Teen Jobs

Many students at Chatham High School have part-time jobs after school hours.

There are challenges associated with making money after classes. Students must focus on their grades as well as their job performance.

Lydia Popoca, a junior, works at San Marcos Mexican restaurant in Tightsqueeze. She is currently a cashier but will transition to waitress soon. She works on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. “I get irritated when some customers are rude to me,” she says. “The best thing is getting paid and helping my mom with the bills. The worst is trying to get some weekend days off from work,” she said. “When I get paid, I use  the money to either help my mom with it around the house or keep it to myself for entertainment.”

Alexis Ferguson, a junior,  enjoys working at San Marcos. “I work about 20 hours a week. My responsibilities are taking to-go orders, seating people as they come in, cleaning the menus and the check books, and sometimes serving chips and salsa. I primarily cash people out after their meals,” she said. “The hardest part of my job is when it gets really busy, keeping everything clean and organized is a challenge,” she said. “My co-workers are very supportive and helpful and pretty awesome. The really best part is getting paid. I spend my money on food, clothes, gas. I use it for car repairs, too,” she said.

McDonald’s is a popular and demanding employer where several CHS students have found jobs.

James Saunders, a senior, works at the Tightsqueeze McDonald’s as a cook. He works everyday after school until 11:00 PM or 11:30 PM, depending on what happens that day at the restaurant. “I have to stay really late at work, and it’s hard for me to try to stay awake in class and try to focus, too,” said James. He uses his money to help his mom and to pay his phone bill. “When I get home late after work, I still have to feed and care for my animals, and do other chores, and then try to settle down and sleep often after 1 AM,” he said.

Katelyn Dowell, a senior, also works similar hours at the Tightsqueeze McDonald’s as a crew member (cashier up front and at the drive-thru). Katelyn always struggle to keep up with and her job since her shift is over during nighttime. She works after school until at least 11:00 PM. After coming home from her job, “I stress every night trying to catch up with my  school work,’ she said. “When I work until late, I come home and don’t even have time to catch up anything for school,” she said. She uses her money for car payment, phone bill, to save up for college, and for herself.

Some students venture to Danville to find employment.

Brandon Pritchett, a senior, works at Old Dutch Supermarket in Danville. He helps customers with their groceries. “I work after school until 8 PM, but I don’t think it’s stressful. I find it amusing, but I sometimes have bad days. The best thing is getting tips, but the worst is the rude people,” he said.  “I use my money for my truck and to get some of the parts fixed.”