Next level

Part-time jobs provide income, life experience


Ella Dorfman, Managing Editor

Daylon Lopez-Reyna fills up his Honda Accord’s gas tank at the nearest station and pays for it using money accumulated from working at Game Over Arcade and Bar in West Melbourne. This money does not just afford him driving, but it also fuels his livelihood going into the summer. Florida’s average gas price at $4.20 made sophomores Jacob Woods and Lopez-Reyna glad to work since getting their licenses.

Lopez-Reyna drives to and from school every day and fills up his tank almost once a week.

“Since the gas prices have skyrocketed, it’s been very helpful maintaining a job,” Lopez-Reyna said. “Working at Game Over has definitely made me more responsible since it’s my source of income, which I rely on for necessities like gas, insurance and food. I plan to work at the arcade over the summer and get as many hours in as possible.”

Woods said his job allows him to save for college and other necessities.

“I don’t spend my money much on items, but [working] will help me when I have to start paying for gas in my car,” Woods said.

Joey King is the manager, social media and marketing director and bartender of Game Over. He said the owner, Richard Perreta, opened it in 2019 as a place for kids, teens and adults to get a taste of 1980s nostalgia.

“[Perreta] used to build, repair and restore [games as a child],” King said. “It’s a ‘labor of love’ as he’d say, and [he] made a hobby of his into a business.”

King said the benefits to working as a teenager are abundant compared to its downsides.

“You get to work, save money without having to pay rent because you’re living with your parents or guardians, and you learn a lot of how businesses work before you graduate and have to join the workforce,” King said. “The only con I can see is if the job gets in the way of your academics or your personal goals and dreams you may have. As long as you can balance those and stay focused, I don’t think there’s too much of an issue.”

Woods does almost everything except for bar tending due to legal requirements. Because he only works weekends, Woods said when summer starts he wants to work more frequently.

“Usually I work the opening shift, so I come in and do my opening routine: checking the arcade floor for anything that wasn’t done by closing shift, set up the kitchen, and cleaning off the games,” Woods said.

Lopez-Reyna said he enjoys working the same shifts as Woods.

“Everyone there is pretty chill, [and] I just work the floor mainly so tidying up the place is my job,” Lopez-Reyna said. “It’s nice working with someone from school and having someone working there that I already know.”

Woods said working with Daylon is great because they can do homework together.

“We are able to get some homework done when it’s slow or [when] we finished everything before opening,” Woods said. “We have gotten closer since we both started to work together.”

King said working with Woods and Lopez-Reyna is “fun and relieving.”

“They have great personalities and keep a professional demeanor throughout their shift,” King said. “When they are clocked in with me it takes a load off my shoulders because I can trust them to handle their duties without me having to hound them.”

Woods said he relies on time management skills to free up space for work.

“Most of the time during the week, I focus on getting as much homework done as I can, and I focus on my job during the weekends,” Woods said. “I still talk to people during school and when I’m not working. [The] best tip I can give is to get good time management skills so that you maximize the time within the day.”

Lopez-Reyna said it is difficult managing a part-time job, school and finding time to hang out with others.

“I typically ask for days off if I know I have a lot going on, otherwise when it’s slow, I find time to get stuff like homework done,” Lopez-Reyna said.

Woods said he likes working because of socialization and independence.

“I’ve been able to meet more people and gain some confidence from having to greet people at the front desk,” Woods said. “I have helped more people [and] talked to some people outside of my friend group — which is something I wouldn’t really do before getting my job. The arcade has helped me take on more responsibilities “

Lopez-Reyna said he likes Game Over because it is a growing business endeavor, although the retro theme leads to some difficulties with younger customers.

“The only downside is having all the kids running around like maniacs, which leads to them being harsh on the games,” Lopez-Reyna said. “[The games are] all old from the 70’s and 80’s, so we have to take that into consideration when letting younger irresponsible people inside.”

Woods said the people at Game Over are like a second family.

“I [have known] the family that opened the arcade since I moved to Melbourne,” Woods said. “I wanted to work there because I personally enjoy games but I mainly wanted the business to thrive.”

Lopez-Reyna said his connection with Woods helped him get hired.

“I discovered this place on the grand opening last summer and asked if they were hiring, my friend [Woods] put in a good word because he was working there since opening,” Lopez-Reyna said. “The employees have also shaped me into a better person by telling me what I could improve on and how to move forward in the establishment.”

King said the qualities attractive in an employee include being reliable, respectful, open-minded and taking initiative.

“Keep your head on your shoulders, stay focused on your goals, dreams, and academics,” King said. “Utilize the time spent with the job as a learning process to get ahead of the curve in the workforce and save as much money as possible, don’t waste it. If all those boxes are checked I believe you have an outstanding employee who can go far. [Woods] and [Lopez-Reyna] exhibit all those.”