2021 is the year of staffing troubles. Nearly every McDonald's, Dairy Queen, H&M, and more decorate their windows with signs: "Hiring!" "$10.50 an hour!!" "$100 signing bonus!!" and more. People are desperate to find part-time workers, making this summer the best and worst time to work casually. Everywhere is hiring and paying more than usual, but once hired be prepared to work the job of multiple people. That's why it's important to pick a job this summer that you enjoy because you must be prepared to work hard. So, allow me to introduce you to the best summer job I've ever had: InSeat Server.
InSeat Servers work at sports games, so if you live near a big city, this is a job for you. I'm working for the Columbus Clippers minor league baseball team just for the summer. Still, I have many coworkers who work for local sports teams all year round, serving to Ohio State football in the fall or the Columbus Blue Jackets' hockey team in the winter. While most people watch the games from regular seats, most sports stadiums also have suite sections and special InSeat sections where people can apply for more prime locations. A luxury often accompanied by service to where they're sitting, eliminating the need to leave the seat for food or drinks.
The job is simple: you take orders from those sitting in the special seats and work as a waiter or waitress for the evening. However, I prefer the job to working in a typical restaurant. For starters, the environment is amazing. Working somewhere so high-energy makes serving with enthusiasm a lot easier, plus you always get the feel of going to a sports game, even if you're usually too busy to pay much attention to the game. Honestly, I rarely ever know the score, but the people you're serving are happy to be there, and since their priority is watching the game first and getting food second, they tend to be a lot more understanding. Additionally, sports arenas are famous for their markups in prices. So the checks tend to be larger, and with them often the accompanying tip.
Additionally, you only work when the team is in town, so I work for six days straight and then get a week off. The shifts are usually only a few hours (mine are usually about 4-5, with only 2-3 of them having me serve during the game), so it's not as pressing a time commitment as many other jobs can be. While it is hard work, it will look different for every team.
For me, a typical shift has me arriving an hour and a half before the game to clock in and restock everything. Around thirty minutes before the game I start serving my designated sections, and continue to serve until the seventh inning. Like everyone else, we are understaffed, so I have to take the orders as well as serve the food, which is typically two different jobs in normal years at my stadium, but this could be different no matter where you work. The people are lovely and the pay is honestly much better than I expected, especially for only working six days every two weeks. It's a fast-paced job, and there are lot of stairs, but if you're active and enjoy talking to people, I could not recommend it more.
One of the most challenging parts of the job is honestly knowing it exists. The position often seems unadvertised, so you may have to reach out to local sports teams and ask if they are hiring similar positions, which is how I got the job. Simply knowing about it is half the battle, and in the current work environment, nearly everyone is looking for extra help, so if this sounds interesting to you, just reach out to whoever you can.
There's no such thing as a perfect job, but I can honestly say this is my favorite summer job I've ever held. I've found great people, both in the stands and working alongside me, and everyone really looks out for one another. The environment is terrific, and the pay has been more than I anticipated, as you get an hourly wage plus all of your tips. If you're willing to work hard, I say reach out and see if you can work too because you really can't strike out serving at a ballpark.