making a whopping $9.50 an hour, I met the most interesting people . I worked with a commie-hating old guy, two drug addicts, a loud and proud redneck, and a “quiet know it all” who made me nuts. Some of the stories they told were beyond imaginable; so graphic I think they forgot I was seventeen.

These days, teenagers don't know what hard physical labor is. Physical labor is when your body cries for mercy at the end of the day or when your feet are so saturated in water your skin peels like a molting snake. I worked at the Equinox Golf Club as a groundskeeper this summer, and like being a ski instructor, everything I learned was valuable. But it was the most time consuming job I ever had. I left my friends and went to bed at 9:30 every night. Sometimes life hands you lemons, and your job is to make it rewarding at the end of the day, because nothing seems to ever top sitting down on the couch after a long day of work and watching some Man Vs. Wild.





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