Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your worst job?

So - what's the worst job you ever had?

Mine was packing Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts in their Sheffield factory.

I had to sit on an uncomfortable seat with a box of Bertie Bassett's finest in front of me. All the packers sat in a line facing the back of the slave in front - so no conferring. We weighed out the allsorts, added one of these .......

......... (or two for the M&S bags) and tipped them all into a box on the conveyor belt.

Oh and we could eat as many as we liked.

A doddle I thought.

I was wrong. When the buzzer sounded our release I had a bad back, bleeding fingers (round the nails) and felt sick and bloated after overdosing on liquorice.

I didn't last the week.

The idiot who wrote this book (obviously I haven't read it) must think all jobs are fulfilling and life enhancing.

This could be my gran in t'mill.

Perhaps you've never had a job like these.

But - what's the worst job YOU ever had?



Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

Most of my mill-working aunties had bits of finger missing. And I wouldn't have liked to have done my dad's journeyman old trade, especially in winter.

My worst job was the last one I had before I started working in libraries. Essentially, the job didn't exist and I had to invent things to do to stop myself getting mind-blowingly bored. It had started as a proper job but on day two the two children who matrix-managed me had a tiff and the job evaporated.

Being paid to turn up, drink tea and flirt with the natives should be a dream job but three years' worth is enough for any man.

11:38 pm  
Blogger dinahmow said...

Your gran looks as if she might a been trouble at t'mill!

My worst job? Selfridges' switchboard.

(Love the wellies!)

11:41 pm  
Blogger savannah said...

i'll have to get back to you, sugar, after i decide which of the horrible jobs i've had was the worst one! xoxoxo

12:06 am  
Blogger Rimshot said...

While I'm sure this won't be the popular view, I can't think of a job that was really all that bad. Some of the people I had to interact with were downright maddening and, I'm sure, a few tomatoes short of a good thick sauce. But given my current and lengthy lack of employment, I'd take any one of 'em at the moment.

12:46 am  
Blogger xl said...

Worst: Soul-damaging stint in the US Navy.

Currently I'm trying to hang on for a bit less than two years ... then idling!

1:49 am  
Blogger MJ said...

A head shop.

But only because the owner kept trying to ram his tongue down my throat.

3:03 am  
Blogger I, Like The View said...

(I so thought MJ's story was going to have a slightly different ending)

the night shift, at Victoria Station (the one in London), selling croissant and other "baked on the premises" products ("baked" note, not made), from a booth so tiny that when my co-worker squeezed behind me when I was a serving a customer I could feel his. . .

. . .

. . . nope, I'll throw up if I think about it

8:05 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Gran had all her fingers - but it made her deaf.
Matrix - managed - I'll remember that.
Non jobs make the day last forever don't they.

She probably was.
Did your lines get crossed?

Sounds like you've had a few.

Sorry - this post was a bit unsympathetic to the unemployed.
Hope you get something soon.

...and you were seasick as well.
Don't read that book. I can't wait for you to join the Idling club.

Head shop?
Is that legal?
I'm sure the guy came off worse.

I've often wondered about co workers in confined spaces.
That sounds so unsavoury (not the croissants.

8:13 am  
Blogger Dave said...

I've had jobs which bored me, and ones where I've been delighted to move on to fresh fields, but none were really awful.

Does marriage count as work?

8:42 am  
Blogger Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

Worst job I ever had was gardening - I was let loose with a huge sickle with which to do some weeding - it was so heavy and I'd no idea how it use it properly - after half an hour I thought to myself - I've just earned enough for a half of bitter - o how I longed for a half of bitter!

I was only 16 and not a teetotaler then.

9:22 am  
Blogger Macy said...

Worst job? Easy, trainee accountant at one of the big five firms. Until then I never knew that you really could CRY of BOREDOM!

9:23 am  
Blogger BEAST said...

What on earth is a head shop.
My worse job was working switchboard for a 400 room hotel on one of those old dolls eye switchboards , I still have occasional nightmares about the spaghetti tangle of wires

10:43 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

What could have been so awful about that?


So Alan Titchmarsh has nothing to fear.
I hope you got your half of bitter (Robinson's?).

I have A level maths - but the only way I can balance books is on my head!

They seem to cater for spliff lovers.
That's two votes for switchboards. I can't even cope with the tangle of TV, DVD, laptop, printer, phone etc.etc.

10:54 am  
Blogger tony said...

I,ve never really had a "Worst Job".Whatever I've Ever Done , I eventually got bored with it......
You worked in a Butchers Shop?what happened?Did They Give You The Chop?

10:55 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Four hours in a ShittyLink depot in 2007. Want to know why everything they deliver gets broken? Because they throw, kick, slide and drop everything. Even bottles and monitor screens. Never ever again. It made me contribute to the longest thread on a discussion board I've ever seen - I believe it's still going. How these idiots are still allowed to trade I don't know.

12:11 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

Grasscutting the summer I left school....I suffer from hay-fever so maybe it wasn't the wisest choice. I think I lasted two weeks before the snot rusted up all the lawn-mowers and I had to leave.

That is my least favourite Liquorice Allsort....in fact it's the one I don't eat. If I'd known it was you that had been putting them in packs then I might have err.... been very cross.

12:14 pm  
Blogger Geoff said...

Testing greyhound piss for drugs.

I ought to confirm I wasn't paid in drugs as that would have been more pleasurable/profitable.

1:14 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

By an amazing coincidence my father works in the same factory you describe and has been there now for about three years and seems to enjoy it. God knows why as he does awful shift work - nights one week, early mornings one week and late evening another week. Sounds like hell to me.

My worst job was for British Telecom just after I left school. I was a 192 Directory Services operator and the job was not dissimilar to the picture of young asian workers all lined up together, hooked to evil computers that you feature in your post. It was soul destroying, repetitive work and compltely dehumanizing. I packed it in after 18 months and became a domestic cleaner. It was Heaven in comparison. No real responsibility and I never took my work home with me (unless I forgot to wash my hands).

1:15 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Beast asked, What on earth is a head shop.

They sell drug-related paraphernalia such as rolling papers, bongs, pipes and items of interest to the counterculture.

Ask Mr. Frobisher. He’ll know.

1:56 pm  
Blogger Rol said...

The one I'm doing right now.

2:32 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I was the delivery girl on the van.
They gave me plenty of chops and steak which I loved.
Amazing that I became a vegetarian.

I'm trying to decide what ShittyLink is.
What a disgusting attitude. Who could possibly gain by that?

That's two switch board operators and two gardeners.
Grass cutting snot good for a hay fever sufferer.
I was only doing my job guv. I hate the coconut ones.

I believe Richard Wilson used to something similar - but worse.
Grumpy old men??

It's a long time since I was in Sheffield - I wonder if they provide rubber gloves for the packers these days.
All that blood in the allsorts wasn't good.
I'm surprised you stuck it for 18 months. Did you see Slumdog?

So they don't sell the actual stuff.
I think there's a market stall in Ashton under Lyne.
A Head stall??

That's serious.

3:20 pm  
Blogger Rog said...

I was going to mention my short-lived meat round. Then I remembered my old Ma used to work in a Glasgo carpet factory where the old guy working one of the machines used to expectorate on the carpet as it emerged from the loom. Her job was to clean his phlegm up.

3:32 pm  
Blogger geraldgee said...

You sure thats your aunt Kaz? Cos she looks like mine.

4:27 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Your poor mum - it's a wonder you turned out so well.
I had a holiday job in the canteen of a carpet factory.
My job was to expectorate in the soup.

It's my grandma Gerald.
Well not really - but it looks like her.
She was a farmer's daughter but there were too many to work on the farm.

6:13 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

Re: Slumdog - not yet but it might be on one of Father Christmas's lists...

6:44 pm  
Blogger Kerrie said...

I love Bertie but now realise that I have had the wool pulled over my eyes and he is infact a liqourice slave driver.
What a great blog and question. My grandad worked in the pit which can't be good. The worst job for me has to have been a table clearer. Even the waiters looked down us. We just cleared up all the swill. We used to have to rescue any unused jam pots and if too many were thrown out the boss woud make us get in the skip and fish them out to learn our lesson. The skip could contain a couple of days food. We used to have a laugh though lobbing the food around and seeing how much you could suck up a Henry Hoover before he could take no more. I seem to remember a lad called Andy held the record for Henry abuse.

7:32 pm  
Blogger The Poet Laura-eate said...

1. Working as an Editorial Assistant on an online magazine where the boss (a creepy dweeb of the first order) kept trying to get me to share his bathwater with him. It was underpaid, brainbreaking, soul destroying and relentless with minimal training - but there were going to be big rewards ahead as the company grew for those who got in on the ground floor - yeah right. I look his miserable company up sometimes. It still exists but on no grander scale than it did then by the look of it.

2. A garden centre where the work was underpaid, backbreaking and relentless, the training and appareciation nil and the Supervisor a psycho bitch.

7:52 pm  
Blogger Liz said...

I know who ShittyLink are. I used to work for a corporate vehicle hire company who were daft enough to rent vans to this (and one other) courier company. They always came back trashed.

My worst job was working for a company that manufactured and sold boilers. The parent company had a very good reputation in one market, so they set up a little subsidiary company to break into a different market and employed me as the administrator for the new company. What they didn't tell me was that the new product had already been withdrawn and relaunched once and 50% of the boilers had failed in situ. I arrived on my first day to find that the bloke who had employed me had already left and that most of the staff had no idea who I was or that the new company even existed. It went down hill from there really.
Why is it that people whose boiler has broken down have always just come out of hospital or just had a baby or have their 90-year-old grandmother staying with them? We only had 8 engineers to cover the whole of the UK so getting the failed units fixed took days at the very least. After 8 months of being shouted at by irate customers, I decided that £10k a year wasn't enough compensation for being made ill by the stress (I was on tranquilisers by this time) so I quit and went temping until I could find a proper job.

8:28 pm  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

My worst job? Probably the one where I had the worst boss, not the job itself.

An usher at a movie theatre when I was 16. The manager was a greasy-haired, shifty-eyed little man who looked all women in the boobs and stood much too close. He gave me the creeps. *shudders*

The job was okay as I got to see movies for free but I also got a screamingly hot kernel of unpopped popcorn down the neck of my uniform, where it lodged itself in my bra. Needless to say, I tore off into the ladies' restroom very quickly, clawing at my clothing as I went. This happened, of course, when we were very busy serving customers - the place was packed and I'm sure more than a few people thought I was bonkers!

I have the scar to prove it - two actually - one on my neck where the kernel first hit, and the one right down there *points between boobs* where it made its final landing.

8:43 pm  
Blogger Clippy Mat said...

all jobs have their bad side but for me one that stands out was not the job itself but one of the duties i was required to perform. i.e. collecting and weighing sputum pots of patients on a thoracic surgical ward.
it was many years ago but i still feel all wobbly at the thought of it even now.

11:10 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

And the prize for worst job goes to Clippy Mat.

3:26 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

I had mixed feelings about it - an uneasy mixture of harrowing and feel good.
But the call centre scenes were interesting.

Sometimes you get the best laughs in the worst jobs. It often encourages gallows humour
amongst the slaves.
But I bet you don't use a Henry at home.

Two predatory boss problems and three gardening jobs on the list.
A pattern is emerging.

Sounds amazing that ShittyLink are still a going concern.
The boiler job sounds extremely stressful.
Did you ever get a 90 year old grandmother who'd just come out of hospital with a new baby?

That's 3 votes for predatory bosses.
Scarred for life?
Did you sue?

Clippy Mat:
I'm wobbling just reading about it.
Hope you didn't have to deal with other end as well.

Yes - come back Bertie Bassett - all is forgiven.

9:22 am  
Anonymous NiC said...

".. only doing my job guv..." is never good enough Kaz...and come the great Coconut Allsort trials you will probably have to eat them for a week!

PS: Planarchy's back.....vaguely. :)

10:10 am  
Blogger white rabbit said...

The worst job I ever had was so bad I've wiped it from my memory banks. The only thing I remember about it was I stuck it out 4 days but didn't go back for the FRiday despite the fact it was payday. A very nice Glaswegian lady and fellow sufferer said 'Never leave without your wages'. I agreed in principle but left anyway.

5:15 pm  
Blogger dinahmow said...

I guess my Selfridges stint qualifies as a bad boss one. The job was simply boring.

1:18 am  
Blogger Martin H. said...

Too numerous to mention, but I guess number one has to be an agency job I had in the 70s. The company made egg melange for the likes of Mr Kipling. Thousands upon thousands of (ahem) 'fresh' eggs, mixed with defrosted gloop complete with an attractive orange scum dotted with dead flies.

I lasted a half-day!

8:31 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Will 'sorry' help?
Excellent news re Planarchy - I've got you on speed dial.

White Rabbit:
Sorry if the post brought back bad memories.
You've made me think - I don't think I ever picked up wages from Bertie Basset.

I don't think I had a very bad boss until the nineties when education was taken over by the aliens.

Hello Martin:
Only half a day - yet you still remember it over 30 years later.
That must have been bad!

12:50 pm  
Blogger Arabella said...

Chipping the rough bits off saucepan handles at a plastics factory - I couldn't keep up with the crates charging down the conveyor belt at me.

3:34 pm  
Anonymous NiC said...

Sorry always helps! :)

4:16 pm  
Blogger Madame DeFarge said...

None so bad as all the others put up here sound, so I must be quite lucky. I did loathe working in a shop and having money thrown at me by customers. Virgin Records at Christmas in Glasgow was awful. But at least I got to listen to Christmas carols all day for a month.

12:46 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

Hello again Arabella:
I'm sure it must be done by robots these days.

I say it a lot these days.
It makes people think I'm nice.

A bit like bar work at closing time I should imagine.
I bet you still just love Slade and Wizzard don't you

2:37 pm  
Blogger UberGrumpy said...

Roadie for Brotherhood of Man, on their ill-fated '97 comeback tour of the West Midlands.

Still makes me shudder to think about it.

5:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will write my notice today.

7:41 am  
Blogger Roses said...

My worst job was 3 weeks working in a double-glazing company on an industrial estate. The boss was sleazy, his wife was a harridan and I was boorrrreeeddd!

9:58 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Hello UG:
Brotherhood of Man eh?
I bet you kept that one quiet.
It's best to share ............. :0)

I read your post.
Make sure you do - or I'll send the boys round.

Industrial estates always look like prisons to me.
What on earth do the workers do in their lunch hour?

2:26 pm  
Blogger dh said...

I was a rat catcher for a while. I actually found it quite intellectually challenging. A real battle of wits.

3:24 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

We had a rat catcher looking for mice in the flats recently. He was a history graduate who loved the job.
But he found it didn't help his case with prospective girlfriends.

6:06 pm  
Blogger Istvanski said...

I worked as an orderly in a lunatic asylum. Even though I only lasted two days I managed to see some right rum sights.
We could've done with DH's expertise as a rat catcher in the hospital kitchens.

7:29 pm  
Blogger Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

So Alan Titchmarsh has nothing to fear.
I hope you got your half of bitter (Robinson's?).

No - this was in Yorkshire - it would have been Tetleys or John Smiths or Magnet Ales. I developed a taste for Magnet Old Ales and another regular tipple was Double-Diamond.

10:54 am  
Blogger Roses said...

I meant to say, working in that factory would have been my idea of hell.

They wouldn't have had to worry about me eating the stock.

I loathe and detest licorice. I would have done more than expectorate in the boxes.


8:04 am  
Blogger KAZ said...

Orderly and lunatic seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Ah Double Diamond - I suppose that was keg. We thought it was OK until CAMRA came along.
I drank Stone's bitter in Sheffield.

So you won't be wanting those wellies then.
I used to absolutely love the stuff - but not now.

1:49 pm  
Blogger Donn said...

During my High School Years I worked as a short order cook in a seedy bar Downtown at night.
I was subjected to verbal and physical abuse from druggies and psychos.
Occasionally I stood in for the bouncer so that he could go and "do some chick" in his car out in the parking lot :( fortunately he was very efficient and my tenures were brief.

Carding underage hookers and gangsters was not my forte and luckily I had enough bluster to live to write this.

3:54 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

It's obviously such things that made you the man you are today.

8:31 am  
Blogger Richard said...

ShittyLink, sounds like er... you'll spot their bile and pus coloured vans all over the bloody place. All over the bloody place except for outside your home if you're expecting a delivery via them that is. They won't stop long enough for you to answer the door.

I wrote about it at the time

4:11 pm  
Blogger KAZ said...

I read every word of the post.
Horrendous stuff.
But at least I now know that 'bile and pus' coloured means yellow and green.

5:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Virtual Memory sure is becoming cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. I wonder when we will eventually hit the ratio of 1 cent to 1 GB.

I'm still waiting for the day when I will finally be able to afford a 20 terabyte harddisk, lol. But for now I will be content with having a 16 gig Micro SD Card in my R4i.

(Submitted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://kwstar88.zoomshare.com/2.shtml]R4i[/url] NewPost)

11:17 am  
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4:46 pm  
Anonymous Guantes DE Nitrilo said...

The one i am doing right now.

7:53 pm  

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