Well, many things go into making a job eligible for “worst” status, and most (all?) were in evidence in this week’s responses; notably bad environments, lousy hours, boring duties, and malevolent management.
Before getting into the specifics, I asked readers how old they were when they had that “worst” job. Perhaps not surprisingly, a plurality ( 41.1% ) found themselves in those positions at a relatively young age – 17-21 – an age when, let’s face it, it’s not uncommon to find oneself in low-skill, low-paying jobs that provide spending money, but perhaps not much more.
What was a little surprising (at least to me) was that nearly as many – 31.5% – were in those jobs past the age of 25 – and some, as you’ll see in the verbatims that follow, are in those positions at the present time.
As for the rest:
13.7% – age 21-25
6.8% – age 13-16
1.4% – age 13 or under
And the remaining 5.5% said “other”, mainly because they were in those positions during age ranges that overlapped the provided categories.
As for those jobs, here's a sampling organized by "category":
"I worked in a foam rubber store. My step-grandmother did me a "favor" by finding me this job at a "friends store". Aside from the lewd phone calls, the store owner who looked like Ernie from Sesame Street followed me around the store singing "My Dingaling" and laughing hysterically and snorting to himself."
"I once worked at a TPA firm that was run by someone who had raised the destruction of morale to an art form."
"For the last 3 years, I was the plan administrator for the various pension plans this Fortune 500 company had. I had a boss that was a screamer. An employee would call and complain to my boss about something I had told them. My boss would start screaming in her office and stomp down the hall screaming until she reached my office. I would let her vent and then I would calmly explain what law I was complying with and why the issue was handled that way. Then she would turn and walk out."
"I was the secretary to the pompous as.s vice president at an injection molding sweatshop. The president was so stingy that the factory employees, during union contract renewal, had to negotiate for additional aloe vera plants for their burns. My boss asked me to "entertain" one of the customers that was flying in for the weekend."
"Operations manager for a micromanaging non-supportive bipolar boss."
"Telephone fundraising. Hounding retirees to scare them into giving money to causes that only received a small percentage of the money contributed, made me miserable."
"â€¦the worst would have to be a temporary job I had in college. All day long we circled a table picking up papers to place in mailing envelopes. It wasn't so much the task but that the regular staff was so miserable, they complained about their jobs all day and referred to their boss as "Hitler".
"Factory work on an assembly line that made plastic bowls. I was expected to run this machine all by myself. The line was going so fast I couldn't keep up with it. I had bowls all over the floor! I lasted at that job 1 day!"
"One summer I worked for a large oil company. I stood at a copier (in a corner by myself) 8 hours a day making copies of every file in the file room - for the entire summer."
"â€¦working in my parent's store - no limits on time worked, no pay, no rights, had to work an outside job too."
"I cleaned out foreclosed houses. You would not believe how some people live!"
"One audit involved a fraud of large General District Court. Receipts that had gotten wet and molded. Hot, summer, non-air conditioned warehouse at a wood table & folding chair looking at each mold damaged receipt to see if it could be read and used in the investigation. Fraud audits are 100% audits. This was a three year period for a very populated, high volume locality - thousands and thousands - all dirty, stinky and allergy-inducing."
"After college, I worked as a temp typing SSNs on proxy cards when AT&T had their divesture. Eight hours a day for several months typing numbers (not on a computer) on an actual typewriter with correction tape!"
"Working at an orchard, in the storage/sales building. It was very hot in late summer. Sorting peaches and handling the ones we called "road kills" was bad enough. Flies buzzing everywhere and some of them biting. As bad as that was, being sent to clean the locker was worse. Freezing cold of course. The chore? Using a shovel to scrape the smashed, frozen fruit off the floor. This was for a whopping $2 an hour in 1984â€¦A good incentive to go to college, which I did a few years later."
"Packing peaches in an old, hot (over 100 at times) hay barn. The rule was: Don't turn off the conveyor belt! And those peaches came fast. They needed to be packed just so with their "noses" all turned the same way and the correct size for each box so they wouldn't bruise. Peach fuzz is very itchy but there was no time to stop and scratch. In addition, the fruit attracted bees who were always buzzing around, ready to sting."
Frankly, the one that struck me as the "worst" was this one (feel free to find one you like better/worse):
"Gassing a large storage shed that was infested with small bats, and then shoveling out the thousands of dead bodies and "droppings". This was one of the many pleasant tasks while working summers for the local water bureau."
And, while there were any number of really "bad" jobs, one reader reminds us all that there can be worse alternatives:
"Since I recently lost my job due to corporate downsizing, I'll simply say that none of my jobs is as bad as unemployment."
Still, some of my "favorite" bad job submissions:
"I've never had one that was really bad, but the worst was probably as a cashier in a discount department store. Very mind numbing, but when you're 18, the mind is pretty much numb all of the time anyway."
"My first job was at an amusement park applying temporary tattoos on sweaty hairy people in the middle of a sweltering Midwestern summer. Then these same folks would come back to complain later in the day b/c they would go ride the log flume and the tattoo would wash off. Ugh!"
"I worked the night shift at a cheese factory in Wisconsin. It was hot, smelly and hard work, with supervisors who were mean to the workers. I was there only a couple of weeks before I dropped a heavy mold of cheese on my foot and broke my toe. Workers Compensation and layoff soon followed. And I still don't like Swiss cheese."
But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who recalled being "â€¦just out of College and I drove a slop truck. A canning company needed someone on the second shift and part of the third shift to haul off trash, green beans, cabbage leaves, pork & beans, greens, etc. all of these would flow on a conveyor line to a large bin, then drop into my truck. I would then take the slop to one of the company farms and dump it. It is Earth Day, I was recycling before it was cool (1971)."
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
|It wasn't so much the worst job, as it was the worst year long period under the worst manager EVER. He was a micro-managing, passive-aggressive and unethical newspaper editor. He reshuffled staff assigments on a whim. Undercut any ideas that were not his. Never wanted facts to get in the way of a good story. He thought it was okay to arbitrarily change quotes for government officials, cops, subject matter experts to ones he thought sounded "better" or "more interesting." Simply a dark period in an otherwise enjoyable job. This was worse that moving furniture, stripping and waxing floors and doing other summer facility maintenance work in an un-air conditioned school building in June/July in hot, humid Mississippi. That was physically unpleasant, but not spiritually disheartening.|
|I worked in a foam rubber store. My stepgrandmother did me a "favor" by finding me this job at a "friends store". Aside from the lewd phone calls, the store owner who looked like Ernie from Sesame Street followed me around the store singing "My Dingaling" and laughing hysterically and snorting to himself. He would make me grocery shop for him, review the receipt when I returned from shopping and then send me back to return certain products because he could save a penny off another brand. The grocery store employees would snicker because they knew who I was shopping for. It was the longest summer of my life.|
|Working for a pharmaceutical magazine in southern NJ. When I asked the head editor/owner for a copy of the production schedule, she said she had it "all in her head". Things went downhill from there.|
|One summer during college I answered phones for 8 hours a day at a well know home improvement store. Most of the time the phone only rang a couple times during my shift so I was bored out of my mind. Plus I was supposed to make calls on special orders that were never picked up. The orders never identified what the special order was. All I saw was "5-2x4's treated lumber". I had to deal with customers frustrated because I didn't know what they had ordered. By the end of the summer they wanted to do my 3 months review...but it was only a couple days prior to my last day. I wanted the job because I would be sitting close to the HR manager for the site and hoped to tap into some of his knowledge to make sure my career choice was a good one. Unfortunately he was about as useful as a broken pencil. All he did was walk around all day and pretend to be important.|
|I once worked for a woman who was just plain mean. She would give you a task, which you would complete, but it was almost always wrong! She would decide it needed to be in a different format or whatever because she liked to yell at her employees. You could not trust a word that came out of her mouth. Luckily, I found an other job just as she was about to go out of business. Her lies caught up with her and her biggest customer left taking all her other customers with them. Sometimes bad people do get caught.|
|Telephone fundraising. Hounding retirees to scare them into giving money to causes that only receieved a small percentage of the money contributed, made me miserable.|
|My worst job was a summer job for 2 years during college as a hospital housekeeper. The detox unit was the worst for clean-up as many of the patients also had mental challenges so their behavior was unpredictable. I had to clean up the mess of thrown bedpans and lots of verbal abuse (swearing at the person emptying the trash!) The nurses' room was the next "dirtiest" clean up job. Only the pay made the job worth the while at the time.|
|I've had a few lousy ones, but the worst would have to be a temporary job I had in college. All day logn we circled a table picking up papers to place in mailing envelopes. It wasn't so much the task but that the regular staff was so miserable, they complained about their jobs all day and referred to their boss as "Hitler".|
|For two years, I was a public high school teacher. It was my worst job because it was extremely stressful - so much so that I became so ill that my doctor placed me on disability & forbade me to return to work until I had her permission! I simply couldn't handle the high school students. After the school year ended, I left teaching & have been happily employed in the financial industry ever since. And take my word for it: It's WAY less stressful!|
|I was a File Clerk while attending college. The job had flexible hours and not to far from school and home. I worked there for four years. I was to graduate May 16th. On April 1st, they told me to train my replacement because I would be leaving in two weeks via termination. I said "April Fool's" right, Wrong! Yes, I was looking for a job in my field but I would have given them notice once I had found a job. It's not hard to alphbetized, numericalize and file. I graduated having just been fired because I was graduating. The irony (discrimination) of it!|
|My second job in the broker/consulting field was by far the worst. And while I learned a great deal, working with my boss (president of the company) was like being in an abusive marriage. He considered all women second class citizens, including his wife and daughter, and absolutely refused to take any responsiblity for his own actions. He filed false tax documents, added on to carrier rates without disclosing it to clients and generally viewed himself as above the law. It is because of him that I went to the employer side of the table - to save employers from unscrupulous broker/consultants!|
|Factory work on an assembly line that made plastic bowls. I was expected to run this machine all by myself. The line was going so fast I couldn't keep up with it. I had bowls all over the floor! I lasted at that job 1 day!|
|Factory worker. It was a dark and dusty building with windows about 25' above the floor. We sewed men's heavy wool suits in the summer and nice light weight suits in the winter.|
|working in my parent's store - no limits on time worked, no pay, no rights, had to work an outside job too.|
|One audit involved a fraud of large General District Court. Receipts that had gotten wet and molded. Hot, summer, non-air conditoned warehouse at a wood table & folding chair looking at each mold damaged receipt to see if it could be read and used in the investigation. Fraud audits are 100% audits. This was a three year period for a very populated, high volume locality - thousands and thousands - all dirty, stinky and allergy-inducing.|
|Managed a department in a small, family-owned business. Highlights... * "You can't go home until..." followed by an assignment that would take at least three days * Working four 10-hour days in the office, followed by five eleven-hour days at a trade show, followed by one 16-hour day at the trade show (including tear-down), and then having to drive four hours to get home. I fell asleep behind the wheel about two hours into the trip. Fortunately, the woman riding with me was awake and screamed, and I was able to regain control of the car. I stopped at several rest areas for naps before getting my passenger and myself both home safely. (Oh, and I was expected in the office the next day.)|
|I once worked at a TPA firm that was run by someone who had raised the destruction of morale to an art form.|
|My worst job was working for a gas company coding gas tickets. It was soooo boring. It was more boring than the job I had at BCBS gluing small peices of paper onto letter size paper in preparation for microfiche. I used to get into trouble for either miscoding tickets (It somehow affected the truck drivers) or not doing enough. I don't remember which but I had to try to do a really good job because my mother-in-law got me the job (She worked there too). We're not real close... I struggled staying focused. Can you imagine doing that for eight hours a day? I only had to glue for a few hours a day as it was a part-time internship type job after school and they told me I was really good at it and fast! I guess positive reinforcement does make a difference!|
|stacked cheese in a cheese factory|
|Working at an orchard, in the storage/sales building. It was very hot in late summer. Sorting peaches and handling the ones we called "road kills" was bad enough. Flies buzzing everywhere and some of them biting. As bad as that was, being sent to clean the locker was worse. Freezing cold of course. The chore? Using a shovel to scrape the smashed, frozen fruit off the floor. This was for a whopping $2 an hour in 1984. Amazing what we resort to in order to feed kids in hard times. Made flipping burgers and working retail seem like dream jobs. A good incentive to go to college, which I did a few years later.|
|Packing peaches in an old, hot (over 100 at times) hay barn. The rule was: Don't turn off the conveyor belt! And those peaches came fast. They needed to be packed just so with their "noses" all turned the same way and the correct size for each box so they wouldn't bruise. Peach fuzz is very itchy but there was no time to stop and scratch. In addition, the fruit attracted bees who were always buzzing around, ready to sting. My parents made me keep my committment for the whole summer and I was only making $1.35/hr.|
|I worked for UPS unloading trucks one hot summer. 4 hours of crack-the-whip, profanity and insult hurling, demeaning labor a day. The job paid well but, definitely, it was not worth it.|
|My first job was at an amusement park applying temporary tattoos on sweaty hairy people in the middle of a sweltering midwestern summer. Then these same folks would come back to complain later in the day b/c they would go ride the log flume and the tattoo would wash off. Ugh!|
|Much worse than working at a fast food place when I was young: a "vertically integrated job" where I was responsible for: 1.) administrative tasks that a low-level person could have handled; 2.) strategic planning that required signficant business knowledge; and 3.) managing a team. One team member was very politically astute and tried to get me fired. It was "war" with this employee every day, plus long hours, high stress and lots of boring "must-do" tasks, some of which was just mandated red tape. It paid very well, and was the highest salary and bonus ever for me. Even so: never again!! I would live off my savings before I would go through that again. (That is why it is so important to save money- it gives you freedom!)|
|I worked for this company for 10 years at various jobs, but held the last job for 3 years. For the last 3 years, I was the plan administrator for the various pension plans this Fortune 500 company had. I had a boss that was a screamer. An employee would call and complain to my boss about something I had told them. My boss would start screaming in her office and stomp down the hall screaming until she reached my office. I would let her vent and then I would calmly explain what law I was complying with and why the issue was handled that way. Then she would turn and walk out. Until the next thing set her off. She never said good job or thanks for being on your toes. When I gave notice she did her usual screaming routing and said I couldn't quit because I was so valuable. But when I had asked for raises or promotions, even though I was doing my work and the work of the position above me, I was not qualified or eligible. It was a very stressful job and I was glad to move to a place that appreciated me.|
|Actually, my worst job is the one I'm in now. Why? As usual, it's the boss - or in my case "bosses". Three principals of the firm with huge egos that need constantly fed: By constantly criticising employees: individually and collectively, in private and in public forums; by not having a clue how to motivate employees with positive recognition. The closest thing to positive recognition here is taking a piece of your good work, criticizing it internally, then using 95% of the work product in a client communication and representing it as their own idea!|
|I was 4 years in the retirement plan dept. as a benefit specialist for a large cable company in the city of brotherly love. A new employee was hired, and within a year promoted to manager of the dept. She spent the majority of her time hitting on members of other departments or in the smoke room. Her work was often late, incomplete or delegated to the rest of the dept. We never understood the promotion. After her promotion, all her work was split between me and another specialist. After I came back to work from a 2 week vacation, the harrassment started. She would stop at my workstation, and say things under her breath, monitor my work online, and intervene when she didn't like my methods. When deadlines were approaching, her work would mysteriously find its way to my inbox with "just do it" notes. Things escallated to the point where she would yell at me, at my desk, in the kitchen or ladies room,embarrassing me in front of the other workers. When I went to my director to discuss how to handle this, she told me to suck it up. I went to human resources and they set up meetings with the director and manager to discuss management style and proposed training classes. Each time I took a step to get help, things got worse. The harrassment was beginning to affect my confidence, mental health and sleep. The director who depended on the manager, was no help. She was looking toward her next step, and couldn't be bothered with trivial dept. issues. I eventually met with the Sr. VP of HR, who tried to mediate a fair solution for the entire dept. but he told us that he was retiring in 5 months and there wasn't much he would be able to do. He offered me a years severance if I were to resign my position, but I refused. Two months later I was terminated. The reason given was that they restructured my position and I no longer met the requirements. I received one year of severance and 16 months free cable and internet services. The manager was promptly enrolled in a management training program and was furious! It took two years but they finally terminated her. Don't know if she got any severance. They say what goes around, comes around!! It was very difficult and scary finding a position in my field after 20 years. Positions were for younger, cheaper inexperienced workers who could be molded into the perfect employee. I am now with a wonderful firm with the most beautiful people, both staff and management, who appreciates loyalty, hard work and dedication to their profession. They say the best revenge is living well and they are soooo right!!|
|Gassing a large storage shed that was infested with small bats, and then shoveling out the thousands of dead bodies and "droppings". This was one of the many pleasant tasks while working summers for the local water bureau.|
|changing bed pans in a nursing home right out of high school with no training.|
|Working on top of an operating blast furnace on a 100 degree day repairng a piece of equipment. My feet were incredibly hot from the furnce and the tin roof felt like it was one foot form my head. We rotated, working 5, then off 5. I probably lost 7-10 pounds in the 2-3 hours it tooks us to finish.|
|Very early in my career, I worked as the administrative assistant for a retail executive. He was quite a tyrant, but he treated me well. However, the rest of his office staff was unbearable -- petty, scheming, nasty women who treated each other, customers, me, and even the CEO with contempt. Needless to say, I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I left after 4 months and found a company I stayed with for 15 years, where I was able to grow personally and professionally. I ran into two of those nasty women a few years ago, and it gave me quite a bit of satisfaction to see that they hadn't changed a bit, while I had grown and prospered.|
|I was the secretary to the pompous ass vice president at an injection molding sweatshop. The president was so stingy that the factory employees, during union contract renewal, had to negotiate for additional aloe vera plants for their burns. My boss asked me to "entertain" one of the customers that was flying in for the weekend. I was a single mom and could have used the extra cash, but I refused to be a part of his lurid plan. I got out of there as quickly as I could.|
|It was as a cook in a hamburger joint. It lasted about a month. Mostly the problem was the supervisor thought the way to motivate people was to yell at them to go faster all the time.|
|A temporary assignment as Investor Relations Manager for a bankrupt high tech company. The company declared bankruptcy and the following day I was ambushed with the new assignment. (The entire Investor Relations team had quit immediately following the announcement.) So, I moved from my HR role into Investor Relations with the vague instruction to answer investors' questions regarding the bankruptcy. For 3 weeks, I spent 8 hours a day listening to angry investors yell at me about the bankruptcy. I also had the pleasure of listening to the messages left on the Investor Relations hotline after regular business hours. One of those messages was turned over to the company's Legal department because it involved death threats against the company President.|
|Since I recently lost my job due to corporate downsizing, I'll simply say that none of my jobs is as bad as unemployment.|
|Banquet worker at a discount hotel chain. It was my worst job for numerous reasons: I would arrive pre-dawn and leave mid-afternoon, working in the basement with no natural light. Work involved set-up, tear-down, clean-up and reset for the evening banquet. Given the time of day, these were work-functions so people were not "fun", compared to a wedding. The worst part: NO TIPS.|
|My first job as a 'chicken man' (poultry cutter) in high school. It was routine to take trays of chicken off high shelves in the 'walk in box' (freezer) and get a face or chest full of 'chicken juice'.|
|I spent a summer (early 1970's) working at a small museum doing nothing but address envelopes by hand. The mailings went mostly to elementary schools with info for planning field trips during the upcoming school year. It was a beautiful location and the people were friendly, but the work was incredibly tedious and I thought my hand would fall off.|
|My worst job was actually a fun job, I worked at a softball field during the summers while in college. I sat outside and sold beer and food during the games. The second summer I worked there the owner of the field took off with all the money to run this business, including payroll. I never recieved a check for that job, thankfully it was my second job and I only worked a few hours a week. There were others that were working there full time and did not get paid.|
|I worked the night shift at a cheese factory in Wisconsin. It was hot, smelly and hard work, with supervisors who were mean to the workers. I was there only a couple of weeks before I dropped a heavy mold of cheese on my foot and broke my toe. Workers Compensation and layoff soon followed. And I still don't like Swiss cheese.|
|I cleaned out foreclosed houses. You would not believe how some people live!|
|women's garment factory worker (summer job) it was the worst job due to the tough manual labor and extreme temparature in warehouse & freight trailers|
|I worked at a high-end furniture store as a designer/salesperson to get my internship completed for my degree in interior design. It came at a rough point in my life, and the staff was in termoil, and the store was being remodeled. I would have nightmares that I fell asleep on the display beds in the store, and it would take several minutes upon waking up to figure out that I was in my own bed at home. I ended up losing about 20 pounds that I didn't have to lose in the 5 months that I worked there, and really can't think of anything positive that came out of it...other than realizing I don't work well on a commission-only pay structure and under the pressure of constant competition.|
|I worked for a personal injury attorney for 2 years. I didn't mind the work. The boss is what mad the job the absolutely worst job I could ever have. He was a great lawyer and the clients loved him. I considered him the second coming of Satan. It didn't matter what I did, I could not please him. He questioned every document I prepared and every check I wrote. He would fuss about everything. I finally realized he was trying to get me to quit but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. The happiest day of my life was when he said I was being replaced and he had to give me 2 weeks severance, my final paycheck and a check for 2 weeks vacation. Words of advice: Never work for an attorney!|
|The worst job I ever had was in the mortgage industry -- not because of the work itself, which was interesting and challenging, but because of a boss whose expectations and moods changed with the wind. One never knew from one day to the next whether Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde would show up that day.|
|Bun toaster at McDonalds. Too much pressure!!|
|Strange as it may seem, none of my paying jobs have ever been that bad. The worst thing about working in a supermarket when younger was trying to stock the soda pop isle. At 5 feet in hight, it was hard to reach the top of the stack. The vendor was over 6 feet in hight and was able to stack the cases of Pepsi about 8 - 9 feet in hight. I would have to create a staircase out of the cases to get to the top cases. One was filthy by the time the day ended. Back rooms at supermarkets are not clean places. LOL|
|Early in my career I was the Assistant Personnel Mgr. at a large manufacturing facility. The 13 month training assignment I was in while I was there were the longest in my life. I was clearly a short-timer with no clout and had to negotiate for everything. There was limited teamwork between departments and attending staff meetings was like entering the gladiatorial ring. It was truly "every man for himself" with little collaboration or teamwork. I couldn't wait to get out of that place. To make matters worse, the departmental secretary who was supposed to support me, thought I remindered her of her ex-husband (from a marriage that lasted one week) and was secretly undermining me behind my back.|
|After college, I worked as a temp typing SSNs on proxy cards when AT&T had their divesture. Eight hours a day for several months typing numbers (not on a computer) on an actual typewriter with correction tape!|
|Working for a health nut back in the 80ies, before wellness at work was popular. He "offered" everything - free healthy lunches made by an in house chef from Pritiken diet recipes, random finger pricks to check cholesterol, a 24 hour gym membership, intra-department contests to collectively lower blood pressure,etc. Only problem was anyone who didn't participate wholeheartedly in everything was viewed as a non team player and their professional well being was at risk. I lasted about 5 months before the domination finally got to me.|
|Executive (and personal) Assistant to the owner of a 401(k)/125 consulting firm. Space prevents me from conveying adequately the nightmare of taking care of the entire life of a perfectionist, his wife, and kids not only during working hours but before and after as well.|
|Team Lead(Department Manager) at Target. As a mid level employee I had to handle the angry guests(customers) that low level employees had pissed off but didn't have the authority to do anything about what was making them so mad. I once got in trouble for not smiling when an angry guest was screaming obscenities at me. But in the end the low pay, crazy schedule and awful benefits made it ALL WORTH IT.|
|All had positives and negatives. I suppose the worst was working in a machine shop in a semiconductor manufacturing plant. It was potentially dangerous (silicon dust and radiation exposure; machinery accidents), dirty and, as an assembly line process, monotonous. The positives were the incentive to continue my education, since I knew I didn't want to do this for the rest of my life, and the money to pay for education.|
|For two weeks in high school, I was a stable boy, while my teachers were on strike. Usually, by using the term 'job', that would imply that somehow compensation of some monetary value was exchanged for my labor. However, I was helping my dad work in the stables as he didn't see fit to the idea of me sleeping in while he was working. Nothing beats getting up at 4:30 in the morning, working in the stables during the winter, and shoveling manure.|
|Telemarketer - why? Isn't it obvious???|
|I was the pension manager at a law firm for 13 months, to me, was like being in Dante's hell. It was a mismatch from the beginning. After 2 months in to the job, I knew that I had to get out and spent the next 11 months working 12 -14 hour days and then going home to job search. The upside is that I landed at the job that I currently have which is wonderful.|
|No job, just out of College and I drove a slop truck. A canning company needed someone on the second shift and part of the third shift to haul off trash, green beans, cabbage leaves, pork & beans,greens,etc. all of these would flow on a convery line to a large bin, then drop into my truck. I would then take the slop to one of the company farms and dump it. It is Earth Day, I was recyeling before it was cool (1971)|
|One of my first jobs was by far the worst: working night shift summer job in a bean cannery. Hot as hell, wet, dead snakes and rodents mixed in with the truckloads of green beans, electrical hazards, saw a co-worker lose a finger in a canning machine. And working with the assortment of dopers and drunks was fun, too. "Only" three months . . . . seemed like years! All for the glorious rate of $1.60/hour, too.|
|Day Camp Counselor because I had a child who threw up each and every morning for 8, count'em 8, soild weeks, even after we beg her mother not to feed her!|
|A telemarketer trying to sell a long distance Plan I'd never heard of myself. I only worked there one day and knew it was not the job for me|
|Bank Teller--it was the 70's and it was my first job out of high school. Everyone was allowed to smoke anywhere and nothing was done from home on-line, of course, so the bank lines were long. The retired old men would stand at your teller window, smoking big cigars and blowing the smoke right across the window at you. No glass "wall" existed between us and the customers at that time; it was all open. Apparently, they wanted everyone behind the counter to smoke their cigars, too! How rude!|
|My very first job out of business school. I was supposed to be a medical secretary in a gastro-intestional specialist's office. They made me take and develop x-rays, handle and clean blood samples, assist with sigmoidoscopies and clean the instruments. Now I have a VERY weak stomach. I was absolutely horrified. Here's all these people enduring these most unpleasant procedures and I am responsible for whether their x-rays turn out and whether they have to go through it again. I got out of there as quickly as I could and still preserve my good standing with the school that placed me there. Bad, really, really bad.|
|Operations manager for a micromanaging non-supportive bipolar boss. I was constantly either being praised as the next up and coming executive or as the cause of the failure of our company. I never knew what a day would hold in store for me. Not much fun.|
|To put myself through college, I worked summers for a temporary agency. One summer I worked for a large oil company. I stood at a copier (in a corner by myself) 8 hours a day making copies of every file in the file room - for the entire summer.|
|During high school I worked on the maintenance crew during the summer. Most of the time it was minor work: sweeping, mopping, washing windows; but one task that made the job the worst was the dumpster day. For whatever reason, the current dumpster was being taken away but before it had to be taken away it had to be emptied and cleaned. Needless to say, even after taking all the trash out, a 10 year old dumpster does collect a certain amount of tidbits. Those "tidbits" proved to be the worst. I had to get inside and scrub, scrape, and hose it for 6 hours. I did not eat lunch that day since I was already constantly gagging.|
|I worked for a man who .. . well, one time his secretary transcribed his memo chastising her through four versions before he presented it to her and discussed her (minor) error.|
Hmmm... that's a tough one because there were parts of most jobs that I liked, but then there were parts that were hell (like when I first joined & and would have quit in the first few months if not for having to repay that signing bonus -- but then the job became wonderful in the year after that). But I guess the worst job, and the one I did quit after 1 week, was when I worked at a grocery store in high school. I had gotten hired at a Winn-Dixie practically across the street from our house. I had been working at McDonald's, and I thought nothing could be worse (I'd had to clean out the ladies' restroom after someone had a very large mess...I shall say no more...that was the low point). Well, when this new Winn-Dixie store was being built, I applied. I was hired almost immediately and began working there during the store set up. It was hell. The management team was just plain mean. They preferred yelling at people rather than giving constructive criticism. The hours were long (12 - 16 hour days starting at 5 AM). After a week of pre-opening stock work, I was told that my job would be "night time janitor" and I'd be cleaning floors and, maybe, if I was good, doing restock work starting around 10 PM and working until 1 or 2 AM. Being as I was in high school I knew those hours would be hell. I worked that late at Mickey D's, but only on Fridays and Saturdays.
At that point, I realized that I had it pretty nice at McD's, I liked everyone there, and I was well-respected there as well. My manager at McD's was pleading with me daily to reconsider my decision to leave (I was working both jobs until my two-weeks notice was up), so it was with glee that I called and took him up on his offer to stay. It was a good decision. I ended up winning a crew decathlon in early 1984 (we competed in 10 stations in the store...making Big Macs, fries, McNuggets, working the counter, etc.) and were judged at how well we did. I won for our store, our cluster, our area and finally the New Orleans region. That got me a trip to LA for the 1984 Olympics with about 100 - 200 other McDonald's "champions" from around the world. It was quite an experience.
So my worst job experience led to the best job experience I'd ever had. Granted, I've had much better jobs in that the working conditions were nicer (I don't come home smelling like a Big Mac). At McDonald's, I went as high as a crew person could go. And I learned a ton that I've applied to everything I've done since then. The best lesson: "If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean." No, I am not cleaning up my desk constantly, but I'll be cleaning out files, clearing out e-mail, and doing other things. That McDonald's mantra has stuck with me now for over 20 years. For a number of years, I proudly listed my McDonald's experience on my resume, and during interviews, I would get asked about it as well. It was always a positive. Of course, McDonald's has gone down hill today, which is unfortunate.
|Worst job? Never had a worst job...but certainly had a worst manager that makes me appreciate the good ones that I have had over the years!|
|I had many jobs in my teen years and during the summers between college semesters that were ones I knew I would not want to continue with after my schooling was complete. But, as mundane and nasty as some of them were (packager/pricer in a refrigerated warehouse was one of the more challenging ones!), I enjoyed them for what they were - typically high paying (for the hard work) and of short duration with some really fascinating co-workers. As a result, I'd have to say the worst job I had was one I held in the last 10 years when I worked for a large mfg company. The back-stabbing, cutthroat environment was terrible. It was all about meeting the end-of-month numbers in any way you can (I remember our internal employment attorney visiting my desk begging for a table that he knew I had squirreled away because he was out and there were no funds to purchase more). What truly made it the worst job was coming in each day, never knowing if it was your last day or if your job or supervisor had changed overnight - everything was out of your control regardless of the quality of work you did. Thank heavens I'm no longer there! I would have gladly traded in my rather high-paying job at that large company and return to one of those summer jobs, even the refrigerated warehouse one (hey, they supplied the winter coats and gloves to wear inside!).|
|I've never had one that was really bad, but the worst was probably as a cashier in a discount department store. Very mind numbing, but when you're 18, the mind is pretty much numb all of the time anyway.|
|Accounting Clerk overseas. Degree'd military spouse, thought working in an office environment was the way to go while overseas, was paid $5 an hour to reconcile millions of dollars in inventory, with no time off when the ships came into port. I left after 6 weeks, and went into driving a taxi on the base, made more money, flexible hours, lots of great conversation (and worked on my Master's in HR).|
|Working in a tobacco barn. It was extemely hot and very hard work. My friend and I were also practically the only English-speaking people there. It was the only place we could get a job since we were under 16. We lasted about four hours.|
|Prior to our recent acquisition by a very "refreshing" company, I was employed by a company that verbally abused employees, was as unethical as you can imagine and the private owner's greed distroyed what was once a very growing company - inspite of itself - and ended up in bankruptcy.|