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Old 11-17-2010, 01:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
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Location: The Great NorthWet
What's the worst job you're glad you had?

As a Sophomore in HS I went to a single A school in Southern Colorado. Because of the surrounding farms and Gas fields, families needed all hands on deck as often as possible, to help with the farms and fields. As a result, the school week was 4 days.

Not being farmers or Gas field owners in a small town, leaves us on the poorer side of broke. So my brother and I have to work if we want any spending cash. As luck would have it, this little town is at the foot of a mountain and there is a ski resort about half way up the hill. I love skiing and having a 3 day weekend, 3 days every week to ski, means I need a job.

I end up working for the resort shoveling snow. In general, shoveling snow sucks. Shoveling show off of condo roofs, really sucks. The 'regulars' get snow blowers and walkways. My friend and I get shovels and roofs. If you're looking for a little excitement in your mundane life, try shoveling snow off of a 6/12 roof. Sliding off of a condo roof sucks. Snow is not soft. You learn real fast to stand in the snow while shoveling and not on the freshly shoveled roof. Getting up at 4am so the roofs are clear for the guests by the time the lifts open, sucks. Sweating in 10 degree weather, sucks

Basically, it's a really sucky job for very little money. But, I'd get to ski for free and Demo any set of skis in the shop. So the spare change for some hot cider, staying in shape for football and wrestling, free lift tickets and skis make it all worth while. That, and I would go bat-shit crazy locked in a single wide with my family 3 days a week. There just isn't much to do outside in 6 feet of snow. I hated that job and but I was really glad I had it.

Anyone else??? Ever do something you really didn't like, but it was worth it??






..


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Old 11-17-2010, 06:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
Functionally Appropriate
 
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Location: Toronto
I once spent a week cleaning gunky duct tape residue off of electrical cables by hand.

1.) Soak rag in petroleum distillate.
2.) Rub that cable like you mean it.
3.) Repeat.

It opened the door for me to work at a fairly prestigious company and it's a pretty good story to have when my kids are old enough to complain about their own cushy jobs.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
Riding the Ocean Spray
 
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Location: S.E. PA in U Sofa
The job that comes to my mind is a summer job I had during one of my college summers, and due to opportunity and need-of-cash it extended through most of the next winter.

It was at the local Goodyear Tire Retread Plant. The corner where we hung out (inner city Philly neighborhood where kids like me hang out on corners with friends) was across the street from the plant and the plant manager used to walk by the corner on his way to my friend's dad's "shoe shine parlor" which was really a front for a numbers bookie parlor with miscellaneous illegal gambling on horses and card games, and the plant manager was big time into gambling card games and horse race betting. So one day in early summer as he was walking by I impulsively asked him if I could have a job and he said sure, show up in the morning.

When I first walked into the work area the next day, it looked like Dante's Inferno to me. Dirty old smelly and wet tires everywhere. The machine where I was assigned as a helper shredded all the old tread off each tire carcass so new retread rubber could be applied, so the rubber dust and burning rubber smell was everywhere. The tires we worked on were the large and heavy big truck tires and each one had to be lifted onto the cutting lathe. The machine operator and I wore coveralls with all the openings sealed up so the rubber dust didn't totally cover your body by the end of the day, but a lot got through anyway. Plus you always smelled like burned rubber. Even though we wore a hair covering, the rubber dust also permeated your hair each day. After the machine shredded off the old tread we had to lay new uncured rubber onto the carcass in the correct manner so when the tire went into the mold, the rubber filled the mold cavities. Then the molds themselves were several long rows of large, heated platens big enough to fit a large truck tire inside, then close it up like one of those grilled sandwich presses, and then it would heat up to flow the rubber into the mold pattern and then cure the rubber tread. After the right cure time, you pulled each tire out of the mold and stacked them up.

This was a pretty dirty and very hot job, especially doing it in summer. But the pay was half decent and not many jobs around that year. I also got to know the guy I was helping, who was a pretty interesting guy, and since he was one of the most senior experienced guys in the plant, I got some "respect cred" just from being his helper. He was also an avid fisherman and I got a lot of good fishing tips from him, as well as some good fishing spots in the general area.

After a while, a day or two a week I got to help another guy who worked on huge off-road tires. Some of these tires were like 8 feet tall! This job was an order of magnitude dirtier than the truck tires. As far as I could tell, the old guy who did this job never said a word, he just grunted. And he used to eat cigars while he did his job...not smoke, eat! I think he got to like me anyway since I was enthusiastic and wanted to do a good job. So I got a few positive sounding grunts.

While this might not seem like a fun experience, it turned out that way for me. But I still don't envy anybody who has to do a job like that for their entire lives.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
Crazy
 
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Location: Indiana
I demo'd dog food for a while. The pay was pretty bad, but I quickly got over my fear of large dogs. I had to approach a person's dog as they were walking it in a pet store, engage the dog, pet the dog, sell the food. That job conditioned me permanently to being inclined to approach dogs that are being walked. Which is okay by me, now I just take my own dog to the dog park and play with everyone's dogs.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
Good to the last drop.
 
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Location: Oregon
I worked for an auto parts store the summer after my senior year in HS. I stocked the shelves, inventory, did some light office work, and whatever anyone needed me to do.

I also did some deliveries to mechanics around town. (I worked for Napa so I got to drive the truck with the yellow hat on top. That was fun.) A 17 year old girl in a mechanic shop is well....scary. There were only certain shops where I would deliver. I refused to go to the shop that specifically asked for the "young girl" to deliver the parts they ordered. Luckily the manager looked out for me and when the creepy customers came in, he'd tell me to do something in the office.

My mom and her cousin worked in the office so they made sure I did a lot of office work or inventory in the back during the store's "high traffic" times. My mom also made sure I never wore shorts or a tank top to that job.

I learned a lot about car parts and can do minor repairs on my own.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
Living in a Warmer Insanity
 
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The Navy. Yea I look back on it fondly, had a great time and circled the world twice but it's a form of slavery basically. During heavy training periods (preparing to deploy on West-Pac etc...) or courses like advanced firefighting, aviation fire fighting or a lengthy course in damage control and flooding- 17-20 hrs days were normal for days weeks at a time. Hitting your rack (bunk, bed whatever you want to call it) dead tired after putting out fires and stopping flooding for the last 15 hrs straight only to be awaken by the loud bangs of smoke grenades going off and hearing the instructors scream "Fire! Fire, Fire! Fire and flooding in space B-1-1. Move, move, move! Move NOW! After doing stuff like that for days at a time it becomes difficult to tie a basic square knot with the tar soaked cord used to help stop flooding from pipes. Forget cutting sections of shoring at the correct length. Flooding drills were always done in water so cold it made basic tasks seem complicated. Fire drills were done with fire, which tend to get hot also making problem solving difficult. Sleep and meals are at a premium.

Now I have no illusions some actual combat vets is going to read this and think "pussy." And to those of you who do let me just say you're right, I got nothing on you. During boot I use watch what they were doing to the recruits across the fence in San Diego at Marine Corp. boot and it made my life seem much easier. I can't even begin to imagine what combat must be like.

But when you go from being late to your fast food job and can't understand why the manager doesn't accept your reasoning that you were late becasue you over slept to suddenly be responsible for yourself in ever way it's an eye opener. But it will make an adult out of you. You will become responsible for yourself... or else.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I went a year without a job. Had to suck up my pride and work at Mcdonalds. The work wasn't so bad it was just the humiliation
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
comfortably numb...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tully Mars View Post
The Navy. Yea I look back on it fondly, had a great time and circled the world twice but it's a form of slavery basically. During heavy training periods (preparing to deploy on West-Pac etc...) or courses like advanced firefighting, aviation fire fighting or a lengthy course in damage control and flooding- 17-20 hrs days were normal for days weeks at a time. Hitting your rack (bunk, bed whatever you want to call it) dead tired after putting out fires and stopping flooding for the last 15 hrs straight only to be awaken by the loud bangs of smoke grenades going off and hearing the instructors scream "Fire! Fire, Fire! Fire and flooding in space B-1-1. Move, move, move! Move NOW! After doing stuff like that for days at a time it becomes difficult to tie a basic square knot with the tar soaked cord used to help stop flooding from pipes. Forget cutting sections of shoring at the correct length. Flooding drills were always done in water so cold it made basic tasks seem complicated. Fire drills were done with fire, which tend to get hot also making problem solving difficult. Sleep and meals are at a premium.

Now I have no illusions some actual combat vets is going to read this and think "pussy." And to those of you who do let me just say you're right, I got nothing on you. During boot I use watch what they were doing to the recruits across the fence in San Diego at Marine Corp. boot and it made my life seem much easier. I can't even begin to imagine what combat must be like.

But when you go from being late to your fast food job and can't understand why the manager doesn't accept your reasoning that you were late becasue you over slept to suddenly be responsible for yourself in ever way it's an eye opener. But it will make an adult out of you. You will become responsible for yourself... or else.
basically, echo echo echo...

i think everyone, as in EVERYONE, should have a compulsory two-year stint in one of the armed services - no excuses, no medical deferments, no bullshit - just serve under some of the assholes that are in there that end up in real life...
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
 
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Dishwasher in a chemistry lab. Just a few months of nastiness, but well worth it.
It wasn't a pleasant lab, mind you. It was one that tested waste water, feces, experimental cosmetics, airplane motor oil, mercury testing for fish, etc, etc. The smell of the place was overwhelming. But I served my time, learned some skills, learned how to keep a clean room spotless, learned how to use an autoclave, how to remove all sorts of chemical slime from any surface, how to test pH and calibrate everything from pH meters to a high-end scale/balance. Knew my glassware and chemicals left to right backwards and forward by the time I was done. The interactions with my co-workers solidified my decision to finish my undergraduate degree and to go to on to graduate school. I sincerely doubt that I would be doing the work I love now if I hadn't taken that miserable job.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
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I had a summer job helping out in a shop that repaired garbage trucks. One task was to climb into the back to the truck behind the compressor blade and scrape and shovel the crud that built up. The heat of summer in, what amounted to, a metal box full of rotting garbage doing heavy labour. Nasty.

The upside was they had the contract for the garbage at Columbia House Records and Tapes. I got my pick of the tapes that we chucked in the dumpster (all the returns we tossed). I then resold them at school.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Location: ❤
Well, there was the rat-poison packaging stint.
Another fine mess was sweeping black graphite dust off the walls
in a golf club manufacturing plant.

Even as a skilled tool & die maker there were days I'd come home dizzy & nauseous from
breathing & handling toxic solvents all day.

The upside of most of those experiences was being able to eat & sleep inside a warm building.
& many fine memories of all the fellow laborers I've met & became friends with.Many.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
bad craziness
 
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Location: Guelph, Ontario
The worst was working in a fibreglass plant. I was contantly itchy, and I would get off work and even though I was wearing a mask I'd still be blowing black shit out of my nose. No way was it good for my health. I was out of there in less than a month but it made any job beyond that seem a lot less shitty.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Buffalo, New York
I worked in a furniture manufacturer as summer help for two years in college. Basically, 8 hours a day, 30 minute lunch, 10-min break. And, usually lots of overtime, so I would work Saturdays and maybe Sundays (when available(.

My first year was in the box packing line, putting parts in boxes, or when necessary, stacking the filled boxes on pallets for shipping. The plant was often behind on orders due to part mixups, breakage, etc, so my line manager would usually turn the speed of the line up to ludicrous speed. That made it hell, no matter what part of the line you were on.

AND, if someone was sick that day, everyone else made up for that person. I remember one day we had 3 people missing from a 12-person line.

One time I was grabbing parts for my spot in the line, when a guy driving a forklift with a dumpster on the front hit me. Knocked me into another pallet of parts, left me woozy. I think he lost his job.

I used to have nightmares about the line for a couple years after I graduated college.

The second year I worked in the parts area of the plant, where the saws cut up the wood into the parts necessary for the line to pack. If we went down, so did lines, so you didn't got down unless a blade broke, or someone died (j/k).

Stacking those parts, wearing thick gloves to avoid being cut, all in summer temps of 90 degrees and indoor temps of over 100+ (even with fans)...it sucked. One day, I dropped a load of parts down my front, where the razor edges proceeded to gash me from mid-thing to shin.

I didn't have nightmares about the parts job so much, but still tough, repetitive, monotonous work.

Showed me that finishing college was what needed to happen.
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Old 11-28-2010, 04:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
Kick Ass Kunoichi
 
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Location: Oregon
I have had a lot of jobs that would qualify as being physically demanding and/or not such a fun time because of the job duties, but the worst job I had was a fairly easy office job. The work environment was totally toxic. Being in it pushed me to go back to college and finish off my degree for once and for all.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
WaterDog
 
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sidewalk concessions... food was soo over priced and nasty, i got cursed out by customers once they realized what they got into...
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
Psycho
 
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Location: Europe
I haven't had really bad jobs. I'm glad though we had some work practise in highschool. I spent a week in old people's home. The first day I was with the elderly, helped feeding them, taking them to bathroom and other stuff... my friend helped in the kitchen. She hated being bossed by the kitchen staff and I didn't like seeing the old people in such weak condition. We gladly switched jobs for the rest of the week.

I'm not nurse material, I like kids though, but being with sick people is not my kind of work.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
Invisible
 
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Location: tentative, at best
I'm assuming it will be my next one. Since the unemployment rate in my field is over 50%, I will probably end up in a job where I'll be way overqualified and paid 1/3 my previous salary. But after two years of unemployment, I'll be very grateful to have it.
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Teaching Junior High School metal shop, the only good thing was the BS in education that got me better jobs later. I did like some of the kids, a few of them started calling me 'Iron Man'.
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