Two years ago I took on the job as pool server at a local country club. I, much like you, thought this experience would resemble how High School Musical 2 portrayed country clubs to be. Sadly, Zac Efron was nowhere to be found and I was the only one breaking out into random choreography. Here’s the truth about working at a country club:
In the first musical number of the film, What Time Is It? The cast of HSM2 sings about how summer is the time of their lives and about how they’re ready for a summer vacation. Let me tell you, working at a country club is no vacation. Sure, you will get a nice tan from being outside all day every day, but a farmer’s tan isn’t even cute on a farmer. You work practically every day, usually all day in the hot sun. You will spend your summer days running around getting food and drinks while the members lounge around the pool.
The basketball team complains about how they need to make bank this summer for a variety of reasons. So, that would probably lead you to think that a country club would pay its employee’s really well… Well think again. They don’t really pay that well, the one I worked out was no tipping allowed and paid just above minimum wage for all entry level jobs whether it be saving lives or serving drinks. And you do not get random promotions like Tory did throughout the film, especially during your first summer.
Fabulous reminds me of the few and far picky members you encounter at any country club. Most members are very humble and grateful for your service, but there are some that are so particular about how they want something that the idea of them being satisfied with what you bring them is slim to none.
Sharpay may walk around like she owns Lave Springs mainly because she does. But also as a member, you really do have all the power. Whatever the members want, they get. Whatever they say goes. At the end of the day they are our boss, not the management team.
The kitchen seems to be the meeting place for the entire Lava Spring staff. There is an indoor and outdoor staff at just about every country club. These two groups of staff are rarely ever in the same place. However, the kitchen no matter it be the inside or outside kitchen, is where the staff hangs out. But do not be fooled, it is not the gathering place so we could break out in song and dance, it’s the meeting place because we’re always eating the fries and whatever other food is laying around.
Mr. Fulton gives out three strikes to the staff members. At the country club I work at, if you were caught on the golf course or in the pool we would be fired. As a server they don’t let you anywhere you are not needed, aka the golf course. The only staff allowed to swim in the pool at anytime are the lifeguards.
Mr. Evans arrives to Lava Springs on a helicopter, but in real life this would never happen. There is nowhere to land a helicopter and there are constantly other golfers on the course interfering with your landing as you interrupt their game. Which also reminds me that Troy and Gabriella wouldn’t be able to have a picnic on the golf course because usually people are golfing on it. But in the movie you never see anyone on the golf course, even when Troy runs throughout the course during Bet on it.
Additionally, Troy golfs and eats with members, sometimes on the clock. All of which is not allowed. There are certain staff allowed to golf as they are golf pros and such, but if I went to dinner with a member instead of working, I would be fired. Yes, the members are always right and can tell you to do whatever they want, but there are limitations to this.
The custom-made things for Sharpay are very much real things country club members have. They bring in their own golf carts, only drink drinks made by specific bartenders, refuse service if it is not a certain server, and so on.
The staff spends a lot of down time at Lava Springs and I don’t know about you, but I was never willing to be at my job in my free time. The best example is the baseball game, like who is on the other team??? Are they members?? Another country club’s staff?? Like who is working at the club then??? It’s just not adding up, it is not only unrealistic but also just not something that would happen, like no member would show up to watch me “play ball.”
In Gotta go my Own Way Gabriella goes into a locker room to collect her things and is changed out of her life guarding uniform. The only people who change their outfits are sometimes the chefs and that’s about it. The servers, life guards, towel boys, and other staff members usually come and go in their uniforms. Beforehand, Gabriella RIPS Sharpay a new one, if I ever spoke that way to a member I wouldn’t have to quit after because I would be FIRED.
The cast pairs up to have color coordinated outfits for the Star Dazzle Talent Show. We have strict uniforms that are not nearly as cute as the ones in HSM2. Also, I don’t know about other country clubs but the one I worked at there is no talent show, and even if there was, the staff would not be allowed to part take in it. There are events going on daily at a country club yet the talent show seems to be the only thing happening all summer at Lava Springs which is just weird. Maybe they do yoga classes and spa days instead? Not sure but very suspicious.
At the end of the movie they have a staff pool party which is something we had one of the summers I was working at the country club. However, there is not that much staffing, at the country club I worked at or at Lava Springs. And since it was a pool party, we were in the pool not lounging around.