Worst job you ever had

jtr1962

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Have you ever had a job you really hated? The kind where you screamed at your alarm clock in the morning and dreaded going out the door? And hated everyone you worked with? Well, then share your experiences in this thread!

I'll relate my own personal worst job experience. I took a job taking inventory at stores in late 1987 after looking unsuccessfully for work for two years after college. Fact is my student loan was in default and I needed money no matter how I earned it. I looked through the classifieds and in the end this was the only job which would hire someone with basically no work experience. I only wish I knew what I was getting into....

The job involved traveling to various stores and counting their merchandise. The hours were terrible. I was never an early riser yet we usually had to be at the main office by 6AM. Since the buses didn't run regularly at that time (and I couldn't afford bus fare on what I was getting paid) this meant a three mile walk to work. After that you waited at the main office until they left for a job site. You didn't get paid until you actually arrived on site. You only got paid for your travel time to the site if it was over an hour, and then only at minimum wage. The regular hourly rate to start wasn't much better than minimum anyway ($5/hour if I recall). You got no overtime (they obviously cooked their books somehow). You usually worked seven days a week. During January, which was the peak season for inventory, you might put in 100 hour weeks with no days off.

The conditions at most of the stores were horrible. The shelves and stockrooms were filthy. The bathrooms were filthy. You often had to climb in precarious positions to count. Your hands were moving constantly punching numbers into the inventory computer. Since I was an accurate counter I got stuck doing the more expensive frozen foods in grocery stores. This meant frostbite in addition to sore fingers from punching in the data. After a few months of this I was well on my way to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

It gets worse. If you drove the vans to the job sites you got paid extra for driving. You also got paid for mileage if you had a car and used it to travel to the sites. Since many of the employees didn't have driver's licenses this meant they really couldn't be choosy about who drove for them. In the end they were using many unlicensed drivers. I was asked to drive a few times even though I didn't have a license. I refused and was almost fired. As a result, most of the drivers were incompetent. I was involved in two accidents. In the first one the driver slid off an icy road and almost went off an embankment. One girl broke her leg. I was OK. In the second accident I was in a friend's car when we were rear-ended. My head hit the hydraulic rear hatch closer. I needed a couple of stiches and was out of work for a week. A lawsuit went nowhere because it didn't look good that I returned to work quickly but I needed the money.

Don't even get me started on the caliber of some of the employees. To show how desperate they were for drivers (and employees) the operator of the van was a recent parolee from a federal penitentiary. And I strongly suspect at least one of the other employees had actually killed someone in his spare time. To be sure, there were a lot of down on their luck people like me there who just needed the money, but also a fair mix of hoodlums, for lack of a better word, thrown in. I remember one guy who was particularly adept at intimidating coworkers. He of course got on my case. I got him off my case very quickly. In fact, he stopped bothering everyone after that. A couple of fellow employees asked me things like "What did you do, threaten his family or something?" Well, without getting specific on exactly what I did let's just say that having an Italian surname and knowing a couple of relatives on my mom's side "in the business" helped. :laughing:

After a year of this I finally found a much better job repairing taximeters. The inventory place offered me $6/hour if I stayed but I told them forget it. I did work there for evenings and weekends for the next month to make some extra money but by then I was starting to get burned out so I quit entirely. The taximeter repair job offered $7/hour to start, OT after 44 hours, ten paid holidays, and Sundays off. It seemed like paradise after the other job. It took me nearly two years before I finally got fed up with this job as well, but at least I was out of the inventory place.

I pity anyone who is stuck in a job like that. :mecry:
 

Erasmus

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I worked in a plastic molding factory. It stinks and makes you sick.
 

DieselDave

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Coffee shop in high school. Go to work at 5PM and get off at 2AM-3AM. Get up for school at 7AM and get out of school at 3:30PM. I lasted 3 weeks before I fell asleep in class and hit my head on the desk. They called in my parents and that was the end of the job.
 

Concept

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Stock boy and checkout chick at the same time in a discount store. Full time work for about 6 months.

Ah the heady days of CRAZY PRODUCTS AT CRAZY PRICES.
 

bitslammer

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Concept said:
Stock boy and checkout chick at the same time in a discount store. Full time work for about 6 months.

Ah the heady days of CRAZY PRODUCTS AT CRAZY PRICES.

So this required you to undergo some [size=-1]hermaphrodite type of transformation? :huh: [/size]
 

James S

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I worked a job for only 1 day once.

People that might have read my posts in the past might remember that I have no patience for the Windows operating system. I dont use it, dont develop for it, pretty much ignore it until my father in law calls to ask me to help install the latest virus protection stuff on his machine.

I took a job with a local phone company, passed their drug tests, had my picture taken for the ID, interviewed with literally a dozen different various level managers and understood that I would be developing web systems on their unix servers. I can do unix servers no problem, most days I even enjoy it ;) However, when I reported for work it became obvious that the reason they wanted someone with unix experience is that they were planning to move their stuff from perl and php to active server pages on windows.

I asked them if there was any way I could talk them out of that decision and when they said No I told them the job had been misrepresented to me and that I quit.

They paid me for a day and a half of work, I turned in my still warm laminated ID card and left. They even sent me a W-2 form for the $120 bucks or so that I made while wandering around and chatting with their managers.
 

chrwe

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James S said:
[...] interviewed with literally a dozen different various level managers and understood that I would be developing web systems on their unix servers. [...] it became obvious that the reason they wanted someone with unix experience is that they were planning to move their stuff from perl and php to active server pages on windows.

Aww, don't blame them. Most likely they didn't realize there was any difference; I guess they were surprised about the fancy technical words you used and what it was all about...

Talking of management: You know him, don't you?
 

chrwe

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My most boring job was working for an insurance company for 2.5 years. No I didn't sell insurance, I read the forms people applied on for insurance and then typed it into the computer.

My crappiest job was working for a professor during my studies for nine months. The moron was unable to give any precise order, and then complained about how things turned out. He didn't honor appointments and then was surprised I didn't wait in front of his LOCKED OFFICE DOOR for at least 15 minutes. Then he tried to put pressure on me during my exams to get something done fast. I told him to eff off and quit. Oh, the job paid a whooping $10/hour and I only did it to try out working in the academic world.
 

Coop

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Worst job I ever had was a temp job cleaning up unused scaffoldingmaterials at a constructionsite. It was hard work, outside in winter. I carpooled with some other guys, when I got there, they couldn't even supply me with basic safetygear (which was promised by the temp agency to be arranged).

First they wanted me to work 7 story high scaffolding without safetygear. Not just hardhat, and gloves, but even without safetyharness. In -5c and gusty winds, yeah right. Like I'm going to put my life on the line for a minimum wage job... So I told them I was more than willing to work on the ground, but I wouldn't go up on the scaffolding. So I worked the ground, using my own gloves (ski-type, not work-type) because I really didn't feel like lugging heavy iron pipes around bare-handed in freezing conditions. So I worked the morning, at lunchtime I looked for my bag with my lunch I found out that some asshole thought it was funny to throw it in the trash. So I didn't have anything to eat. I was cold, hungry and pretty annoyed. I worked for another hour when the guy that threw away my lunch told me to work harder (while he had spent the past 30 minutes drinking coffee). So I told him to go F himself. He was really looking for a fight, he started pushing me. I turned and walked away. walked to the nearest busstop, which was 5 miles away, went to the nearest city, got on a train and went home. The trainfare cost me more than I had earned that day, I felt hungry, sick and cold and wanted to kill that asshole...

that reminds me... I still need to get even with that *******....
 

RA40

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I've been pretty fortunate.

The worst I had was the leg person for a group of real estate investors. The group was fine but contacting sellers and their agents was the pits. Spent most time on the phone hunting down properties to inspect then give a report. Some of those people were the worst to deal with due to the greed and in negotiating they'd try a wring a penny out each step. Some of it reminded me of dealing with sewing machine/used car sales people day-in-out. The finders fee was good but in the end, I grew to dislike the people aspect and left that area.

Conversely I enjoyed my time in college working retail. My fondest job days were with that group of people. No manager since has been as nice or environment so easy to work.
 

Monocrom

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I still work in the Security industry in NYC....

I have yet to meet a Security manager who takes his job seriously. So guess what they think of us who are just Security Guards? The biggest joke is how they pretend to take Terrorism Training seriously. Key word being "pretend."

I also love the office employees who think they can treat Security Guards like crap, and get away with it..... until they run into me. Worse that'll happen is that I'll get transfered to another site.
 

myk

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i did roofing for a summer when I was in highschool. Do you know there's a tool to take the old shingles off, and it also has little slots that the nails go into and it tears them out? yeah, we didn't have those, we just had a flat nosed shovel. This takes about 20x as along, and sucks.

Then there's the carrying two 80lb packs at a time of shingles up a creeky wooden ladder, plus 100+ degree heat of the summer while you're doing it -


and I couldn't quit, since it was my grandpa's roof :awman: oh well
 

DrJ

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I worked in the Steel Mills in the summers to help put myself through school...each working day seemed like it was more like two days long...even worse, the second summer my motorcycle broke, and while I was fixing it I had to take the bus to get to work...so I would get up at maybe 4:30 to 5:00am ish in the morning, and then get home dead tired at nearly 7pm after a long walk home from the last bus stop...once I took a shower and washed the red dust out of everything including my nose, I would eat and pretty much go right to bed....

But hey...I was young then, so it didn't really matter...and I was making as much as some guys supporting a family, while I was living at home for free...I was making prolly $30/hr (or more) in toady’s money...I just did it for two summers anyway, and when the second summer was cut short by a strike, I was the happiest guy on the planet!!!

Would I want my kids to do this sort of thing...well from the obvious detrimental health related aspects, no, never...but other than that, it sure taught me what I didn't want to do with my life, although some people did make a really good living out of it, and did like it, for me it was good motivation to learn to do something else....
 
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[email protected]

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Illum: Yes, chicken eggs. besides the occasional mousenest between the egs ther e are also loads that are too far gone for separating eggwhite and yolk, and those are tossed into a large centrifuge by hand, tray by tray. (anything on the tray goes in there, meanwhile bathing you in a wonderful aroma... :green:
It takes some time before you are able to do this without gagging, and thus it is the favorite job to give to newbies. :devil: :grin2: )
 

powernoodle

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I lived in a small room (maybe 10x12) in the back of a funeral home for 3 years while in school. Had to answer the phones every other weekend in case the hospital called to say that we had a new dead guy heading our way. Had to call a transport service and let them into the garage, where the zombie was downloaded. Its incredibly creepy at night, living right down the hall from the visitation rooms with open caskets, next to the casket room and directly above the embalming room. With 300 zombies coming thru there every year, I saw just about everything. I was sorta fun after I got used to it.

cheers
 

winny

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The worst job I've ever had was planting trees. I've been planting garden trees and doing janitor jobs for the last two summers, but before that it was planting ordinary pinus contorta (pine) which is by far worse.

The basic idea is that it's cheaper to harvest all trees in an area and plant new ones, about 10 cm high, manually, using naive high school kids. It's very labour intensive and schools on the countryside here in Sweden are drained on people just before schools stops for the summer.
You get up at 5 PM and head down town to meet up with everyone else and go out, usually 300 km or so, to the forest. If you are lucky, you stay there for the week so you don't have to travel so much, but you will be stuck in the middle of no ware. Once at the clearing in the middle of the forest, you are given a tool for planting which looks like a long pipe with a button on it and 4000 plants. You plant the plants in rows which are dug up by a ridiculously large and expensive machine a week earlier and when you stand in them, they don’t look like they will end. You sometimes awoke from plant-coma, standing in the middle of a row and wondering how you got there and finding you just lost 15 minutes of your life and three rows had been planted by you without your knowledge. It was frighteningly monotonic.
They pay you $0.031 per plant and if you where good, you could do 3500 per day. Rain and storm, thunder or not, you still had to work for your money but the worst thing was how the area was divided among us. The fastest ones got the best bits where the plants almost planted themselves and we other got the worst bits with only rocks and fallen trees in the way. At the end of the day, you where exhausted and went to sleep right after dinner.
Some days where worse than others. When the chopper which carried out the plants on the clearing was broken, you had to carry the plants with you and after 500 meters, carrying 500 of the little suckers (quite heavy as the dirt is soaked with water) over trees and rocks, your legs felt very tender. If you hade a really bad day, it was two kilometers and uphill. We did not get paid any extra for that, only planted trees counted.

After every summer you promised yourself to never ever take that job again but at the next summer, you where standing there again in the middle of no ware wondering how you got there. I needed the money. I was a poor student at that time (and still is) and had an expensive to run girlfriend at the time.
Nowadays I work as a janitor during the summers and have an even more expensive hobby to run. It's still hard work but I get paid by the hour and I have very varying tasks to do.
 

The_LED_Museum

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I used to be a dishdoucher and prep cook at an Italian restaraunt in Juneau...hated that job with a passion - and if any of the chefs burned food in a pot, guess who had to clean it out? :shakehead:
 
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