#iOTWreport political shutdown

PHenry suggests a little respite from politics this afternoon.

His topic- “Tell us about a crap job you once had.”

*Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a wet blanket on the topic, but when you’re out of work, every job is a blessing. Having said that, you still can be unhappy about what you’re doing, even as you’re lucky enough to have someone hand their capital over to you in return for your energy, whatever it is.

In that spirit – rant away!


91 Comments on #iOTWreport political shutdown

  1. About twenty years ago…Me and a bunch of Buddies were working

    on an Oil Rig…And the US Gov. asked us to go into Space and

    blow up an Asteroid…Wait a minute…That was a Movie

    Damn…Maybe I do drink too much…A little more research

    can’t hurt.

  2. Coming out of the hole wet always sucked. That’s oilfield lingo, those were the days. Do you know why a lot of young people like drilling rigs? Joints are 30 feet long, you have 5 gallon buckets of dope, and there’s a pusher on every rig. That’s all in a previous life. I don’t do that anymore.

  3. Right before I went off to college, I landed a night job putting trusses together. There was a dude and his girlfriend on the shift with me. I had to help maneuver the truss pieces inside this machine that clamped/nailed down the pieces in place. The dude was operating it. Get your hand caught in there you can say bye-bye. Came back from a break and those two had magically gotten glossy-eyed. Meth no doubt. I didn’t want to risk my personal safety so I went into the office the next day and told my boss of near-zero hours I had found another job. It was the first and only job I have ever quit.

  4. I saw a dude have to grab a giant bull schlong and place it into a graduated cylinder (a big one) right when said bull was finished with the artificial cow vagina and “ready.” He was the bull semen harvester.

    It’s got to be right up there with “fatberg” sewer technician or colonic irrigator.

    I’d rather work construction which is the worst job I ever had.

  5. …selling pots and pans, door to door. Not a joke, just what a starving college kid does to pay the bills. Guess it worked.
    Graduated with no debt.

  6. I was 13 and did some work for an old timer. One day he handed me a pitchfork and said go start cleaning some stalls in his ‘barn’. Oh my gawd when i got one down a little the stench was beyond belief.

    So….yeah….ive shoveled shit literally.


  8. Lazlo once had a job at a Pipeline cleaning company long, long ago. We cleaned storm drains, sewers, underground phone ducts etc.
    We had to clean the sewer lines at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. Among the fun events like the landscape crew leaving a ladder unattended and having 20 patients up in a tree, was a conversation with an old black patient at the facility. He came up to me when I was closing a man hole.
    He was in a hospital gown, smoking a cigarette butt that had been stepped on to put it out, he said:
    “Is dat de sewer hole down dey?” I said yes.
    “Wif de shit and de piss?” I said yes.
    “An Y’all does dat fo a livin'” I said yes.
    He said: “I’d lie about it”
    And sauntered away, sure in his superiority

  9. Putting glasses on chickens to prevent fighting.
    When I did it you had to push a cotter pin through the cartilage in the beak.

  10. I know I must have had some jobs (within jobs) that I didn’t like, but I can’t remember them now.

    However, in the spirit of this thread: When I was about a freshman in HS, I was pressed into service painting a fellow’s dining room and kitchen by my regular gang who knew the guy. So one sunny summer day we all showed up to help Mr. Cushman with his painting and to make a few bucks.

    In the days before words like ecosystem or hoarding, we began to clear some space to get down to business. In the dining room we formed a chain in order to make some room to work and as the self-styled foreman picked up a box or object he would name it and thus went the process: “Box of records” and to the next person: “Box of records”, and to the next person: “Box of records”, until it was taken by the last person in the chain and rearranged somewhere else, out of the way.

    This went on for a quite a while and that enjoyable rhythm of people working in unison, each knowing their specific task, developed. “Tire jack.” “Tire Jack.” “Toaster oven.” “Toaster oven.” “National Geographics” “National Geographics.” “Broken T.V.” “Broken T.V.” “Litter box.” “Ew. Litter Box.” “Dead cat.” “Dead cat?!”

    And it wasn’t just a dead cat! It was a mummified, dried-up, very old, very long-dead, cat.

    I cannot remember much else about the job, except that the paint was the cheapest good ol’ Mr. Cushman put get and that he considered one coat (over very dark, maroon colored walls) was an adequate paint job. And his words, while I was handling the rolling that thin paint as carefully as I could to get coverage, “Go to town, AbigailAdams! You’re doing just great!”

  11. When I was a teen I worked for a roofer, hauling bundles of shingles up ladders. No complaints there. It broadened my shoulders and I gained lots of muscle.

    But the owner struggled mightily with alcoholism and was mostly Cherokee, so when the juice started flowing the crazy came out. He kept off the sauce most of the time, but would relapse now and again.

    I didn’t have a drivers license at that time so he picked me up at my house and we’d head to the job.

    One morning I jumped into the truck and immediately sensed something was not right with him. He was laughing and being crazy. He said,”I know a short cut.” and he headed into the desert on a sandy dirt road southeast of Carson City. We were swerving back and forth and eventually he got us stuck up to the axles in the middle of nowhere.

    We decided it was too far to walk back to civilization and the better plan was to hike over a mountain and down to the Carson river, thinking there would be somebody there and we could hitch a ride.

    When we got to the river there was no road. No people.

    But there was a dead tree that had fallen, maybe 50’ long with a crotch about 20’ up. So we dragged the sucker down to the water and I grabbed another branch to cane it downstream. I hopped on the front and Keith, still raging drunk got near the crotch and we took off down the lazy river.

    At that point Keith said “hey Henry, watch this!” Did a couple of dry humps to the tree crotch and passed out for the rest of the voyage.

    I was totally pissed.

    Eventually the dam appeared or spillway. I had to pole like mad to keep us from going over.

    But, that was the top of the road and we did manage to hitch a ride back into town.

    I didn’t get paid.
    And I never worked for him again.

  12. I once helped my grandfather clean out his “rentals” from tenants who disappear in the night. The filth from wetbacks back in the ‘60s was bad till I had to help him with the septic system.., same place. I still wash my hands to this very day, just thinking about it.

  13. It seems most of the jobs I had as a teen into my 20s was scraping shit. I always had a scraper in my hand; scraping gum off the floor in the Belleview Theater in Montclair NJ; scraping chipped paint off houses to prep for painting, scraping rust off machinery in some factory in Corpus Christi. Scraping paint off cabinets and patio furniture for repainting. There is so much scraping to be done in this world!

    Diamond core drilling through concrete.

    Worked big top crew on the Carson and Barnes Circus for a season.

    Wouldn’t trade a minute of any of it.

  14. My first real job when I was 12 yrs old was a total crap job and I loved it. To pay for horse boarding fees I worked in the stable mucking out stalls. Yes, shoveling shit and straw. Also groomed the horses and cleaned tack. No one in their right mind messes with a kid with a full manure fork.

  15. Dishwasher at 14-15yo in a higher-end steakhouse. Stayed open till after midnight so I was usually working until 2:00am, even on school nights. People would put cigarette butts into their food, disgusting. At the time, think minimum wage was $1.90/hr if you were under 16. Huge perk was employees got a 10% discount on their meals. Let’s see a burger at that place was about $10 or $9 with my whopping discount, plus tax. So no, I didn’t work 6 hours for a burger. I ate a box of mac-n-cheese at the crib!

  16. I could write a book. Growing up on a farm was okay, because it was OUR farm.
    But then, 12 hr. days picking up potatoes on my hands and knees for 7 cents a crate. But then got promoted to pulling weeds for a dollar an hour.

    And then there was working in a concrete block sweatshop for $1.80 and hour. After that I got a big break by joining the army for starting pay of $96.00 a month.

    Lemons to lemonade, I knew how to play saxophone, which is what I did in the army, and afterward made my living playing music (although there were plenty of shitty gigs along the way}

    No regrets though, I’m retired now and doing great! 😀

  17. Worked a summer as a teen for a guy building his own landing strip. Job was to pick up all the rocks and boulders. Everytime we thought we were done he would show up with his tractor and disc the field. Seems there were more rocks and exposed boulders than the time before.

  18. The biggest shit job I had was as a community organizer for women’s health issues in the Lorain, OH Puerto Rican community. I hate to confess I actually did something so worthless. Turned me into a never look back hard core conservative. What a waste of time and energy. My boss, a poor little rich girl from Manhasset, fired me after she asked who I voted for President. I told the truth and said Ronald Reagan. It was probably illegal for her to do so but I had a much better job lined up and was fed up.

  19. I’ve had several but the worst was working as a jack of all trades at a retirement home. Unstopping toilets was bad enough but worse if you can believe it, was cleaning up raccoon poop. The worst poo of all.

  20. I worked for three months at a certain hobby and craft chain store based out of OKC. I was one of only three males that worked at this store: the other two were the store manager and a hippie that worked in the picture frame department. Thus, the responsibility for moving and retrieving any and all items weighing over 20 pounds, placing and retrieving items that were over five feet from the floor, operating palette jacks, cleaning bathrooms, managing the stock room and changing 8ft fluorescent tubes 16 feet from the ground did lie upon the shoulders of me, the only employee who never said “That’s not my job”.

    The irony is that it technically wasn’t my job. I was hired to work in the seasonal department – the place where Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas items were kept – at the end of August, right when seasonal sales began to pick up.

    For three months, I ran the busiest department with the largest square footage in the store, while being the warehouse manager and janitor.

    I went Galt the day after Thanksgiving.

  21. Let’s see. Worked night shift at the jail. Tuesday nights were the prostitute and homeless roundups. Holding’s plumbing was jacked and would flood the entire floor with three feet of shitwater.

    Worked the scales at a scrapyard. Get to work at 4 am with every scumbag junker for 100 miles lining the block to scrap everything they stole for drug money and always trying to pull a fast one.

    Worked at a metal shop rubbing hot metal flashings off of freshly pressed nuts and bolts with my hands with nothing but cheap cotton gloves as protection.

    Dishwasher at a Cracker Barrel. If I ever see another grit caked saucer again it will be too soon.

    Worked maintenance at a bread factory. The only job I had that I showed up with a stick of butter in my pocket.

  22. So THESE are the jobs Americans won’t do, right?

    Hey, what we got out of doing crap jobs is whole lot more than a paycheck!

  23. Sculpting drop forge pits with a jackhammer on a scaffold next to the ovens with 2300 degree stock for the active hammers 1 summer. As a bonus we had to shovel 2 semi dump trucks of grade 8 stone thru a crawl space vent and spread it around the crawl space for the owners mansion.

  24. Picking orders at in a warehouse. No climate control. Poor lighting. Short employees would pull items from the upper shelf to a lower shelf, slowing down co-workers scanning/picking ability. Constant mechanical break downs and log jams. We had to pick over 120 orders every hour. High employee turnover. and everyone had to stay until everything was out, which meant 10 to 12 hour nights every night.
    Every package I get when I order online, I say a prayer for the person who picked it!

  25. As a teen, lo these many years ago, I had a couple of babysitting jobs for my pastor. After the third time, I turned him down. No more.

    Why? He never paid me. Son of a lady-dog would say he’d pay me the next day, but I never saw a penny. I liked his family but sorely disliked him. He was one of those slimy pretend holy guys that used people and had no values except for what got him whatever he wanted. Now that I think of it, he was a lot like Obama. Only he almost destroyed a church, not the nation.

  26. Fun thread! I worked for an environmental engineering firm. I had the task of reviewing sewers looking for cracks in the walls. But instead, I studied turds and wondered what they had eaten that day to develop such big fat turds. The Engineers stood over my shoulder laughing at turds floating by. Then I got to hear the stories of workers who had fallen into the sanitation ponds before they were processed. They all died from mega infections. I learned a lot about shit!

  27. As a young fella I spent my summers on my uncle’s farm and, like .45-70, cleaned cow stalls. You get used to it but stink of cow shit 24/7. Used to bathe in the river in the evening. A wonderful, healthy life.

  28. Oh Caludia, you reminded me of a babysitting job I once had. I babysat for Mrs. Hanson. My sister and I would fight over who was going to babysit because we knew what awaited us in the kitchen. Piles and piles of dirty dishes, bags and bags of garbage, and trails of ants. By midnight the kitchen was cleaned up, but piles and piles of laundry was sitting on the couch waiting to be folded. I was 13 years old and made 50 cents an hour! To this day I will never forget Mrs. GHanson and her filthy house. I’m positive that was the only reason why she wanted me to babysit, was to clean up her shit! Ugh!

  29. I never had a really for-shit job, but I’ve had some real beauts for bosses. The one I remember best was when the Army trained me as a medical equipment repairman (MER) (MOS 35G20 for you Army guys) and sent me to Korea in 1969. As background for this story, I’ll just say I had done pretty good work in my first six months and had not got into any trouble. First thing, because I’m fairly bright, I got a GT score of 153. Then, I was trainee cadre in Basic (squad leader) and so got an automatic promotion to E-2 at graduation. At MER school, the deal was the #1 student at half-way through and and then at graduation got a promotion regardless of time in grade and time in service. So, being #1 at both milestones, at just under six months in I was an E-4 (SP4, not NCO corporal).

    OK, so I arrive and go to the med repair depot, report in to the MSG and CW4, and hand them my personnel, pay, and medical files (to be delivered to the proper places later). They both took one look at the personnel file jacket and then looked at me with utter hatred and contempt. It stayed that way for the 13 months I was in country.

    It turned out that the CW4 somehow believed that the highest possible GT score was 150, so my 153 was clear-cut proof to him that I had falsified my records, a pretty serious offense. And the MSG was a very capable African American man who it had taken SIX YEARS to make E-4 and I, the dishonest white boy, had done it in less than six months.

    For the record, I did stellar work and got letters of commendation from several OIC doctors and dentists whose equipment I maintained. These guys were majors and light colonels, and I got along very well with them and their people. It was just the two hate-mongers back at my home depot who hated me. Fortunately my job was a roving repair route and only spent one day per month back with them. I did live through the ordeal, came back to the States and immediately got a promotion to SP5 at Walter Reed, my last duty station.

  30. 🔴 WAL*MART 🔴…in college.

    ⚫ Terrible training. (isn’t that always the case?)
    ⚫Didn’t give me a pin# for the register for like 2 months. Customers nag me to check them out, and I couldn’t.
    ⚫Every register lock up, beep, incorrect bar code, or no bar code, I had to find someone to help me figure it out.
    ⚫Outside register had only large bills, no one helped me change it out with long lines of customers. Walkie talkie to call in for help, batteries dead. “Sorry, can all 15 of you just wait in the hot sun while I go exchange the register to smaller bills? Thanks.”
    ⚫ Had to scan my entire section for inventory, so I did. Then after I had spent 4 hours doing it, manager came and told me I was taught wrong and had to do it all over again. So screwed up, the inventory for that section had to be erased and started over.
    ⚫ Worked part-time in college, and they slowly increase my hours to darn-near full-time. (weekends / nights etc)
    ⚫ Celebrity came in to sign autographs, they wouldn’t let me leave the registers to get one. (I know, tragedy…)
    ⚫ Had to come in at 5:00AM to unload trucks, even though I was only part-time worker.
    ⚫ Nearly EVERY TIME I clocked out and went to lunch or break, some supervisor would page me or ask me what I was doing. In the break area, they come in and give me direction to do after break. I just sat in my car from then on just to get away from the hassle.
    ⚫ Working registers for even 4 hours hurts your feet and back, no chairs, no way to ever get relief.
    ⚫ Told to go out and do cart-round-up, then yelled at me that I was doing cart-round-up. “That’s not your primary job!”
    ⚫ Give you a ton of busywork to do, but if you assist customers, like you are supposed to, they yell at you that you aren’t getting your work done.

    It doesn’t seem like much, but that kind of insanity went on every damn day around there. You just want to chock the next manager and say, “Listen you dumb bitch! You friggin’ want “A” done, or “B” done? You can’t have both! Pick one and live with it!”

    🔴 It was a super busy day, and the customers were just obnoxious, and the manager did the same run-around illogical nonsense she always did, and I clocked out, went and sat in my car for a few minutes, and then just drove home. Never came back.


  31. As a sophomore in college and desperate for a little cash, I took a job digging/closing graves. Since the backhoe was broken all work was done with shovels. That’s the only job I had that lasted only 1-day.

  32. In college a friend got me a job at a used machine tool shop. The boss would buy used machinery that had been sitting for years. My job was to clean them up before the guys with the appropriate mechanical skills would refurbish them. Metal gets hot when bring ground or cut so the machines were equipped with oil/water cooling. The water would grow mold and fungus so some type of chemical was used to inhibit it. After years of non-use nature would win and big jelly molds of fungus would grow in the pan’s below. My job was to reach in and scrap out the mold, oil, metal shavings (which would cut you)and make it squeaky clean. The thing is, it was honest work. I enjoyed it and could bring home a paycheck.

  33. Side bar: While I was at the above sucky job one day and my wife called me. She announced I would be mad at her. Bear in mind this was nearly 50 years ago and I earned $85 in a good week. I asked why and she told me she had spent a lot on groceries. I said that’s okay. She then asked me to guess how much she spent. I guessed about $50. She said, “No, more.” I guessed $60. She said, “More.” Now I at work, busy and she is aggravating the shit out of me. I said $70. She said, “More.” I said how G-damned much did she spend. She said $77. I responded, that’s okay. We’ll eat it and went on about work. When I got home that night she said, “Lets go out to eat.” Surprisingly, we got a divorce about a year later. She drove me nuts. I have since been married to my current wife for 42 years.

  34. I worked for a friend’s dad who was an exterminator who myself and his son and another friend killing rats in downtown Spokane along the railroad tracks in the early 70’s for a while one summer. My friend’s da would pump poison down the rat holes and we would club the escaping rats with long sticks with a nail sticking thru it. that wasn’t the worst, crawling under houses to get rid of spiders and other creepy crawlers was the worst. And I worked for the State of Wash. at a facility for retarded and disabled people. the job wasn’t bad, it was the way they ran it sucked. The mgr. of the cottage I worked in was a total sexual harasser who fired or shit canned all the female employees who were not pretty and had his own little harem of select babes working for him. he was a jerk, I didn’t quit but was fired almost one yr. to the day that my probation period ended. That and I couldn’t stand all the bullshit rules and political correctness running amuck among the rest of the staff. That and the friggin Union AFSCME didn’t help my cause a damn bit and that I voted for Dole against Clinton in 96 was held against me.

  35. My first job was horrible. I was a cook at KFC. The grease would come out of my pores and I’m surprised I never had massive acne breakouts.

  36. My worst job was about 7-10 years ago, I worked for a circuit board manufacturing plant as their roving security. I had to check people in, then roam the plant making sure everyone followed chemical (98% sulfuric acid, 35% hydrogen peroxide, etc) and safety protocols (half of the workers were illegals, I swear). And clean the break room. That part wasn’t so bad.
    What was bad was that my schedule was rotating shifts, two days, to mids, two graves, every week. Lather, rinse, rotate.
    I lasted about a year, year and a half until I could get a better job. The “traditional courtesy” is to give two weeks notice before leaving. I gave two days notice. Buh bye.

  37. There was the time when my dad was hired to bring back an old Tahoe motel in Homewood which had a freestanding restaurant in front of it. The new owner wished to resurrect the restaurant, which eventually opened.

    The whole complex reopened.

    But I took it upon myself to tackle a professional kitchen that seems to have been abruptly abandoned. All the pots and pans had petrified mashed potatoes and god knows what in them, combined with dead vermin. Also petrified.

    It was disgusting. It took days for me to get that kitchen back to operational expecting gratitude and some sort of remuneration. That didn’t happen.

  38. My second worst job was working for a robotic forklift manufacturer as a bench electronic repairer.
    Seems that no matter how many tests I had going, how much work I was doing, if I stopped for 5 seconds to answer a phone text, I was called in for a written counseling. After awhile I was fired. I was never so glad to leave from under the thumb of that petty martinet boss.

  39. OK…I relent…I was working for a shithole welding company that had a contract with a waste collection company (peoples trash)….they needed the ramps rebuilt where the loaders shoved the crap into the semi trailers….it was the weekend and nobody would work except this lollypop…..I could weld for 4or5 minutes and then put the fire out….have you ever smelled a week old diaper on fire next to a weekworth of old trash and dumpster water?….the flies were trying to fuck in my welding hood….Lazlo and Doc win, however….

  40. My first art jobs here in Seattle were not glamorous but tolerable and thankfully short lived. One was working for $5 an hour inking and painting animation cells. The owners smoked all day, made Chock Full of Nuts coffee that could only be tolerated with lots of sugar. They’d have us take an hour break in the afternoon to watch Days of Our Lives.

    The other was working for a T-shirt/sportswear company. I was hired to do design work but after a week of cutting rubylith I was told by one of my coworkers that the lead artist was sleeping with the boss and it was the only way to get ahead there. Um, no thanks. I quit. Two weeks later I found myself gainfully employed in the burgeoning game industry. 👍

  41. It’s good to remember where we come from. Pretty
    Funny stuff. Although not so much at the time.

    Thanks for hosting this, Fur. It’s been great.

  42. When I was 15 I picked oysters on muddy tideflats for $1.75 an hour. After filling a metal basket it would weigh about 60 pounds then you would have to carry it to the barge and unload it. Then repeat, sometimes carrying the basket a hundred yards. If you were lucky you would get a call in the middle of the night at high tide and spread oyster seedlings from a barge. I earned enough to buy an electric guitar then I quit to become a rock star.

  43. Only time I got fired was after working as a gofer for a sign painter for one day. My job was to hand him paint and brushes. Clean up brushes, what have you.

    We were at Carson City speedway, TCar, and he was painting a political sign. VOTE FOR JOE BLOW. WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECOD.

    I wasn’t informed that I was a spell checker too and I couldn’t see what he was painting at the time.

    He fucked up. It was my fault. I was fired.

  44. Ha, I don’t think I have anything to compare with these, except perhaps for some boss assholery, including one aa a state worker – surprise surprise!

    So I had a job in which my office, really huge, was shared with two others and sat between two hallways, with a door on each side. Across the hall from the door on one side was my supervisor’s office, and across from the door on the other side was the bathroom. Everyone used to tramp through my office to get to the bathroom, including the supervisor, who also came in for many other reasons (that in a moment). It was extremely distracting and my job, which I really liked, by the way–it involving legal and medical, reviewing and editing, and prepping documents for fair hearings, of which there were many because any time someone didn’t qualify for our program (a lot) they sued us (a lot)–was super detail oriented.

    I finally made a giant stink over it and managed to get a sign put up on both doors saying people needed to go around. My supervisor, however, said snottily, “I’m not going around though.” That was part of her condition for allowing the sign.

    So the other thing was that the supervisor, who was a bitter old woman who loved to cause discord, constantly listened in on what we were up to in our office, and frequently walked through to see. And when I say “frequently,” I mean once an hour at least, if not more. When you’re at a computer all day you need to get up periodically to chill out your eyes, and for me I had back problems, so getting out of the chair for that was also something. She would come in as soon as she heard the chair squeak and literally rant at me to get back to work. She actually said the words, “Get back to work.” At first I used to say, “I’m stretching my back” or tell her I wasn’t standing around gossiping with the RN in my office, I’m asking her questions about her assessment. I finally started rolling my eyes at her.

    One day I went to the union liaison’s office (this same supervisor had once tweaks her breasts to get the point across that the type of blouses she wore were inappropriate, which they weren’t) to talk about filing a complaint and the supervisor came in and started screaming at me about how much work I had. “I’m on my lunch!” I yelled back at her. “Well she’s not!” she screamed, pointing at the liaison. “Indeed she isn’t!” I shouted back. “She’s doing her job!” When I got back she confronted me in my office to tell me off about staying g in my office and doing my job and I told her I had to talk to this person and I had a right to; she just walked away.

    In later days she took great pleasure in “talking” to me re: a complaint. Several people who worked there used to love to tell lies and get people in trouble. I decided to quit that day, which I’m sure she enjoyed because it made her feel victorious at driving yet another person away. Fortunately I’d seen the end coming and had been looking for another job and was to start at the end of August, this was the start of August.

    Part II one day: it involves the other supervisor (some of us were jerked back and forth from one to the other) who had no clue what my job entailed.

  45. I drove a van for a florist/greenhouse while I went to college. It was my job to deliver the casket spray arrangements to the funeral homes before the family got there. I would enter through the back and walk through the long halls past the prep rooms (eyes front at all times, you did NOT want to see anything) and then into the dark rooms to put the flowers on the casket. I tell people about this now and they get creeped out but it actually wasn’t bad.
    The worst job at that place was refurbishing the greenhouses during one summer. The owner gave me and another guy the keys so we could get there at 5am because, by 11am you couldn’t work in there anymore. It was like an oven.
    Once, while scraping a window pane I was hanging backwards and lost my grip. I fell off the scaffold and crashed through a wooden plant shelf banging up my leg pretty good.
    But, the owners were great people and I actually enjoyed my time there. At least I wasn’t in danger of getting shot at. OK, maybe when I had to deliver to really bad parts of certain cities.

  46. When I was a teenager I worked at carnival that was in my town at a coin toss booth where the coin lands on a plate you win it.That was soooo boring…..

  47. Never had a shitty job that I didn’t interview for and was grateful to have it.

    Working in a paper mill in Yulee Fla.;
    Anhydrous & Chemical applicator for a fertilizer company- 70-80 hours a week spring and fall;
    Working on large Farms, scooping manure, building fences, cleaning out large moldy corn and soy bean bins, raising and castrating hogs – feeding cattle 70-80 hour a week spring, summer fall, scraping apartment building exteriors for painters, bucking rivets while building truck trailers in Charleston Illinois.

    At the time, I would have done anything….anything.
    Most paid between $2 to $3.50 per hour in 1972-1978. The Carter years were a bitch.

    They all put food on the table for my wife and, at the time, two babies and supplemented my GI Bill to attend school.

    I’ve never held a position that was as arduous or equaled the level of life and death decisions, responsibilities or duties I performed during the age of 18 to 22. I’ve been blessed.

  48. I was the head slobber bucket changer at a retirement home for crippled rodeo clowns on the outskirts of Paris, France. I’d empty the slobber into a giant pit behind the owners cottage. When the drain at the bottom of the pit plugged up, I’d have to strip down to my skivvies and dive to the bottom of the pit and unplug it using my bare hands as a scoop. On the bright side, I got all the crepes I wanted for breakfast.

  49. Benito- My sister used to go to Gladstone’s. I never went anywhere near PCH because I couldn’t stand the ambiance. Plus I hate seafood. lol.

  50. Mithrandir- That brought back some memories. I worked at Target a loooong time ago. Same shit, different uniform. I can’t even…

  51. I hated it when I worked as a courier having to go into businesses that only paid in cash. We had one customer a hiphop record shop run by a couple of black guys from LA that I particularly hated to have to deliver to since they paid with several hundred dollars worth of cash. I never liked delivering there since I felt totally uncomfortable and like I was going to be robbed just because I’m white. It never happened though, thank God and they went out of business within a yr. or two.

  52. @Czar of Defenestration

    Sorry it was you, somebody had to do it.

    I guess there are some jobs better left to illegal immigrants.

  53. where do I start???

    during my teen years I was a busboy for Hot Shoppes … duties included cleaning the restrooms & the employees locker room/restrooms …. the women’s locker room/restroom (slightly larger than the men’s phone booth-sized locker/restroom) was a life’s lesson learned about women’s hygiene … scarred me for life … lol

    as a 3rd year Apprentice Electrician (Local 26) I did a Rendering Plant …. typical industrial construction … until they started bringing in the offal & waste to be rendered …. literally enough to gag a maggot on a gut-wagon

    during my time as an Electrical/Mechanical Technician for one of the largest water/wastewater utilities in the US, I went through a lot of sewage system related grossness … from repairing sewage bar screens to pulling dead animals out of grinders & pumps (w/ accompanying sewage … ie: those pink toxic-shock adsorbers so prevalent in the sewers in the 80’s, used prophylactic ‘White Fish’, used hypodermic needles & every other thing flushed down a toilet) to crawling through a 3-storied, 9 chambered solid-sewage incinerators to change out the rabble arms, to doing house-calls to changing out stopped-up homeowners grinder pumps … many times after work, She Who Must Be Obeyed demanded that I go to the back yard & strip before being allowed in the house

    (actually, at the time of most of these jobs I had a great time … except for the sewage incinerator job … only time in my life I felt claustrophobic)

  54. After leaving the Air Force, I worked at a chemical plant that produced ETHYL MERCAPTAN. That’s the stuff they add to natural gas to make it stink so you can detect it’s presence. Natural gas has one part per million and we made the pure stuff so it was one million times stronger than that. The smell would knock a buzzard off a gut wagon.


  56. I’m reminded of one of my gigs as an adult when I worked for the up and coming Amazon.com, before they refurbed the building that would become their Seattle HQ. I was a recruiting consultant for their technical finance group and really enjoyed getting back together with a lot of people who, like me, were there as contractors. We were like tradesmen who frequently show up at the same job because of exceptional need by the company. It was a who’s who of Seattle recruiting all jammed into what used to be an executive lobby of the old Bank of California building. 36th floor. Loved the work, but was frightened by the working conditions! So many people stuffed into the square footage of that building! Bezo’s schtick was that he put AMZN together in his garage, using old doors laid on cinder block as a desk. So everyone had hollow core doors as desks and to get to mine, I had to step over the person sitting to my left or right. We used to laugh about how Bezo’s desk was a much nicer door. The laughing ended one day when I stepped over to get into my space and I snagged my pant leg on a corner of the unfinished wood of the door and put a nasty gash in my leg. Bezos. What a cheap….

  57. Cleaned toilets and showers that were located by the Appalachian Trail. Facilities were open 24/7, but I worked 8:30-5. You never knew what horrors would await you each morning. The second summer I was there, they changed my hours to 8:30-8:30. I hated every minute of it, but I finished out that summer and never went back. Human feces, skunks and rattlesnakes are a BAD combination.

  58. I’ve been working in construction for over 40 years and this is the only job I wouldn’t do.

    I worked for a flooring company who sold a job to a wonderful couple in the Portland Hills down in Portland. They wanted to tear out all the carpet in the house and replace it with sheet vinyl. They owned two Scottie dogs and a three foot tall Macaw. I walked into the job and the whole job stunk o dofg piss and there were bird droppings covering everything. I called the owner and told the owner this was a job I would not do and I didn’t care if the flooring owner fired me. It was a NW contemporary with cedar siding and corner boards outside the sheetrock and all the wood had been pissed off up to about 16-18 inches from the dogs peeing. All the corner bead was rusted and there were areas of rotted carpet where the dogs had pooped and peed throughout the house. This is why they wanted to replace the carpet so that it would easier to clean up. But the most disgusting part was they had a baby grand piano where the legs had rotted off from dog pee and they had it propped up with two by fours. I didn’t get fired but the salesman got a bawling out for selling the job.

    I’ve even made people clean out their shower stalls before I would do a tear-out because of the filth I’ve seen over the years. And that’s when I was tearing it all out!!

  59. @Abigail I love the old stories of Seattle’s early tech days. I was at a Paul Allen company and it was a joyfully awesome sometimes maddening experience. Great people who I still keep in touch with. Back then, it wasn’t political. I never knew who was right or left, there was too much way cool work to do.

  60. Electrical Engineer was sent to a third world shit hole to try to figure out why their electric grid was failing.
    The people living there were shorting out the grid and while the power was off they would hook up to the grid.
    Hundreds of illegal taps. That was the problem.
    Had the shits for 6 weeks never did that again.

  61. It’s important to have a crappy job when young. It’s a great motivator to get some kind of education or training to qualify for a better job. Though some people take the alternate route and become layabouts.

    Before leaving my parents home I cleaned out enough stables into a manure spreader to know I didn’t care much for it. Pretty horrendous work in the summer in the out laying barns where the crap & straw built up to a couple feet deep during the winter. Not for hire, but doing plumbing work on my own house, I learned if I was ever forced to become a plumber. I’d want to be the fresh water guy even if it meant less pay.

    What would Mike Rowe say?

  62. When I was about 18 and 19 I laid asphalt driveways in 95* 95% humidity NY summers. That was FUN! I had three friends try the job. One got migraines, which he never got before, and quit.
    Another worked for about a week and walked off in the middle of the day.
    Then there was a 3rd guy named Irony Curtain.
    He had what it took to do the job… except he was fired on day 1. Hilarious story, if he stops back I’ll let him tell you.

  63. Irony and I also have a lot of stories about trying to get jobs that are pretty funny and pathetic at the same time. (Because we were freelancers.)

    I got a call from a guy once where the job was massive. I’d be working for a year or more on this project. He created a new program that would rival Office Suite. It was very complex, but simple at the same time (or so he said.)
    He asked if I could have a meeting with him. I said sure. A friend wanted to go shopping for guitars in the area near where I was going, so he said he’d drop me off and I’d meet him in 2 hours at a designated spot.
    The building looked really sketchy, but I’ve seen studios in worse places, so I told him everything would be okay, and he left.
    One step into this place and I knew I was in for a horrible day.

    The stairs leading up to this place were narrow, creaky, hot as hell and smelled like cat piss. When I got into the apartment I was hoping the meeting would take place on the stairs.
    A shittier place I have never been in. It was HASHTAG SHITHOLE before there was Twitter.
    There were cats everywhere, which I am highly allergic to. Pots and pans catching roof leaks everywhere you looked. Visible rat traps (apparently the cats couldn’t keep up with this guys rat problem) and he smoked. Everything had nicotine film on it.

    I wanted to start a fire and run. But something said, “maybe this guy is an eccentric filthy dirty genius.” So I stayed.
    Did I tell you I hate my inner voice, I wanted to kill him since that day.
    Eccentric he was. He was also filthy and dirty. But he was insane. I mean, belongs in a mental institution insane.
    Before the meeting started he wanted to prove he was somebody. So he played a 4o minute video where he was one of a group of 12 people who were getting an award for a Bronx chapter of some stupid political pac. I forget what it was.
    Then he got to his presentation. Another 40 minutes of showing me a non-working prototype that was simply graphics on a screen that represented what he wanted the pictures to do.
    “When you press this button it sends a signal to the Finnegan Pin that relays an echo to the core mainframe that triggers a cascading flow of waves which…”
    I had no friggin’ idea what he was talking about, and neither did he.
    When he was done with the presentation he asked me if I wanted to invest in the project.
    He had, as I suspected, no money, but a lot of free time, but no time to clean his apartment.

  64. Did any of you deplorables ever work for Shelia Jackson Lee? Now that would be dirty work for some cracker mudderfooker. From what I hear, she’s a real bitch.

  65. My white privilege never allowed for a crappy job. Even if it’s considered crappy by my standards, it would be many multiples of magnitudes worse had my skin color been not white. Just ask any know it all liberal. I’ve always been over-paid too, that comes with my sexual preference.

  66. eternal cracker

    Ain’t you special. My farm girl mother use to preach “There’s no job not worth doing right”. That sticks to this day. Dad use to preach the same. I’ve had very few shit jobs. But I flipped it around on them in my twenties. I told them “There’s no bad jobs, only underpaid jobs”. A great moment. They both laughed hysterically.

  67. You ever been sprayed in the face on the farm by a calf with alfalfa shits?

    6 feet easily!

    I’ll spare you all of my submarine shitX stories for a later time. Being a submarine plumber has it’s exciting times.

  68. 🔷 BAILING HAY 🔷
    Can’t even do the math how many bails of hay I and a crew bailed on wagons, then had to stack in MULTIPLE large hay mow one summer.

    *Long pants
    *Boots / sneakers
    *Long shirt

    ⚫ All because the hay has thistles in it, is fibrous and will poke and scratch you to death of you don’t have strong protection.
    ⚫ MUST bail on hot days because wet hay can cause a barn fire. (stacked hay builds up heat under pressure)
    ⚫ Dust is everywhere, in your ears, nose, eyes, mouth. Hay fever is likely even if you never had it before.
    ⚫ Hay mow can be over 100 degrees.

    🔶 First time I ever had HEAT-EXHAUSTION. I was hot and sweating so bad, I started to get CHILLS and get cold. Whoops, that’s not supposed to happen.
    Radio said with humidity, it was 113 degrees.
    I stopped and drank cool water, vomited, drank more, vomited, took all but underwear off and stood under garden hose, laid down for 2 hours and finally told them I’m either going home or the hospital, but I quit for the entire week just to recover. Massive mind-blowing headache from sweating too much water out of my body, worst I’ve ever experienced.

  69. I’m with Eternal Cracker. I always worked summers and holidays if I could from the 7th grade through college but it was at my father’s business and it was white collar white privilege. Make copies, microfilm, file, type. Boring but I always strove to make a buck. I didn’t ever get much of an allowance but had a great childhood with the money I earned.

  70. Illust8r — I bet you and I have a lot of common experiences in the early tech days here in Seattle. I became an independent consultant early in my recruiting career and have worked for just about every start up (either personally or assigned employees) and big software company. So many good times with all that stock and angel money coming out our ears. Never saw so many millions go down the drain, either! Over and over again. But a lot of it started the big public names today, too. Heady stuff, and a LOT of fun!

  71. Fur, I’ve known a couple of guys like the one you describe — maybe not so filthy, but strangely eccentric with a lifestyle that doesn’t match their tall tales. But these guys were genuinely smart. Never knew what to make of them.

  72. I never have had a shit job…..

    I started babysitting when I was ten (and very tall). It was a great job and I made a lot of money, was in demand, even was taken to country clubs to “watch the children” at the pool and….

    I started at Sears at 14, in the candy department. I was fun and funny and the old women there liked me. (One even assigned her 27 year old Mr. Clean-looking son to take me to my senior prom because I was not asked…. smile…)

    I was a secretary to “important men.” I was a stupid news writer at University of New Hampshire New Bureau writing boring repetitive, “The University is pleased to announce…” until I invented, for them, human interest stories. I wrote about a university cafeteria chef who’d put six kids through the university. Shee-it! The world exploded. (I accompanied myself on a camera, with one lesson, prior.)

    I have never had a shit job. Jobs are learning, as is life. …..Lady in Red

  73. Fur….. Re-boot this link. It is an important reminder about values.

    It would be interesting to ask for comments from no one under age 35.

    Old timers are easy. ….smile…. …..Lady in Red


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