(Big ol’ post ahead) At the beginning of February I started working for a local carwash. This job has been awesome so far. A ton of work and 40+ hours a week, but totally worth it. There is plenty of money to be made working at a carwash, surprisingly. I nearly have school paid off, which is HUGE. Anyways, I’ve been busting my ass every single day since I started. First one to arrive in the morning and last full timer to leave in the afternoon. My hard work has netted me an offer for a position at my wash’s detail center.

We do minor details at our wash, but the detail center covers everything when it comes to detailing a car. There were only two other employees in the St. Louis area, besides myself, who were offered positions at the detail center.

So here is the dilemma.

Right now I work at an hourly rate of $4 an hour. Ya. $4. That’s it. My income relies heavily on tips and the generosity of our customers. So, on a good day, I can make upwards of $100 in cash tips. This is a wonderful thing and a massive reason why I chose this job over others back in February. BUT, $4 an hour sucks on slow days. Rain days especially. We sometimes have days where I may make no more than $25 in cash in addition whatever hourly pay I accumulated for being there for however many hours. Basically, tips are great, hourly pay sucks ass, somedays I can make a shit ton of money, other days are a bust.

As I mentioned earlier, I was offered a position at our wash’s detail center. The hourly rate for a detail center employee is $12/hr and I’m guaranteed at least 40 hours a week (depending on how much I want to/can work with school). That’s some good, consistent pay. I’ve heard that tips on details do happen, but it’s about a 50/50 chance of getting a tip or not getting tipped. Basically, if I worked on a full detail for four hours, I’d be guaranteed $48 just from hourly pay and maybe a cash tip from the customer.

The bad thing about working at the detail center is that I may not be doing details all day. There may be some days where I don’t do one at all. When I’m not doing a detail, I’m working as a regular line employee (my current position) for $4 an hour and whatever cash tips I receive. The store where I currently work is pretty damn busy all week long, but the store with the detail center is regarded as one of the slower locations in St. Louis. The other downside to working at the detail center is that it’s a bit of a farther drive than what I have now. 10 Miles (detail center) vs. 7 miles (current wash). Doesn’t sound like much, but on a tight gas budget, it adds up!

What do you guys think? Does my half drunk work rant make any sense? My GM wants an answer by next Wednesday at the latest. I’m really torn right now. I want the detail experience even though I know how to do a majority of it, but at the same time, I don’t want to leave my good friends where I currently work. Both the detail center and my wash have their benefits/drawbacks. I’m curious as to what you guys think I should do.