When I accepted a summer job down at the Freedom Boat Club in Stamford, I took it for one reason. It paid more than minimum wage and I could earn tips. I mean, how bad could it be refueling and washing down motorboats on sunny days with a cool breeze coming off the water? Truthfully, I did not take into account that most shifts would start at 7 a.m. or that the sun would be beastly hot on many of the days. I didn’t know that I would smell so horrid that I had to drive home with the windows open while being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95. But, as I never held a “real” job before, everything about work was a huge learning experience.
Now, let’s face it, this was not the most glamorous job, however, I think that it was the best possible thing I could have done this summer. By working at the boat dock, I learned valuable skills such as customer service, accountability, and the difference between a deck and double- or center-console boat. This job also enabled me to forge new connections every day while also drilling into my head the proper way to tie a slip knot. I’ll guarantee that I’ll know how to tie this knot until I’m 90.