BWW Blog: Elf on a Shelf? More Like Elf on a Train!
School breaks are hard, especially if your job is an on-campus job like mine is, and if you like to stay busy. Usually during breaks, I get so bored that I don't know what to do with myself since I'm so used to being busy during the school year. In October, I was told about a Christmas break job that would involve me dressing as an elf and greeting people. It sounded easy enough and honestly, even a little bit fun, so I reached out to the person in charge and got the job.
I spent the last week and a half on the North Pole Express as Ginger Snap the Elf, helping to make people's Christmases more magical. Let me give you the run down: an elf was assigned to each train and handed out Santa's signature Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk to each passenger before they boarded the train. Then, all the elves would board the train and sing, talk to the passengers and hand out cookies. I would do my best to talk to every child on the train and introduce myself, ask their name, how old they were and what they wanted for Christmas. The train would stop in "Reindeer Ridge" and pick up Mrs. Claus, and then I would follow her through the train as she gave a silver bell to each child. After that, Mrs. Claus went away, usually just in time for the train to pull back into the station. Sometimes I would have a frustrating or difficult train (usually involving children climbing on me because-children), but overall it was a pretty easy and fun job.
In addition to being an elf, there was one day that instead of going on the train, I got to go hang out with Olaf from the Frozen movies as he visited a Christmas party at a senior center. Olaf was very energetic that day, so I not only had to keep up with him and his dancing but had to talk to various people in order to get the job done. This involved managing more than one thing at once, which is also a valuable skill for any occupation.
Every time I told one of my fellow elves that I was a lighting design major they would give me a weird look and asked why I was doing this job. My answer was always the same- every job/field of study requires people skills, and there's literally no better way to put my people skills to the test than interacting with busy parents and their children all day. Sometimes it can be fun to have a side hustle that doesn't involve your major, but still allows you to practice some basic skills. If you're in need of a winter break job next year, try being an elf! Anyone can do it, and everyone could brush up on their people skills every now and then.