Summer Job Dilemma

The summer job-an important aspect of one’s adolescence which provides experience for future jobs, another activity to report on college applications, and of course, a way to earn a little extra cash for the school year (in my case, college). However, in preparing for my summer job this year I’ve been presented with a dilemma that confounds me.

Last year I worked for my school district’s paint crew, which was a really sweet gig-the teacher running it wasn’t ridiculously strict, I got a chance to hang out with my friends, and was paid a little over minimum wage. Additionally, if I were to work there again this year, I would get paid more for being a second-year painter, and even more if I were a paint crew leader (in charge of a small group, sort of like an assistant manager).

Withal, I may have screwed up that “sweet gig” last year. At the end of summer, I was struggling immensely with my depression (I hadn’t yet talked to my parents about it, so I was not seeing a therapist). The last three days of paint crew, I was depressed because I had to tell the manager I would not be able to go to paint crew anymore because soccer was starting (I thought I had not given him enough forewarning, and was anxious and stressing out about it), so I just stayed home. I literally texted the manager that I could not go, giving no explanation as to why, and never showed up again.

I feel this might have some effect on if I’m hired again this year. He actually called me a week later to ask if I was okay, to “check up on me” (did he suspect something was wrong?) and tell me my check for the previous week would be available at the Board of Education office. 

I feel like I might be able to acquire another job, but I really have no clue. I have no clue where I could work, and am painstakingly awkward and don’t know how to go about asking for a job application and interview. I understand how difficult it is to find a job, especially as a teenager in tough economic conditions.

Another opportunity for a summer job was presented through my aunt, who told me her aunt’s friend is looking for a babysitter during the summer. This would only be three days out of the week, so it might be difficult for me to find another job considering I would have to inform them I am unavailable three days out of the week. I do not know how to be a babysitter, and am nervous to accept the job.

I really don’t know if I should wait to see if I can get into the paint crew, but by then the babysitter job will probably be filled by another person. I have mused the idea of emailing the paint crew manager to a) explain why I was absent those last few days, because I was struggling with depression, b) ask about my chances in getting on paint crew and if paint crew will even run again (so far I haven’t heard anything, but I don’t remember when I applied last year), or both. Though now that I think about it, perhaps discussing my depression is too personal and would offset my chances for employment even more.

Perhaps a pros and cons list will help me make a decision?

Ugh. I hate dilemma’s so much. They are not very good for someone as indecisive as me, and it always seems no matter what I do I end up looking back on my decision with some form of regret. If anyone has any advice for me, it would be appreciated a lot!

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