Published by Simon Pulse
Published on June 16th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips.
Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.
Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.
Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything.
Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.
Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions.
From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.
The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty.
I took the dare. The first dare.
My hands shake at my sides. I clench them into fists. The money that will be mine. Every last penny.
Peter looks shocked. His mouth is slightly open, and his face is pale. He didn’t expect me to accept. Or he didn’t want me to.
Xavi—Xavi is still standing. And, for some reason, she’s watching Peter, tears running down her cheeks. Angry tears. She wanted this.
And Finn—well, Finn sticks his hands in his pocket and grins at me.
Best and worst summer jobs
Summer jobs are awesome.
Because they’re finite. Even if they totally suck, you know they’re going to end. And they’re fun—usually, you get to work with cool people, so even if the work is totally boring, chances are you’ll make some friends, have some fun, and be able to tell some stories. And finally having money after having to rely on your parents for allowance? Cha-ching!
And oh. Do I have stories.
Probably some that I shouldn’t tell here.
So let’s talk about my worst summer job. It wasn’t actually bad. In fact, it’s safe to say that I actually enjoyed it for the most part. But there were parts that were…bad.
Well. They were…uh…terrible. Downright disgusting, actually.
Because the summer after I graduated from high school, I worked for the Game and Parks. I worked there because my brother did. It seemed like a cool job; he mostly painted stuff and mowed lawns. I didn’t mind the whole manual labor thing, and I was hired on pretty much instantly because everyone loved my brother. (Everyone still loves my brother. It’s a thing. Even if you haven’t met my brother, you probably love him. It’s okay. Go ahead.)
So I thought I’d be doing that painting or mowing thing. We were, after all, hired on for the same role.
Or so I thought.
I was hired on to be what was fondly referred to as a “Pots Girl.”
Think on that for a minute.
I cleaned Port-a-potties and bath houses.
And all that it entails.
Now, I didn’t have to EMPTY them, thank God, but I was still damaged FOR LIFE by some instances that I will not describe here. And I’ll never forget how, on my second or third day, we actually found a skunk trapped in a port-a-potty.
AN ACTUAL SKUNK. Just chilling in there. I mean, don’t ask me why a skunk found a disgusting toilet and decided to get all up close and personal with it in the first place. But.
Ladies and gentleman, a skunk in a port-a-potty was officially above my pay grade.
In fact, I’m pretty sure it still is.
AND I will never be sure how I will live through what people actually leave in a shower.
And ladies? I hate to be all gender-stereotypical here, but women’s restrooms are SO much worse to clean than men’s. I never in a million years thought I’d actually say that.
So – without going into further detail – cleaning restrooms was my worst summer job. It wasn’t all terrible – when we finished early, we’d go swimming at the beach, and on breaks, we’d spend almost a full hour’s wage on these amazing peppermint lattes from the beach barbeque joint. I also learned a valuable lesson in how people treat others they believe are “below” them, and I try to be extra kind to everyone as a result.
See? Bad jobs are so much more exciting than good ones. Not that I’m saying you should immediately sign up to clean toilets for a living (or join a scandalous dare-based game like in AFTER HOURS). But if you want to build character—you could always see if your local Game and Parks is hiring!
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