Take it from me, I learned the hard way.

There are moments when I joke that I’ve worked every single part-time job under the sun. I’ve worked as a brand ambassador, at the local convention center, and even done a ton of focus groups.

I’m no stranger to the hustle.

When I saw a listing to work at the local ballpark in my town and that it paid weekly — I was interested! Getting hired was pretty straightforward, and soon I found myself scheduled to work my first shift as a food concession helper.

Having worked fast food before in another lifetime I wasn’t worried about working with food. But, this time, I was worried because I didn’t know what to expect and nothing was communicated to me about what would be expected from me during my initial shift other than to show up on time.

Employees were told to go to the back of the stadium and meet with a representative from the company. Details of the shift would then be shared.

It was more than 90-degree weather, and we were waiting in long lines of black-clad people chit chatting amongst themselves. We were then given a bracelet to wear with a barcode on it, which was used to check in and out of the stadium. And, if we had the time, it was preloaded with money to purchase food from one of the concession stands during our shift.

While I found the bracelet a bit weird and unappealing on many levels, I did appreciate the free meal.

Soon I was in the bowels of the stadium and making my way to where I was assigned my first shift. It seemed easy enough, helping out making nachos.

How hard could it be?

As I found out, pretty hard when you’re working with a person who should not be a supervisor. The person that I was assisting was a supervisor by default, and I found myself working circles around him. What did I end up doing that day? I filled hundreds of plastic containers with nachos. Seriously, hundreds of them and then I added nacho cheese, jalapenos, and the occasional scoop of salsa to the container as well.

It wasn’t hard work, but there were only two of us, and I found out later that typically there should be three or four people in that area. By the end of my first shift, it felt like I’d been hit by a car and I wanted to scream.

Never again!

But, I decided that my bigger issue was how I was supervised, so I decided to give it another chance. I should have listened to my gut. This type of work was just not for me. A couple of weeks later I checked in for another shift and this time worked with a supervisor who was auditioning for a drill sergeant position.

What I learned from this experience

  • Pick the right side-hustle for your personality — I didn’t enjoy even going into the building and I specifically disliked wearing the barcode bracelets. It was a little bit too “Big Brotherish” for me.
  • The work has to match the pay — The pay was $11-$13 an hour depending on the event. After taxes, it just wasn’t worth it for how much it drove me crazy.
  • Get TIPS certified — A TIPS certification allows you to serve alcohol. Fortunately,  I was TIPS certified so I was able to serve beer and get tips during my second shift.
  • Understand organizational work culture and how it affects you. I spoke with people who worked in the club sections of the stadium, and they loved it. But, they also consistently reported a completely different work experience than what I was having outside of the club level.

What I liked about it

There were three things that I initially found appealing about this side-hustle.

  • The frequency of events at this stadium — if I’d enjoyed the work, I would have had the opportunity to work a large number of events. The stadium is always needing help.
  • The fans! They were entertaining to speak with during the shifts especially since I’m a fan of the same team.
  • Weekly automatic deposits-There is nothing like a quick pay period, especially if you need the money as soon as possible.

If you’re needing to make extra money quickly and are comfortable moving around for hours in a tight space serving food and drinks, then you may want to consider checking out the concessions departments in your local stadiums.

They are always needing help!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or policies of Debt.com.

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Article last modified on November 16, 2018 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Concession Work as a Side-Hustle Isn’t For Everyone - AMP.