Serving vs. Retail by// Brie Schoen

January, the beginning of a new year and a new start. This is the month that may strike some students to make changes in their lives, such as getting a job, or even getting a new job.Two main high school jobs that attract students are serving and working in retail. These are two completely different environments, therefore choosing the right one for you may be somewhat difficult.

As a high school student, retail is where you need to be, where as serving should be kicked aside for a different point in your life if need be.

There is nothing more stressful than dealing with unhappy people who are aggravated that their food isn’t cooked right or is taking too long to come to the table. All of their frustration and anger isn’t taken out on the cooks, but instead the servers have to deal with it. What high school student wants to manage to keep unsatisfied people calm and collected everyday? They’ve already had a long day at school, may have homework to do, and then have to come to work to get yelled at for the food being cooked wrong. Sounds awful, right?

Although this makes serving comes off as a not so pleasant job, not everything about serving is negative. Yes, the hourly wage is very low, being $2.13, but waiters and waitresses make tips. Leaving every night with extra cash is what every teenager would love, but there are several factors that play into the amount of money you make through tips. Factors such as the people you serve and how good of a server you are.

Then comes retail yet the pros overpower the cons in relation to serving. The average retail worker who works part time makes around $8.00 an hour, according to  This pay wage is great for high school students who need to pay for their own things, or just need extra cash.

The work environment is not as upbeat as serving, which may be a pro or con depending on the each person, but the amount of stress is a lot less. Not having to deal with aggravated people, except for some occasional rude shoppers, would take the majority of stress away. When a survey was done by The Branch Of Education in Louisiana, it was found that 67% of the 300 students surveyed, would prefer to work retail over serving. The main reason for their answering was that, “Serving doesn’t make enough money.”

The negative aspects of working in retail are that the environment may become boring after a while. But if you are a person who doesn’t care about that factor, then you should be good.

In the end, every individual is different and wants different aspects out of a job, but when the facts are looked at, serving isn’t the best high school job. Working in retail may be the right job for you.

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