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— Nationwide last year, some 20.7 million youths - 64.1 percent of 14- to 18-year-olds - worked at paying jobs. Below, seven local teens talk about their summer jobs - how they got them, what they do, how much they're paid, and what happens to the money.

Name: Ed Collins

Workplace: TJ Maxx

How did you get the job?

A friend of mine worked there, and since I was only volunteering at the time, I thought it would be a good idea to get a job where I made money.

How much does it pay?

My current pay is $5.40. More raises to come!

What are the duties?

I wear a different hat on any given day! At any time I will do one of the following: men's department, children's, women's, homegoods, layaway, service desk, custodian, cash office, or other duties. While working within a department, one is expected to also maintain register duties, on an "on-call" status.

What are you doing with your earnings?

Originally, it was going to start out as a savings fund for college. However, I have managed to spend hundreds on imported CDs, clothing, food, concerts, and other entertainment. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I'm saving for a car.

How old are you?

I'm 19.

What do your parents do for a living?

They both work.

Where do you live?

Within San Diego County.

Tell me a story about your job.

It's hard to limit it to one thing. I'd say the most amusing thing is the shoplifters who really think they're being stealthy, when security has them pinpointed and is laughing at them the whole time.

Name: Robert

Workplace: Gas station

How did you get the job?

I was in the area, turned in an application, got the interview and thus the job.

How much does it pay?

$5.45, 20- to 25-cent raise in effect soon.

What are the duties of the job?

Everything: run the register, clean the Slurpee-like machines, clean the pumps, count inventory, stock the cooler, bake cookies, make hot dogs and nachos, check bathroom and coffee every hour, do paperwork....

What do you do with the money you make?

I use the money to buy gasoline - pretty big expense - hanging out with my girlfriend, fixing things on my car, computer parts at times, pay bills - credit card bills especially.

How old are you?

19.

What do your parents do for a living?

My dad works in aerospace - civil engineering. Currently working in L.A. at a satellite company.

Where do you live?

La Mesa.

Tell me a story about the job.

Funniest thing I've heard lately that I recall is, "You know, your pump #1 pumps air, and it's a piece of shit. I would tell your manager." Also, "I think pump #3 is out of gasoline." This is funny because the gasoline is coming out of the tank.

Name: Gish!

Workplace: Togo's, Del Mar

How did you get the job?

I got the job because a friend told me to come up and put in an application, so I did.

How much does the job pay?

It pays $5.75 an hour.

What are the duties of the job?

I've been working there for about two months as a manager. Basically I just make sure everything runs smoothly and that everything gets done; I also have to deal with the less-than-happy customers.

What do you do with the money you make?

I use the money to pay bills, put gas in the car, and entertainment.

How old are you?

I'm 18.

What do your parents do for a living?

My mother works in a plastic factory, and my dad is a welder for Chrysler in Michigan.

Where do you live?

I live in the Kearny Mesa area with two roommates.

Tell me a story about your job.

One of the most amusing stories I have from work would have to be when just before closing on graduation night about 15 girls from Torrey Pines High came in. After we made their sandwiches, they requested that we dance on the countertops for them. We did, for about five minutes. I guess you had to be there, but it was beyond amusing....

Name: Kristen

Workplace: Starbucks, Clairemont

How did you get the job?

I filled out an application at a job fair and had my first interview that day. They called for a second interview later that day. My second interview was three days later, and they called and hired me later that day.

How much does the job pay?

$6.00 an hour plus a percentage of the tips; it's not bad.

What are the duties of the job?

My duties - all of them? Hmm. I take orders, make drinks, mix and brew the mocha and the Frappuccino mix, keep things clean and stocked, and anything else that may need doing. It's very well-rounded. One night I might be closing bar, and the next mopping the front.

What do you do with the money you make?

I spoil myself, basically. I still live at home, so I don't have any drain there. I buy the normal girl stuff - clothes, shoes, jewelry, computer stuff, food - and I spend my money on my friends when they let me.

How old are you?

I'm 17.

What do your parents do for a living?

My father manages a metal shop. And my mother is working on getting her cna [Certified Nurses Aide] certificate.

Where do you live?

I live in Clairemont. Not really ritzy, but not bad.

Can you tell me an amusing story about the job?

One slow afternoon one of the girls and I were chatting while I was making a drink. We started talking about this dog outside. It was big, with a wrinkly face. We talked about it for a few minutes, about how ugly it was. I said it wasn't too pretty, but it looked soft. Anyway, I finished making the drink and gave it to the woman who was waiting. She gave us a dirty look and went outside and sat down with her dog.

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