Summer Job

I have to admit it. I really like my summer job. I am not paid well. I
have to wear an obnoxious blue polo shirt that identifies me as “Mitchell Park
Marina Staff”. I am mostly a customer service person. Despite all of these
things, there is something about it that appeals to me. Boaters are generally a
genial bunch. And really, why wouldn’t they be? I can see the appeal. It is a
lifestyle. My job is mostly like working at a hotel taking reservations. It is what
I do, reserve slips, check people in, take their money….customer service (there
is also some math like calculating rates; determining if a boat can fit in a
certain slip or if we have room for a really large one). The good thing is that
it is different every day. That keeps it interesting. It also requires some
brain power. When all the college students who worked there were leaving, they
hired four people. Of the four, only two of us remain. This is because the
other two, “were just not getting it.” One of them, who I was fortunate to work
with on what turned out to be her last day of employment, could not remember how
to do anything and when she did do something it was usually wrong. She was
making more work than she was doing. Someone else at the marina told me that
whenever she saw this girl when she was out, the girl was smoking pot. I felt that
maybe that explained what was going on with her.

I really like the woman who runs the marina office. She is very
outspoken, in your face and she curses a lot. Coming from Hawaii, the amount of
cursing is just crazy. Hawaii people would just be floored. The guy who is in
charge of the dock guys (I can’t call them boys), gets so irritated at one or
two of them that the “F” word just flows out of him. I have to admit that I don’t
really miss this at all. Honestly, I have more of a Hawaii personality than a
New York personality. I am averse to confrontation. No horn blowing. No cursing
or loud talking. I just want everyone to hold hands and sing kumbaya….or to
feel the aloha. Yes just like Hawaii.

We have a tip jar in the marina office. The bottom is usually coated
with a thin layer of change. Mostly the dock guys get the tips because they are
out there running around assisting boaters with their lines and directing them
into their slips. I love it when a herd of them take flight across the marina.
They actually run to help people. Who wouldn’t tip someone for that? Tips in
the office are harder to come by. One of the first days I worked we emptied the
jar and three of us split like $27. That was the last time I made any tip
money, till today. So late in the day when I was alone in the office a
cigarette boat guy came in. A word on these guys, and I admit, it may be stereotypical.
First of all, the boats are obnoxious and painted like matchbox cars. They act
like they own the marina and do whatever they want. A bunch of them came in to
pay yesterday and they were just awful (one of them asked one of the girls if
she would let his friend breastfeed…gag!!). They think they are really funny.
Anyway, this guy comes in today because he had docked his boat earlier in the
day and didn’t come to pay so they put a note on the boat saying he had to. I
swear that he was drunk when he came in. He had on a fedora made of like straw
and he was very red. He made some comment that his boat was scuffed from when
the guys put the thing on his boat, but he was kidding. Then he left me his $10
in change. Yeah, I am a tip whore. A while later, another guy with a no name
boat; yes, a boat with no name. He came in to extend his stay for two nights. He
told me that he didn’t have a girl. That he couldn’t decide on the name of his
boat. That he had commitment issues. I felt like his psychiatrist. Then he left
me a $5 tip. Glory be. I made enough tip money to fill my growler.

My lovely marina position lasts till Columbus Day. This means that I am
once again facing unemployment. I am going to see if there is some craptacular work
I could do for the town for like a month and a half. Who knows? I do know that
tomorrow is going to be crazy and I have to be there in the morning. With the
weekend winding to a close I doubt that we will get any tips tomorrow. Most
folks will be heading back to their regular lives and will just cruise out of
the marina. With Fall upon us, it is almost time for my son and I to cruise out
of here. Take leave of the cursing and confrontation and go back to where the
palm trees sway. While I am sure we will look back on this experiment with
fondness, I am relatively sure we would not leave a tip.

About nematomorph

Living like the rich and famous, splitting time between Hawaii and New York.
This entry was posted in Hawaii, New York and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Summer Job

  1. mauka-makai says:

    “Someone else at the marina told me that whenever she saw this girl when she was out, the girl was smoking pot. I felt that maybe that explained what was going on with her.”


  2. Dawn Olson Riordan says:

    Hey Kim believe it or not this is the first time I have read your blogs. I never realized you had these on going post. I am enjoying it so much. I am also reminiscing about our childhood. Your basement stands out, I think we spent many hours playing down there. I am writing on this particular blog because I see you are working at Mitchell marina. Its funny but we stayed over night there on our boat in June. I would love to get together before you go back, maybe we can set something up. Tell your Mom I said hello. By the way your son is absolutely adorable!!!

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