Washington State Fair Jobs in Pandemic

The Washington State Fair is an annual event for students in the Puyallup School District, but have you ever wondered what it was like behind the scenes?  

Covid-19 has affected many events including the Fair, but this year it wasn’t only a question of what this annual event would look like, it was a question of will it happen.  

Junior Madison Murphy worked at the gift shop and sold official Washington State Fair merchandise. Murphy says she got to experience the highs and lows of being a student with a part-time job, all while being in a pandemic.  

“It was definitely kind of scary sometimes because there’s a lot of anti-mask people that would come to the fair that would show up with a mask to get in and take them off,” Murphy said. “I sold masks, so anytime someone would come in like that, I’d be like, oh, by the way were having a sale on masks, to buy one because it’s required here and they weren’t tough enough to say I don’t like masks, so they would buy one.” 

Covid-19 wasn’t the only challenge, senior Jasmine Fuller brought to light what it is like to not only have a job but to come back to school full-time.  

“It’s very time consuming; for me, I was working eight hour shifts on weekends and then I worked four hours after school Monday and Friday. My whole weekends were taken up by my job, but I was able to maintain with the three days I had off,” Fuller said. 

Even with all of that, Fuller says she enjoyed her experience. But she says she couldn’t ignore the fact that covid was still a constant struggle.   

“It wasn’t that bad. We just had to wear masks and I’m pretty sure it would have been the same regardless,” said Fuller. “Busy days were still busy days, because I know in the past years, they’ve had more people working within the food truck type setting, and we probably had five or six people there at a time.” 

According to senior Aidan Waldner Covid-19 didn’t completely ruin the experience. 

“It was good, I made friends easy. The job was pretty easy, it got chaotic, but I mean I managed, I like the people, the workers were nice. The managers were cool, none of them were yelling at me or anything; it was chill,” Waldner said. 

Masks weren’t the only problem. Murphy said that the managers were a constant problem from their lack of organization to their trouble with keeping a mask on.    

“There’s six booths and like, three of the managers quit because they hated the actual managers, like the higher up, so I ended up as a 16-year-old with two weeks experience ever, running my own booth because they had little people that were willing to help, which I liked better because I like being by myself and I like cashiering better than doing nothing,” said Murphy  

Although Murphy said she had an overall good experience, she had her struggles.  

“But it was definitely concerning because that many people were leaving, and they needed me to come in and work extra hours and I was being overworked because of it,” Murphy said.