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Monday, February 1, 2010

Worst Job

When I moved to Texas, my first goal (after I learned how to drive) was to find a job. We really needed the money and I was willing to do anything.

I came to find out, anything, wasn't entirely true.

For one week, I was a telemarketer. And I HATED every damn minute of it.

Partly because of the selling, though telemarketing was in its infancy and we weren't required to be as pushy as they are today, but mostly because nearly every one of those goobers smoked in that office. (This was back when smoking was permitted.)

Every night I drove with the windows open and I'd strip naked before I walked into the house proper. Fortunately, I could come in through the laundry room and throw my clothes into the washer before I came in. Then it was straight to the shower.

I did this for five whole days. If I ever come down with lung cancer, I am going to blame it on that one horrid week of my youth.

After I got home the first day I was frantic to find another job. Sweet Greg urged me to go ahead and quit that same day. He knew how miserable I was. But I stuck it out so I could earn a week's paycheck. No one was happier than I was when I quit that job.

Worst. Job. Ever.

What was your worst job? How long did you last?

Next week: Best Job


Dru said...

My worst job was in a medical research facility and I lasted two days. I was a statistical clerk compiling the data for quick analysis. The next day she demanded that I make coffee for her and I told her that the aroma makes me sick and besides I don't know how to make coffee. She again, demanded so, I made the worst pot of coffee known to man and walked out.

Maria Zannini said...

Dru: Good for you!!

I don't like the smell of coffee either and in one job they put the coffee maker right next to my desk. Either it had to go or I did. (I won that one.)

The nerve of that woman demanding you make coffee. Obviously, someone on a power trip.

Love the send off you gave her!

Jannette Johnson said...

I worked in a motel restaurant once. Now, I'm used to waitress work so that not the worse part. The owners of the motel would never relay information about how many rooms were booked (ie, there's a hockey team taking up most of the rooms) and I always went in blind. On the first day I had a party of 24 and no help.

I served the party and quit that day. I did the same as you, stayed the week to get paid, but I tell ya, that was one big drunk I had on the following weekend.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Honestly? I worked as a hostess for a Mexcian restaurant. I was overworked, underpaid, got stolen from, and always got THE worst hours. I lasted maybe a month.

Maria Zannini said...

Jannette: 24 people! Hell woman, I would have quit on them then and there if management didn't offer to pitch in. That's inhuman.

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: I think restaurant work has to be among the hardest and least appreciated jobs there are. You were a trooper to last so long.

catie james said...

Hmmm...I've had two worst jobs: the first was at the now dead and gone discount book store chain Super Crown. For whatever reason, the managers had us unloading every single box and piling the to-be-shelved books in the free space at the back of the store. The customers were unhappy, we were unhappy, and I lasted all of two weeks.

Worst job #2: Major Office Supply Chain. Their company should be synonymous with "micro-management." Thanks to this little piss-ant of a middle manager, who got off on intimidating & generally f***ing with the "associates," I quit after one week working in store.

Maria Zannini said...

Catie: I'm with you. I cannot abide micro-managing. Ever.

Tell me what you want done and then leave me alone.

I find the older I get, the less tolerant I am of that behavior. Those people need to get a life.

Mike Keyton said...

Guess my worst job was working the nightshift at Minster Minerals. I was in charge of the 'capping' machine that capped every bottle as it passed on the conveyor belt. I had just two things to do on an eight hour shift and with a very large clock directly in front of me:
Shovel caps into the machine every two hours.
Watch every bottle as it passed, making sure each was capped and that there was no malfunction.
There is geological time - and there is Minster Mineral time, though now, mercifully, the firm has gone bankrupt.
I stuck it for seven weeks and it financed a trip to Morocco the following year.

Daelith said...

I've always felt it should be a law for everyone to have to work in a restaurant as a waiter for at least 3 months. If they did, they'd be a lot more sympathetic about how to act and tip.

My earliest worst job was at Putt-Putt Golf and Games when I was 16 or 17. I handed out endless amounts of change for video machines the one night I worked. Plus the 20 something year old manager just thought he was too cool for words.

My next worst job was working for a communications company which provided beepers and had started carrying cell phones. (These were when they were still the size of bricks.) I went home in tears every night. When I started throwing up every morning before going in to work, I knew it was time to find something else. I was there a little over a year.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Mike!

Seven weeks of mind numbing drudgery in return for a chance at adventure.

How did you ever stay awake? I'd probably have to whack my hand with a hammer to keep me conscious.

Your Morocco stories were worth it in your case.

Maria Zannini said...

Daelith: The name Putt-Putt alone would be enough to send me screaming into the night. LOL.

Ref: beepers
I know people who loved those things. It made them feel important and needed, but I would dread having to be on call. Once I leave that building, I don't want to be anywhere near work. I have a life and it aggravated me when the company thought differently.

Marian said...

I was a telemarketer too!

This was back when I'd just come to Canada, couldn't get a job and was feeling worried. So I signed up to be a telemarketer.

1. Pay was abysmal. I'd have made $11 an hour, but since I was on training for the first couple of weeks, I made $7/hour. Then during the second week, they put me on the phones and had me cold-calling customers. But even if the customers signed up for cards, I didn't get a commission because I was technically still in training.

2. The whole setup was automated, so as soon as one call ended, the computer would dial again. No rest at all. And sometimes the computer would dial people in other cities on different time zones, and then they'd be mad that I'd interrupted their dinner.

3. You weren't allowed to take no for an answer.

Customer : I'm not interested.
Me : Well, sir, can I ask what features you're looking for--
Customer : Is this call being recorded?
Me : Yes, sir.
Customer : Then play back the part where I said I wasn't interested.

I lasted five days on that job. Unemployment was less horrible.

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: A kindred (and wounded) spirit!

It sounds like your experience was worse than mine. That sucks that you wouldn't get a commission just because you were in training. But I did love that conversation with the customer.

PS Glad our calls weren't automated.

And I agree, unemployment was far less horrible.

Stef said...

I have had a couple of doozies (but have never worked at a place for less than a year), but the absolute worst place to work was Borders, Inc. I was still technically employed as a basic employee when I was doing the jobs of 2 managers. I got there every morning at 7am and essentially opened up the store. I was in charge of the magazine section (the MESSIEST and most difficult section to keep organized) as well as shipping and receiving yet I was still paid minimum wage. Add on to that horrible micro-managing and such, and you've got a pretty shitty job. Whew. I lasted for 1 whole year then told that place GOOD BYE when my manager got onto me for spending an extra five minutes in the cafe while getting a cup of tea.

You should head on over to my blog, because I've given you an award!! :)

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Stef,

And people wonder why they can't hang on to their employees.

They need to try treating them with a little compassion. Sheesh!

You lasted longer than I would, Stef. Which means you're either a glutton for punishment or I have a low threshold for dumb-ass managers.

PS Thanks for the award!

Marianne Arkins said...

Um... I think it would be waitressing at the Peppermill. The job itself was good, and I loved my boss and made great tips -- BUT... The "uniforms" were ridiculous: skin tight long dress with a neckline to your navel, and a slit in the thigh to your hip (part of your training was to learn how to sit down to take orders-- there were little stools for us to do this at every table-- without exposing yourself) and you were required to wear at LEAST 2" heels.

My feet and back ached every day. I only stayed a few weeks, finally leaving to work at a nearby club where I could wear my own clothes (as long as they were black) and SNEAKERS. Yay.

But really, I've like all my jobs for the most part. I guess I'm lucky.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: I cannot imagine you in a long dress with a slit down to your navel--let alone 2 inch heels.

That's inhuman!

Elana Johnson said...

My worst job was working at a cookie factory. And I did it twice. It lasted a summer right after high school and then another summer right before I started teaching.

Maria Zannini said...

You did it twice? Now, Elana that proves you're certifiable. LOL.

We're a lot more easy-going when we're young though. There are a lot of things I wouldn't put up with nowadays.

Marian said...

There are a few things I can imagine myself doing in 2" heels and a skin-tight dress slit up to the hip.

Waitressing is not one of them. :(

Maria Zannini said...

Marian: LOL. Yup.

I only dress up for one person and I better not be the one serving dinner.

Marianne lasted longer than I would have. I'm a wus.