At 7-Eleven fun is always convenient
Amado Hernandez spins tales from the land of Slurpees.
By Julia DeRogatis | Staff Writer
January 15, 2013
That is the one word Dos Pueblos senior Amado Hernandez uses to describe his job as he addresses a room full of eager journalism students.
While he speaks, Hernandez lounges in a desk, smiling fondly at the memories of his work experiences. He regales the room with tales of danger, love, humor, and eight-hour old hot dogs spinning endlessly on the grill.
Where do all these tales originate? The infamous 7-11, a 24-hour convenience store.
Since October, 2011, Hernandez has been getting up at 5:30 in the morning to attend his job at 7-11. While most students spend the early morning hours in bed, Hernandez has a different plan.
“Basically, I’m just using my sleep time,” Hernandez says in reference to his early shifts, “I’m making money when I could be sleeping.”
As the sun rises and alarm clocks begin to sound, Hernandez punches his time card and then heads to Dos Pueblos to begin his day anew.
Many teenagers in his position would sleep-walk their way through the day while taking classroom catnaps. However, for Hernandez, this is clearly not the case.
His award for student of the month and his devotion to the hockey team illustrate his involvement and motivation in school.
One of Hernandez’s reasons for working is to finance his future hockey ambitions.
“I play competitive hockey in Simi Valley,” Hernandez says as he discusses his love of the sport, “hopefully I’ll get seen and can play pro.”
Having a job as a high school student may not seem like an exclusive position, but in this case, it is.
“I am one of two high school students working at the Calle Real 7-11,” Hernandez says proudly.
The other one? His girlfriend.
Yes, love is in the chilled air of 7-11, but it is not a world of stolen kisses or secret notes tucked under candy bars. Hernandez and his girlfriend rarely work together, and when they do, it is completely free of silly teenage antics.
“It’s easy for us to turn professional mode on,” Hernandez says, revealing that the couple takes their job seriously and avoid any compromising situations.
But what does a job at 7-11 entail?
Besides witnessing the occasional gang Slurpee fight, or selling a Snickers every five minutes for hours on end to a man named Ralph, Hernandez says that his job “is a lot more house keeping than anything.”
The biggest challenge Hernandez faces is having to deny demanding costumers alcohol, cigarettes, or lottery scratchers.
However, Hernandez is firm even in the face of begging buyers.
“If I have any hesitation, I won’t sell alcohol,” Hernandez says confidently.
But he has a softer side towards younger kids who lack the funds to buy a candy bar. “If I have change in my pocket, I’ll put it on the counter,” Hernandez says when faced with little kids who are short on money. Hernandez likes to make sure everyone exits the store happy and is proud to be doing so in the cherry-red polo of 7-11.
“I like being that kid who works at 7-11,” Hernandez remarks, explaining that happiness is not only for the costumers who get sweet treats and the last Twinkies ever to be sold, but also for himself.
Hernandez thoroughly enjoys both his job and the people that surround him.
“I respect my coworkers and I love them,” he says, explaining that while the free Slurpee’s he gets are delicious, his co-workers are what really make his job fun.
Working at a 24-7 store, Hernandez has gotten to meet and observe numerous types of people.
“I learn not to judge a book by its cover,” Hernandez says, and with good reason. He laughs as he depicts the countless early morning costumers who have attempted to enter 7-11 by forcefully pushing on the pull door, or the ones who walk in on a freezing day to get a Slurpee and on a hot day to get coffee.
Only one question remains: how does one get hired into the fun and intriguing world of 7-11?
In response, Hernandez simply grins mysteriously.
“That will be my secret,” he says.