Alexis Patterson works as a desk assistant in the Mass Communication and Journalism Office. Desk assistant jobs are some of the better jobs provided on campus. -Mary Sergeant/Printz
Is that campus job worth it?
At one point in many Southern Miss students’ careers, they have had the lovely opportunity of working for the university in some way, shape or form.
Whether this be working a desk in the Union, being a Subway sandwich artist in Seymour’s or working in the residence halls, campus jobs can be both a bane and a boon in their own right.
This is not to say that all campus jobs are created equal. Like any part-time jobs, campus jobs can be easy, unremarkable or even downright terrible.
I reached out to my web of sources and here is what they told me are the three best and three worst jobs on campus.
The best jobs are rated on pay, ease of duty and quality of supervisor.
The first best job would have to be: Secretary.
Secretaries are ubiquitous across campus, with each of the many offices usually having some student worker answering phones, redirecting patrons and setting appointments for their supervisors.
There are also desk workers in places like the Thad Cochran Center and the Union.
While dealing with the general public can get a little hairy, being able to have a comfortable job that can use downtime for homework is a definite plus.
The second best job would have to be: The Library Info Desk
We have all seen the bored looking info desk workers in Cook Library, always available for help even until two in the morning.
While fixing paper jams and pointing to where the stapler is may not seem like an ideal job, those who work there would say otherwise.
Kyler Isabelle, a junior psychology major, said that even though the work is tedious, she enjoys her job. “I mean, I get paid a good wage to sit and be able to do homework and play around on my phone,” she said. “Not to mention, Starbucks is always within reach.”
The last, but not least: Night-time Residence Life Desk Assistant.
Once again on the theme of easy jobs with time to do homework, night DAs are high up on the happy list.
Cura Howard, a sophomore theatre major, said that she likes being a night DA because of the ease and convenience. “You just sit down for four hours and check three people in,” she said. “I also (am paid) 60 cents higher than day DAs.”
Ismaela Stewart, a freshman theatre major, said that the late-night quiet is ideal for doing homework. “It’s really easy and chill and everyone is really nice,” she said.
“The only thing I don’t enjoy is having to stay awake from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.”
On the flipside of happy desk workers, these next three worst campus jobs tend to have a theme: unsatisfactory management, tiring labor and on-the-job difficulties.
The first worst job on campus, compared to their nocturnal counterpart, is the daytime Residence Life Desk Assistants.
One source (who chose to remain anonymous), said they hated being a DA because of the inconsiderate supervisors.
“They just made a rule that restricts us to working only in our building,” they said. “Because of this new rule and the over hire, I’m not going to be able to afford my rent unless I get a new job.”
They also complained that because of several power struggles currently occurring within ResLife, in the busier daytime hours, supervisors and even fellow DAs can be harsh and unforgiving.
“I once was late by two minutes, and the DA in front of me had already filed a complaint.”
With low opportunity for hours and a conflict-filled work environment, daytime DA is one of the worst jobs on campus.
The second worst job on campus would be: A Starbucks barista.
The line at the Starbucks in Cook Library is infamous for sometimes being out the door, with a constant series of lattes and frappuccinos constantly flowing.
While I am currently unaware of the management situation, the job itself is physically tiring and definitely underpaid.
Add the physical and mental exhaustion to the fact that food service workers are often verbally abused by their customers, it would be easy to ascertain that a Starbucks job would not be ideal.
Following the theme of ResLife, the unsung hero and often tired overachievers, are often united in the same body as we come to the final, and arguably worst job on campus: the Resident Assistant.
Do not get me wrong, as a former RA I had a certain soft spot for the residents of my floor. Being a role model is an important job and definitely not a job for the weak of heart.
Even so, even the strong ones get tired. One anonymous source complained, “It really takes away from your time schedule, and more than they were (initially) telling us. We live where we work, so you can imagine (the stress),” they said.
“We have all this extra paperwork and they make us take an RA class with upped project requirements.”
There is also a certain amount of danger involved, as RAs are often the first on the scene of a situation or “incident,” whether that be drug use, fights or even domestic abuse.
“(We have) dealt with a lot of domestic issues, with people in relationships,” they said. “There were weapons involved. You have to constantly monitor some residents.”
With the extensive amount of work, the recent change in supervision and the added element of danger, RAs are the winners of the worst jobs on campus.
With all that being said, campus jobs are like sushi.
Some people like different kinds, some people like the raw stuff and some do not like it at all. Each job comes with its perks and its falls.
Some people may love being an RA, which a few do. Some may hate being a library desk worker.
Either way, it all keeps the lights on and food on the table.