My teenager worked in SM Supermarket

I studied in a very traditional Chinese school where we mostly stuck to books. Sure, we had occasional field trips. But they were the usual trips to Nayong Pilipino, Fort Santiago, Metropolitan Theater (to watch Florante at Laura), etc. We never really did anything out of the ordinary. We didn’t even have a prom. Our school administrators went as far as to put a stop to school fairs when I was in high school. I’ve always found my alma mater rather imbalanced and it’s one of the reasons why I did not send my kids there.

SM SupermarketLast week proved to be one of my most challenging ones. I’m the one in charge of shuttling the kids to and from school but hubby helps me out when needed. Well he had dental surgery last week so it was up to me to do all the driving. Last week was also when my son’s 4-day stint at SM Supermarket was scheduled. The craziest day was Thursday. My driving schedule looked something like this: Home –> School –> Home –> SM –> Home –> Eton Centris (I had a meeting) –> School –> SM –> Home –> Century City Mall (I had a work-related dinner) –> Home. I was so dead tired when I finally got home.

Working at SM Supermarket is a school-mandated activity for my teen. Grade 12 students have to report there for 4 whole days. I got an entire checklist of things to prepare which included plain white collared shirts, black pants with the pockets sewn shut, black shoes with no laces, black socks, etc. This is to prevent employees from accepting tips as this is prohibited. Like all other SM employees, my son and his classmates would be using time cards to punch in and out of work. If you’re late, you’re required to work overtime to make up for it.

In the 4 days that my son worked at SM Supermarket, he got to try being a bagger, a package counter attendant, a salesperson for the meat section, and a whole lot more. He told me during one of the days he made turon for 3 hours straight. The staff had a quota of 1,000 pcs of turon a day. He also got assigned to the noodle booth and was surprised that hordes of people would actually eat instant noodles with egg for lunch daily. The students got moved around a lot so that they could get a feel of all the different jobs in SM Supermarket.

When things were slow, he got to talk to SM employees. There were stories of people losing their jobs because of breaking the company rules. He witnessed a customer rant for not being allowed to use the SM Prestige Lane. The kids were provided lunch and a snack (for their break) which had to be eaten at the employee canteen. They were bound by the same rules as the SM employees.

My son had a good experience at SM Supermarket. He actually enjoyed the activity. He said he met a lot of really nice people from regular employees to managers to customers.

I hope more schools (like mine, ahem Grace Christian High School lol) would adapt out-of-the-box learning activities for their students like this one. It was quite an eye-opener for my son. Even if it was a challenge picking him up from a busy mall during rush hour everyday (especially Friday auggghhh!), it was worth it. I believe this experience has taught him about life and the real world more than the classroom ever could.

Like this post? Subscribe to this blog by clicking HERE.

Let’s stay connected:

Related Posts


  • Reply Meikah Ybañez-Delid August 8, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Wow! School activities like this can really help mold our children. Kudos to your son’s school! 🙂

    • Reply animetric August 8, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      I wish my daughter’s school would have something similar. 🙂

  • Reply Jeosen August 8, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Ipasummer job mo nalang si Kei. Good article btw.

    • Reply Rowena Wendy Lei August 8, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks! Kei actually works in the office every summer lol. Kakaiba lang talaga yun sa SM Supermarket. 🙂

  • Reply Cindy August 9, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Where does your son go to school? My son is in gr 9 and and my daughter gr 5. In 2 diffwrent occasions, while shopping at the SM supermarket, I witnessed young boys like yours singing and dancing to the tune of the SM supermarket jingle, obviously students who were sent to SM to experience work life. It seemed that they also enjoyed their stint there, though some looked like they’ve been itching to leave. 🙂

  • Reply Kim August 9, 2017 at 7:41 am

    We had the same activity, I worked four weekeds (during Christmas season pa!) in Shopwise as a bagger. We weren’t allowed to let anyone know (not even the actual employees) so we don’t get special treatment. It was life-changing to be on the other side. I hope more schools will do this!

    • Reply animetric September 6, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Wow, Christmas season was surely challenging!

  • Reply Michelle August 9, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Agree with the others, I hope other schools will do this kind of immersive activities. During my time, it was always through outreach programs. I think this is better since it really teaches the kids things about the real world, rose-colored glasses aside. Love this post. 🙂

  • Reply grace franson September 4, 2017 at 11:07 am

    also, this is an eye opener to young adult students, the responsibilities and hardwork that they need to face after the college years. Also, the stories of other employees that will set an example for their lives that money is not that easy to to have you need to work for it.

  • Reply Raisie September 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    That was definitely a good immersion. For just 4 days, that’s a lot of humbling experiences. It shows the many challenges that the staff in the supermarket section experience day to day. We all have to be courteous to everybody we meet.

  • Reply Mommy Levy September 5, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Oh this is so nice. I worked at SM (head office) before Building D, naalala ko yung iba kung katrabaho ko may mga sariling company pero don sila sa SM pinapa train ng parents nila kasi iba daw disiplina ng SM.

  • Reply ladymyx | September 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Hello Ate Ro. It’s been a while again since the last time I visited. 🙂 I still love your blog, I miss the greenish theme tho.
    Anyways, I had a 3 long month experience at SM Supermall before too. That was also part of the school requirement. I was also assigned as a Customer Assistant and sometimes, at the back of the door. It was really a tiring job for them, as I recall. But then, it was five years ago already.
    There’s just this dilemma I have every time we go to SM for grocery shopping, they do not know what they are selling. We are trained to memorize by heart the products we were assigned to before. So now I just need to look for myself the stuff I need than ask the attendants where can I find it. :/ Same thing with Ace Hardware. 🙁

    • Reply animetric September 13, 2017 at 4:01 pm

      Yay welcome back! 😀

      My son shared that he also didn’t really know where merchandise are kept so if anyone asks him say, where the coffee is, he also wouldn’t know what to answer. XD

    Leave a Reply