Student Life

Students show commitment by working over Thanksgiving break, missing family time

Bay City resident Autumn Majeske helps Bently resident Debbie Ferguson as she checks out early Friday morning at Justice in the Bay City Mall. “It’s so crazy every year.” Majeske said. (Bethany Walter/Staff Photographer)

Thanksgiving break brought relaxation, food and work for students who have committed jobs at popular retail stores near campus.

Shelby Schwab, a freshman from Cadillac and employee at McDonald’s, 1804 S. Mission St., is one student who worked over break, putting in extra time with Black Friday bringing in more customers than usual.

“I (opened) on Black Friday, so that is a 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. shift. I won’t be able to make it to most of my family Thanksgiving functions, which has its downsides, but I’ve realized it’s part of having a job. I have worked here for over a year and half, so I am very used to having to work instead of going out or being with my family over the holidays,” Schwab said.

Despite the inconvenient hours, working Black Friday pays off for employees. Target floor manager Gwen Korte said there are working incentives.

“Students get paid extra for working between 9 p.m. Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday. They will receive a holiday pay, which is their hourly rate plus an additional half of what they make and they always get 10-percent off, which can be deducted from the different sales,” Korte said.

While most businesses stacked their staff for Black Friday and the holiday week, Gaylord freshman Gabby Stuart was allowed time off by her boss at Qdoba, 1529 S. Mission St.

“My boss was great about giving me time off for Thanksgiving,” she said. “I took off almost two weeks so that I would be able to see both sides of my family for the holiday and it wasn’t a problem. He was totally willing to work around my schedule.”

While Stuart received a positive notice from her work, other students have not been able to have such luck. Livonia senior Drew Servalish not only had one job to get back to, but three.

“I work landscape operations on campus, I am a teacher assistant in the IET building for the construction program, and I also just got a laboring job with Greenwald & B.C. (a local builder),” Servalish said. “I (worked) Wednesday, Friday and Saturday over break. It really interferes with my break because I haven’t seen my family since May. Thanksgiving is one of the very few times in the year when everyone is under the same roof.”

Being home for only 24 hours over break is not ideal, but Servalish knows how much it is worth to not take time off.

“I signed on to work, so I have to do it, especially since it pays for the college lifestyle,” he said. “School, gas, rent, utilities, food, affording a social life and mixing it in with school and work to make my college experience worthwhile, is just the price you have to pay.

“I am disappointed that I am not spending the entire weekend with my family, because from the standpoint of affording everything. I just have to do it.”

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