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What was your worst lowly job?
Old 10-08-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
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What was your worst lowly job?

What was the worst (maybe lowly or demeaning) job you ever had?

I woke up from my nap and somehow a long suppressed memory came back of a temporary job I had in high school. A friend went on vacation and I took over his janitorial job for a few weeks.

Had to enter an old PGE building after work hours and go down into the basement to get the cleaning supplies. It wasn't bad work and nobody to report to. But it was really creepy going into the basement to enter a closet with the dusty, smelly cleaning supplies. I was glad when the friend came back from vacation.

I imagine other people here have had really much worse jobs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
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I went to work in a sewing factory. We were in a training class and a person came in and said they needed someone to go work on the floor. They chose me. I asked the person why I had to leave training to go work on the floor and she told me that a lady had a needle go through her thumb. I left work at lunchtime and never went back. It was my shortest job. I was 18 years old at the time.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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I was a counter person in a nut and candy shop at the mall, Buddy Squirrel's Nut & Candy Company. We used to call it Buddy's Nuts.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #4
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I've always thought one of the best (dollar wise) jobs I had was when I converted my summer job into part time over winter in high school to doing the janitorial work in the office where I had worked in the shop! I got paid a fixed price that worked out to $10 an hour...in 1969!

Truly the worst job I've ever witnessed (was in water and sewer business) was a guy in a full suit cleaning out the scum pots at the sewage plant. This is what filled up with...scum....from the clarifier and then automatically closed and used air pressure to blow it to its destination. Getting the stuff out that accumulated and wouldn't move was pretty nasty. Grit tanks could be a pain too. You can use your imagination as to what accumulated in both places.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Probably a tie between janitor at the village library and working at the bait shop.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #6
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Pallet factory for a summer job - on the receiving side of a 12 foot 50 HP bandsaw - cutting big lumps of wood into small all day, every day - the deafening noise - the dust - the monotony - I was never so glad to go back to school.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Doing piecework sewing for a leather purse manufacturer all night while babysitting and cleaning for a policewoman who was a single mom. This was while I was going to college full time during the day.

This wasn't lowly and demeaning; I don't consider any kind of honest, lawful work to be lowly and demeaning. It was sure exhausting, though. It was back when I was young and thought I didn't need sleep.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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I always kind of liked those occasional and summer jobs in high school. I got to meet very different people from the world beater, parent pushed high school lunatics who formed my normal days. Had lots of dates, lots of funny events, no stress.

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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Worst: either janitorial work for a big pharma plant or hand machining mechanical parts (springs, screws, that sort of things). Neither job was lowly and demeaning - plenty of people make a honest living that way.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
...(snip...
This wasn't lowly and demeaning; I don't consider any kind of honest, lawful work to be lowly and demeaning. It was sure exhausting, though. It was back when I was young and thought I didn't need sleep.
Hmmm ... good point. Maybe just lowly in the sense that there are some higher status jobs then others and that we eventually found better ways of making a buck. Looking back these things can take on a nostalgic air even though they may have sucked at the time.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Yard slave for my dad. I got $2.00 per week for mowing a 1.5 acre lawn and trimming around the 45 trees growing in it. My big payday was $50.00 for 2 weeks' work, putting 2 coats of paint on our house (I was 14 at the time). The house - fortunately only one story - had corrugated shingle siding, and I learned to get the brush bristles into every last one of those corrugations, or I heard about it when Dad got home.

Actually those were not my worst jobs. The absolute WORST was telephone solicitor, the summer I was 17. My mother was already doing this job 4 hours a day and my parents decided it would be a perfect summer job - "you're in an office, what's not to like?"

I had to call people and try to get them to allow an insurance salesman to visit them. I was horrible at it. I was expected to generate 4 "leads" per day, and barely got one lead per week, so after 4 weeks I was fired. What a relief! Later on, I got a summer job in the college bookstore, unpacking boxes, stocking shelves, and waiting on customers (other students). I loved it, and did that every summer until graduation. I remember actually being chided for working too hard "You'll wear yourself out."

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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Whenever I see a topic like this I think about poor Joe and his job interview:

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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No demeaning jobs. Did lots of janitorial work (high school detention), worked on the dish line (washing dishes) and food service through college and a steel foundry during the summers. It was physically demanding but good work then and I have fond memories. I worked the food service line for a while, that's where I met DW (flirting with me to get extra food). I was so happy to have that work.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #14
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Two ways for me to look at this one. What MOST people would consider my worst job was working for the city during high school summers (small town). Part of the job was working at the sewer plant...involving testing, and more importantly using pitch forks to dig up the human waste that was dried in big flat holding areas and loading into dump trucks. I actually didn't mind that job. The one I hated the worst was working for Weyerhaeuser one summer during college where all I did was stand next to a conveyer belt with a weird glue gun that I used to fill in the knot holes in plywood as they came by. MIND NUMBINGLY BORING......and there was a clock on the wall in front of me. Great pay for a college student though..... Although during this job I decided that teaching would be a better option(which I did)..... even with less money most of the time.....
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:35 PM   #15
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Counter person at McDonald's when I was 16.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:39 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:40 PM   #17
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I had a succession of lowly jobs right after graduating college. Cleaning apartment bathrooms for min wage may have been the worst. Did that for a week, quit and got a much better job driving a taxi. Allowed myself to drive a cab for exactly one year, quit and went mainstream (computer programming).
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:41 PM   #18
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I was a waitress, a kitchen worker at a nursing home, and telephone operator. But none of those jobs compared to the nightmare job I had at MegaCorp. It would have been considered a pretty prestigious IT job, except that a few of the people I worked for/with were arrogant bullies and made me (and a few peers) feel like we were the lowest of the low. Never had a job before or since that made me so miserable. I went home and cried many nights. I developed a major illness and managed to get a sympathy transfer to a different department.

I actually look back at my waitress years as a fun time. I was 16-18 and had a lot of friends there. Made $1 an hour plus tips. On a really good night, I'd go home with $15 in tips.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:55 PM   #19
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Mowing on my dad's farm. I'm pretty fair skinned and I would burn to a crisp in the sun thanks to a somewhat indifferent attitude to reapplication of sunscreen after sweating buckets.

I graduated to feeding fresh harvested leaves into a macerator in the tea factory, which had about 98% humidity and a 250 F dryer running most of the time. The leaves would stain our hands dark brown and a big Friday night ritual was bleaching them enough that cashiers wouldn't recoil in disgust when handing us change.

But it was good paying summer jobs for us in high school, and better than the tomato packing sheds where many of my friends worked.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:58 PM   #20
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Washing dishes many moons ago in a restaurant that served cafeteria style. The dish room was maybe 6x12 and hot as Hades, the cockroaches were horrendous.
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