Things I Learned While Working on Boardwalk
Updated: Jan 30
When I graduated from Lafayette College, I had a part time job at Kohr Bros Frozen Custard in Ocean City, NJ as an ice cream server. When I came back from England, I started working at Kohr Brothers again, while simultaneously writing my dissertation.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Kohr Bros. I had the opportunity to make new friends, work for the best boss, and eat free ice cream.
With that being said, there were some parts of the job that surprised me. I spent my whole life vacationing in Ocean City and making family trips to the boardwalk. I thought I knew the beach town like the back of my hand but boy, was I wrong.
Below are the Top 5 things I learned while working on the boardwalk.
1. J-1 Visa Program
Until 2020, most of the employees on the boardwalk were part of the J-1 Visa Program that the US State Department offers to students who want to come to the United States for a cultural and educational program. In 2018, my sister, Grace, worked with two women from Kosovo and a man from the Czech Republic. In 2019, I temporarily worked at a pizza shop with two men from Georgia. When I got my dream part time job at Kohr Brothers, I switched jobs. At Kohr Bros, Grace and I worked with two people from Bulgaria.
Left picture: Grace and me visiting Tony in Ratiskovice, Czech Republic.
Middle picture: Grace and me visiting Andra, Clirimtare, and Dafina in Pristina, Kosovo.
Right picture: Grace and me in New York City with Mario and Desislava. I bought plane tickets to visit them in Bulgaria in March 2020, but had to cancel the trip due to COVID-19.
Since it's too expensive to buy dinner on the boardwalk every night and bringing your own dinner is a hassle, boardwalk employees make trades with one another. For example, if a customer orders rainbow jimmies and then changes his or her mind and wants chocolate jimmies after I made the cone, I will give the mess-up to an employee from either Chickie's and Pete's or Crunchik'n. In return, the employees will give me their mess-ups for dinner.
If you show up to a restaurant in your work clothes, most businesses will give you a boardwalk employee discount.
4. Everyone Knows Everyone
After your first summer working on the boardwalk, you start to get to know people. By your second summer, you know everyone in Ocean City, NJ.
5. Taking out the Trash is Fun
Taking out the trash is gross. But it is also fun. For the first month I worked at Kohr Brother's, the men would always offer to take out the trash so the women never had to. One day my sister and I stepped up and took the trash out, making us the first known "Trash Girls" in Kohr Bros' history. What we learned is that it only takes five minutes to take out the trash, but you can turn it into a 30 minute break, like the men did. So in the end, taking out the trash is totally worth it.