EMILY: Do you spend a lot of time here? [at the Independence Inn]
RORY: Yeah. I work here a couple afternoons a week, and I help out with special occasions. They have a lot of weddings here.
We learn that Rory, on top of her heavy school workload, also works part time two afternoons per week at the Independence Inn. This is different to what Rory told Headmaster Charleston in The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton, when she said that she sometimes worked at the inn after school, so on weekdays. In the Pilot, Lorelai suggested she might want to help out and “earn some extra money” when Rory had a day off between changing schools, which could mean on top of the usual work she did at the inn, or to suggest that Rory helped out sometimes when she had free time.
It’s possible that Rory took on more regular work at the inn once she turned 16 (in Connecticut, there is a limit as to what kind of jobs a child under 16 may perform, although it is legal to work from 14 onward). As Rory doesn’t get home until nearly five pm from Hartford on weekdays, I can only think the two afternoons she works must be Saturday and Sunday – although it’s Saturday afternoon in this episode and Rory isn’t working, so I don’t know. She also says she works extra hours on the numerous weddings, which would mostly be on weekends anyway.
Maybe Rory works for just an hour or so after school twice a week. We never see her at this regular part-time job, so it’s hard to say how she manages her schedule. The job doesn’t seem too onerous, as it never seems to conflict with homework or social life (nor do we ever see Lorelai and Rory arriving home from work at the inn together). It’s possible that Rory is exaggerating her work schedule to impress her grandmother.