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Old 12-17-2009, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
Sitting in a tree
Location: Atlanta
Worst job you've ever had?

Probably waiting tables. At 19, it wasn't that bad at all. It was almost fun really. But at 30 and pushing 280lbs att, it was a whole different ballgame. I was essentially carrying another person with me the entire time, so physically it was way tough. On the nights I was scheduled to run food, I would sweat so badly that it looked like someone threw a glass of water down my back. I had to have made some customers lose a bit of their appetite. At the end of the night, I'd limp to my car with feet throbbing. As soon as I'd sit down in the car, I'd take my shoes off and just cry from the pain. And the next evening, I'd get dressed and slide into those fucking shoes all over again for another night of physical torture. Also at the end of the night, after I'd quit sweating, I'd brush off salt from my face after cooling down from sweating so much.

The money was great though, not to mention the instant cash-in-hand. And after all was said and done, I'm pretty sure I appreciated the challenge. But I can't ever allow myself to get near that big again. And I'd like to say I'll never wait tables again, but times could very well get tough at some point and I'll have to pick up a second job like that to make ends meet.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
Redlemon's Avatar
Location: New England
It was a professional engineering consulting position, the second place where I worked. I really liked my immediate boss, but the owner of the company was a flake. Things were OK for a couple of months. The day that my wife and I signed the papers to buy a condo, my boss quit. He also took most of his clients with him. For a couple more months, there was almost nothing to do except worry about my mortgage. Then I found a better place to work. Total time: 6 months.

So, really, I've been pretty fortunate. But that's my story of "worst".
I can't read your signature. Sorry.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
I read your emails.
canuckguy's Avatar
Location: earth
While in uni and just after school I did tech support for an ISP....brutal. To this day I hate the phone! I did have a cool job near the end doing high profile and sensitive issues with all sorts of famous NY based celebs and politicians.

Redlemon, that is great you were able to jump to something else, especially during the stressful time of a home purchase. My missus lost her job the week before we were going to start to look for a place.

We continued to shop even after the loss, we were wisely buying a place that we could afford with only one persons salary so we still bought a nice place. best part was it was during the downturn so we got a great deal. She found an amazing double the pay job that she loves. go figure. karma for her...amazing girl.

I can't even help my mom for 2 seconds on the phone with her assorted email questions or problems before I go into meltdown....5 years of tech support will do that.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
Broken Arrow
Vigilante's Avatar
Location: US
I do tech support for a hosting company now, but it isn't my worst. My worst was probably waiting tables as well. I hated it so much, I volunteered to wash dishes every day instead. I had a lot more fun back there, because one of my best friends was a cook, so we would have tomato/ice/beer fights and shit.
We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
Location: Amsterdam, NL
I can't remember how old I was but I think I was less than 11.
Cleaning dog kennels. Some were concrete some were dirt.
By the time they were inspected they were dirty again. I got blamed for it.
After two weeks I quit. I was also cheated. I never got paid.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
f6twister's Avatar
That depends on the criteria. The worst job I had to do was factory work. I don't know how people can handle the repetition day after day. My first two weeks of work were spent laying out metal pieces, spraying them with glue then attaching them to magnets. Eight hours of this for two weeks was almost my breaking point but then they gave me a new job. This one sprayed shaved metal pieces all over me which burned through my clothes and left marks on my hands and arms. No, they didn't have any protective equipment either. I finally quit the job after they switched me to a different department where the employees threw sharp metal disks at each other while they were working. I was stationed right in between them and frequently got hit. The managers refused to take action since the two instigators were their "best employees".

The worst people to work for was at an office job. The job was handled by two full time people before I started but I was left to handle the whole thing myself. They let me go after a couple of months because I couldn't keep up with the workload. What made it difficult was that the two people who were handling the job full time where the two bosses that let me go. They knew it took two people because they both did the job before but refused to provide me with extra help.

At least I got some satisfaction a few years later. I kept in contact with one of the employees who told me that the worst of the two bosses was fired because she was found to be too incompetent for the job and was abusive to others.
A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day. Calvin
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
I'm a family man - I run a family business.
Redjake's Avatar
Location: Wilson, NC
I was a bus boy/cashier at a restaurant. The customers were absurdly rude, and the owners of the restaurant would yell at you in front of the customers (circle of life huh...). If you didn't know how to do something on the immensely complex cash register system, the owners would sign extremely exaggerated and go over and do it for you at 100 MPH and yell at you saying "you're GOING TO HAVE TO LEARN THIS"

One time, when I was busing tables, I sat at the counter looking for "prospects" to clean off their tables and the owner was sitting at the bar. He said "HEY! Hey man! What are you doing?" and I said "looking for tables to clean up." He said in front of probably 5 customers, "get your hands out of your pockets, it looks like your beatin' your meat in my restaurant. Stop spankin' it."

If I did one thing even minorly wrong or incorrect, the owners would just go ballistic and go off on you for absolutely nothing in front of all the customers. Worked there for 3 months and finally quit. Was my first job.
Off the record, on the q.t., and very hush-hush.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The last one I had. The owner lacked ethics, was belligerent and an asshole. I could go on. Even being unemployed for over 9 months is better than working for him.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
The_Jazz's Avatar
Location: Chicago
Cap'n D's (a great little seafood place). My first "real" job and the thing that convinced me that education was a good thing.

The manager had a different dress code for me than anyone else. Everyone else (except the asst. manager) had a blue polyester shirt. I had to wear a white shirt, black pants, black shoes and a tie every day. In the interview, he mentioned that he hated my high school and only hired me in order for the fun of torturing me. I was 15 and didn't know any better. That's ok, though. I saw him working behind the counter of a convenience store about 10 years ago.

The worst part of the job (and there were many) was having to use my bare arm to mix up the tartar sauce (3 gallons of mayo, 4 cups of pickles, 1 cup of onions). If you ate at the Cap'n D's at Kingston Pike and Northshore Drive during the summer of 1985, and you found a hair in the tartar sauce, chances are it was mine. Sorry.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
Sitting in a tree
Location: Atlanta
I'm very glad I never worked fast food. That, imho, is as low as you can go - I hope no one takes offense to that comment. But I would be miserable for all sorts of reasons if had to work McDonald's or what not. Gotta say, props to anyone who's worked fast food. I'm just too much of a snotty bitch for it :/. Shame on me.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
Master Thief. Master Criminal. Masturbator.
Location: Windiwana
i was a dish washer when i was 19.

doesn't need more of an explanation than that.
First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for me And there was no one left to speak out for me.
-Pastor Martin Niemoller
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
ring's Avatar
Location: ❤
Temp agency jobs as a youngster.

One job, involved packaging little packets of rat poison into various size containers. (achoo)

Another deployment had me wiping down black graphite dust off the walls
and other surfaces of a golf club manufacturing facility.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
sapiens's Avatar
Location: Some place windy
I worked on a locked unit in a mental hospital for children for about a year. Most of the kids were placed there because youth detention centers didn't know how to handle them. Lots of violence. Kids from abusive homes and some staff who thought that all a misbehaving kid needed was a "good take-down." Screaming. Gnashing of teeth. Restraining children. Safety coats. Seclusion. Dodging punches, kicks, and bites. Dodging human waste. It opened my eyes regarding the range of child misbehavior and severity of abuse some parents inflict on their children. Made me sad. It was not fun. I left when I felt myself getting used to working there.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
lostgirl's Avatar
Location: Edge of the deep green sea
When I was about 13, I spent the summer pulling rye out of wheat fields. Horrible back aching work, that required long hours, in the hot sun, walking for miles.
We're about to go through the crucible, but we'll come out the other side.
We always arise from our own ashes. Everything returns later in its changed form. - Children of Dune
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
RangerJoe's Avatar
When I was 17/18, right after I had my son, I decided to move down to West Virginia for a fresh start. A girl I knew there told me about this AWESOME job opportunity where I could make so much money.

That job turned out to be selling Kirby's door to door. We had about 6 people pile up into a van and go around the KY/OH/WV tri-state area, knocking on doors and hoping someone would let us in to waste an hour and a half of their life showing this vacuum cleaner. It was hard to get someone to let you in (We normally bribed them with a bottle of Tide) and it was even harder once you were in to get them to buy it. Then, if the person did decide to buy it, you prayed they had good credit.

There are 3 credit scales they go by. A credit - which is great credit and we made about 600 dollars off the sale. This hardly ever happened. B credit - Not so bad credit. We made a couple hundred off of these sales. This also hardly ever happened. C credit - Bad or no credit. We didn't make ANYTHING off these sales. This happened all of the time. We also got a 25 dollar bonus if the buyer payed with cash/credit card/check. Most of the time if they paid cash though, we cut them a deal selling the Kirby for a thousand bucks (retail was $1798.82) and then we wouldn't make any commission off of it.

They said we could make $300 a week if we did 15 demos, but that was hard. You were lucky to do 1 demo a day, let alone 3. I would say, all in all, I made around 200 dollars. In 6 months. It's a company based on the pyramid system and I was too young and dumb to know it.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
snowy's Avatar
Location: Oregon
I worked at a drug and alcohol rehab for teens in the office. I HATED it. The permanent staff were all douchebags and treated the college students they hired (who did the bulk of the work supervising and tutoring the teens) like dogshit. The director of the place was a complete bitch, acted high and mighty, yet after hearing her life story, she had no reason to act the way she did. Ugh. They were mean and nasty to me there. I'm really glad I quit and became a nanny instead. What really rubbed me the wrong way was that this place presented itself to desperate families as a non-profit place (which they are not, and could not qualify for) where they really care about kids, when in fact all they care about is the big fat check they get from the State for providing beds for court-ordered kids.
If I am not better, at least I am different. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
Wes Mantooth's Avatar
Location: Tennessee
I've worked a lot of REALLY bad jobs between graduating high school and college I'm really not sure I can pick just one. I was a convience store clerk...and that was probably the best job I've (until I got started in music) so that says something.

I guess if I have to pick it was my first job fresh out of high school working at a feed/hardware store. Basically my entire shift was spent in a drafty warehouse carrying hundreds of pounds of feed per customer and loading it in the back of their truck. Other times I was knee deep in mud trying to dislodge a piece of fencing or chiseling away at frozen culverts in the middle or winter. Nothing worked right, the forklift was always broken, the rickety shelves in the warehouse constantly snapped spilling feed all over the floor, in the winter snow would drift under the wooden door of the warehouse and freeze overnight around the stacks of feed. I usually had to deal with this stuff.

My final straw came after being left alone in the store and having a customer come in and order around 200 bags of concrete. Keep in mind I was expected to wait on all the customers (which included loading up their cars with feed) as well as filling this guys fleet of trucks in a timely manner. Needless to say he was upset about how long it took to get his concrete and called the store the next day, the boss started yelling at me about it and I quit.

I still have nightmares about that place.
My god I must have missed it...its hell down here!
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
...is a comical chap
Grasshopper Green's Avatar
Location: Where morons reign supreme
I did telephone surveys the summer after I graduated so I could earn money for college. Many times people asked me if I liked my job and after I told them it was paying for college, they usually finished the survey. I was yelled at and swore at daily, and on more than one occasion, hit on. Gross.
"They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings; steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king"

Formerly Medusa
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
Darth Papa
ratbastid's Avatar
Location: Yonder
The summer between my junior and senior years of college I worked for West Law. West is the publishing company that puts all those books of legal precedent on Perry Mason's walls.

West was working on an online (dialup-based, which gives you a sense of the timeframe of this) competitor to Lexis-Nexis. If you haven't heard of either of those things, it's because Google fucking ATE them in the following years. But back then, to get online data, you spend megabucks for specialized, dialup-based data repositories, and West wanted to be It for legal matters, given they already owned the market in deadtree format.

So half the office was keyers. They took printed books that West already published, and typed them in. "But wasn't that already done somewhere along the way to making the book itself?", you might ask. Yes, probably. But no matter. We were typing them again.

But that wasn't half of the issue. To properly cite them in court, you needed the page number. That was where the team I was on came in. We paged through these books and through the keyed version from the other side of the office marking page breaks in the online version. Or, even worse, verifying the page breaks that were marked earlier by somebody else.

There were days when literally I'd sit there with a book on my desk, paging through it and page-down-ing my way through a text file, saying "yep" every 30 seconds or so, for 8 hours straight. I'd walk out of there and not have a brain anymore, just a cranium full of pink goo.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
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Originally Posted by ratbastid View Post
The summer between my junior and senior years of college I worked for West Law ... just a cranium full of pink goo.
... I will never look at my law school texts the same way again. You poor soul.
Whatever you can carry.

"You should not drink... and bake."
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:53 PM   #21 (permalink)
james t kirk's Avatar
Location: Toronto
Well, it was an ok place to work for sure, but it had its moments.....

When I was in High School I worked after school and weekends at Woolco. Woolco was like a Canadian K mart I guess. (It got bought out by Walmart in the early 90's.) Anyway, there was a Woolco that was close to my parent's house and I applied for a job when I was 15 I think. I got hired as "Christmas Help" which basically meant that you stood behind a cashier for 4 hours at a time shoving stuff in bags as fast as she could key the prices in. Back then, the cash registers were very primative. There were no bar codes, there were price stickers on everything. You had to key in the department number, then the price. She would key it in, and I would shove it in a bag. You never stopped for the whole 4 hours.

Once Christmas was over, you got laid off because business tanked. If you were lucky, you got calle back for the Easter rush (which I did.)

The next Xmas, they called me back (keeping in mind that the Xmas rush back then was Novemberish into December). When Xmas was over, they asked me if I wanted a job as casual help on Thursday, Friday evenings and Saturday. Sure.

I think minimum student wage back then was $2.45 an hour and I remember making $3.50 an hour so I felt like King Shit.

The PROBLEM with the job was that I had to do the shitty jobs. If someone puked in the Red Grille (the restaurant) they called me. (There was actually 2 or 3 of us High school guys working there - so we took turns cleaning up the puke.) People would puke at least once a day in the restaurant, or so it seemed. That was harsh when you were 16.

Another part of my chores involved cleaning the washrooms at nights. I had to go in, clean the sinks, clean the toilets and clean up.

It was usually a bad scene.

Especially the women's washrooms. Women are pigs compared to men. (I've cleaned public washrooms more times than I want to remember.) The mens, at most you'd have some piss on the floor or pubes in the urinal.

The women's - holy fuck it was a snake pit. Tampons on the floor. Piss everywhere, Shit all over the place. I had this old shopping buggy that was filled with the tools of the trade to clean a washroom - brushes, soap, toilet paper,.......and a shovel. Yep, a flat ended shovel for scooping up the human turds on the floor in the women's washroom. Plop it in the can and flush it like the stupid bitch that left it there didn't do. The worst would be when someone took a HUGE shit in the toilet, then plugged it up for one reason or another and flushed it. You can imagine the scene there.

Those images are burned in my mind almost 30 years later. (I was all of 16 at the time.)


Anyway, we had a great staff at Woolco, and you did feel like you were part of this extended family of sorts. All the ladies who worked there were old girls who were older than my mom, but they treated you like you were their son. The bosses were all pretty good for the most part.

The problem wasn't the place, or the boss, or the money persay, it was the human beings who frequented the store. Puke, shit, piss, tampons. I've had to deal with it all in my past.

Last edited by james t kirk; 12-20-2009 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
Darth Papa
ratbastid's Avatar
Location: Yonder
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
... I will never look at my law school texts the same way again. You poor soul.
It was brutal.

Tell me West at least has a killer online database of legal stuff.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
who ever said streaking was a bad thing?
streak_56's Avatar
Location: Calgary
When I was a first year Electrician, my boss got a contract in the animal research centre of a University in town. I felt sick the whole time and needless to say, I had to bend some of my morals to work there.
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
Location: My head.
^^ OMG, the sheep story ... it was.., true?
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
Good to the last drop.
ZombieSquirrel's Avatar
Location: Oregon
The summer after my senior year I worked in a car parts store. I did billing in the office, inventory in the back and even delivered parts to mechanics. It was dirty and the old men who worked at the store and at the mechanic shops were very very creepy and hit on me. There were pictures of naked women in the back. It was NOT the place for a young girl.
Attack ZombieSquirrels

Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
She probably tastes like cheap beer and smells like a jockstrap.
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job, worst

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