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Old 10-08-2013, 04:58 PM   #21
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I was a public school substitute janitor through much of college. For the most part it was a great job (high pay, union). For a few weeks, unfortunately, I was the night janitor at a high school. The boys would literally stuff one of the toilets with feces. I mean literally stuff it. The day shift guy left it for me so I figured screw it, I will leave it for the day shift guy. The battle went on for several days (with the kids adding to the pile each day until it was at the brim -- I can't image joining in on that pursuit - ugh). In any event, the school engineer stayed late and hammered me as the refusenik so I got the final clearance duties. Awful day.

Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #22
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In college I had a part time job as caretaker of the Psych Lab's rat colony. Not only did I have to clean the cages, at the end of each semester I had to euthanize the rats. The method was to toss 100 or so rats into a garbage can, dump in a bottle of ether, and put the top on until the scurrying stopped. The big male rates were mean and would bite you if they got the chance. I really needed the money but I hated the job.

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:13 PM   #23
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Don, I think maybe you are winning this one so far. Great (yecchy) story.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
Counter person at McDonald's when I was 16.
I was a counter person too. Enjoyed the free food on breaks. I still remember finding a $5 bill in the parking lot cleaning up at night. Today according to the inflation calculator that would be a $37 bill.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:23 PM   #25
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I had some pretty nasty jobs in my younger years.
a. worked at a glove factory, had the job of turning the leather gloves inside out after they were sewed.
b. worked in an iron foundry pouring molton iron, imagine 2500 degrees, blasting you in the face in the summertime where the temperature was 120 degrees plus in the building with no ventilation
c.bailed hay the old fashioned way, stacking bails on the wagon then restacking them in the hayloft.

I had several other jobs but were much less nasty, dishwashing, paperboy, stocking shelves in a grocery store, plus several more but they were much less physically demanding.
My motto is.... "a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. I don't pay tax on the dollar I saved."
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #26
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Donheff wins. No further discussion is necessary, LOL! Good grief!
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #27
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Roughest job (unpaid to boot) was helping my uncle unload his milk truck at my school (all grades at one location) every school day for my last three years. He had a heart condition and my mom (his sister), insisted I do the heavy lifting for him. That was back when the crates were metal. The hard part was getting up at 5:30 AM every school day.

The "yuckyest" job (at least I got paid for this one) was working for the city the summer before going off to college. I patched roads, cut right-of-ways and even did a stint on the garbage truck. Talk about an incentive for getting an engineering degree!
Don't you know that dynamite always blows down ? --- Moe to Curly
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by cj View Post
Donheff wins. No further discussion is necessary, LOL! Good grief!
I dunno, Grumpy's might be even worse for a person like me! Both an animal lover yet definitely creeped out by rats. Yaaahiiiiikes!

But Don wins the gross factor completely. I had buddies on the rally this summer who chose to take the southern route through Ed's home city of Baku and the filthy ferry to Turkemistan. 96 hours on the boat with no working toilets. They just overflowed and the floors were covered. The Canadian girl describing this to me was a far more durable sort than me--I think I would have paid for a helicopter evacuation at about 50 hours. Seriously.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #29
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"Chicken exports" - I had to place grown chicken in crates to ship them off to a slaughterhouse, 25 chickens per crate. We had to do it in the middle of the night on the theory that chickens are less active at night. (Of course, people are too, so that made little sense to me.) We were told to push 2 chickens together, then lift them up and drop them in a crate. The chickens would pee on us, crap on us, and peck at us. We each had to gather a few hundred chickens. Toward the end when there were few chickens left to gather, we had to chase them around the coop.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #30
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Working with chickens is pretty nasty. My brother's father in law had a few commercial houses and I helped him pick up culls (dead chickens) one time. The stink in that place is something to be remembered. I guess when you have 30,000 chickens in one place, they tend to poop everywhere.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
Same as gumby, except I stated at McDonald's at 15 (lied about my age). Disgusting job--would come home after the shift and stink of crappy grease. Could not get the grease smell out of my hair. Terrible polyester uniforms. The good news is that it pretty much killed me on fast food: I still gag when I think about McDonalds.
Disgusting is a charitable description. But it did convince me that I needed to go to college.
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #32
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I worked in a zinc die casting shop after high school. Liquid zinc would be forced into a die at high pressure, the part would be molded, then the die would open and the part would be removed. Occasionally the die face had flash on it so it did not seal and everyone in the area would be sprayed with liquid zinc (790* F). The old timers were all scarred up. I wore long sleeves even though it was nearly 100* F in there, even in the winter. I asked why they didn't put a guard around the die to prevent the spraying. The management said it might slow down any needed repairs.

Also the fork truck had no brakes and there was standing water on the floor all the time, about an inch deep. The zinc came in bars that were stored on the floor (some in the standing water) and my job was to add zinc bars when the melting pot got low. If you accidentally added a wet bar, it would literally explode from the steam created and splash molten zinc in every direction.

My job was to run a hydraulic press, which trimmed the molded parts to shape. It was operated with two push buttons to ensure that both hands were out of the way of the press. One day one of the buttons failed, so they just bypassed the switch and told me to run it with one button. I recalled hearing of a guy on another shift getting his hand cut off, so I quit on the spot.

Sure miss that place.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:11 PM   #33
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Working in my Uncle's scrap wood business. I was really grateful for the money and worked there from age 12 through leaving High School, but it was extremely dirty, hard work, sawing logs, chopping sticks, filling said logs and sticks into old potato sacks, loading them onto his truck then riding in the back of the truck in all weather around the streets selling the bags of sticks and logs door to door.
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55, moved to England in May 2016
Now it's adventure before dementia
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:14 PM   #34
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There are no bad jobs, only jobs done badly...
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:17 PM   #35
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I worked one summer as a laborer in the construction of a grain elevator in Iowa. This was a continuous concrete pour with 12 hour shifts, in the summer heat. It was the most physically demanding job I have ever worked. But it taught me why I was in graduate school, and it taught me great respect for those that do that kind of work for a living.
Don't sweat the small stuff! And realize, it is all small stuff!
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:24 PM   #36
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Growing up on a small cattle farm there were many. For extra money one summer I cleaned out barns. Yes shoveling you know what all day. The heat, smell, and flies are not good memories. I sure worked hard in college to get an engineering degree after that!
Worked the plan and now living the Dream!
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:27 PM   #37
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Just remembered a short term (OK, one day) assignment I "volunteered" for. Was director and we ran sewage, landfills, and water plants. Landfills won the United Way competition for donations, so they got to assign me for one day. It was to audit a truck load of hospital waste. As in, suit up and go through the unloaded 15-20 tons parcel by parcel looking for un-autoclaved human bits, needles, and anything else that violated the rules. This was done periodically particularly on one hospital's loads that were often in violation. It was a very unpleasant day for me, but the folks who usually did it enjoyed it immensely. There were violations. Ugh. They gave me a photo album dedicated to the day, still have it 23 years later.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:37 PM   #38
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I have enjoyed my summer job as an usher at an outdoor concert venue. There is a covered pavilion and a lawn that holds an additional 13,000 people.

The worst part is after a rock, pop or country show we have to go pick up all the trash on the lawn. There are about 40 of us with large trash bags and gloves and we just pick up everything that all these rowdy, drunk concert goers leave behind. It's mostly beer cans, half eaten trays of nachos, food wrappers, broken sunglasses, tarps, blankets, an occasional used condom, many single flip-flops, phones, keys, hats, etc. Some ushers have found cash, but not me. Anything that someone may be looking for gets turned in to guest services. I turned in a nice new iPhone last month. Some ushers didn't want to participate but after a concert the traffic can be so bad that you can't get out anyways so you may as well get an extra hour of pay cleaning up the lawn.

Near the end of my first year at the concert venue the Parking Dept needed a few extra people so a few of us ushers were "volunteered" to work in Parking. It was a Dave Matthews Band sold out show and we stood in the rain in a muddy field used for overflow parking. I was near the road waving a flag to direct cars into a "grass lot" where actual parking attendants directed them further. A lot of these folks were already drunk or high before they even got into the venue.

Compared to some of you working in dirty, dangerous industrial jobs I feel lucky that these have been the worst things I can think of!
Married, both 63. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:42 PM   #39
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I worked as a dishwasher one night.

I thought "are you out of your mind?".

I never got paid, but washed a few dishes.

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Old 10-08-2013, 06:54 PM   #40
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Door to door magazine salesman at 13. However, the rejection experience served me well when I got old enough to ask girls out on a date.

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