PEI

From sugar-cane cutter to theme park worker: Your memorable summer jobs

Many people worked summer jobs growing up and while some were bad, and others terrible, one always seems to stick out.

CBC took to the streets to find out about some unforgettable summer jobs

Sig Ivanovic worked as a sugar-cane cutter in Australia. (Shutterstock / Alf Ribeiro)

Many people worked summer jobs growing up and while some were bad, and others downright terrible, one usually seems to stick out in their memory. 

CBC spoke with people about their most memorable summer jobs, and some of the answers might surprise you.

Sugar-cane cutter

Sig Ivanovic worked as a sugar cane cutter in 1968 in Australia and he "thought it was great."

"The people you work for burn the cane, so you've got ashes everywhere, and you've got to bend down to ankle height and chop it with a machete."

Tours were great, we used to get tipped big time, American money.— Bev Wilt

And how much does such a labour-intensive, physical job pay?

"I can't remember, I was doing it for love," Ivanovic said. 

Gymnastics coach

Sara MacDonald, a former gymnast herself, helped coach the sport at summer camp. (Shutterstock / sportpoint)

Sara MacDonald fondly remembers her time as a gymnastics coach at a summer camp.

"It was awesome — it was definitely my favourite job. And it's with kids so it's perfect," she said.

The former gymnast now works for the City of Charlottetown and was in the midst of watering plants in the heat on Wednesday afternoon.

"It's  hot, but I mean it's not bad — it's an awesome summer job," MacDonald said. "But it is hot."

Dishwasher

'It was not fun but money is money when you're young,' says Francis Savard of his time as a dishwasher at an army base. (Shutterstock / Photology1971)

Francis Savard's first summer job was washing dishes at CFB Valcartier in Quebec. 

"It was fun, I did that a couple summers. After that I went to the same place and went as a cook for the next two summers," he said.

Savard said the temperatures could get pretty high in the kitchen.

"It was warm in there, you were wet all day washing dishes so it was not fun but money is money when you're young. You need to work."

Hotel worker

Bev Wilt worked on the breakfast shift at the Kirkwood Motor Hotel in Charlottetown. She says cooking scrambled eggs was one of her duties. (Shutterstock / jokerpro)

When Bev Wilt was 16 she worked at a motel in Charlottetown called the Kirkwood Motor Hotel.

"Back then tourism was just starting," she said.

She woke up at 3 a.m. to get to work for 4:30 so she could help have breakfast service ready for bus tours at 5 a.m.

"Waves of people … Burger King parking lot, you couldn't see the parking lot, that's how many buses were parked," she said with a laugh.

"Tours were great, we used to get tipped big time, American money." 

Theme park worker

Kimberly McDaniel from Nashville said she worked at a large theme park in the city.

"It was very, very enjoyable and I learned a lot about dealing with people who were hot and tired," she said, adding the recent heat in P.E.I. is "sweater weather" for her.

Though she was often cleaning up after guests, she still wanted them to have a great time.

"The fact that you're working with people who aren't at their best by the end of the day and you have to learn to understand that, and compensate. Help them have the best day of their life."

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With files from Island Morning

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