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So, what's the worst job you've ever held?

Is this deja vu too? When's the last time we ran such a thread?

     
7:01 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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1. Office cleaner (whilst in college) - It's amazing what utter slobs some people can be when they know someone else has to clean up after them. I mean, I expected to have to do some cleaning but puleeeeez, the used toilet paper goes in the toilet, that white ceramic thing on the wall is a pretty large target so stop missing it, a desktop is not a place to accumulate large volumes of food waste, . . Oy vey! The stuff I put up with. God bless the people who make their living doing it.

2. Chicken fryer man at a fried chicken fast food restaurant. 10 pressure cookers running all at once. Grease all over the place. Me, 16, with enough stuff going on to cause a #*$!le or two on my face. OMG - after 6 hours of being the chicken guy I had to scrape that crap - vaporized oil spewed into the air from the pressure cookers, powdered seasoning applied to 50 pound bags of chicken - off my face, hair, . . . but not before mopping the floors.

Two very memorable jobs.

Top that bornwithasilverspooninyourmouthguygal.

7:15 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Like a lot of people, I washed dishes in a restaurant. The owner was a raging alcoholic (no really... he would go on 4-5 day binges with his bottles and bottles of vodka... thankfully he wasn't a mean drunk).

The kicker is that I had to water the roof. Yes, I said "water the roof". During the summer time when it was 90-95 degrees out, I would climb a ladder with the hose, and just wet down the roof for about 15 minutes at a pop. This happened multiple times per day. The roof wasn't shingled, it was a tar-like substance. To this day I have no idea the reasoning behind it.

7:17 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Milking cows when I was 13. Baling hay, in July, for the damn bovine. Automatic-udders suckers are a PITA. Getting slapped in the face with a manure-encrusted tail is simply no fun.

Setting dies for injection mold presses. Heat was terrible, hydraulic oil was worse.

7:23 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Working with my dad on air conditioners here in the south.

It would just get to start feeling good and it was time to move on to the next hot spot.

Barry

7:23 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Scaffold and Hordings carpenter on a high-rise condo project.

I hung of the side of a 20 story building, setting up the scaffolds and hordings so everyone else could be safe.

I lasted a couple of months before I realised "This pays well, just not well enough..."

7:29 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A tedious job at the McCormick factory, picking fly-sh*t out of the pepper.
7:38 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Testing gasoline powered electrical generators.. Pull starting 350 or so lawnmower type engines inside a small test building inside of the main plan.. Heat indexes of 140-150 or so.. No fans blowing on ya allowed cause it messed up the removing of the carbon monoxide exhaust from the both. Running back and forth 40 feet from one window to the other.. pulling one unit it one window while shoving the other unit out the other window.... Factory work at its worst.. Anybody out there that goes camping in America prolly knows the name of the company. Brutal job.
7:45 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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To this day I have no idea the reasoning behind it.

Natural evaporative cooling, sounds like.

Our three kids were born in close succession so we had someone in diapers for five years straight. There were times when I thought it was my worst job but it was also my best.

7:50 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think that my worst job ever was when I was 17. I was a server at a truck stop for about a month. Guys just don't get great tips! :-)
8:02 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Oddly enough, I don't consider my worst jobs to be the labor intensive, grunt work type jobs. Of course I didn't like that the pay was low. And I would always rather not have to go to work. But I never minded the actual work involved.

So the two worst jobs I've had were both telemarketing type jobs. I always dreaded going to work. In both cases I absolutely needed a job after a move. And in both cases, I kept looking for a new job from day one and quit as soon as I found something that didn't make my skin crawl.

The hardest job I had (as in physically hard on the body) was planting trees. I was also in the Army, and basic training was no picnic. But I went into basic training right from the tree planting job, so I was in better shape than most of the other people stupid enough to volunteer.

Webwork - I hear you about the chicken job. That was also one of the jobs I had.

Oh yeah - one summer I decided to take it easy by being a Fuller Brush salesman. That sucked. I guess I was never cut out for making cold calls on people to sell them things they didn't know they needed.

8:12 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Tore down a shotgun house for $75 once. Shoulda been paid at least 80. :)
8:20 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Selling newspapers on the street.

The worst part of it was not the cold or the early hours (5:30 am start I think) or the grind of low-margin open-air retail but the surprising number of people who walked past deliberately jingling the change in their pockets.

8:29 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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2. Chicken fryer man at a fried chicken fast food restaurant. 10 pressure cookers running all at once. Grease all over the place. Me, 16, with enough stuff going on to cause a #*$!le or two on my face. OMG - after 6 hours of being the chicken guy I had to scrape that crap - vaporized oil spewed into the air from the pressure cookers, powdered seasoning applied to 50 pound bags of chicken - off my face, hair, . . . but not before mopping the floors.

Heh, I know what you mean. I worked in KFC back in the day. Though, I had only 4 pressure cookers to operate, but it was enough anyways. After a day of work, I had a nice, thick layer of greece on me. I literaly could see the layer.

I also did pipe insulation with fiberglass foam in crawl spaces where you can't fully standup. It was a contract and only lasted two month thanks god!

8:42 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Commercial Salmon Trolling in Alaska when the boat is old, the fish are few, the price is low and the weather is bad.

Waves tall enough and close together, so you lift off your bunk every time you come over the crest. Dry heaving bile all night into my inverted rain hat. Hands so swollen by fish poisoning that the skin split open at the joints. Perpetually wet and exhausted. Working like a slave from 5:30 AM to 11:pm 7 days a week, for the equivalent of $1.15 an hour. Every 16 year old should do it!

10:20 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Working at a Subway restaurant. It seemed that a good majority of the customers were rude, stupid, or both. Plus getting robbed at gunpoint 3 times within 2 years wasn't fun.

There was one night, where someone came in just before closing time, and ran into the bathroom. A few minutes later, I heard the bathroom door open and close, and I heard him leaving. I went out to mop the floors, and when I opened the bathroom door... The toilet was clogged, and full of used toilet paper, there was used toilet paper in the sink, hanging out of the garbage can, there was a huge mess all over the floor and the walls. And I didn't really have much choice, I had to clean all that up. At least it was after closing, and not in the middle of a shift.

10:39 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Working in a bread factory loading trucks for early morning deliveries. Hard and heavy work at a fast pace for 10.5 hour shifts in an immensely hot warehouse connected to the oven building. Water fountain was about 400' away. For years after that job I couldn't stand the smell of a bread aisle at the grocery :)

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10:52 pm on Mar 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My worst job wasn't related to the type of work, but to the boss. I had a temp job, going out to a lumberyard on a daily work ticket. The work was OK, still within my ability at that time, but the yard boss was a total jerk. After a couple of weeks he offered me a regular job and I refused him, and told him why - that I would never work for such an &$$. I lost that daily trip ticket. Bah.

Is this deja vu too?
Have you considered adjusting your medications? :)
5:40 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Imagine being trapped in a large room saturated with laquer fumes, all day long. Four four-foot fans along one wall draw most of the atomized laquer out, but spare you none of the fumes or damage to the nose and lungs, and their deafening roar leaves your ears ringing nightly. No one can speak because you won't be heard.

But that's not the bad part. In the corner of the room is a radio who's only functioning control is the power cord: you plug it in to turn it on, you yank it out to turn it off. The dials have been ripped off and the stubs they mount to cut with bolt cutters, because some sadistic superior decided this is the only music anyone needs to listen too. The head-pounding laquer fumes and deafening roar of the fans are completely overshadowed by a radio set to full volume, blasting old-time s**t-kicking hillbilly country music. All day.

Finishing room of a cabinet factory.

The hardest job I had (as in physically hard on the body) was planting trees.

Reforestation, with a hoe-dad? I tell myself often, if I have to go back to "regular" work it's going to be doing exactly that, high on a mountain, swinging a hoe-dad. :-)

6:15 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Taco Hell...I mean Bell

Close second would be trying to sell Kirby vacuum cleaner. I was too skinny to even lift the equipment.

6:28 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Brings back horrible memories...

In my teenage years I had a job sorting beer bottles from a skip. During the day the bar staff would drop empty beer bottles into a skip and when the skip was full they would wheel it out to the back of the bar. After school I would go to the bar, go around the back and start sorting the bottles into the appropriate beer bottle crates for collection. During the winter months I'd have to brush the snow off the top of the skip to start, by the end my fingers were freezing. During the summers months the smell of the various mixed beers swishing about at the bottom of the skip was enough to make you vomit. All year round, from time to time, I'd meet a broken bottle somewhere in the skip to cut my fingers again (really painful during the winter). Thanks, WebWork, I haven't had to think of that for a loooonnggg time.

10:38 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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sorting garbage at a recycling plant

A close second place: picking strawberries. It's not the picking that sucks, it's that by the end of the day your clothes are stained and drenched in acidic red juice, exposure to which leaves a very unpleasant skin rash. The migrant workers whom I picked alongside knew the secret - nylon pants (in the likes of which I wouldn't be caught dead), and some would slather explosed ankles with vaseline.

11:06 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Paper round - aged 13.

More specifically, the first time out trying to deliver the Sunday papers.

As a kid I was very scrawny. The Mon-Sat papers were manageable and the round at that time was but a couple of miles on foot. Nothing, though, prepared me for the first ever Sunday paper bag; I struggled to lift it but somehow went on my way shifting the bag from shoulder to shoulder every few steps, knees almost but not quite buckling under the apparent weight. A few weeks later and of course the bag was not a problem.

Beyond that and as an actual job: cleaning crew - front and back of house at a McDonalds in South London. Catford, to be precise. Not a nice part of town even in daylight. Learnt an awful lot about people and management there - albeit the hard way.

On the 10 minute evening break I used to be able to wolf down a big mac, quarter pounder, fries, apple pie and a fizzy drink - yeuck!

Syzygy

11:22 am on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Radio dispatching tow trucks. Is it just me?
It seemed like most towing companies hired preferentially
from drug rehab facilities and/or correctional halfway houses.
12:05 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Picking watermellons in 45+ degrees celsius (113+f) in a little town at the top of Australia. Working for a sadistic farmer where legend has it one poor english lad collapsed with heat stroke. The farmer then yelled at him to get off his land for stopping and he had to crawl to the roadside to flag down a car.
12:59 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This was many years ago - during the early 90s.

I worked in a very tiny, cramped, crowded laboratory of a group of AIDS doctors. Carrying around HIV positive glass tubes and needles all day while constantly having to navigate to avoid bumping into another technologist.

Also, our shoes stuck to the floor and we knew why.

During about my third week, I was commenting how much I liked the brand of gloves used there - they were very comfortable. We started reading the box and right on each box were the words "Not for medical use". That was quitting day for a few of us.

1:05 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hey Syzygy!

I used to live in (and run my ISP from) Catford!

Where was the Maccy-D's?

I reckon I had half Catford's phone lines running into my house to service my modems, but the low-rent area, well, saved me rent! And it wasn't *that* bad!

But back to the OP's point, I can't remember really hating any of the jobs I've done, though they all have their bad moments such as being up to my elbows in fat and cold water "washing" dishes in a restaurant/pub that had no hot water or detergent...

But I guess a consistent hate is of providing customer service to the ~10% of customers who are lying/rude/incompetent/nasty/angry/freeloading/whatever and take it as YOUR duty to f^&*"^$*ing fix their life... I hire more patient people to do my CSR work for me, since I tend to tell my customers/clients exactly how I see things, and only when charging mucho bucks as a consultant does that start being seen as a virtue rather than a character flaw. B^>

Rgds

Damon

PS. I *try* to remember that the CSRs are human when I'm making my irate call to whoever failed to deliver my groceries, etc...

2:04 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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@DamonHD: Maccy-D's is/was on Rushey Green - next to the Catford "shopping centre" (a precinct) - which used to have a big black plastic cat as it's logo. McD's used to have to close its toilets down at 8pm every evening because of the junkies, etc, and the manager took a kicking outside more than once.This would be c1986/7. The only time I've ever been mugged was in Catford! Happy memories...!
4:13 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reforestation, with a hoe-dad? I tell myself often, if I have to go back to "regular" work it's going to be doing exactly that, high on a mountain, swinging a hoe-dad. :-)

Yup - with a hoe-dad! (and some times a dibble-bar)
5:05 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Collecting dirty sheets from local hospitals...

The normal ones in black bin liners...
The soiled ones in white bin liners...
The contageous disease in striped bin liners...

Then all thrown down a shoot, to split open before I put them in the van.

They gave me a boiler suit... that's all :(

5:41 pm on Mar 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Collecting dirty sheets from local hospitals...

I worked in the laundry they went to (along with bibs and other um... 'garments' from long-term care homes). I don't suppose details are necessary, but the heat, damp, bleach and dangerously ill-maintained machinery were not the worst parts of the job...

-b

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