Think back on the days when you were a student. What were the part time jobs Singapore opportunities that were available to you? We all remember how it started. The end of exams. The euphoria. Then the realisation that you don’t have enough pocket money to last through the holidays. Or the realisation that after the first week of going out / hanging out with friends, you need some income to sustain your hobbies or social life. Or the realisation that you have run out of things to do in the holidays… and it was only just beginning.
Part Time Jobs in Singapore is one of the most important phase of every student’s life. It teaches lessons beyond the classroom. It teaches you the value of money. It teaches you what it means to be part of working society.
During this long weekend, the Gf and I discussed in great detail about the part time jobs for students available in Singapore. We talked about the ones we have attempted before. We also asked our network of friends and family to recollect and tell us about their past experiences working part time as a student. We then proceeded with some serious Whatsapp discussions on the Best and the Worst part time jobs in Singapore.
We are doing 2 parts to this post. The Top 5 Best / Worst Part Time Jobs for Students in Singapore. So here goes the first post!
The Top 5 Worst Part Time Jobs for Students in Singapore
5. Waiter ( Banquet Waiter)
“C’mon, its not so bad!”
This is probably a gig that many Singaporeans are familiar with. Before even starting your job, you need to invest in a set of white shirt and black pants. Who ever invests in a part time job? Most of us would try to borrow that apparel from a friend or even worse, go ahead and wear our parents clothes. So now that you look like a little kid wearing his daddy’s clothes, (well basically that’s what you are), you are ready to take on a night of banquet waiting.
You and your friends gather at the grand venue. Like eager, doe-eyed animals being led to the slaughter. Yes, it gets dark now.
A call for you, a snap of the fingers, pour some wine over here! Serve the appetisers out to the tune of “The Final Countdown”. Wait do you even know how to pour wine properly?! Serve the soup now! Don’t spill it – omg what’s wrong with you? Butter fingers? Pour it into separate bowls. Don’t spill! Now the fish! Get the fish out there! Chop Chop! My grandma in a wheelchair can move faster than you! Cut the fish up and serve it to the diners! What do you mean you don’t know how to cut the fish?!
Being a banquet waiter is like holding a stack of plates in each hand and walking into a hurricane. If you survived the storm, you get paid $8-10 per hour. But most students who have done it once usually don’t return.
Realise your childhood dream of being a cartoon character! Ambition! Passion! Yay!
Students who sign up to be a mascot probably fall into 2 categories:
Category 1 – Those who delight in seeing the happy faces of children or those who love taking photos with children… or pretty girls.
Category 2 – Those students who fell asleep during geography class … or forget that Singapore lies on the FREAKING EQUATOR.
The moment you put on the suit, you brain opens a faucet of regrets and an endless stream of repetitive thoughts – “Why? Why? Why? Why?” – start pouring in. The suit stinks. No amount of sunning can rid it off that musky smell of sweat. It is the smell of desperation. It is the smell of shame. It is the smell of humiliation. Can $8-$15 an hour buy back your dignity?
You walk and move around in it, albeit clumsy but manageable. You stop to take photo with kids who hug you so wholeheartedly that their mothers get jealous. You take photos with so many pretty girls that you actually start to feel better about yourself. Then you realise – who are you kidding? There is about 3 inches of fur separating you and the hot chicks…
Soon, you start feeling light-headed. What it’s been only 10 minutes? You feel like you are in a mobile sauna. You are dehydrated. You see stars. If you are unlucky, your legs become wobbly and you might fall over. Then everyone will gawk, take photos with their smartphones and laugh. Because nothing is funnier than a clumsy mascot who has just fallen down.
Make the children laugh you say?
“Hello, do you have any plans on selling your house?”
This was one of the phrases uttered by several telemarketeers during the property market boom. This gig pays about $5 an hour and requires you to cold call a list of phone numbers from the time frame beginning at 7pm onwards, just when tired working-class adults have just gotten home from work.
“Sell my house? Then I stay where?!”
The frantic telemarketeer flips the transcripts to find a premeditated reply to the curveball thrown by the house owner. Most of the time, however, the telemarketeer just receives a curt “No Thank You” followed by a clip and a dead dial tone indicating the end of the conversation which they were paid to start. You get rejected on the phone so many times that you question your decision to spend your holidays as a household phone pest. After your 2-3 hour gig of being a minor annoyance in the lives of many, you wonder if the $10-$15 you earned over the 2-3 hours was worth it…
2. The Factory Worker
That’s right 8 more hours of this shit.
This part time job was probably recommended by your uncle or auntie who came from a generation that made their money through blood, sweat and tears. They probably thought that you needed some toughening up to do, or you could take the same hardships as them. Alas, you belong to a generation spoiled by air-conditioning, fast internet connection and new age parenting – the factory life is just not for you!
First, the shocker – travelling to an ungodly part of Singapore filled with worn down warehouses on the outskirts of the city; an air of unnatural fumes and mostly hokkien-spewing blue-collared tough guys smoking and cursing as they communicate in the canteens.
The Second Shocker – the unsanitary, unsavoury almost slavish, third-world conditions you work in… Dust, smog, loud noises, crappy food. And not to forget your permanently PMS supervisor who barks at you to work harder, faster and longer!
Then, this comes as no shock, the mind-numbing, repetitive task that you are forced to do over and over again that puts you in a downward spiral of thoughts as your brain becomes free and muscle-memory takes over… Is this what the working world has to offer? A cog in the machine? A small gear that turns larger gears? An ant carrying bits of food back to the colony? 8 hours of your life substituted to earn 50 bucks so you can buy food to eat and have the energy to carry out this same routine / process all over again ???
1. Brochure / Flyer Distributor
The moment you hold a stack of brochures in one hand, you become a human repellent. A wide radius of empty space spreads out around you and that invisible boundary follows you wherever you go. You try to hand out a flyer to a passer-by but he avoids eye-contact and picks up his pace. You plant yourself in front of strangers to stop them in their tracks but they swerve around you like you are an orange cone – the kind used for driving practice. You look down at your humongous stack of brochures and wonder how the hell are you going to finish handing out all of them!
This gig pays you $5 per hour and grants you the power to become invisible. Sadly, this special power doesn’t work when you want it to. As you stand there desperately trying to force flyers into the hands of irritated strangers, you catch sight of your schoolmates! Oh the embarrassment! You wonder why you can’t turn invisible now!
You will forever be known in school as the “Person who was handing out Flyers at Orchard Road.”
Hard Work Builds Character
Bad part time jobs are just lessons you learn on the path to self-discovery. From these part time jobs you take up to hustle out some chump change during your student years, you would have learnt a little bit more about yourself; your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, the value of the dollar…
If you happen to find yourself currently working in one of these part time jobs mentioned above, do not despair. Remember the proverb:
“Hard Work Builds Character.”
What are your worst experiences working part-time as a student? Share it in the comments below!
What do you do with the money you scrimped from your part time jobs? Invest and watch it grow to the blue skies of course! Follow the Bf & Gf on their journey to financial freedom! Like The Bf Gf Money Blog on Facebook or subscribe by entering your email below to receive updates.