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Tips for Damned Young People: How to Find a Summer Job

Now that summer has arrived, I offer some sage advice for any damned young person that may actually be considering hauling their ass out of bed and looking for a job.

Tip #1 – Have Realistic Goals

Chances are that if you’re under 25 the closest you’ve come to demonstrating any measure of responsibility is remembering to rotate your bong water on a weekly basis so don’t be assuming that some head hunter is going to magically appear at your front door begging you to become the vice-president of “product pimping” at Ass-Crack Clothing or looking for you to lead up the Space Program at NASA.

Try to remember that you’re unlikely to land a six figure summer income with stock options if your resume is thinner than Karen Carpenter and your only previous source of income was a weekly allowance.

Consider your abilities, your education and your natural interests and look for work that suits your skill set. For example, a toll booth operator may be a logical fit if, like most young people, you have a predilection for sitting on your ass all day while taking money from other people.

Tip #2 – Forget the Damned Hipster Jobs

Face facts – you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an unemployed web designer or freelance anarchist and every metrosexual poindexter with an ironic t-shirt and a pair of skinny jeans has already applied to become the “barista” at your local coffee shop.

Consider a sensible job like chimney sweeping, wheel tapping or flax heckling. And while you’re at it, ask yourself if slinging coffee would hold the same cache if it weren’t for the pompous job title. If it makes you feel better, you can always take a job flipping whoppers, grow a wispy goatee and call yourself a god damned “Burgerista.”

Tip #3 – Don’t Count on Nepotism

Chances are the reason your old dad works 12 hours a day is because he wants to put as much distance between the two of you as possible. He needs his down time and sure as hell doesn’t want you traipsing around his office showing his coworkers your latest belly piercing, undiagnosed rash or complaining about how he won’t pay for your IUD.

A man’s workplace is meant to be a sanctuary from the spirit-crushing grind of family life so show it the respect it deserves and don’t be pressuring him to land you an entry level position surfing the internet searching for Lolcats, Beiber haircut updates and fancy pants barista schools.

Break out the “Help Wanted” pages and get your own damned job.

Tip #4 – Take a Critical Look at your use of Social Media

If your last status update was “Third DUI of the year!!! 😦 ” chances are you’re an unemployable halfwit who needs to make some serious damned changes to his life.

Update your religious affiliation from “Satanist” to something less asinine and don’t have your profile picture be a cannabis leaf, sex toy or member of Motley Crue. Try to remember that nothing puts off a potential employer faster than seeing a list of interests that includes “flash mobbing”, “genital shaving” and/or “Hello Kitty.”

And while we’re on the subject of the interwebs, for the love of Christ don’t be looking for work or applying for jobs on-line. The only people who have ever found paying work over the internet are con-men and prostitutes. And chances are you’re not qualified to be either.

Tip #5 – Get the Competitive Edge

There are a million other miscreants out there looking for work so give yourself the competitive edge and un faux your hawk, purchase some bar soap and brush up on communicating in full sentences instead of rude utterances and naval gazing tweets. If you learn to string together 10 coherent words that don’t include “random”, “epic” or “meh” that should elevate you into the top 3 percentile of teenaged job hunters.

You might also want to consider practicing working at home. Granted, you may think your parents enjoy acting as your valets but I’m sure they’d be happy to let you make your bed, clean the kitchen or wash your own damned underpants if they felt it might help you become competitive in the job market and get you out from underfoot for a few hours a day.

Employ these few simple tips and you should be digging ditches, slopping chilli or mending fences in no time flat. Now get the Hell out there and get looking for work.

And before you ask, no, you can’t use me as a reference.

44 Comments leave one →
  1. 2:15 pm

    Just a note to let you know that I’ll be off visiting my sister-in-law for a view days and won’t be able to respond to comments until mid-next week. All the best for a Happy 4th of July weekend – try to keep things quiet and wrap your damned partying up by 9:30. An old man needs his sleep.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      6:55 pm

      “I’ll be off visiting my sister-in-law”

      Uh, is that a “euphemism”, sir?

      Don’t worry, Mr Mills. If some idiotic young person comes and posts something particularly stupid here while you’re out, I’ll step in and ridicule or abuse his/her/it for you.

  2. brian permalink
    2:34 pm

    Well said Don. Things are never quiet here on the fourth. All of us need sleep because we have to work the next day.

  3. 2:50 pm

    Dear Donald,
    this sublime post is so crammed with absolute truths that I suspect you’ve tapped into the “Fountain of All Knowledge”.
    How do you maintain such a high quality product?

    Mostly, I suspect, through hard work and years of experience, criteria that our present day youth seem to lack.

    Keep it going, I believe that your posts should be required reading for every 16 and 17 year old at all schools.

  4. 2:55 pm

    Donald, Thanks for the post – I’d like to use tip # 4 when I lecture my high school students at the beginning of next school year on the use of technology and their “digital footprint” – which for most of them is more like a digital ass print.

  5. bigsheepcommunications permalink
    3:03 pm

    If I had to guess your profession, I’d go with either assistant h.s. principal or HR director. Am I close?

  6. 3:20 pm

    “If your last status update was “Third DUI of the year!!! 😦 ” chances are you’re an unemployable halfwit who needs to make some serious damned changes to his life.”

    That, or an elected official.

  7. 3:47 pm

    I laughed all the way through this one. You forgot to mention that “Dude” is not the appropriate honorific to use when addressing your superiors . . .

    • Sedate Me permalink
      6:57 pm

      Superiors? Do they even recognize the concept of there being something/someone superior to them?

  8. 3:49 pm

    “The only people who have ever found paying work over the internet are con-men and prostitutes” No wonder I have been searching for employment for 2 years on the web and can’t get anything but offers for sex and to help transfer money to Nigerian accounts.

  9. 4:46 pm

    I would just love to know what you were like, as a teenager.

  10. 4:58 pm

    Great advice as always, and well put. I might have been tempted to not offer any advice and let Darwinism take its course. The less likely they are to find work the more likely they are to fall so low as to be beneath my notice. On the other hand, the odds of any hipster blockhead reading, let alone comprehending, your advice is nil.

  11. 5:09 pm

    Hilarious, as always!

    I am so happy you are back – I have been wondering if you are taking summer break or worse, decided to volunteer in some Summer Camp for teens 🙂

  12. Chirs permalink
    5:13 pm

    I think young people these need to set realistic goals with jobs. Unless you have the skills, work ethic (which is almost non existent with anyone under the age of 21) and drive, you are likely not going to get “cool” high paying jobs to start with.

    People such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill didn’t wake up one day and become what they are today. They had to work towards that goal and it took several years and hundreds of hours of hard work. If theses young people want good jobs, they should study and work towards that goal.

    Another item I’d like to add is when addressing both customers and your bosses/supervisors, don’t call them “dude” “G” or “bro”. It’s not only unprofessional, but it can also be considered creepy. Simply say sir or ma’am and be polite about it. Also with your bosses, don’t call them by their first name unless they are okay with it.

  13. 8:47 pm

    As always…right on, Don!

  14. 2:24 am

    Don’t count on nepotism. Thanks, I’m tired of doing EVERYTHING for them. Have a happy 4th Mr. Mills. My husband is retired Navy. I’m hoping the service of our country starts to look more appealing to him.

  15. 4:23 am


    I have always believed nepotism was the best tool for thinning out the slackers from the herd. Hell , I almost lost a kidney to a pick ax , when I had paused to tie my work boot (my dad swears it was an accident, but one can never be too sure in a dark coal mine ). With out nepotism , we would be forced to ruin a perfectly good hunting trip to explain young Billy’s untimely demise, due to unsafe gun handling or his uncanny resemblance to a mule deer .
    I apologize for not being around much , I promise to do better in the future , It’s good to see you again Don

  16. 10:49 am

    Mr. Mills,

    A summer job, or any job at all?
    I’d settle for the delinquent lazy bums of a teenage variety doing their job in school, not cutting classes, passing their grade, thusly not landing in summer school with its short hours. Which leaves them lurking around park benches, hanging onto x-boxes as life-simulators, growing more gelatinous by the day..
    A job? Hah.
    That could possibly kill the lazy lot of them!
    *a moment of understanding*
    Oh, I see…

    Yes! Definitey young people must get a job!

    With kind regards and silent reverence for Mr. Mills’ genious,
    Polish Spring

    • Sedate Me permalink
      7:10 pm

      Hell, sometimes I’d just settle for them just giving half a shit about something remotely meaningful for a (combined) 30 minutes a year.

  17. LooneyTunes permalink
    7:37 pm

    Ah, another great one.
    I had to laugh at this -” Consider your abilities, your education and your natural interests and look for work that suits your skill set,” because being a “dam young person” myself, I have no abilities, no education, and really no natural interests. — Guess I will go take a nap and screw the job…the economy sucks anyway thanks to the older generations who sold our jobs to countries I can’t pronounce… 😉

  18. Margie permalink
    11:20 pm

    Congrats on another excellent set of suggestions – I like the tip on Realistic Goals, which is equally applicable to the masses of College graduates who… well, I expect you have already written about their expectations.

  19. 12:03 pm

    Cripes, you are so funny! I love your humour; so close to the bone. Exactly how old are you? There’s no signs of (real) dementia in your posts but I’m wondering whether your old age has extended to peeing over the toilet seat yet? Or is that something only young people do??

  20. Sedate Me permalink
    1:05 pm

    Tip #4 Don’t use social media at all

    Seeing as a main source of income for these sites is selling corporations access to user’s info and that everything ever posted on the Internet will probably be there until the end of human civilization, you can’t be careful enough about what you do on-line.

    Given today’s job climate, potential employers offering halfway decent jobs might pass on you for as little as wearing green on your personal time or declaring Saturday to be your favourite day.

  21. 2:03 pm

    Great post, and sound advice. My personal favorite bit of phrasing:

    …every metrosexual poindexter with an ironic t-shirt and a pair of skinny jeans has already applied to become the “barista” at your local coffee shop.

    Mark Twain would be proud of this. I salute you, sir.

    • Sedate Me permalink
      6:45 pm

      I heard that Mr Twain and Mr Mills came up with that line over tea biscuits one day.

  22. 2:37 pm

    I think you’re being a tad too hard on the young. After all, the use of a sad-face emoticon along with the announcement of a 3rd DUI shows a newly-mature realization that that might not be such a good thing.

  23. oldgoat permalink
    3:33 pm

    Showed my daughter your column. She said you sound just like me. I took that as high praise. She’s still unemployed, but now she’s pissed at you too, so I no longer feel alone. Keep up the good work sir.

  24. 12:55 am

    Don –

    I must say that I appreciate any job-seeking advice you can whip up almost as much as I appreciate a good dig at Karen Carpenter’s underdeveloped figure.

    Now, fortunately for me, I am employed at several jobs often simultaneously, so this advice isn’t so much cautionary as it is an affirmation of my effort to fill every moment of my life with efforts made on behalf of others. I’m not going to go all “Mother Theresa” right here, mainly because a.) I get paid for my efforts and b.) I rarely have to touch lepers.

    I did have to read the section on “Social Media” a couple of times, though. I am an avid Facebookian and I wanted to make sure that my DUI-related bragging would NOT affect my employment. Seeing as I’ve already passed the background check, it would appear that I’m free to drink the hell out everything as long as I am not on the clock. My multiple jobs have put me in the unfortunate situation of having to drink between jobs, which should not be confused by under-aspiring morons as meaning that I am “between jobs” or as they know it, “living life to its fullest thanks to mom and dad’s everlasting patience and income.”

    To truly earn your right to get sloshed between the end of Job 1 and the beginning of Job 2 means you will have to get two(2) jobs and still find time to swing by the liquor store for some road beers (or Zimas). It’s simply not enough to just drink until the job offers show up. It didn’t work for Warren Buffett and it’s not going to work for you.

    Well, I’ve taken enough of your time and valuable webspace with my pointless (and self-indulgent typing). Enjoy your time off and thanks again for all the advice.


  25. 2:31 am

    Could Lifeguard also be acceptable? Sitting in the sun, basically doing nothing but getting a tan and blowing a whistle every so often?

  26. 3:06 am

    they also need to keep in mind other considerations. for example, don’t look for a job with an mri center or with tsa at the airport. mri machines have giant magnets in them, and the airports have magnetometers. with all the metal in their ears, belly buttons, noses, and in other parts i’m too embarrassed to name, kids’ll either be flying across the room at diagnostic places or making entire airports beep.

  27. 6:17 am

    Excellent advice, sir. I doubt any young people would get the Karen Carpenter reference, though.

    I was a “burgerista” in my youth. Now I’m going to work as a lunch lady. You got a hipster name for that?

  28. 9:33 pm

    Hehehe – very good advice! Love the social media update tip – SO TRUE!!

  29. 2:53 am

    I think all young punks should be required to work at least one crappy entry level job that involves either heavy physical labor or dealing with the dregs of humanity- or both. Working crappy jobs builds character, and requires the young punk to contribute to society and the economy- doing the things we geezers and cougars are too old and decrepit to do. My first job was as a bank teller -I was run ragged dealing with the unwashed and toothless cashing their checks on Welfare day, and every other task the Old Bitties found distasteful, while the Old Bitties sat back and enjoyed the show. I did their work and mine too as they filed their nails and commented on how my old VW Rabbit looked like shit next to their Cadillacs (their husbands bought them no doubt, ’cause the bank paid just a few cents an hour over minimum wage) in the parking lot. I was 19, and yes it sucked.

    My next job was as a parts driver in a large Chevy dealership- back when those old Monte Carlos with the big heavy hoods and behemoth long, heavy doors were in vogue- and the body shops were really busy. Spending 10-12 hours a day hoisting hoods, fenders and doors on and off of a truck whilst running from pervo city workers and lecherous body shop owners not only built physical stamina, it taught me my place as a young 20 something who needed to learn both how to take authority and how to get physical work done.

    Too many young punks have never done anything more physical than push the buttons on a game controller, and that’s sad.

    Maybe some day I might look into hiring a fine young thing to tend the Cougar Pool for me- heh-heh! If I can find one who isn’t 50 lbs overweight and covered with tattoos and piercings that is. I may be an old cougar, but I have standards!

  30. aintiflying permalink
    8:59 am

    As always…right on, Don!

  31. 3:26 pm

    I never thought I would have to add “Be clean shaven, but don’t shave during the interview.” A applicant I interviewed for a part-time job did this during the interview. I did not hire her.

  32. Kimmy permalink
    1:23 am

    Damn Young People want to know: who the hell is Karen Carpenter and why do stars fall down from the sky every time you are near?

  33. 2:18 pm

    Don another brilliant piece. How do you do it?
    So when is the book coming out?
    Love gmom

  34. 11:58 pm

    I’m framing this one and hanging it in the kitchen, where my under employed nit wit goes every 5 minutes to heat himself up a Lean Cuisine, drink a Diet Coke and fantasize about his girlfriend. I should have let him keep the job where they dipped him in toxic waste. Lesson learned.

  35. 6:32 pm

    Hipster opportunities are a nickle a dozen now. Just like grapes. Don’t tell too many people about Chimney Sweeping! I am trying to create a monopoly! There is no market for this in Africa. Canada however is a goldmine. You would think these people would just move to the permanent “fireplace” of Florida instead spending thousands on firewood. Oh well.

  36. 6:38 pm

    I’m new here -was sent by a fellow who reads my blog. Wish I’d had this piece to show to the step-granddaughter oh, about 2 years ago. She graduated H.S. last year and so far, has had one job-acquired via nepotism on her wonderful Mother’s side of her family. Said job lasted about 3-4 weeks, tops -involved waitressing for about 3 hours a day and her cousin fired her because of her inability to pick up her feet and the pace and MOVE! Now, still unemployed, her plans are now to get married this fall! Sounds like a truly brilliant solution to her ever entering the workforce with a whit of common sense to me! (And people wondered why I was so grumpy and ill-tempered towards her so frequently. She had even less ambition on the home front!)


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