Double Booked

OHS teacher works two jobs


Photo Submitted By Sarah Petroff

English teacher Sarah Petroff smiles for a photo with other coworkers. “To me, being in the restaurant industry is not sustainable, so it is just something I’m doing to get by in the meantime,” Petroff said. Petroff doesn’t mind this job even though it is tiring to her.

English teacher Sarah Petroff is working two jobs to sustain her lifestyle. In addition to teaching, she is a part-time waitress at the breakfast restaurant First Watch. While there are some downsides to working two jobs, Petroff explains her experience. 

“I did buy a house on my own when I moved back to St. Louis, so basically choosing to make all of those financial decisions I need to work a second job to pay all of my bills, but the reasons I like it is because it’s not horrible,” Petroff said. “I like it because it’s a very different atmosphere, like I interact very differently with my coworkers and customers there, so it’s just like a good way to change it up a little bit.”

There are a lot of obstacles when working in the food industry like working with rude customers or when the kitchen breaks down, which causes a lot of chaos. According to Petroff, being a waitress is similar to being a teacher, though, because you always have to make sure your section is happy and you have to make sure you are staying productive and getting everyone what they need. 

“Now that school’s back in session, I actually do this position called expedite a lot more and…what it means is I stand in the food window and I pack up all to-go orders and I prepare all plates to go out to the table,” Petroff said. “I like that job a lot because it’s fast-paced and you’re kinda in charge, which I like being. You walk less, and it’s a little less exhausting because you stay in one place.”

While the job can be exhausting, there are some perks. Petroff has seen a few of her students come in while at her other job–some current students at OHS and some students she has taught over the years. If you do not need a second job, Petroff says she wouldn’t suggest getting one, though.

“Time management is a huge skill you need to have and definitely having emotional management. Like when you’re feeling stressed and you have a lot to do, you have to be able to take some deep breaths and be able to get through it. I would also say just having support is also really important,” Petroff said. 

While making that extra money can be great, Petroff has some struggles working two jobs. She has over 100 customers a day and walks around 15,000 steps. Her shifts usually last about eight hours, and at the end of her shift, she says it completely knocks the energy out of her and ruins the rest of her day. 

“It’s just so different from working at the school. All of my interactions are very different, and it just sort of gives me a good perspective. At the end of the day, being a teacher is what I want–it feeds my soul and it’s sustainable,” Petroff said. “To me, being in the restaurant industry is not sustainable, so it is just something I’m doing to get by in the meantime.”