‘Tis the season: students working holiday jobs

With the season of gift giving and receiving upon Louisville, many teenagers have found part-time jobs to help get money for the holidays. Here are three students with holiday part-time jobs.

Retail Worker
Maddison Ellis (11, HSU) began working at Mall St. Matthews a little bit before Black Friday due to her desire to shop for Christmas.

She closes and does retail at Pacsun and Aeropostale.

Gracie Pounders (left) and Maddison Ellis (right) fold sweaters at Aeropostale. Photo by Andrew Ellis.

On Black Friday, Ellis worked at both places.

“I worked at Aeropostale from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Pacsun from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” said Ellis. “Aeropostale was really hectic due to their 70% off sale.”

“I really like Pacsun because nobody really comes in there, and it’s more chill,” Ellis said.

Ellis discussed how work creeps into her school life.

“It’s difficult for me because I get off at 10 p.m, come home to eat, and I stay up until 1 or 2 a.m because I have so much homework,” said Ellis, “I took off for finals, but I normally don’t get that much sleep because I have to be up at 6 a.m. to catch the bus.”

“I’m gonna try to keep both of the jobs, but I’ll probably quit Aeropostale because it’s becoming too much for me,” Ellis said. “I can’t really get sleep or do work, so I might just work at Pacsun and go to school.”

Ellis discussed her Black Friday experience.

“It was actually kinda fun because I’ve never experienced it before, and I had never been Black Friday shopping,” Ellis said.

“Customers treated me with respect because I’m an associate, and they want to show respect,” she said.

Kiosk Cashier
Minjee Kim (11, MST) works at one of the numerous kiosks within Mall St. Matthews. Kim’s job is seasonal, so she only works during times leading up to holidays, such as Black Friday and the month of December.

“They call me in when it’s the holidays,” Kim said. “I just got scheduled to work all week leading up to Christmas.”

All I want for Christmas is you 😍

A photo posted by Minjee Kim (@mkim03) on

Kim began working at the kiosk in January of 2016.

She operates as the cashier and addresses any questions that customers may have.

Her booth sells a variety of trending items, ranging “from bath bombs to hoverboards,” Kim said.

Though the kiosk is open year-round and does not explicitly sell holiday-themed merchandise, Kim says that the booth’s peak business occurs during holiday seasons, which is why she is called in to work.

Kim said that though she does not work on a regular basis, the hours she works in one shift are often very long.

“On Black Friday, I was called in for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.mall closing time,” Kim said, “This Saturday, I work 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Christmas Eve I work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.”

Kim said that customers often do not take her seriously because she is a teenager working at a mall booth.

“Sometimes I get really petty people who comment that the products are overpriced and that they could find something better with a name brand,” Kim said. “Every time I told customers I couldn’t give them a discount, they asked to see the manager because ‘I didn’t know how to do business.’ I was told that discounts weren’t allowed, but they always call for the manager.”

Likewise, due to her long work hours during the holidays, mall patrol has caught Kim several times under the suspicion that she was breaking the Parental Guidance Required program, which requires teenagers under the age of 17 to have a “supervising adult” who is at least 21-years-old.

Kim recalled her Black Friday shift that ended just an hour before the mall was closed to all employees.

“My ride was the owner, so I had to wait for them to close the booth,” Kim said. “I had an hour left, and I decided to shop around . . . I had to explain to mall police that I work here, and they escorted me back to work. I received a wristband that said I was cleared to be in the mall, but some officers don’t believe the wristband is true.”

Santa’s Helper
Katie Boggs (11, YPAS) works Christmas at the Galt House, an annual holiday event.

“I have worked there since November 16, and on weekends it has been ridiculously crazy, but on weekdays it’s really, really slow because people are in school and work I assume,” Boggs said.

Boggs dresses as an elf and helps out a lot with kids.

Katie Boggs waves at families with the Christmas at the Galt House’s Mint Elf. Photo by Gail Boggs.

“I think it’s really fun because you get to be around kids, and you get to make kids smile, and you get to have fun and hand stickers to kids so it’s a lot of fun for me,” Boggs said.

As Christmas approaches, the Galt House becomes especially busy.

“I love Christmas, so it’s tons of fun to me,” Boggs said.

Boggs has done a few odd jobs helping out at the Galt House and had to discipline the little ones.

“I have been asked a couple of odd jobs, one day I was a face painter, and I had never been trained for that before. It’s a lot of improv; one time they made me make cotton candy, and I had never learned how to make it before, so that was very interesting,” Boggs said.

“One difficult thing is that the kids like to come up and become violent to the mascot I work with. I have to tell them to stop and be nice,” Boggs said.