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Piz

The Worst Job You have ever had.

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I will start the ball rolling by saying the worst job I have ever had was Creosoting Utility Poles.  You had to hump 5 gallon buckets of Creosote toothpaste over hill and dale.  The job paid next to nothing and the sodium/tar mixture penetrated everything.  It turned your hands bright yellow, it infused your clothing down to the skin.  You woke up, every morning, with your eye lashes glued together by a brownish crust.  You smelled like tar after showering...Hell...the shower smelled like tar after you'd been in it.  It paid 4 dollars an hour...if you met the weekly standard of X number of poles.  For every "extra" pole you treated, for the week, you got an "extra" penny per hour.  In other words...the harder you worked the less you got paid.  Anyway...what is the worst job you've ever had?  

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4 hours ago, Piz said:

I will start the ball rolling by saying the worst job I have ever had was Creosoting Utility Poles.  You had to hump 5 gallon buckets of Creosote toothpaste over hill and dale.  The job paid next to nothing and the sodium/tar mixture penetrated everything.  It turned your hands bright yellow, it infused your clothing down to the skin.  You woke up, every morning, with your eye lashes glued together by a brownish crust.  You smelled like tar after showering...Hell...the shower smelled like tar after you'd been in it.  It paid 4 dollars an hour...if you met the weekly standard of X number of poles.  For every "extra" pole you treated, for the week, you got an "extra" penny per hour.  In other words...the harder you worked the less you got paid.  Anyway...what is the worst job you've ever had?  

Yuck! Now there's one job I hope became automated. Though I'm sure it did cause you to be socially distanced from others.

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I've been very fortunate when it comes to jobs.   My very first job though, lasted only about 2 years.   I was recruited to lay carpet.   It is a very tasking hard job.  The carpet rolls are heavy and kicking to stretch the carpet is very hard on the body.   I decided after that job I never wanted to work that hard ever again.   I've been fortunate.

 

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Back when I was a kid trying to make money in the summer, I bailed on my worst job ever after three hours.

On a scorcher of a day, I was put on a canopy of a Kroger supermarket in Springfield OH, given a hammer and chisel and told the chip the facing off the building. For the first hour or so, it was ok but tiring work. Then some other guys started with the jackhammers down below us.  All that crap rose up in the air and filled my lungs with dirt. Not long after that, I had to sit down and was promptly chewed out by the supervisor. Went at it for a while longer, but the dust and the dirt never stopped. Eventually, throwing in the towel was the only choice.

There was a sense of embarrassment about quitting anything, but that environment was subhuman. The Pepsi from the Kroger before leaving was one of the sweetest things I've ever tasted.

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I worked for a moving company one summer during college that doubled as a mattress delivery service for a local university's townhouse complex. The townhouses were three stories of winding staircases and needed four boxsprings and mattresses brought to the top floor of each (about 200 houses or so). The new mattresses weren't so bad, but the boxsprings we replaced were super heavy and impossible to maneuver through the staircase.

The residential moving jobs were nothing compared to the mattresses, but it did shed some light on why every TV show depicts people trying to find a way to get out of helping their friends move. If only more people realized that just because 50 pounds worth of books *can* fit in that one little box, it doesn't mean they all *should* go in one box.

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Not that it was that terrible, but, growing up, I cleared land for new homes over the summers for my uncle. It was hot, dusty, and limbing  up big trees, dragging them to the chipper to be chipped up was a hard job. Then we would section up the hardwood tree trunks so we could split them for firewood. It was a demanding job, it kept me in shape for sports. 

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Commercial and residential pressure cleaning. The residential stuff wasn't too bad, having mostly clean air to breathe and using limited soaps/detergents (decks and siding) with the exception of the nasty foaming stuff we used on A/C units. Aside from the nasty vibration coming off of the gas powered pressure washer wand, I could have done residential for the rest of my life (although I wouldn't want to).

The commercial stuff is where things got nasty. The easiest part of this side of the work would have to be being on top of large buildings (I hate ladders) and doing A/C cleanings and filter change outs. Pavement was probably the next easiest, but that we did with the truck mounted machine that had a diesel burner to heat the water, and could be cranked up to 4500 PSI at 200 degrees sometimes (mostly operated in the 160-180 degree range). The absolute bottom of the barrel was exhaust hoods in commercial kitchens. We used an extremely caustic soap that hung around in the air. This was administered with a pump sprayer like the ones used for pesticide treatment, but you were aiming overhead. I once had the pump sprayer resting on my thigh as I sprayed away, only to realized too late that it was leaking profusely. That caustic burn was pretty gnarly, and resulted in my worst day on the job ever.

Other parts of the hood cleaning were also not so nice. All of the water would have to be vacuumed up as one guy was pressure washing. It's amazing how quick a 16 gallon shop vac can fill up with water, and how heavy it is once it's full. Depending on kitchen size it would fill up 2-6 times and dumping it was always a pain. After everything was soaped/sprayed/vacced, we would move on to polish, which was either done while standing on step ladders (I don't hate these as much as extension ladders but still not a fan), or standing/sitting/laying on the kitchen equipment (oven/grills/etc.). Polishing was always the fun part of the day because we could put on music while we polished up the hoods and it meant that the day was almost over.

Overall, this job wasn't the worst, and there were days where I enjoyed it, but I always came home tired and dirty. My boss was pretty cool, and he, his son, and I were all on a bowling team together. I met his son in youth bowling and that is how I landed the job.

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I worked in the corn fields as a youngster. I didn't care for days after a significant rain because you ended up carrying a few extra pounds on each boot. Sometimes they would get stuck in the mud and come off. I mostly enjoyed being outside on hot summer days. I was in great shape from all of the walking. Most people hated this job. I also flipped burgers at McDonalds, but I enjoyed that too except for the pay.

I would have to say the only job I didn't like was cleaning the cat box.

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It was with an MLM company; I went door to door trying to get people to switch communications providers. My friends convinced me to take the job with them and all they did every day was go to the morning meetings, hang out and play video games, then go out for a couple of hours in the afternoon before the afternoon wrap up meetings. They told me about all this money they were making and it turned out they were exploiting a loophole in the system that generated two transaction numbers so they were making double commission on the sales they made, and I wasn’t doing it that way so I didn’t make much at all.

I left that job after only a week. The worst part about the whole thing was that week was the same week my boss was taking vacation from my regular job and he had asked me to fill in for him while he was away, so I ended up losing income I could have made if I never took the job at all.

On the positive side I did learn a number of sales techniques and I’m pretty keen on when someone is using them on me to try to sell me something. It’s come in handy on numerous occasions. I also learned I dislike cold sales and MLM. I have been pitched a few more times for job opportunities in MLM companies and my experience has allowed me to turn them away fairly easily.

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As far as legal jobs...lol, I was the rig medic / safety officer on an offshore Jack-up in the Gulf. Normally it was pretty cool job. But on one contract I was sent to a rig that had the most god-awful asshole of an OIM ( Offshore Installation Manager). We did two weeks on/two weeks off. 
This SOB was the know it all redneck who although was very knowledgeable in offshore drilling he otherwise had the IQ of a Vienna sausage. I later learned that the OIM had mentioned to a good friend of mine from the rig that he was considering approaching me once off the rig. However, my friend had advised him that wouldn’t be in his best interest and he gave a hilarious grin when he told me that. I knew it was time to go after that and I quit. It’s the only job I ever just quit. 

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Wow to the posts above. I have always had 'desk' jobs and never physical job like some of y'all but I did a full flip style reno of my home back in 2003. It wasn't too bad in general except the hard wood refinish for the entire house. 

The hardwood is original from 1955 and was finished with varnish. I spent a few hours for a month every evening after my 'desk' job sanding it down with a drum sander rented from Home Depot. Of course every edge had to be done with a hand held vibrating sander and every corner with a sandpaper wrapped tiny mouse . The varnish would cake up on the drum routinely and catch fire if I let it build up to much, and let's just say I developed some serious arm strength sanding the corners. The poly finish trapped a lot of bubbles so had to redo quite a few areas until the Home Depot guy showed me some prep tricks.

The floor came out nice though so that made the missus terribly happy. 

For folks envying white collar jobs, the mental grind is just as chaffing once your job becomes mostly about managing other folks' jobs. Good thing guns are illegal at most workplaces. 

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

It was with an MLM company; I went door to door trying to get people to switch communications providers. 

Mine was pretty similar. I worked for Allegiance Telecom, trying to get people to change their phone systems from AT&T/PacBell to our small regional company. Allegiance was not an MLM company (that would have been even worse), but my job basically consisted of cold calling local business all day to get the owner on the phone and try to convince them to meet with me for the lucrative savings of $8-10/month per phone or fax line. 

I started with two other trainees. By day 3, I was the only one left. I hated the job, and I had a pit in my stomach every morning as I drove into work. That said, I was determined to stick it out, and even had some modest success setting up a few appointments by week 2. At the end of my 9th day on the job, our manager called a team-wide meeting to advise that our team was being let go. There were about 8 of us in total and they just decided to take a hatchet to the entire team. 

We were all given 2 weeks severance. Since I had only worked for 9 days and hadn't closed any sales, my two week severance check was actually larger than my paycheck. 

My one vivid memory of that time was driving home that afternoon and feeling overwhelming relief - like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. I couldn't have imagined being so happy to be fired. I think that just about said it all as far as my feelings about that job go.

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My daughter, who was about four, called it "daddy's screw job."

Very accurate.

I sold screws for a company, which steadfastly refused to allow us to have any product in our Atlanta warehouse.  The last straw was when they called and let us know that they would no longer hold backorders for customers.  This meant that all of the high-end, high-profit screws were basically off the table, and customers who sold mostly those types, went ballistic.

Company wound up selling out to a competitor (where a fired employee had gone to work) a few years after I left, which explained a lot.  I used to routinely field questions from customers about whether we were selling out, or going out of business.

Fun times!

Edited by bwdial

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The job we were all laid off from back in November.  It was great as far as being out on my own.  Just last night I was sitting here thinking how mad I was all the time and how the people in my own company that I had to deal with or worked for me just made me a worse person.

As much as I miss the money, benefits , the type of job it was supposed to be ( when I did what I had planned it was great).  I really am relieved that I don’t feel miserable every waking moment of my life.

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1 hour ago, Typhoon92 said:

The job we were all laid off from back in November.  It was great as far as being out on my own.  Just last night I was sitting here thinking how mad I was all the time and how the people in my own company that I had to deal with or worked for me just made me a worse person.

As much as I miss the money, benefits , the type of job it was supposed to be ( when I did what I had planned it was great).  I really am relieved that I don’t feel miserable every waking moment of my life.

I teach eighth grade now, and my students can't believe that I gave up a lucrative sales career to do it.  Money is great, but not if it makes you miserable trying to get it.

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13 hours ago, bwdial said:

I teach eighth grade now, and my students can't believe that I gave up a lucrative sales career to do it.  Money is great, but not if it makes you miserable trying to get it.

+1

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I worked for two summers after I finished high school as summer maintenance help in a local machine shop. The shop basically ground metal/steel cylinders down into a smaller things like the pointy punches to punch holes in band-aids. They also made punches for golf ball dimples; I was never told which brand and we didn't put the curve into it, we just sent them flattened punches and they shaped them for their balls.

Anyway, as summer maintenance help, I basically cleaned things got dirty all year. The big summer project was taking down the metal light shades and cleaning the years-worth of oily buildup. This required climbing shaky ladders over running machinery to get the shade off, then clean it in a metal trough of water and GP cleaning solution. We wore yellow cleaning gloves and the yellow wore off the gloves and stained my skin. I went to my HS graduation with jaundiced hands.

One of the better chores was dealing with the sewage (seriously.) We were out of the city and had our own septic system. All the waste went through some on-site processing and then was drained onto a sand field (about as big as a bunker.) It dried in the sun and then I got to rake up the leafy crap and dump it in the field. I was dealing with people's shit but at least I was outside.

Lots of dirty, manual jobs at that place that make me appreciate what I'm doing now (software engineer.)

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13 hours ago, bwdial said:

I teach eighth grade now, and my students can't believe that I gave up a lucrative sales career to do it.  Money is great, but not if it makes you miserable trying to get it.

8th grade has to be the hardest. I coached U14 boys soccer and they were a great group of kids, but it was like herding cats.

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