Bateman: Want unisex corduroy capris? Get a part-time job

By Oliver Bateman

College is an expensive proposition. In the days of yore, everything cost a lot less than it… College is an expensive proposition. In the days of yore, everything cost a lot less than it does now. You could get by on a smile and the occasional sawbuck from the parents. We at the Moustache Club of America remember when draft beers were a nickel, hamburgers were so cheap that McDonald’s was giving them away, Tamagotchi fever was sweeping the nation and nobody had ever heard of iPods or American Apparel and its unisex corduroy capri pants.

However, 1998 is a distant memory — the dot-com bubble has burst and things don’t look very promising for modern students. There are so many more things to buy, including iPods and American Apparel unisex corduroy capri pants, and we have so little money with which to buy them. One of the solutions to having no money is to get a part-time job, and lots of us have hopped on that bandwagon.

According to some website, part-time jobs date back to the Paleolithic Age. Back then, college students who needed the Old-Stone-Age equivalent of iPods and American Apparel unisex corduroy capri pants took part-time jobs feeding dinosaurs, washing mammoths, neutering saber-toothed tigers and the like.

These jobs were pretty mindless and often quite dangerous, but ancient college students justified this to themselves by noting that their employment would be temporary. They were just hanging on until they could accomplish bigger and more impressive things, like discovering a new kind of edible berry or becoming the shaman of their tribe.

Nowadays, we students have a host of less dangerous but certainly no less mindless options for part-time employment. One of the top options is a position in the fast-food industry. By choosing to work at a fast-food restaurant, we can watch our Economics 101 textbooks come alive. Nothing drives home the inescapable truth of the invisible hand like burning your real hand inside a deep fryer.

Another thing you can learn at a fast-food restaurant is what goes into the fast food. You might have gone through life thinking that those delicious breakfast sandwiches were made from stardust and dreams, but you’ll soon learn that you were dead wrong: They are actually constructed using a secret combination of powdered egg substitute, processed cheese product and some kind of hard, biscuit-like substance.

Fast food jobs can teach you some much needed lessons in humility, too. That hip glower you’ve spent years perfecting won’t score you any points with a tough-as-nails assistant manager who insists on “service with a smile.”

If fast food isn’t your flavor, you should consider finding a job at a university. Universities employ thousands of students in these often effort-free positions, some of which — as in the case of our personal, magnificent work-study gig — require no work on your part besides swiping a student ID card or recording a few names on a chart.

In our opinion, these are the best jobs you will ever have, and if you find yourself forced to choose among them you should select the one that gives you the most time to read the magazines you love. If you can read People, Cosmopolitan and O Magazine during one shift at job A and those three magazines plus OK! and US Weekly during one shift at job B, we trust that you will make the smart decision.

If you’re a bit more motivated and a bit less interested in 36 sensual secrets that are sure to blow his mind, you should consider an internship. An internship is like a “pretend” or “baby” job with a company, usually one where you want to gain full-time employment later in life.

During an internship, you can get valuable experience doing the things you will have to do to get ahead in the rat race. You will have an excellent opportunity to brown-nose big bosses and other VIPs, fetch coffee, stand around the water cooler listening to its telltale glugs, sharpen pencils and figure out ways to circumvent the IT department’s blocks on Facebook and Gmail. We can’t even begin to tell you how important that last one is.

No matter what part-time job you take, you’re sure to grow in ways you never imagined. Whether you’re hooking your friends up with a sweet 30 percent employee discount at the shoe outlet or sleeping in the loft above the produce section at the grocery store, you are bound to make memories that are going to last a lifetime. That extra money for iPods and unisex corduroy capri pants won’t hurt, either.

Oliver Bateman is the head of human resources for the Moustache Club of America. The Club has been serving up short stories made out of dreams and stardust for the past seven years. You can check out their job listings and submit your resumé at