The Specifics of Working in High School


Olivia Eberhardt and her coworkers at Playa Bowls West Boca

In previous generations, having a job as a teenager was seen as optional, but in the current economic climate, it seems all but necessary. 

With expenses actively on the rise in all aspects of life, especially high school activities, cars, insurance, college, and going out with friends. Simply going out to bowl can cost upwards of $30 per person, and at both Carmela’s (Vincent Shockley) as well as Playa Bowls (Olivia E.) there are only expensive food options offered to those who come by. 

No matter how it is looked at, inflation has caused more high schoolers than ever to get a job to afford regular costs. We have four members on the Bullseye that are currently employed and we will break down our responsibilities, benefits, payments per hour, commute, as well as our reason for working. 

Olivia: Having a job fills me with a great sense of responsibility, which I feel will ultimately help me out in the future. At my job, Playa Bowls, I work hard to uphold customer satisfaction and the quality of the food we serve. I first applied with an online application as soon as I found out there would be a Playa Bowls opening up in West Boca. As an employee, I have many duties I need to fulfill each time I work. I work the register, prepare orders, thoroughly clean, and talk to customers. To do all of this, I make $11 an hour plus any additional cash or card tips I make during my shift. On average, I make $100 in tips on each paycheck. There are also additional ways to make money within the corporation. For instance, certain workers can be selected to work food truck and tent events that we do for organizations or events. If you do these, you can have the opportunity to make $12 an hour plus tips. One good thing about working at Playa Bowls is that we get 50% off everything on and off shift.

Vincent Shockley: I work at Carmela Coffee Bar in Uptown Boca, and I have since their opening in June 2022. Considering that this is a small business, I lack many of the opportunities and incentives that are available at large corporations. I usually work three 6 hour shifts a week which are more often than not closing shifts. My responsibilities are to serve all customers’ food (it is considerably compact because it is a coffee shop), wash the dishes, restock fridges/freezers, as well as organize shipments. When working a closing shift, there are different protocols as I must clean out the entire kitchen, shut down/clean the ovens, mop, sweep, as well as cleaning the bathrooms. In terms of benefits, if I work four hours or less, I am allotted a 20% discount and a free drink. If I work for 6 or 7 hours, I receive a 50% discount on top of the free drink. Finally, if I work an 8 hour shift, I receive 1 free full meal and a beverage. Many larger corporations such as Publix, Target, Cinemark, Walmart, etc, have many more benefits such as health care (18+), free meals regardless of hours, more consistent breaks, college scholarships, and flexible schedules. This often comes at the expense of pay and tips, though. In all, I love my job despite the lack of benefits as the monetary and family-like benefits make up for the lack of flexible schedules, college scholarships, and consistent break schedule. 

Vincent Vertullo: I work at Cinemark in East Boca near Boomers. I started working there back in late February. I had to apply online and had an interview a few days later. At first going to the interview I was very nervous, but after speaking to the Theater manager I was more relaxed. I work as an Usher which requires me to clean theaters after each showing, maintain the lobby, and also sometimes scan the tickets for incoming customers. I recently have been pushing to get a management position, so I also am working in other departments to get experience so I can become a manager. I make $11 an hour with opportunities to get a raise. The environment of the theater is very welcoming and the people there are very friendly. After I was working there for two days I had already gotten myself acquainted and friendly with half the managers there. The benefits to working at Cinemark are that you are able to watch any movie anytime for free with one guest, or with up to four immediate family members. You also get half off for all concessions. While on shift you can get a free cup of a drink, or bring in a bottle and get free refills of any fountain drink, alongside a free bag of popcorn. 

Dylan: I work at Chick-Fil-A in Uptown Boca. Keeping up with its reputation of exceptional customer service, the expectations for the way guests should be treated is consistently upheld. Don’t expect an easy paycheck, but the customer service skills that I’ve earned couldn’t be found anywhere else. 

Speaking of paycheck, the 12 dollar-per-hour minimum for a traditional team member position is on pace with most teenage retail jobs. The interview process is semi-competitive, consisting of an in person interview. While the entire process is pretty streamlined, they only accept certain types of people who can uphold the standard of helpfulness that they’ve established.

While on your 30 minute break, you can enjoy a meal and a drink for free (unless you want a frozen drink, which are 50% off.) A strange perk of working at Chick-Fil-A is the strange combination of foods that you have free access to. Want just a bun with melted cheese on it? Anything is possible with break food, which is a pretty cool experience that can’t happen unless you are an employee.


Vincent Shockley at Carmela’s with customers