5 Summer Jobs You Probably Had if You Grew Up in Brampton

 

If you grew up in Brampton, you know how hard it was to find a summer job between school years. Most years, you didn't even manage to score one. But, if you were lucky, your trips to the mall handing out resumes, or volunteering with the city, or talking to your parents' friends paid off and earned you some extra cash over the summer. You know how much the friends you made at those jobs felt like family, how exciting it was to pay for your own movie tickets at Orion Gate and iced capps from Timmies, and how you became more responsible thanks to your summer job in Brampton.

Chances are, if you grew up in Brampton, you had one of these summer jobs.


5. Admin

An admin job for the summer in Brampton probably meant that your dad's friend's coworker's uncle hooked you up with a sweet filing position at a lawyer's office or a doctor's office. You spent days in back rooms organizing and reorganizing contracts and reports in a series of never-ending drawers. The alphabet often blurred together as you tried to recall which last name went after which last name. You probably even came up with a colour coded filing system that was shot down by the older employees, and you often stared out a window in the general direction of Gage Park, wondering how you got yourself into that mess. And then everything went digital and your shifts were full of data entry. On the bright side, you worked a solid 15 hours a week that filled your wallet enough for Brampton Transit fare (what was it, like $2.50 when you grew up?) and buying a Wonderland season pass. When you went back to school, everyone thought it was cool that you worked at an office, but really, it was a snoozefest.


4. Retail

If you weren't stuck inside the backroom of an office, you were probably stuck inside a clothing store at Shoppers World, Bramalea City Centre, or if you were really lucky, the magical land of Square One (don't all Bramptonians want to move to Mississauga?). You spent a good part of the end of your school year figuring out how a resume worked and handing yours out at every store you passed at one or all three of these malls. One store hired you seasonally, but by the end of the summer, they were pushing you to quit school and join them full-time. Hopefully, you didn't fall for it! While you learned essential skills like working a cash register, processing exchanges and returns, and smiling at people you couldn't care less about, you made a few good friends in your time on the floor. When you weren't trying to explain to a customer why you didn't have the same pair of shorts they found on the website, you were cracking jokes with your coworkers, knocking over piles of clothes to refold when you were bored, and counting the hours until your shift was over so that you could go swimming at South Fletchers with your homies.


3. Fast Food

If you thought the definition of retail was just folding clothes, you probably worked in fast food for the summer. Maybe you were at the McD's on Ray Lawson and Hurontario and now you know what it means to work the night shift. Maybe you were at Tim's on Bovaird, where you experimented with drink concoctions and learned whether Timbits are donut holes or individual balls made from the same dough as the donuts (no, seriously, what are they?). Or maybe you worked at A&W inside Shoppers World, where you devoured free burgers for lunch. Like the summer retail workers, you know the ins and outs of a cash register, plus all of the iterations of menu items from your fast food joint. You probably saw some things you didn't want to see at the drive-thru, got short-changed, yelled at, and probably even threatened. Regardless, you donned your uniform loyally for each shift, held your head high, and grew a backbone because of it. Your friends turned to you for hilarious stories from work, your parents told you to push through, and you ate the free or discounted food so frequently and knew so much about what happened to the food at your location that you can no longer eat there to this day. You were exhausted all summer, and at the end of each shift, all you wanted to do was rid the smell of food from your pores and catch a late show at Orion Gate.


2. Outdoor Maintenance

Mowing lawns in the 'burbs of Springdale, or tending the plants at Chinguacousy Park, you spent any and all of your time outside all summer. Grass and plants became your best friends, and you got a wicked burn or a glowing tan from soaking up all that Vitamin D. Thankfully, this position helped you stay fit, since you were sweating bucketloads every shift and navigating maintenance tools like lawn mowers and hedge clippers. Heavy lifting was no stranger to you, and you took two showers a day to feel clean. You probably became familiar with the people on your street or at the park, saw your friends while you worked, received a lot of your income in straight cash, and a shift didn't feel much like work because you got to be outside. Granted, if you worked at a park for the city, you were probably wearing protective gear and shades to guard yourself from the harsh heat. It's highly likely that even after all that time outside, you still wanted to go hiking at Heartlake or Claireville on weekends.


1. Lifeguard

Being a lifeguard for the summer in Brampton meant sitting in the tall lifeguards' chair by the pool at South Fletchers or Cobra Swim Club and blowing your whistle when public swim was over. You've probably even developed great vocal chords from ordering everyone out of the pool. You're a great swimmer, you can perform CPR, and you know how to save someone from drowning, but, thankfully, that was only tested during one of your many shifts. You wanted to work your way up from lifeguard to supervisor to earn the big bucks, and likely worked your lifeguard job through consecutive summers until you reached your goal. More importantly, you memorized every snack in the vending machine in the hall by the pool, you always reeked of chlorine, and you have a fondness for the elderly now that you've seen their aquatics classes. You were probably offered an even higher position at the end of your run at the pool, but you declined it in favour of higher education or a different career path. You abused your free entry at the pool, and spent time swimming even when you weren't working. To top it off, you've developed an impressive imagination from the boredom of watching people swim all day, so even if you were physically poolside, mentally, you were at a Drake concert.

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