Article posted Friday, June 12, 2009 11:28am

Dear Mary Pat,

I am a little concerned about some of the job applicants I’ve encountered this summer. My wife and I have a restaurant and having the right help ensures a successful season. We are just trying to fill a couple of part time spots and the task seems impossible. We’ve got college kids coming in with a list of demands as though they are being headhunted for CEO of a $100 million company. We’re just looking for a couple of hard working summer employees who want to show up, do the job and earn some good money. Is this too much to expect?


No Prima Donnas Need Apply

Sister Bay, WI

Dear No Prima Donnas Need Apply,

Ideally, employment situations need to be just as agreeable to the employers as to the employees. To that end, everyone has to come to the table with reasonable expectations. Employers looking for summer help can’t expect lifelong commitments and employees looking for summer help can’t expect everything handed to them on a plate. For those of you still looking for a job, I’ve devised a quiz to see if you have a realistic idea of what a summer job will bring:

1) A normal shift should consist of:  A) 6 – 8 hours with occasional breaks as allowable by labor laws or B) 1 – 2 hours at a time should do the trick.

2) When thinking about hourly wages in a job that you’ve never done before do you think that you deserve: A) Minimum wage – $9.00 or B) $25/hour plus tips/commission.

3) When picturing yourself getting to work, do you:  A) Hope that you still have your Schwinn in the garage or B) Assume there will be a car and driver to pick you up.

4) Do you think that your co-workers will:  A) Enjoy sharing shifts with you or B) Not mind when you don’t pull your weight.

5) Do you think that your boss should be:  A) Someone to be respected or B) Some chump that is lucky to have you.

6) When your boss asks you if you would be available for time and a half, do you:  A) Relish the thought of making more for your college fund or B) Think about how this may interfere with perfecting your tan.

If you have answered mainly “A” to these questions, congratulations! You still have something called a work ethic. You understand that we all have to start somewhere and that it’s not always easy going making a buck. For those of you who answered “B” in at least one of these questions, you’re toast as far as successfully holding a summer job. Even if you pass the interview round and get a job, something tells me you will not make it very long. Bosses have extra special powers of observation when it comes to someone wasting their time and money. My advice to you is to either check to see if you have an inheritance coming or see if Paris Hilton needs another hanger-on in her group.

Good luck,

Mary Pat