When I was at a loss for something to write, I one day came up with the idea for a quick list of things. Any things. I thought it would be a fun little Friday post. Quick to write, fun to read. I think I’ve talked about cars and movies and actresses.
I haven’t done it in a while but was recently thinking about all the awful jobs I’ve had in my illustrious career. Although, let’s be honest, most “jobs” along the way have nothing to do with your career. It’s simply a way to make money.
I’ll admit that I have always looked for the least amount of work for the most amount of money. Or something that I thought would be easy and/or fun. Usually, I was wrong. Waaaaaay wrong. So I thought I’d share five of my worst jobs ever. These aren’t “Dirty Jobs” or the world’s deadliest jobs. They’re just plain awful.
I’m sorry to say that, yes, I did call your house, probably during dinner, to sell you season tickets to the Cleveland Playhouse. You probably rejected me pretty quickly. And if you were in a particularly bad mood, you probably asked for my phone number so you could call me and interrupt my dinner.
It was a thankless job that had me calling a list of Cleveland residents, usually low income, and convincing them they needed season tickets to the theater. And when they objected for financial reasons, it was my job to help them finance the option.
I guess that’s why I only lasted 4 days.
2. Fast Food Worker
I was in college and decided to stay on campus for the summer and I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I mean, ANYWHERE. I even applied at the McDonald’s at the mall and still couldn’t get a job. Maybe it’s because the application asked for the name of my guidance counselor and I simply wrote “I’M IN COLLEGE, YOU IDIOT. JUST GIVE ME THE JOB.” (Not actually true but it’s certainly what I was thinking).
I ended up on the west side of Cleveland where I was hired by Wendy’s after a grueling interview where the fry cook leered at me, looked at my handmade bracelet, and said, “you know you can’t wear that.” My skin crawled at the idea of working with or for this guy. So in a fit of elitism, I never showed up for my first day at work. It was the worst job I never had.
3. Envelope Stuffer
This was another college-era job. It was part of the campus work-study program and I worked in the Office of Annual Giving (or something like that). Back in those days, way before the commonplace of email, we had to solicit donations (or “giving” as fancy institutions like to call it) through the U.S. Postal Service. We had trays and trays sorted by schools, years of graduation, previous donations. And there were about four of us that would spend hours in one room folding letters, matching them to the correctly printed envelope, and stuffing them.
As you can imagine, there was tedium, monotony, boredom, paper cuts, and the incessant bragging of a fellow student who was a pre-med student but was majoring in Music, specifically Organ Performance. I never really could understand how that would lend to her doctoring abilities.
Eventually, the positions were eliminated and I was laid off for the very first time. And then I simply went to the work-study office and got another job.
4. Bus Girl
Want to know the most thankless job in the world? It’s clearing dirty dishes from someone’s table. Because while you’re doing that, you’re also filling in for the server who is supposed to be getting more bread or refills but is instead outside for another cigarette break. All for the wonderful wage of $2.50 per hour, plus 8% of the server’s tips.
My favorite days were buffet days where I had extra dishes to clear while the servers would bring the drink orders and say “Y’all go help yourself!” And yep. I still got only 8%.
I was too timid to say anything but it’s probably for the best. The restaurant was full of married losers that were sleeping with each other, impregnating the servers, and dealing cocaine. I was more worried about getting caught sneaking a warm blueberry muffin from the bread drawer.
Yes, I was an honest-to-God teacher. I taught 7th grade Earth Science. Maybe it was my inexperience as a first year teacher. Maybe it was my age (I was only 23). Maybe it was the school district I was in (which border the ghetto of Cleveland). Whatever it was, it made my life a year of living hell.
I woke up every morning whispering to myself “I hate my job, I hate my job” as if somehow that would ease the pain of the day.
It was bad enough that I had to be at work at the ungodly hour of 7:15am (I’m so not a morning person) but then I had to deal with backstabbing co-workers and scary children, some of which I’m sure are now in prison. I spent most of the day yelling and counting down the days until the end of the school year. When it finally came, I packed up my stuff, left town, and never looked back to the world of education.
To all the teachers out there, I salute you. That’s one hell of a hard job.
Now I know you’re dying to tell me about your worst job. Leave me a comment because I’m SURE you can top mine. And it will give me some fun reading for the weekend!