Litelysalted inspired me - let's talk about all the shit jobs we've worked. No one out there has made it through their lives without working a couple of absolutely awful jobs. So I'm issuing a challenge. Write a post about your worst jobs, and link it in either of our comments sections for all to see. And we can see who's had it the worst (though LS will be tough to beat - cleaning gas station bathrooms using toilet water? Using rotten chicken for chicken salad? I mean... seriously?).
So here we go:
1. When I was 16 I worked at a coffee shop. A really ritzy, fancy coffee shop in a really ritzy, fancy shopping mall. It was the ideal job for a bitter, constantly-high kid with purple hair and a disaffected attitude who wanted nothing more than to just go home, eat a pile of mescalin and listen to The Clash's Combat Rock on repeat. Constant abuse from the snobby rich, as well as constant criticism about my appearance from my boss. The highlight was this exchange with a customer.
TK: Welcome to Beans. Can I help you?
DH: C - O - D! (in a "god, you're stupid" voice)
TK: Cod? Fish? What?
DH: C.O.D.!! Coffee Of the Day! You do work here, don't you? Guess you don't need to be smart, huh?
(Let's pause for a moment. If there was ever a way to guarantee that the staff will spit in your coffee, this is absolutely it. Just a word of advice.)
TK: Sorry, sir.
**makes coffee, spits in it**
TK: Have a nice day.
Yeah, I got fired eventually.
2. In college, I worked at a small machine parts assembly line. Basically, imagine a small piece of metal with a tiny hole in it. And imagine there is a tiny wooden peg, that kind of fits in that hole. Now imagine 200,000 pieces of metal, and 200,000 wooden pegs. Imagine sitting in a poorly lit room with a DEAFENINGLY LOUD air conditioner that neither cooled, nor conditioned, the air. And putting the peg in the hole. TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND FUCKING TIMES. I lasted five weeks, and I'm positive it did more damage to my brain than all the alcohol, marijuana and hallucinogens I've ever done, combined.
3. Ah, the oft-mentioned college construction job. Every summer during college I worked for the Department of Public Works. This should actually be it's own post some day, because there are waaaaaay too many stories. This is also where the bulk of my scary work stories come from. But here are the highlights:
*I worked on a garbage truck. You wanna talk about smelly? Well, that's not the worst one.
*Because I also spent two weeks working on the sewer truck, aka "the shit truck". This is the truck that drives around fixing busted septic tanks and sewer pipes. It's... well, it's hell. It's a true, unblemished hell. My first day, we're driving around, we get a call. Mikey, the driver, looks at George, the other guy and says:
We got a call. Get the kid the glove.
The glove? Well, I already have gloves.
No. Not "a glove". "THE glove".
"The glove" is a thick rubber glove that goes up to your shoulder. In the interest of not driving you away screaming, I'll spare you further details. But I spent an afternoon in hip-waders and "the glove", swallowing my vomit back repeatedly. Use your imagination for the rest. And trust me when I tell you, whatever you're imagining? It was far, far worse than that.
*I also worked an asphalt paving crew. Because nothing is more fun that shoveling burning hot asphalt on a 90 degree day when you're hungover (what? I was 19. I was always hungover). Nothing beats blowing your nose and having it come out black. Nothing beats not caring about what you eat for lunch, because it all tastes like blacktop anyway.
*Oh, and - jackhammering? It's exactly as fun as it looks. Which is to say, you feel like a badass for the first 30 minutes. Then you feel like you're having a seizure. Then you feel numb. And deaf. And angry at your father.
4. And, of course, there was one professional job that sucked. It was a few years ago, when I lived in Philly. It had it's ups and downs. More downs, though. A few highlights:
*Arriving on my first day, asking for Miranda, my supervisor, and having the gum-cracking attitude beotch at the desk simply say: "she quit". Yes, my boss quit the week before. I asked what should I do? The answer? "I dunno. How should I know", and then she want back to reading the paper. Great way to start your first day in a new city.
*After being transferred to a new office in a less... desirable... part of town, I showed up for work one day to see a van come screeching to the curb and a full-blown S.W.A.T. team explode out the back door, spread out, and storm the house across the street. I mean, flak jackets, MP-5's, goggles, the whole bit.
*Finding yourself saying, on more than one occasion in the same week: "man, these motherfucking crackheads are really starting to piss me off", and having every. single. word be true.
*Having a supervisor who can't talk coherently or spell. Seriously. One time she sent me an email. It was one paragraph. I read it, then re-read it slowly. Then I printed it out and re-read it again. I had no idea what she was trying to say. I can't even tell you if she was asking me a question, or giving me a directive. It could have been a recipe for barbecued platypus, I have no idea.
I still think Litelysalted wins. But I've got some choice ones. So bring 'em out, kids. And Matt, despite it being a shit job, you're not allowed to list "attorney". Too obvious.
Mining is the most dangerous workFrom "Coalminers", by Uncle Tupelo, written by Sarah Ogan Gunning
In our land today
Plenty of dirty, slaving work
For very little pay
Coalminers, won't you wake up,
And open your eyes and see
What this dirty capitalist system
Has done to you and me
UPDATE: Here are the other tales of woe in response to the Shitty Job Challenge:
Hispanic! At The Disco
My Taste in Wine Leans Towards Vodka
Girl With Curious Hair
Que Barbara Sera