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Part Time Jobs Singapore

11 Things Every Singaporean Will Remember From Their Part-Time Jobs

Singaporean part-time job memories

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When the big two-O comes our way, life begins. Unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth, the parties, school fees and social life ain’t gonna pay for themselves. University life is known for its flexibility, and many of us work part-time to earn a quick buck so life can come in full circle.

Maybe you were that retail assistant who stood for long hours at the department store, or the scoopie who has officially sworn off froyo for life. Regardless of the industry, there are quirks we’re all familiar with. It could be repeating the same thing over and over, or spotting an eye candy at the booth next to yours. With these little quirks to look forward to,  part-time jobs doesn’t have to be confined to a boring few hours of your life that you’re not getting back. 

With that said, here are 11 little things every Singaporean remember from their part-time jobs.

1. Being driven crazy by the same playlist every. single. day. 


To all my retail brothers and sisters, I feel you. Listening to the same playlist over and over again is something we can all relate to. While the lucky part timers have bosses who prefer the radio, ensuring some variety in music, most of us had bosses who only have one CD per festive occasion. 

The worst working period is, hands down, December to February – brace yourselves for Christmas carols and CNY songs on repeat. I know the tune and words of Christmas carols and CNY songs well enough to make a totally legit mash-up. 

Fun fact: During my retail experience, I was told that playlist updates are slow because song selections require much consideration, from airing price to its impact on shopper’s experience.  ¯\_()_/¯

2. Answering the same question about 1723694 times… 


Apart from being able to stand and smile for long hours, another skill required is oratorical ability. While we don’t have to make speeches and presentations, we often get asked the same questions on a daily basis. 

“Do you have Cotton Candy flavour today?”
“Do I get a discount for this display piece?”
Welcome to UNIQLO!” 

Brb, gotta explain what a Sanum cup contains for the 99th time today. 

3. … only to have your answer rejected. 


It’s a pain in the behind to repeat the same things like a bad actor recording a scene, but some customers only rest their case when it’s confirmed plus double chop out of stock. When I was working for a retail giant, I told customers that all available stock was out on display, only to be asked to double-check.

I returned to the backroom for the 8th time, took a 15-30 seconds power nap, then came back out empty-handed so you’ll believe that no, we’re not hiding your XS romper.

For the record, there is also no new piece.

4. Hoping for a common lunchtime with your friend 


If you have found a job to be excited about every morning, good for you. But if you’re just there to make a quick buck, lunchtime and clocking off are the golden hours of a working day. Unfortunately, lunch usually happens in batches at different timings.  

In true food>life fashion, the first order of business after throwing your belongings in the locker is to check your lunchtime slot. If the stars aligned, you get to go for lunch with your buddy. Other times, you have to endure the awkwardness of asking a not-so-close colleague to swap slots. 

5. “Maximising” staff privileges


Only a fool working part-time won’t reap the benefits of their staff privileges, like miscellaneous freebies and birthday discounts. I can’t be the only one who’s constantly thinking and plotting discounted purchases before hopping to the next job. 

6. Hunting down the cheapest $10 black polo tee for event jobs  


When you’re called up for one-off events like expo fairs, the standard uniform is usually a black/white polo tee, dark colored jeans and covered shoes. Sure, you can be a baller and don a $500 Ralph Lauren shirt, but most settle for Hang Ten or Giordano. That makes perfect sense, since they usually end up in the dark regions of your wardrobe to collect dust anyway. 

7. Spotting an eye-candy at the booth next to yours 

Working at events is arguably the most unpredictable part-time job anyone could sign themselves up for. You never know who you’re going to work with, or how the event site looks like until the first-day briefing. Worst/best case scenario: you decide to go bare-faced hobo style, only to identify eyecandy material at the booth next to yours. 

Part Time Jobs Singapore

What’s one to do when situations like that arise? We keep our backs to them at most times, turning to catch glances whenever they aren’t looking. Ugh, why does cupid play games like this. *cries*

8. Getting yelled at on a telemarketing stint 


This one goes out to all who dared venture into the cruel world of telemarketing. For the most part, we either get hung up on after the greeting, or a scolding from an uncle questioning how his name ended up in our database.

“Eskew me, how did you get my number? I don’t appreciate you disrupting and disturbing me like this. It’s very rude you know.”

But sir, we’re just doing our job :’) Sometimes, when the odds are in your favor, you can clinch consecutive deals and bag home more commission for the week. SCORE.

9. Toilet trips = unofficial break time/naps


Most of us are guilty of taking a quick “toilet break” when we can’t feel our legs anymore. It’s a chance to relieve your bladder and colon, but those are secondary to giving those limbs a chance to rest, while checking what you’ve missed on Instagram for the past 4 hours.   

Take an extended break and you’ll return to disapproving looks from your co-worker, who you’ve left to fend for herself during the lunchtime crowd. 

10. Mixed feelings about being rostered on a PH are super real 


Should you be lucky enough to be offered double pay on public holidays, the additional workload may not sound as daunting. Until you turn up at work and discover the extra pay is completely justified. 

With double the crowd and triple the chaos, you’ve gotta put in 2000% just to get through the day without complaints or groans from customers. You will also understand the helplessness of folding one garment after another while 10 aunties aggressively mess them up. 

But hey, that’s still better than the poor souls with no double pay or extra remuneration. Your glass is half full. 

11. Being one of a select few to see a busy mall, barren.


If you’ve ever worked at in town or somewhere busy from dusk to dawn, an empty mall is an interesting sight. Security will usher shoppers out by 10-11pm, but if you’re in charge of checking the register and locking up, you’ll be the one of the last souls to leave.

It is rather peculiar and slightly eerie to see Ion Orchard after hours, much like a ghost town – the mall will suddenly seem a lot less confusing to navigate. Not many are blessed with this sight, so count yourself lucky (and possibly overworked). #cheapthrill. 

Part-time job struggles in Singapore

While we lament about the various dreadful aspects of slogging it out part-time, it remains a monumental chapter of our lives as we venture out into the real world as youths and earn our first bit of income. These are the memories we’ll look back upon after we’ve climbed a couple of rungs up the career ladder, reminiscing fondly of days where the hustle and grind proved to be a lot more carefree and straightforward.

This post was brought to you by FastJobs.