Working in an ice cream shop is both emotionally draining and physically exhausting. However, as I approach my third summer of working my butt off, I have certainly realized that I do, in fact, have the best job a teenage girl could ask for.
1. Don’t judge a flavor by its cover
I never in a million years would have tried some of my all-time favorite flavors if I hadn’t spent so much time being bored behind the counter. One flavor I have yet to try is Spoon University’s Ice and Vice flavor, “Fireball ice cream with a sweet ramen and spicy Flaming Hot Cheetos brittle,” but I’m sure it’s not half bad!
2. Tips are EVERYTHING
Even 25 cents per customer adds up in no time. You’ll never order anything without leaving a tip again…and if you do, you’ll feel really bad about it.
3. Nobody cares if it’s closing time
I always cringe when I hear, “It’s 8:59! They’re still open!” just as I’m about to turn off the lights and head home. I’d be lying if I told you I’ve never turned off the lights and pretended I wasn’t there anyway.
4. Sometimes rainy days are the best days
No customers? Netflix it is! If there’s no cell service or Wi-Fi, a good book can go a long way. Besides, nobody wants to go to the beach on a rainy day anyway.
5. There’s no such thing as an unusual request, especially when it comes to little kids
You name it, I’ve made it. My least favorite request would definitely be when kids walk in like they own the place and ask if they can sample every single flavor we have. Also, people really love getting individual scoops for their dogs.
6. Making frappes really IS a pain in the butt
Especially when ordered by a group of six and you’re working alone. Working the frappe machine is a skill that requires mastering, no matter how well you think you grasp the proper ice cream to milk ratio.
7. Always expect the regulars
Since I started working two years ago, the same little old lady has come into my shop every single day around 3 pm, and her order never changes. Nothing puts a smile on her face like when I begin to scoop her “small coffee heath bar in a cup” before she even orders it.
8. Adults like to order kiddies, and kids like to order larges
However, most of the kids who think they can finish entire larges all by themselves get shut down by their parents before I get a chance to scoop it for them. Unless, of course, they come alone with a fresh 20 dollar bill from their parents’ wallet.
9. Never show up to work on an empty stomach
Nothing is worse than showing up to the shop and realizing you haven’t had anything to eat all day. Obviously there’s always as much ice cream as you could possibly fit into your stomach, but everyone gets sick of that eventually.
10. There will always be that one person who expects you to give them free ice cream
No matter how many times you have to say no, some people just never stop asking.
11. You will occasionally have to work on holidays, and there’s no way to get out of it
Somebody has to work on the 4th of July, and unfortunately everyone needs to take his or her turn. However, there is an upside…lots of customers means lots of tips!
12. Unfortunately, ice cream cone season coincides with bikini season
I have yet to find a swimsuit diet that involves two scoops of Moose Tracks on a daily basis.
13. People won’t hesitate to ask you questions about your personal life…or tell you about theirs
I usually get really awkward and suddenly feel the need to pretend I have a ton of cleaning to do.
14. Your scooping arm will become bigger than your non-scooping arm
When I tell this one to people, they almost always suggest for me to just just start scooping with my other hand. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it seems.
15. All your friends will want to come hang out in the shop while you’re working
You’ll probably eventually have to kick them out for scaring away real customers.
16. Shit happens
Little kids drop their cones, the freezer malfunctions, and people’s favorite flavors run out unexpectedly, but you’ll somehow have to figure out a way to make things work.
17. You’ll miss it in the off-season
Year-round sellers like Friendly’s and Dairy Queen will never match up to your small, hometown homemade shop. Likewise, no wintertime job is anywhere near as entertaining as scooping ice cream for all different types of people.
18. You will never look at ice cream the same way again
Whether scooping it or just eating it, your deep appreciation for that creamy delicious goodness will never fade away.