Long term, stable work for a student seems like a distant dream. Awkward semester schedules, timetabling nightmares and exam periods are a nightmare when you’re trying to establish some consistency with your much needed income. My work has been notoriously unstable over the past two years, so repetitive job searches have been a necessity in covering my expenses. While I would hae loved to keep something more consistent, my priorities have worked as gatekeeper from regular paychecks. Personally, in an effort to navigate the complex relationship between uni and work, and fill the gaps between employment, I’ve turned to Student Job Search, a platform that claims to be the “leading source of student jobs, employment advice and emerging talent”. Spending hours and hours on the site over the last five years has yielded some bizarre results.
This is, hands down, the weirdest job I’ve ever booked through SJS. The job advertised a fixed term position at a flower shop leading up to the busiest day of the year, Valentine’s Day. The role required 45 hours of work, within five days, and promised $16.50 an hour (at the time that was minimum wage). The long hours of the week chugged along slowly until a terrifying confrontation. On Valentine’s Day, in maybe the busiest period of the day, a customer came in and started SCREAMING at all the staff. He was livid because, apparently, he had bought two arrangements, one for his wife and one for another woman he was seeing, and upon delivery the labels had been switched. His wife, the poor lady, had obviously caught on to what he had been up to behind the scenes. The man claimed that we had ruined his marriage (I would argue that cheating on his wife was probably to blame) and refused to leave the shop. He was eventually escorted out by some customers who called the police. Safe to say, he did not get a refund. I was underpaid, under the table, and walked away with much less money than I deserved for dealing with all of that.
I went to a job interview for this position over the summer with next to no information. The listing, when I first applied, just said they were looking for someone with an English writing related degree, and someone who knew a little bit about character writing for larping games. I visited the ‘offices’ on Lorne Street and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The company was essentially a live roleplay start up, with different game rooms for different stories. They were looking for someone who could draft those stories for them. Due to the shakiness of the position, with no contract offered and no real security of income, I declined the offer. However, that interview remains one of the most memorable I’ve ever had. If anyone wants to play murder dress-up, I’m down.
This one is pretty wholesome. The position was not asking students to cosplay as Ash Ketchum, but was instead posted as a call for a mentor for a young boy. A central-based family wanted a student with childcare experience to walk the streets of their suburb with their son, playing Pokémon GO and keeping them company after school. Much more tame than the title would suggest but it definitely stood out to me amongst the hundreds of nannying positions you can find on the site.
This one is pretty self explanatory. With the boom of Escape Room businesses in the CBD, it’s unsurprising that some jobs would jump onto SJS. The listing asked for applications from ‘escape artists’ who had a craving for adrenaline and a tendency to excel at puzzle solving. That peaked my interest but then further explanation clarified that the job required patience. That counted me out.
Looking for models? Look no further, SJS has you sorted. This job, which I was initially interested in, turned out to be a gig where the given student would model stick on bras. There were two deal breakers here… number one was my absolutely massive jugs (only B or C cups were welcome) and number two was the non-specific, ominous sounding location of ‘a studio in Howick’. Felt a little high risk to be honest, and I wasn’t about to whip out the girls for only $50. They’re worth AT LEAST $50 each. It doesn’t look like they found anyone on the site, and I’m very glad. Stay safe team.
Illustration by Kiki Hall