What's the worst job you've ever had?

Duck59

Guru
Staff member
Joined
23 Apr 2015
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
3,194
Location
Fife, Scotland
Website
duckholiday.com
I've been pretty lucky in the various jobs I've had over the years. Most of my time was spent working in IT and while you get your frustrations and there often comes a time when you feel the need to move on to somewhere else, the jobs I had were generally fulfilling.

I've only really had one job I detested. It was after the company I worked for went into administration and (rapidly) liquidation and I got made redundant (without any pay, but that's another story). IT jobs were hard to find and I took a job working for an insurance company in Edinburgh. I lasted six months, but only because the first three were tolerable (my boss was great and we spent most of the time discussing politics, literature and football). The next three months were hideous - I had a company fanatic for a boss who even banned non-work talk at our desks. That was definitely time to move on.

I spent a few years working for HMRC, the UK tax authority. The job was largely okay, but such is the public perception of that department, I didn't shout loudly about where I worked. In fact, I often considered telling people that my job was something much more socially acceptable, say drug dealer or rent boy's pimp...
 

caseydog

Legendary Member
Joined
25 Aug 2019
Local time
10:04 PM
Messages
6,227
Location
Dallas, TX
The worst job I ever had was my first (real) job at. Before that, it was just a paper route and mowing lawns. You have to be 16 to get a real job in the US.

The Job? Fast food, night shift, Jack-in-theBox. After about three weeks, I found another job.

CD
 

LissaC

Über Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
1,696
Location
Lisbon
I was a call center sales agent. I hate sales and I suck at it.

I also worked two weekends at McDonalds in my teens. That specific McDonalds restaurant was known for the terrible environment between colleagues, and I didn't last long there because of that.
 

Timenspace

Senior Member
Joined
6 Mar 2021
Local time
5:04 AM
Messages
1,726
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
That is such an interesting thread! I worked in various enviroments. There were periods I had given up on music, and did admin jobs. Then in music again, but a different branch/aspect of it...

Reflecting upon the question, I would like to extract two parts of two jobs that I really did not like at all, but the jobs in themselves were all right.

The earlier one, right upon return to Croatia after my postgraduate study in Germany, was piano repetiteur at the National Opera in Zagreb. Basically rehearsing with singers all day long, and pretending to be an orchestra with 10 fingers at joint rehearsals. Although it was very interesting to be a🙂theater insider, I hated the 12 hour days, the no fresh air stage, the lack of care to details ( in the music itself, felt underused musically) and the arrogant approach some individuals had. I also had great friendships and great co workers. I left after about 2 years...

The later one, a lawyer's office admin job, huge international group local office, the copying of boxes and boxes of Due dilligence papers...taking out, pressing the copy machine's cover thousands and thousands of times was horrific. My wrists would hurt after several hours. The unseparable documents were worse, getting to page 48, and then the phone rings.
Getting the name right, spelled by an impatient and important customer in all sorts of accents, three or more languages, clear unclear pronouncistions was stressful to me..I never complained as it brought bread to the table. And the boss was fantastic, as well as 98% of the coworkers...I stayed there for 9 years.
 

Mountain Cat

Veteran
Joined
12 Apr 2019
Local time
11:04 PM
Messages
2,235
Location
Hilltowns of Massachusetts
Worst job?

I'd graduated but needed to find something to bring in some money before someone got back to hire me for what my education trained me for. I had a few short term jobs that way which were fine, but the hellacioius one:

I worked for the Nestle's instant soup packing facility in New Milford, Connecticut, via a temp agency that placed me there. This facility is no longer there.

I am six foot one ( 1.8 meters) tall. The packing conveyer belts were geared for women a foot shorter than myself. It was second shift , 4 pm to midnight (I didn't mind the hours, I'd just moved back home and didn't know anyone in their parents' new home area to socialize with, anyway). My back was killing me. We had 15 minutes break early, 30 minutes for lunch, and 15 again late. Break time included the time it took to walk to the break area and back again, so cut ten minutes off of each of these break/lunch times. The break room was filled with smokers - I understand why they were driven to smoke, but I could barely breathe. I felt really bad for the one woman who'd been there 25 years under those conditions, and totally understand why she choked down TWO cigarettes in five minutes.

I would bring my own lunch. The first day, not knowing any better, I brought a good one. I was able to eat about three bites, as the stress from GO GO GO on the packing line was incredible. After that, I would bring in half a sandwich, tomato and cream cheese sandwiches. I couldn't even finish those halves. (My parents were out of town for most of this, and yes I'd gone back to living at home as I had no income right then - it was tomato season and I could harvest their tasty tomatoes.)

Everything on the packing line was rush, rush, rush. My back killed me. If you needed to hit the bathroom, you'd have to give 20 minutes notice so they could replace your spot.

I served notice before the week my feminine issues were to arise - they were not EVER of such that 20 minutes warning would be sufficient.
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
11:04 PM
Messages
11,308
Location
Ohio, US
I've hated every job I've ever had, because I don't like having my schedule dictated by someone/something else - that's the main reason, anyway. A quick rundown:

9yo-19yo - worked as a farm laborer at a local evergreen tree farm, so planting, spraying, mowing, cutting stumps, shaping trees throughout the year, and then working the commercial side for the last month of the year, selling Christmas trees.

I hated it because it was outside 100% of the time, sweltering hot in the summer and bitter cold in the winter, sat out in a lean-to structure with no heat for 10 hours straight, measuring cut-your-own Christmas trees, taking money with frozen fingers, and being accused by every other customer that I was somehow cheating them on the price.

17yo-19yo - performing musician. That wasn't bad because I didn't have much responsibility beyond showing up and playing. I didn't handle any other the associated work with being in a working band.

19yo-29yo - active duty military, and I had a career field change midway through. I was stationed at five places, so I could count these as five different jobs, but I'll just say, I generally disliked being in the military least of all my jobs, because there was a lot of structure in place, and the training was top-of-the-line and well-organized.

29yo-36yo - worked for IT consulting company, most of my years split between US West/Qwest (telecom), Target (retailer), and Cargill (massive multinational). These were generally good years, but the bottom dropped out in 2002 and I lost over a third of my salary before leaving. Nearly the most stressful place I worked. Nearly.

36yo-37yo - software developer for a recruiting company. Owner was crazy, but in a good-natured way. Laid me off one year to the day that I was hired, because the company went under. He was always one step ahead of the creditors, and I'd come to work one day and find the water/snacks vendor there taking our water cooler away, or the sheriff's department there, seizing our computers. Exciting, in all the wrong ways.

At the same time, working musician, though this time, I was also the tour manager, booking agent, media manager, and roadie. Didn't enjoy that part at all, and found that I didn't particularly enjoy public performing, much preferred studio work.

37yo-38yo - software developer, online publishing company. Owner was legitimately crazy. Hired and fired people on a whim (including me)...put in an employee games room, because he wanted to be cool like Google, then locked it up so no one could use it. Fired a guy for getting necessary surgery, after ok'ing his time off for surgery. Fired a guy for going to BK for breakfast instead of McD's (or the other way around). Arbitrarily changed job titles, office configurations, work schedules, just for his own amusement, had a definite cruel streak. When we had clients visit, he made us bring computers and extra jackets in from home, set them up on extra desks he'd rented, so he could claim to have 75-100 employees instead of the 25 or so he actually had.

He came to a bad end. He was shady, the company folded after I was let go, some people under him arrested for this and that, he went on the run, assumed a new identity and was outed when he got a job at a low-level project manager at a company that just happened to employ a former employee of his, who immediately blew the whistle on him. I don't know where he is now, but that would make a good cable-TV movie.

38yo-54yo (now) - software developer and now process manager for a large regional bank. It's all the usual crap that goes with corporate jobs, lots of do this...no, do that...why are you doing that...do this...now go do that other thing that I told you never to do earlier...

All through my IT jobs (except when I was a consultant), there's always been an on-call/support responsibility, which I hate. Night before last, I worked straight through from 2AM-7PM, and most nights, there is a least an hour's work (usually more) sometime between 10PM and 6AM...and since I'm salaried, no overtime or comp time. I usually work around 65 hours a week, though 70 isn't unheard of.

I've got my eye on retiring at 59yo, a bit over four years from now, and I can't wait!
 

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
Joined
15 Jul 2019
Local time
11:04 PM
Messages
11,308
Location
Ohio, US
I left out working around the house. We had a small farm, with animals (pigs, cows, chickens) and when I was 11yo, my dad bought a sawmill (vintage 1910), and I worked that until I left home.

He also hired me out for small jobs, like baling hay/straw, or as general labor for someone. My parents firmly believed a kid working 14 hours a day would be too busy and too tired to get into any trouble.
 

LissaC

Über Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
1,696
Location
Lisbon
I am lucky that I've always enjoyed working. Once I started working in my field of studies I've always worked in places where I had a lot of flexibility to manage my time and my hours. Most companies I worked for don't care about employees sitting in the office 9-5 as long as the work gets done you can more or less choose which schedule you work.

In the company I currently work for, I've also been blessed with great managers which are a rarity. Different skillsets but all of them were/are genuinely good people who care about our wellbeing. It hasn't always been like this though. I've had one particular boss who had some serious issues going on, and built a really bad reputation for herself in an area where the job market is relatively small and everyone knows who is who and who did what. Good things about her, you didn't have to put any effort in your work if you didn't want to, all you had to was constantly praise her and take her out for lunch. Bad thing that was not my style.
 

MypinchofItaly

Legendary Member
Recipe Challenge Judge
Joined
17 Feb 2017
Local time
5:04 AM
Messages
7,134
Location
Milano, Italy
Website
mypinchofitaly.co.uk
I have always been lucky enough to work in areas that interested me and to grow professionally. I'm not saying it was easy - it wasn't easy at all - but with determination I managed to get good recognition. I work particularly well under stress, but in 2007 something was too much for me too.
That year I was working for a TV production company, I was an assistant director and also dealt with casting and contracts. We were a good team, not always close, but there was no silly jealousy or need to outdo each other. I worked over 8 hours, started very early and finished very late, but I loved it. Except for one person, my boss. An arrogant, spoilt, rude, vulgar kid. He was constantly shouting and insulting in no uncertain terms, he had a pleasure for mortifying people especially the most defenceless ones. He didn't limit himself only to his own people, but he did the same with TV operators, workers, costume designers, actors, whoever came within his reach. It was a nightmare. I started to suffer from insomnia, tachycardia, stomach ache and other things, yet I held on because I needed to work - obviously looking for something else in the meantime.

One day I was in the office, he arrived already pissed off because there had been a misunderstanding about I don't remember what, banging his fists on my desk and making everything on it fly. I was dumbfounded and terrified. I had this rabid dog an inch from my face and I could already feel the tears coming down and my heart racing. A colleague tried to calm him down by telling him that it could be resolved calmly and that it was not the end of the world. At one point he said 'you two should work at the fish market'.

I swear I don't know where I found the courage since I was in a state of total shock, yet I said 'you wouldn't even be good as waste fish. You're a gatecrasher and you're not worth anything'.

Obviously I never set foot in there again and to hear my colleague a few days later on the phone he said 'you know there's still an echo in here of what you said?' hahaha
I later known that he was harshly reprimanded by management and fired time later. They had called me back afterwards to offer me to come back and work there again, but I said 'no thanks, there will still be his ghost running around'.
 

The Velvet Curtain

Pot washer
Joined
13 Oct 2012
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
1,562
Location
Leicester: Where Britain keeps its crisps
As a student I worked the summers at the Walkers Crisps factory in Leicester. It was basically covering holiday absences so I moved around, some roles were OK, but by far the worst was working on the waste table. 8 million bags a day were packed, and a number of those either were underweight, or failed to seal and they were rejected by the automatic machines. These rejects were then collected and returned to the start of the packing line where it was my job to open every one and tip the contents back onto the conveyor. 8 hours a day opening crisp packets is not good for the soul.
 

LissaC

Über Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
1,696
Location
Lisbon
I have always been lucky enough to work in areas that interested me and to grow professionally. I'm not saying it was easy - it wasn't easy at all - but with determination I managed to get good recognition. I work particularly well under stress, but in 2007 something was too much for me too.
That year I was working for a TV production company, I was an assistant director and also dealt with casting and contracts. We were a good team, not always close, but there was no silly jealousy or need to outdo each other. I worked over 8 hours, started very early and finished very late, but I loved it. Except for one person, my boss. An arrogant, spoilt, rude, vulgar kid. He was constantly shouting and insulting in no uncertain terms, he had a pleasure for mortifying people especially the most defenceless ones. He didn't limit himself only to his own people, but he did the same with TV operators, workers, costume designers, actors, whoever came within his reach. It was a nightmare. I started to suffer from insomnia, tachycardia, stomach ache and other things, yet I held on because I needed to work - obviously looking for something else in the meantime.

One day I was in the office, he arrived already pissed off because there had been a misunderstanding about I don't remember what, banging his fists on my desk and making everything on it fly. I was dumbfounded and terrified. I had this rabid dog an inch from my face and I could already feel the tears coming down and my heart racing. A colleague tried to calm him down by telling him that it could be resolved calmly and that it was not the end of the world. At one point he said 'you two should work at the fish market'.

I swear I don't know where I found the courage since I was in a state of total shock, yet I said 'you wouldn't even be good as waste fish. You're a gatecrasher and you're not worth anything'.

Obviously I never set foot in there again and to hear my colleague a few days later on the phone he said 'you know there's still an echo in here of what you said?' hahaha
I later known that he was harshly reprimanded by management and fired time later. They had called me back afterwards to offer me to come back and work there again, but I said 'no thanks, there will still be his ghost running around'.
That is incredibly abusive, and I'm glad you stood up for yourself.
 

MypinchofItaly

Legendary Member
Recipe Challenge Judge
Joined
17 Feb 2017
Local time
5:04 AM
Messages
7,134
Location
Milano, Italy
Website
mypinchofitaly.co.uk
That is incredibly abusive, and I'm glad you stood up for yourself.

I always ignored him and tolerated him to some extent, as everyone did, but that was a particularly shocking juncture, so yes, I did what had to be done.
I've never had such a negative experience. And fortunately something like this has never happened to me again.
 
Last edited:
Joined
30 Mar 2017
Local time
11:04 PM
Messages
4,378
Location
Detroit, USA
Website
absolute0cooking.com
Most of my jobs have been good, with the occasional horrible boss mixed in to wreck things. But, I do have one job that was terrible from the time I started to the time I stopped, brief as it was.

I had a summer internship with an air conditioning repair company between my junior and senior years in high school. I was set up in the job by my air conditioning repair teacher. I wasn't a particularly adept student in his class, but he said that he realized how smart I was, and he wanted to help me get a job. I never really had any ambition to do this for a living, but I agreed. I never had a real job before.

My first day, I was put on a crew with a guy who obviously hated having some kid working with him. He had me go up into the attic of two houses to check the ductwork. Both places had exposed insulation. Exposed insulation is basically cotton candy fiberglass...it embeds itself in your skin, and it takes days for it to wash out, making you itch constantly. And, it was summer, so it was incredibly hot.

That wasn't enough for him, so he'd spend time asking me for various tools, and getting mad at me when I didn't get them right, or get them quickly enough.

At the end of the day, the boss of the repair shop - a really nice guy - told me that he really appreciated all the help today, but I misinterpreted the last part of what he told me. But, being a clueless teen, I came back there the next day, ready to work. There were a lot of uncomfortable looks, and then finally the boss came back and made sure I understood that my services would no longer be needed. He was really apologetic about it.

With as horribly as day 1 went, I didn't mind not having to go back there again.
 

rascal

Forum GOD!
Joined
18 Mar 2018
Local time
3:04 PM
Messages
12,114
Location
Christchurch New Zealand
My life has been engineering background, from welding in a factory to having 20 guys under me in the structural buildings game. Big industrial buildings. So I always had a challenge to go to work every day. I loved the game, making stuff.
I suppose most of you would think my first second Job at night, after my first one, was commercial cleaning. From wiping desks, emptying rubbish to cleaning loos, hand down the toilet. Most would say that was horrible, I didn't though, it got me extra money to get extra things me and my wife didn't have. I worked that for three years and taught me a lot.
We ( my wife and newborn baby) moved into a flat to start our lives together. I was 17 she was 15. Those were the days!! ( still together)
I don't regret any of my jobs, last 30 working for myself, took me all around the world.

Russ
 

LissaC

Über Member
Joined
30 Jul 2020
Local time
4:04 AM
Messages
1,696
Location
Lisbon
I understand what you mean.
Some marriages are toxic. Also People change over time...so some start well but end bad...some chose a wrong person for them...and divorce was not a very welcome...
Similar with jobs. If you had ine, you tried to keep it until retirement. It was not so much about personal happiness either...
Absolutely. My generation is very impatient and doesn't have a lot of staying power.

As you said most people in my parents generation had the same job for life. As long as you were punctual and did your duties correctly, you would always have a job.

That's not true for my generation, the labor law in my country has changed in a way that a lot of people my age are illegally hired as contractors or temporary workers. You can be employee of the month every month and you will still get fired because your employer doesn't want to give you (or anyone) a permanent work contract. So we jump out of the boat as soon as we see a better opportunity.
 
Top Bottom