Fresh out of my first year of college, I was tremendously over ambitious with my expectations of what the summer was going to hold. Determined to spend my summer saving as many pennies as I could, I put on a professional looking outfit and walked into every food and retail establishment within 20 minutes of my house. What did I come out of that experience with? An empty gas tank and a whole lot of "apply online" or "we're only hiring people with waitress experience". Was I discouraged? A little. But that didn't stop me. Day two of summer was spent in the coffee shop, which was walking distance from my house might I add, applying to anywhere with an online application. And then, the wait.
There are quite a few perks of getting out of school by May 3rd. Trying to find a summer job however, is not one of them. Despite my tireless actions of reaching out over and over again (fueled mainly by my pestering mother), I didn't hear back from anyone until right before memorial day weekend. Three weeks of sitting around and begging for babysitting gigs before someone showed interest. And then, Hoffman's emailed me back.
Every single friday for the entirety of my tweenhood, my best friend Kelly Carr and I would go to our horseback riding lesson and then celebrate the end of the week with Hoffman's Ice Cream. It didn't matter whether it was the middle of summer or the middle of winter, at around 7pm on fridays we were walking through that door.
Training to work in an ice cream store is kind of the best thing ever. At Hoffman's we pride ourselves for our generous serving sizes and classic sundaes. Inorder to master the perfect hot fudge sundae, you have to make quite a few and once the ice cream has a topping on it you can't throw it back into the tub… needless to say, I brought home A LOT of ice cream my first few days.
Being one of the few employees over 18, there wasn't a limit on the amount of hours I could work so I got scheduled for mostly day shifts. Days spent at Hoffman's while long, were always worth it. While nights were crazy and busy and fun, the day time brings out the best kinds of people. The guy who wanted an ice cream cake that said happy birthday in polish just because he thought his wife would find it funny. The couple who came in every wednesday, ate two cups of ice cream each, and would stand at the counter and talk to me about their world travels for hours. The mom who brought her 5 boys, all under the age of 7 in to get whatever they wanted on fridays after vacation bible school. Day shifts always meant meetings the sweetest people because let's be real, you have to be somewhat of a decent human being if you can go get ice cream between 11 and 5 just for kicks.
A lot of my peers spent their summers being extremely productive, supplementing their college education with internships and study abroad programs. Maybe I wasn't working in an office or doing research in europe, but I like to think I learned a couple of things. A small cup of ice cream costs $4.11 after tax. Writing on ice cream cakes takes icing that's just the right temperature. Tricky customer situations are best resolved by smiling, nodding, and free samples. Milkshakes take practice… lots of practice. And finally, there is such a thing as too much ice cream… unless it's coffee oreo.