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Subject: Tales of Terrible Jobs rss

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Any of you lot have tales of terrible jobs to share?

*edited title for clarity
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Andy Andersen
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Re: Terrible job stories
I had many over the years, but when I retired, they were retired also.
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Michael Edwards
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Everett
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Re: Terrible job stories
I went to work today, and it's been pretty 'meh' so far.

Oh wait, stories of terrible jobs, not terrible job stories. Ooops.


The only one that comes to mind was when I was working for a Perkin's Cake and Steak as a dishwasher (Perkin's is like Denny's). They had me clean the cover for a bank of fluorescent lights that was over the grill, so it was nice and caked in grease. The method was to take a spray bottle filled with industrial degreaser, and then spray it down out back in the parking lot.

Mind you, this was a little hand held typical spray bottle, so it produced a nice mist of harsh chemical, that largely landed on the cover, but also made a nice cloud that I had to stand in and breath, and let my eyeballs swim in, etc. I remember having to stop in order to have a coughing fit caused by vaporized degreaser in my lungs. That can't have been good for me.
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
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Well, I didn't get poisoned by degreaser, but I did spend a summer trapped in a cubicle with an insane old woman who would alternate between mumbling to herself and screaming at me. She was supposed to be overseeing me but she was either mumbling or screaming all day long. Meanwhile I was doing data entry from illegible notes taken by workmen who restocked vending machines.
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Sandworms USA
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I used to be the whipping boy in a mom & pop butcher shop.

Sweeping bloody sawdust, scouring blood and suet crusted paper lined pans, hauling hooked carcasses, scooping by-product to make sulze.

If there was a gross thing to do with blood and goop in a butcher shop I did it for 2 years for $3.25 an hour in the 1980s when I was 16.


back then I thought it was gross as hell, now I wish I would have picked the butcher's brains a bit. I can break down a pig but not as neat & clean as I would like. Plus I'd like to have a home walk-in meat locker.
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howl hollow howl
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Spent a week as a life insurance salesman after failing to get a job as an actuary with my math degree. I loved the mathematical basis, but the cold calling was not my style for multiple reasons. After wasting a weekend with a friend hand-labeling envelopes for spam, I dropped the box off to the boss Monday morning, simply said "sorry - square peg, round hole", and walked out.
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Blorb Plorbst
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Prior job I had, one of our Business Analysts got canned because the consultant that our boss hired couldn't get a data warehouse load to work correctly. It was a textbook deathmarch with no defined requirements which constantly changed anyway despite not being defined.

The consultant finally had something of a spaghetti process that almost seemed to work until he left (6 months after his 3 month engagement was supposed to end). When the BA couldn't get any further loads to complete, she was canned.

Our boss came to me and said "Get it running". I started looking through the code and found all sorts of problems that even if it did load, it would be wrong - bad joins that duplicated data, inner joins that should have been outer joins - all sorts of stuff. I took that to my boss and started talking to her about things that needed to to be fixed.
"Don't change anything, just get it running."
"But I can't get it running without fixing.."
"Don't change anything, just get it running."
"It won't run, I have to change something."
"Don't change anything, just get it running."

I chalked it up to a bad day and started making changes to get it running. Quietly. After about a week, I finally got something running - probably not producing anything that would be useful since there were no requirements, but running - and checked in the changes. An hour later, my boss storms in fires me because I disobeyed her direct order.

That was good job to lose.
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Rusty McFisticuffs
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Arcata
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At the top of my resumé is skunk wrasslin'. As in, "there's a skunk in the crawlspace under this house; you go in there and flush 'im out." My record: UNDEFEATED

I once got paid to steer a car from the passenger seat. (I don't remember whether I had a driver's license at the time.) This was during one of my many summer jobs as a, uhh, toilet hygiene technician; a weird guy who may have been a supervisor gave me a ride home, and during the drive (on the freeway!) he had me take the wheel while he read the notes I had taken for him while he'd talked. Sadly, I have no recollection of what kind of notes one needs to have recorded when one is the supervisor of a group of janitors. I think that guy might have been a little bit crazy.
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Picking up golf balls at a driving range, and cleaning the members' clubs (not a euphemism) after the course closed. All for minimum wage and with horrendous working hours (sun-up to sun-down).
I miss it, NOT.
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howl hollow howl
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MABBY wrote:
Picking up golf balls at a driving range, and cleaning the members' clubs (not a euphemism) after the course closed.

For the record, "picking up golf balls" and "driving range" are euphemisms.
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Great Googly Moogly it's
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Raytown
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I once had a manager who, for no apparent reason, would start screaming at me. Then 15 seconds later she'd be (fake) sweet as could be. My favorite was when I got the silent treatment for a few weeks at a time. I would always try to figure out what I had done to achieve it so I could replicate it as much as possible. Then one day I found out she was logging into my computer under my log-in every time I went on break. I worked at a financial institution that handled large amounts of money so that was completely unacceptable. Attempts were made to report her behavior to upper-management and we were told specifically that he would believe anything my boss said over what we said even if we could provide proof that she was lying.

She also made up things that never happened and then put them in my review. She said we didn't work fast enough and then tried to get me to help her plan her wedding at work, on the clock, then got mad when I said that I couldn't because I wasn't working fast enough as it was.

After the log-in thing I changed all my passwords, reported it to the computer security guys and then I waited until I got my five-year reward and then left without notice.
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laura b
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night club toilet and grounds cleaner.....

worst job of my life....


the girls toilets were particularly....disturbing.....

I dont think you want to hear the details but it is gross...

sigh....... it paid well though......

did that job for close to a year while studying

what did the job teach me?

women are crazy b***hs!!!!
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Tom Johnson
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sunkencheerio wrote:
Attempts were made to report her behavior to upper-management and we were told specifically that he would believe anything my boss said over what we said even if we could provide proof that she was lying.


My current boss' reign began with a lot of new rules, "my way or the highway" stuff. He got a couple people fired, several people quit, etc.

So maybe 4-5 months in, corporate sends out one of those anonymous "manager evaluations" for us all to fill out on him....He scored a 31 out of 100.

This did not go over well. Closed door, one-on-one, meetings were scheduled with him "to find out why everybody was so unhappy"

My meeting consisted of him yelling that the low score had cost him part of his bonus, and that we would pay ten fold whatever he had lost. Also if we ever filled out another one of the manager surveys, we'd regret it. When I casually mentioned that this sounded like a threat, his response was "that's why we come in here and close the door. Then it's my word against yours"

Two years later, he was in the hospital with a heart attack brought on by stress....Ever since he takes "happy pills" that have mellowed him somewhat but....
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Chris
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Many years ago, I took a job as a copywriter for a small PR firm that covered the oil heat industry.

In the negotiations, we were about 10k apart. He finally asked, “so, what’s the lowest you could take, where you’d still be able to wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and not think of yourself as a complete failure?” Amazingly, I’d answered him (even more amazingly, apparently, I HAD a figure in mind!) ... not so amazingly, his final offer was lower than that.

First day - thy have no idea I'm coming. They don't have a desk for me. They take the door off a closet, place the monitor on the closet shelf; face my chair *towards* the closet, lay a small piece of plywood on my lap (now composing my *desk*) and put the keyboard there.

After the first week, After my first week, the office manager (one of three "directors") called me in to see what I’d thought. I said it was early, but I’d enjoyed what I was doing. I said I'd like a desk.

She said they liked me too; but they noticed I left at 5 each day. I said, this is true (my commute was about an hour). She said, "Rich doesn't like when people leave at 5 ..." Apparently, Rich liked when people left at 5:30; even though you were only paid til 5.

Rich also didn't like that I didn't say goodbye each night when I left (since, then, he couldn't tell when I was exactly leaving).

Second week - I've left at 5:30 every day; and said goodbye each day. Rich (the owner) leaves at 3 that day .... a few minutes later, I'm called back to the office manager's office.

She said, “We don’t think this is working.” I had no idea what she was talking about, and told her. She said, “Your employment…it’s not working.” Huh?

"My writing isn't what you wanted?" I asked. "Oh, no," she said, "your writing is exemplary!"

She then said, “Well, you’re just not cheery enough…you don’t smile a lot.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but -- at this point -- I realized I wasn't dealing with sane people. So ...

“Oh ... Am I a stripper?” I asked. ”Am I working for tips back there?” She didn't know how to respond; and I left. Before I left, my boss (the creative director) came in and asked me to proof something before I left for the day. After I cursed him out (in my mind), I then had a suspicion -- so I asked him, "Um ... do you even know what just happened?" He had no idea. And, he panicked, because he knew he had a huge workload the following week; and no one to handle it.

The creative director ... my immediate boss ... and one of a total of 9 people in the company; had no idea that one of his two direct reports had just been let go.

I'm amazed the company is still in business, quite honestly. (I keep checking).
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Matt
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Landscaping crew. Summer. Atlanta.
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Max Jamelli
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Lemur wrote:


“Oh ... Am I a stripper?” I asked. ”Am I working for tips back there?”


HAHA -- If I had to caption a picture of you, I would go with this.
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Doug Hook
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Lansing
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Fresh out of college, B.A. degree in hand, I landed a job at a local non-profit social service company as an office manager. I received some training at the main office and then was sent to the branch office. The three older ladies who worked there had never seen me before. So my first day on the job in I walk to introduce myself as their boss. They've been there for about 4 years. Hostile work environment. After clearing my desk which was used as a storage area I began to settle in and make contacts with the other agencies. Upon arriving at the single toilet rest room I am greeted with the lid up and a scribbled note in red on yellow legal paper obviously taped for my viewing pleasure, "For the love of Pete, be neat use the seat." Yep, hostile. I soon learned that, unbeknownst to me, that I was the fourth office manager there in six months. After a while they stopped ganging up on me and took to bickering among themselves. One by one they, uh, left and were replaced. Happy ending for that chapter.
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Thomas Eager
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Portland
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shake I washed dishes/did prep work for a month at the quite renowned Portland restaurant "Jake's Famous Crayfish". You've actually seen the inside if you've ever seen the movie "My Own Private Idaho". First part of the shift I washed pans for the chefs...these were solid iron one-piece skillets, very heavy and very heat conductive. In short, a dangerous handful, carrying a dozen or more at a time, which I'd be scrambling to transport from the kitchen to the sink and back. I'd be about 1/3 done with washing the prior batch before the chefs were howling for more. All this while wearing the mandated 100% polyester uniform shirt; which was naturally reduced to a soaked rag in about thirty seconds while standing over the steaming sink.
Prep work consisted of shucking crayfish. Crayfish come equipped with a pair of front facing feelers which can be quite sharp. After softening up my hands in dishwater for four hours, I'd spend the next four repeatedly perforating my hands on these damn feelers, and would go home with my hands bloodied and swollen. Not ideal for a guitarist. I lasted a month and quit. shake
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Mel
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Ugh! You DON'T WANT to know... trust me on this.
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Less snark is my goal.
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I came back from summer camp staff and had about 2 weeks before school started. Some buddies had been working as day labor for a contractor and I got in quickly.

I had done construction labor before but not quite like this. We're basically there so he has someone to yell at. Shortly after lunch, I was told to cleanup an area, which I did. When I finished and couldn't find him, I started helping one of the guys I'd came with who was stacking two by fours that this guy had knocked over earlier in the day.

Everywhere else I'd worked that would have been a good choice -- out of work, find something to do until your next assignment. This guy came back and started freaking out that lumber stacking was a one-man job and I should be cleaning.

I went back to pushing the broom around pointlessly for the rest of the day. At the end he came and paid everyone then announced our next job site. I told him I wouldn't be coming back and he launched into another profanity-laced tirade about how I wasn't man enough to work for him anyhow.

I didn't have the heart to tell him one of the reasons I'd been recruited by my friends was that none of them had access to a car.
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Kevin J
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Dave wrote:
Spent a week as a life insurance salesman after failing to get a job as an actuary with my math degree. I loved the mathematical basis, but the cold calling was not my style for multiple reasons.


As someone with a Masters degree in mathematics who was recruited into a multi-level marketing insurance company, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! Despite not making any money at it and being generally terrible at the role, it was a fantastic life lesson for me in so many ways and don't regret it one bit.

The worst job I've had was my two days' worth of being a stock boy at a grocery store owned by a really high-strung "you're not working nearly hard enough" kind of guy, but of course that pales in comparison to anything else here!
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I worked at a frame shop in college. I was a newb and had to be taught everything. after 2 months I was outperforming my boss and her pal. they decided to get rid of me. They told me to slow down, then reported I wasn't working fast enough etc, etc. I decided I was leaving, but before I did, I wanted to buy some art for my walls with my discount. I ordered the pieces and did the work myself. I was ready to do the checkout and my boss comes over and tells me to do it "this way" and gave me a huge discount. I kept the receipt and a week later I was fired. I called national and told them what happened and found they had been watching her "creative book-keeping" for some time and this was the proof that did her in. Felt good.

I also worked in an ice house that routinely abused the cheap college labor by promising bonuses that at the last moment were lost to an action.

Don't even get me started about how UPS doesn't transfer seniority and then expects you to work to your skill level for starting wage. You lose it all if you move locations.
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Pieter
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My worst job was working at a university in a department of which the board was always complaining that it did not bring in enough students (while in actuality, we did pretty well, considering that we were the only exact sciences department in the whole university; it is just that exact sciences is not as popular as, say, law or economics). The board appointed a new dean who was known throughout the university as a sociopath. I suspect that he had the explicit assignment to make life so miserable for people that they would leave of their own accord, which saved the university the trouble of instigating social programs. And he did that in an exemplary fashion.

In one year's time, half the department left. On multiple occasions I saw people leave the dean's room, in tears, saying that they had quit on the spot. I myself got shouted at, insulted, and threatened with physical violence. The dean made favorable promises (which he had no intention of keeping) to several employees to entice them to put extensive pressure on their direct colleagues. In a few months time, the department, which had been a well-oiled machine and was recently lauded for the high quality of its research and education, became an overstressed group of in-fighting apes. As soon as I got another job offer, I quit. Which, I suppose, was the intention all along.

What makes me extremely sad is that before that dean came, I had the best job of my life. We did great work, we were openly recognized for that, many of my colleagues became my friends, and we had great students. That was all deliberately destroyed in a despicable fashion by university managers who simply were not interested in science and education. Never again did I find a job which was so satisfying.
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Adrian Hague
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Bristol
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Bug testing. Nuff said.
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Mystery McMysteryface
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Day care worker one summer while going to college. Being "bossed" around by no-brain, no-class, non-educated idiots who acted superior to all the part-time help. Plus, the bratty snot-running kids who never paid any attention to you at all.
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