Maybe you need to work and study. Or maybe you need to make dough while raising your offspring. Well that was the initial reason for this article: An attempt to find you the best part-time jobs. But after some hair raising interviews, I was left with two facts: First, the best part-time jobs are entirely subjective. Second, the worst part-time jobs are not. Check out this list, which describes part-time jobs less desirable than a case of syphilis:
1. Retail for IT Products
Yes, IT products specifically. Ms. Germaine Seet, who has worked in retail since before my uncle went bald (around the early Triassic), says:
“IT is always the hardest. With clothes or accessories, the product can’t really fail what, right? I mean, a bag is a bag, what to go wrong?
But when you sell IT, there are all these problems. People don’t understand the requirements (software), or sometimes they buy a camera and try to fix it to their 10 year old computer. And when it doesn’t work they think something is wrong with the product, or they will come and accuse you of bluffing them.”
IT retailers rack up the most number of complaints, next to F&B. Getting employee-of-the-month while selling IT is as probable as winning a cake eating contest while suffering from diabetes. And the reason there are so many openings for part-timers in IT retail?
suicide turnover rate is equal to a lemming colony in the Grand Canyon.
Since an IT sales person doesn’t make more than, say, a sales person for Marks & Spencer, why would you want this job? It’s a perfect example of taking something already difficult (sales), and making it harder. Pay is highly variable, and averages about $6 an hour.
2. Convenience Store Clerk
Many convenience stores (no names) pay $3.50 an hour. We haven’t even invented words to describe how pathetic that is.
Granted, this isn’t Nevada, where the population can be divided into (1) people who have robbed convenience stores, and (2) people are who are seriously thinking about it. It’s a safe, boring job. But it doesn’t change the fact that this is one of Singapore’s least lucrative part-time jobs.
It’s different if you intend to do it for a career. If you dream about managing a store one day, or buying your own franchise, the bad pay is tolerable. You have to start from the bottom. But if you just need a quick cash infusion…well, what cash? Beta Testers for video games make more money. And their only skills are chugging Slurpees and not having girlfriends.
Do yourself a favour and look for something else.
3. Part-Time Gym Trainers
Most local gyms have two levels of personal trainers. There are senior trainers, who combine good commission with decent pay. Then there are part-timers and newbies, who get paid between $1500 – $2000 a month (with no commission).
Still not bad you say? Well, this is the kind of part-time job that has almost full time hours. Regardless of what shift you’re on, you can expect to be in the gym at least six days a week. Sometimes, that off day isn’t even an option. Gyms need a continuous influx of clients, and most have back-to-back schedules for trainers.
Apart from yelling at people to lift heavy things, many part-timers are saddled with getting sales. They’re expected to find new clients, while training the existing ones. As far as I know, no amount of fitness lets you clone yourself and handle two entirely separate tasks. So that kind of blows.
On top of that, a trainer gets blamed when clients experience aches, sprains, or the discovery that exercise is, you know, hard. My advice is to go freelance. If you’re a trainer, find your own clients and train in your own time.
4. Hospital / Healthcare-Related Call Centre
Again, I’m being specific. I’m talking only about hospital or healthcare-related call centres, not any of the other types.
The pay for part-time call centre operators (all types) is around $4.50 an hour. A job perk is that, when you collapse from hypertension caused by work stress, the ward’s right around the corner. See, a hospital or healthcare institute is mind-bogglingly complex. The various extensions, departments, names, and locations are almost impossible to remember; kind of like London’s subway system, or the MOE syllabus.
And callers are even less able to grasp the system. Remember the last time you called a hospital? Remember being bounced from one department to another, like a local artist trying to get funding? Imagine dealing with those angry callers for a few hours.
Also, brace yourself for callers who assume you’re a doctor. After the 119th person describes his venereal disease, you’ll never eat lunch again.
5. Food Delivery Service
At around $5 an hour, food delivery doesn’t cut it as a part-time job. Companies like to argue that Singapore’s roads are safe, but “safe drive” and “easy drive” don’t mean the same thing.
As any cab driver can tell you, a single hour on the road involves hundreds of decisions: When to signal, which mirrors to check, how fast to go, etc. This creates slow-building stress, which accumulates like steam in a pressure cooker. This is why even smiling soccer mums can suffer from road rage: The brain gets so taxed, the slightest provocation is like a full moon to a werewolf.
Even if a part-time driver doesn’t end up planting a tyre iron in someone’s windscreen, the fatigue is a problem. This is the worst kind of job for someone who’s also studying. Imagine paying attention for four hours on the road, then cracking open a Calculus textbook.
Have you experienced a terrible part-time job in Singapore? Comment and tell us about it!