Jobs that pay

belly.jpgPhoto courtesy of Flickr

Melissa Douman

HOW to make money and study at the same time: here is a brief Vuvuzela guide to balancing work that doesn’t pay (university) with work that does (a part-time job).
This week Vuvuzela interviewed a waitress, a barista, an au-pair, a receptionist, a shop assistant, bookseller, promoter and even a belly-dancer.
What we discovered is that it helps enormously to have a driver’s licence, or to have acquired a skill such as dancing.
Justine is a Wits student who makes good pocket-money through her dancing – as a belly-dancer as Shaiks Palace in Rivonia. She dances two nights a week for about two hours a night, earning about R1000 a week.
More prosaic, but more plentiful, is the babysitting category.
It is essential that babysitters and house-sitters have cars, and the pay is R50 an hour.
Waitering can involve double shifts, one starting at 4pm to midnight and the next from 7am to 5pm. That’s hard work!
Most restaurants do not pay their waiters a basic wage.
Waiters and waitresses earn their salary from tips. In addition, the waitrons would need to buy their uniform, dish towels, lighter, wine-opener, notebook and have at least two pens on them at all times. They are also responsible for their own cash float of about R350.

waiter.jpgPhoto courtesy of Flickr

Restaurant owners say they might not pay a basic wage, but do pay a commission of about 2% on the food (not drinks) that they sell. On average this works out to about R30, depending on the menu prices.
The waitron must also pay for breakages at the end of every shift. This is around R35 a shift. The purpose of paying this fee is for insurance. Most waitrons must also pay for meals that they accidentally drop, glasses that they break and orders that they get wrong.
So it is very possible for a waitron to have worked a whole shift and made nothing or very little in comparison to the hours that they have worked.
If you don’t get tables that order food or a lot to drink your 10% tip might not even happen and that already is an hour wasted.
If you work in a busy restaurant and turn a lot of tables it is possible to make between R500 and R800 a shift.
Branham Mannering, a first-year BComm Law student, works at Doppio Zero in Rosebank and earns about R180 for a day shift that runs for about eight hours.
“It’s very rare that you leave after the shift because you have to clean or stand in for someone who has not arrived,” he said.
He earns 3.5% commission on his turnover (with the tips this comes to R180) and pays R15 a shift for breakages and has to buy his own uniform and tools.
“On a good day, which happens about once a week, I can earn about R220 a shift. If I work a double shift, I can make about R380.”
An au-pair or tutor earns between R50 and R100 an hour. It involves helping kids with their homework, transporting kids to and from school or to extra-mural activities.
The best part about hanging out with kids during school holidays is that you get paid to hang out with them going to movies, bookshops, lunches, toy shopping, kiddies parties, scrap-book classes, watching TV, playing with action figures or spending time with them in the pool.
The catch is that you need a roadworthy car and of course a legitimate driver’s licence.
It is also recommended that you get referred by an agency. After all parents need to be reassured that you are responsible enough to look after their kids.
A barista is also known as a coffee maker and this job entails making coffee, washing dishes and cleaning tables. It pays around R15 an hour. One shift lasts about eight hours. By the end of the shift you leave with a dirty apron, dirty takkies and the smell of burnt milk and coffee beans. You need a criminal-free record and a CV.
A shopkeeper and bookseller mans the tills of the store where they work and also try to persuade people to buy books or outfits.
They earn between R12 and R15 an hour and work around eight hours a day. They get paid double on Sundays and public holidays. Part-time employees need to work a minimum of four shifts a week which includes at least one or two days in the week. You need a CV and matric certificate.
Melissa Linder, a fourth-year law student, works at Art Afrika in Parkview and does better than most, earning R28 an hour and works once a week and during varsity vacs.
“I love my job, meeting new people, and encouraging them to buy things,” said Linder, who has had the job for four years.
A promoter’s job is to advertise a product. They earn between R35 and R50 an hour. Their job entails wearing outfits or T-shirts with the companies’ branding.
The promotion happens in malls or along intersections of busy roads. You are required to hand out pamphlets or products. To become a promoter you would also have to belong to an agency, be well groomed and wear a friendly face.
Natasha Allie, a third-year BComm Law student, works for Campus Media and does promotions at various campuses. She says the worst part about the job are the outfits.
“Sometimes we have to wear revealing outfits, the worst was a multi-coloured clown wig with a see-through bolero and a denim mini-skirt at an intersection promotion,” she said.
Working smart and not hard seems to pay more than the jobs that require the most effort.


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