What's the worst job you ever had/ hated the most?
I did many menial jobs in my youth. Working in restaurants and for caterers was often quite fun and in New York attracts a lot of people in the entertainment industry so you often make friends etc...though it can be very draining and tiring.
The worst job I had, as in hated the most, was working for a costumier in London. I was in the military dept. I had to put together uniforms often for World War 2 TV dramas, stuff like that...dressing 100 extras, that sort of thing. Occasionally someone mildly famous would come in for a fitting. It was so boring. The people working there were horrible. The place was sordid, like a warehouse and there were nasty tiny midges living in amongst the clothes that bit your fingers when you pulled them off the shelves. On top of that my uncle was the boss, so if I turned up late he took it as a personal affront.
Anything dealing with restaurants. I've done fast food, busboy, dishwasher (never lasted long). I find it an incredibly dumb, stressful, deadend environment. Totally inappropriate for my personality type.
Working at a supermarket, cleaning up after the butcher...yuck
I read that as midgets biting your fingers and I was totally confused.
I was Faye Dunaway's personal assistant for 3 days.
It was only a temp job and I only lasted a week working in an industrial laundry that washed linens for various hospitals. I was on the sorting line and the truck would dump the shit and blood stained towels, gowns, etc. on a conveyer belt and we would have to sort through it and throw it into bins by the type of item it was. Sometimes a used hypodermic needle would find it's way into onto the belt. It was revolting. The person I was substituting for was in jail, so they needed a temp. Not what I envisioned when I signed up to be a "Kelly Girl" but this was economically depressed Western Pa. in the 80s.
Working in a legal department filled with women.
Burger King at age 16 was less soul draining.
I worked on a farm one summer as a teen - forced to do it by my father, who was concerned I wasn't manly enough. I carried dead piglets smashed by the sows and tossed them into a ravine, loaded and took pigs to the slaughter house, dealt with narrow-minded and arrogant anti-urban creeps, and every night fought off the big brute I shared a bed with - he would spend the days beating me up and the nights trying to fuck me. It was a nightmare.
It was worse than being a janitor in a factory, which I did for college money. And that itself was rather rough - blue-collar toilets on Monday, after workers' weekends of boozing and bad meals of greasy and spicy nastiness, were a cross between Jackson Pollack's work and Salo.
I was a bank analyst (ie junior investment banker) at Morgan Stanley from 1990 - 1994. Or as I now refer to them "my four years as an interloper in the 1% crowd".
The money was fabulous, and everything else was shockingly awful. Typical hours: 7am to 3am, with weekends being somewhat better, maybe just 9am - 9pm. The money wasn't really all that exciting on a per-hour basis. Worse than that, the work is tedious and grueling, sludging through monstrous spreadsheets calculating dozens of financial ratios and trying to make sense of it all.
I was like a zombie all the time, never well rested or clear-headed. Travel was a bitch too. I remember once walking through an airport terminal toward the rental car area when I suddenly thought to myself "I have no idea what city I am in right now." (It was Houston, and I was going to see the CFO of some oil equipment manufacturer).
On top of all that, investment banking attracts the biggest assholes in the world. I think I can safely add "literally" to that. I thought everyone around me was just the most godawful person I'd ever met. I got yelled and screamed at all the time, although it wasn't all that atypical of how many people were treated. Horrific language about women and gays abounded, and while I don't recall anything particularly racist... I don't recall any minorities either (there was the occasional Raj or Sunil).
I lived entirely in fear and was constantly expecting to be fired. That didn't exactly happen, although at my final review I was told "maybe this isn't the career for you." That was in July. I took off after I got my bonus the following February (with a bonus amount that was supposed to be insulting and indicate how terrible I was... $95,000, which was-- by far-- the lowest amongst my peers). Banking is a bizarre world.
Ok, I didn't mean to go on that long (and I could go on much longer), but geez, just seeing the OP's question brought it all back in a nightmarish flood.
My lesson after all that: money isn't everything. In fact, it's not even all that much.
Prep cook/dishwasher in a restaurant. The work was ok but I was shocked by the way my co workers treated me. It was a new venture, the daughter of a friend was the owner. I had no restaurant experience, the rest of the employees were experience food service workers.
I can cook and was given free reins to make the soup of the day, chili, pies and cakes etc. No one ever criticized my cooking but for some reason I was treated like shit by some of the waitresses. I was older at the time, always carried my weight. I hope it wasn't because I was queer.
McDonalds. It was hot as hell at the grill. You did one task the whole shift. (I was always have on burgers; other people were responsible for buns or fries.) They only had girls up front so guys were in the hot grill area.
All that would have been tolerable...but what was really demeaning was the way you had to say "thank you" to everything. "Go get more buns." "Thank you." "Go pick up trash in the parking lot." "Thank you." "Go clean up the vomit in the bathroom." "Thank you." As if THEY were doing you a favor by allowing you to do shit work for minimum wage.
I quit after six weeks and got a job in a movie theater where they treated us like human beings.
Holt Renfrew, a luxury retailer in Canada. I quit a higher-paying job to take a junior role in the buying office.
One week into my job, I discovered my supervisor (the buyer) was a complete [italic]Devil Wear Prada[/italic] psycho, who spend the better part of the day yelling and screaming at me. No matter how hard I tried (coming in 2 hours early; taking night school courses in buying), she would charge at me and scream at the top of her lungs. Most of the staff around us got a kick out of it, but eventually someone said something, and she apologized for her behaviour.
That lasted 2 days before she went right back to the way she was. It got to the point that when I needed to ask a question, she would scowl and flare her nostrils as soon as she saw me.
The final straw came when I needed to leave for a doctor's appointment; I said I would come back and stay late. She agreed, but when it came time to leave, denied she said OK and would not let me go.
I lasted at that job 10 weeks before I got up and simply walked out - something I never did before. From what I heard, she has since been promoted a few times since I walked out.
[quote]and every night fought off the big brute I shared a bed with - he would spend the days beating me up and the nights trying to fuck me. It was a nightmare.
OMG, what a story!
I started this thread almost 24 hrs ago and no one posted! I thought oh, well...then somehow R1 found it and got it going. I never understand how this happens.
[quote]Ok, I didn't mean to go on that long (and I could go on much longer), but geez, just seeing the OP's question brought it all back in a nightmarish flood.
Oh, no...great post...go on longer...loving it.
These are hilarious.
I worked at a drycleaning place one summer, in the back. It was my job to take shirts out of the drycleaning machine, put them on this mannequin form thing, and hit a button that shot a steamy chemical mist through them to get out the wrinkles. Did I mention it was summer? It was easily 110 degrees back there and reeked of poisonous chemicals. I lasted a week.
Also had a telephone soliciting job once, cold calls, trying to sell people doormats with the American flag on them. People kept asking me why I thought they would want to wipe their dirty shoes on the flag. I had no answer. That one lasted four hours - I went out for a lunch break and never went back.
I was manager at a popular faster food restaurant in a mall just out of college in the 1980s. The owner took the cash he made and spent it on his girlfriend, bought her a baby blue covette and a ton of clothes. He came in every week and played big shot, he had a cow of a show if a waiter dropped a single french fry on the floor. He and his girl friend would sexually paw each other in the lobby of the restaurant like repressed teenagers. He got the restaurant by going into business with his father, who owned a similar restaurant in another sister mall. The father's restaurant was consistent, stable for many years. As the son was losing money rapidly, due to payouts to girlfriend, he sued his dad for control for the official family restaurant that was actually doing well. Our payroll checks started bouncing. I would get my payroll check and immediately go to his bank to make sure I got paid. I saw the writing on the wall and left in the middle of the downslide. After I left, son somehow managed to legally oust the father from the restaurant that was doing well, the son wasted no time, bled both restaurants dry, both businesses went under, literally eight months after I left. 3 decades later, I looked the son up. He is the manager of a Sonic Drive-In a a podunk town in rural Arkansas. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I have no idea if he ever married the girlfriend. At least for a short time, she drove and dressed well.
R10, I worked the back line at Hardee's in college, and we too had to say "thank you" when told to do something and had to address the managers/assistant managers as "Mr./Miss/Ms." They also had petty bullshit rules about facial hair and putting your hands in your pockets. This was back in the late '80s when you had to wear a brown polyester uniform that over time became infused with the smell of grease.
Working until close on a weekend meant you had to stay until 3 or 4 in the morning cleaning and breaking down equipment -- especially bad if you were scheduled to work lunch the next day.
One year, 2 months and 22 days as the Managing Director of a theatre. Worst job ever. I was ill-suited for it and the Board of Directors who I reported to was the biggest nest of crazy folks ever.
I still have nightmares about the job.
Don't even get me started about the passive aggressive fattie who the "Artistic" director.
[quote]Also had a telephone soliciting job once, cold calls, trying to sell people doormats with the American flag on them.
I did too. Trying to selling calendars and pencils with the person's business details printed on them. The boss would listen in on your calls, which made me feel self-conscious...I left in the first lunch break too.
Also, in a basement of a building in London I was glad to see torn down recently because every time I drove by it reminded me of a job I had stamping phone bills with a franking machine. That was it all day. But just me doing it and a room full of aged Indian women, doing I can't remember what. I walked out after three hours, maybe less. The pay was good and I'd been excited about the money.
In college I worked third shift for FedEx loading trucks. Holy fuck. My muscles would be throbbing from head to toe when I was done with that. You get a truck. You get in the back of it and conveyer belt about ten feet above the trucks sends the packages by. If it reads the barcode and it's for your truck the package come down. Sometimes they come down one right after another and bury you. It was like.
Heaven forbid you got a Yankee Candle night because you could get two hundred of those right in a row. Fucking break your ankles. If you got a Yankee Candle package in the late 90s and all your shit was broken.....it was me losing my temper on that shit.
During the early-'90s recession, I also worked at an Olan Mills call center. You had to meet a sales quota to keep your job, and you rang a little hotel-front-desk bell when you made a sale. Lasted less than a week and thereafter got my ass in grad school.
Worked at an adult video store and had to sweep and mop out the video booths and patch up slimy glory holes. Always cleaning up used rubbers and slimy loads. Due to city regulations, the booth doors couldn't go all the way to the floor, they had to be like bathroom stall doors, at least the bottom part. I will never forget one day a set of dentures came rolling out into the aisle. 10 minutes later the queen came out of the booth, snatched them up and put them back in.
R8, was this San Framcisco? I also worked for Morgan Stanley but it was during the late 80s. I was there during black Tuesday and it was a trip. I saw agents losing their minds, clients that lost just about all their holdings bawling. During those days, I became totally unemotional, objective and imagined myself working for a circus full of clowns. I managed to last almost four months after black Tuesday. I then gave notice without another job lined up.
I was a dishwasher at a diner. It was bad enough, but I had to wear a tie the whole time, mop the floors, and use the grease vacuum.
I also worked half a day placing Boston Popcorn (remember them?) onto grocery store shelves. All the stores were in a shitty neighborhood. At the second supermarket, I quit.
I also worked a VIP rope at a big nightclub. I took so much abuse, I started taking tips (drugs and cash), which got me fired. I was paid $50 a night for a six-hour shift.
I used to captain catered events for Cipriani Wall Street. Slavery. Mean, idiotic morons from the Cipriani crime syndicate destroyed souls as if it's their job description. The shitty boss knocked a six-tier wedding cake over onto the floor, while 600 guests gasped in horror. It wasn't going to get better than that, so while he was panicking and being verbally murdered by the client, I quit. Assholes!
Correction, it was Black Monday
The absolute worst job I ever had was working front desk/reception/retail at a dog-grooming salon/pet food store. Had to open at 7:00 in the morning so owners could drop off their "children" and take orders as to what kind of cut they wanted. Had to schedule for three groomers, who acted like they were the fucking Leonardo DaVincis of pet grooming. The owner had a serious porn addiction and used to disappear into his office to beat off for hours at a time. Had to stay til the last dog was picked up. All of this was in the gayest strip mall in Atlanta, and queens would swing by a local bar for a drink after work and forget that their freaking dogs were waiting to be picked up. Have cleaned up enough dog piss to float the Titanic. At least once a week an owner went ballistic that their dog had been given "the wrong cut." If they refused to pay, half the fee came out of my salary. Certain dogs were known to be "high strung" and had to have a Benadryl an hour before being groomed. I've been bitten more times that Jack Hanna and Crocodile Dundee combined. Lasted a little less than three months. I gave notice and offered to finish out the week, but they paid me off at the end of the day. I have never been happier to see the exit and eight months later, the place went under.
r22, no I was at Morgan Stanley in New York at headquarters. Among the many absurdities was the NY-based staff used to make fun of staff in other locations (like LA, SF, London, Chicago, etc.), as if they were of a lesser breed for not being in Manhattan. I never really got this, but the gist of it was that if you were doing finance in some place other than NY, you weren't doing finance and obviously couldn't cut it. It made zero sense considering that some of the people they were talking about made millions of dollars and negotiated big important deals, but whatever.
The experience really soured me on NYC, by the way. I was SO EXCITED to be moving there after college, and I ended up just hating it. I shouldn't impugn a whole city, but by serving as the world capital of finance, NY attracts an enormous horde of super-entitled, smug, obnoxious, hyper-competitive jerks. And the ones who are actually good at investment banking (I was awful at it), grow only more entitled and sleazy and smarmy.
Racist, ageist (too young or too old), sexist, and entirely about the corporate client, not the applicant.
[quote]Among the many absurdities was the NY-based staff used to make fun of staff in other locations (like LA, SF, London, Chicago, etc.), as if they were of a lesser breed for not being in Manhattan.
I'm shocked, SHOCKED to hear this, LOL.
My first job was making styrofoam cups at a factory for minimum wage.
I can't say I've really HATED any job. It's the fucking management I can't stand.
I've done everything from shovel shit in a stable to working in a restaurant to working for international corporations in the private sector but the work never really bothered me. It's the fucking asshole management that bully everyone and act like you're their property and can't leave.
R11: I also worked at Holt Renfrew in the buying office, and your story sounds very familiar.
May I ask, when did this happen? And why didn't you speak up?
Worked at a very small headhunting firm, which was part of a "family" of three companies: us, a spa in an upscale gym, and a hair salon.
The owner was batshit crazy - we'd have daily meetings, an hour plus, where she'd rant about how none of us were pulling our weight, or now she wanted to open a new ancillary travel agency business, or some other random nonsense. I knew it was trouble when someone was fired on my first day - and then someone was fired the next week - and the week after that - on and on.
She'd hire sales people who didn't know how to use email, then fire them when, surprise! they couldn't deliver any results. The smarter ones came in the office for an hour in the morning, then took off for "meetings" for the rest of the day.
Finally, our paychecks started bouncing, and after three or four attempts to get her to pay up, I'd had enough and pitched a fit, "I'm not working until you pay me" etc. So I was fired (thank god, I could collect unemployment). I had to take my claim to the state board of employment to get my back pay.
Not long after, the owner was involuntarily committed, after she had emptied her kids' trust funds and disappeared for several days...
R31: This was about five years ago.
I should have spoken up, but I was new there, and going through a lot of personal stuff which devastated my self-esteem. Basically I was afraid to speak up and defend myself - I am sure my boss saw this in me, and acted on it.
I had been seeing a psychiatrist who had become abusive with me. When I confronted him with the abuse, he denied it and insisted I was having a psychotic episode, and I was placed on an anti-psychotic drug (risperidone). He also said I made sexual remarks about him in our sessions, and that it when I knew he was lying, so I filed a formal complaint against him. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario met with me, heard what I had to say, and concluded there would be no disciplinary action against him. You can search doctors' records online, and there is no record of any complaint or misconduct against him.
Additionally, an old acquaintance had nowhere to go, so I had agreed to let him stay with me at the time. He had been borrowing money from me for more than a year (though he always paid me back), but when he came to stay with me he continued to borrow money and wasn't interested in dealing with his own issues. When I refused to lend him more money, he got upset with me and left. He committed suicide shortly thereafter.
Finally, my family was getting particularly toxic as it was at this time I decided to sever contact with them. When their strategy of bullying and humiliating me didn't work, they changed their tactics and resorted to trying to manipulate me through guilt (unfortunately, it worked).
So I was, legitimately, a real basket case at the time, which is why I couldn't (and still struggle to) speak up for myself.
But [bold]thank you[/bold] for asking. Knowing someone is concerned - or even just interested - does legitimately make me feel better.
Worst job I ever had was working for an insane publicist. Picture the worst qualities of Edina and Patsy rolled into one person - and ZERO of their good/funny qualities.
The woman was an alcoholic who would hold up everyone else for days on end while she ignored simple things like merely signing a document. Then she would expect a weeks' worth of work to be done in 1 hour.
But it was her agency, so we all had to deal with it.
R8 what did you do after leaving IB? I always wonder what people who made that kind of money do if they leave finance altogether.
R33 that is one hell of a story. So much for one person to go through and I bet it made you never want to get therapy again.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I NEED to hear more from Faye Dunaway's personal assistant and the poor guy who worked cleaning up the ABS.
I want to thank all the money people including R8 for recounting their experiences working in the corporate arena. Whenever I curse myself for not pursuing a more lucrative path, I hear stories about how soul-crushing and demoralizing the corporate world is & then I feel a little better that I avoided that path ......... but I still wish I had a little bit of that money though, lol.
They are, r37, the people I am in most awe of, the people that played the corporate game for a decade and cashed out. I admire them, and am incredibly jealous of their financial security.
I love publishing (books, magazines, newspapers) and had to constantly weigh the advantages to the disadvantages since I've worked for some seriously toxic narcissistic management. This is both in corporate and private sectors in NYC and Boston. These types get the goods on their higher-ups and become untoucheable because of their ability to blackmail. They make everyone's life a living hell.
[quote]But thank you for asking. Knowing someone is concerned - or even just interested - does legitimately make me feel better.
Dollface @ R33...of course we're concerned. Unfortunately I can relate to those levels of hell. One ghastliness on top of the other. Though, however bad things got I always got away from the bad therapists...I won't ask you why you didn't for whatever reason you stuck around for more of his shit.
Hope things are better now. Must be, because you tell the story with so much clarity and hindsight.
assistant for producer Scott Rudin.
though it kicked open a multitude of doors and got my career started, i still to this very day wake up in a cold sweat over some of the shit that went down.
vile, awful, hateful man.
If you're the sensitive, non-macho type, avoid working in the banking sector and IT at all costs.
Working for and with sociopaths/narcissists in book publishing. Talk about poisoning a perfectly glorious profession.
Production Supervisor for a small semiconductor design and test operation. I was hired to turn around a failing organization. My former boss from a previous job nearly begged me to come to work for him and "Straighten things out." I could drone on about my accomplishments in modernizing and making product management so much more efficient. Only problem was, this bitch female who was with the company from the beginning. She was incompetent as far as managing the production flow; she played favorites among her subordinates, and she resented me very much. I am an outgoing person who enjoys working with all types of people, but she was evil. Not a day went by that she made some snide remark about me either to my face or behind my back. Thing was, I think she was banging the married boss. I finally quit after the boss left to go into business for himself and the Vice President promoted her to replace him. Quitting that job meant a loss of a very good salary but it was worth it for my sanity.
I used to work as a sales assistant, or as they like to call it store model at A&F when I was in college. Everybody said that I was lucky to get that job and I thought so too at first. But it was so weird. We were actually told by management we shouldn’t be too helpful to the customers, especially when they were “undesirable” costumers. Not how I’d see good customer service at all. And it was extremely boring. What annoyed me the most was that you spent quite a lot of money on buying their clothes. Our boss demanded that we wore A&F although they’re not supposed to. The other people working there were quite nice though, so I lasted a whole year there
First job out of college '92 I worked for a ticket scalper - I mean broker! He had nice offices in Greenwich CT but was an insane CRAZY ugly little man who drove a ferrari. The most toxic work environment ever ever ever - worked with a lovely gay man David (david hope you found something better) who was berated by the boss (a 29 year old with a napolean complex who ended up having an affair with his 40 something interior decorator)every single day. He also berated his office manager (a friend of his family) hourly but he paid them so well they stayed and took the abuse.
I was never berated but listening to co-workers get SCREAMED at continuously every single weekday literally gave me hives - so after 6 months I quit without a back up plan. The $$ was great, the job itself was ok, but DAMN that man was AWFUL.
Christmas tree season. Maybe 14 years old, with a few friends, for less than minimum wage, which wasn't a lot.
It started with unloading trees from a tractor trailer, untying them, and pruning off what was scrap. Then pound an iron pole into the dirt, and tie the christmas tree to it. This was for what seemed like hundreds of trees. When it snowed overnight, we would come back to shake all the trees off, and shovel paths up and down the aisles. After we sold one, we tied it to the roof of a car and maybe got a tip.
I worked at a call center for a prominent electronics company that sold most of their products in Walmart. My job was to assist customers with technical advice...a majority of the customers were dumb as hell and couldn't comprehend the basics of the product they just bought. I had one lady ring up and bitch at me that her DVD player was't working...when I asked her if she connected the player to the electrical outlet, she went all silent on me.
The stress of having to deal with loud and angry customers (most of them from the midwest!) got to me and I left after four months to finish my undergrad degree. The funny thing is that the supervisors wanted to promote me but I couldn't handle that horrid job anymore.
If this is true, R4, we need to hear more.
NYU Medical Center's ICU. The place was so other-worldly awful that one day, before orientation was over, I walked out, hailed a cab and went home.
It probably ruined my career but I don't care. I will not work in a shithole where the CDC hasn't yet come up with a name for the new bacteria floating around the place.