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wundayatta's avatar

What is the hardest you ever worked?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) March 10th, 2012

Maybe it was only a week. Maybe a month or a year or a few years. What was it that caused you to have to work so hard? Was your back to some wall? Or was it love? What were you doing? Why was it so hard?

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20 Answers

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

Skating the 10,000 k on an oval track, on a really cold, snowy day. It was hard to see, but I was determined to finish it. My legs were incredibly sore at the end, but it was exhilarating, and I was very proud to finish it.

janedelila's avatar

Once, I worked 7 days a week, four jobs, for nine months. No days off. Saved up enough money secretly to get an apartment. To leave an abusive.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Every day I work is the hardest work I do. I work to make things run smoothly at the opera company, arrange dates, perform, and train other singers when normally, I am only supposed to have one of those jobs. I enjoy it because music is my passion. It’s harder than most think though.

Cruiser's avatar

I did a repair project under the vaulted sidewalks of Chicago where I was up on scaffolding 10 hours a day for 4 weeks waving a 30 lb chipping hammer over my head to demo all the deteriorated concrete. It was back breaking, hot and cement dust all over me head to toe. And I LOVED it! Made some good money too.

jerv's avatar

US Navy, first Nuke school (the lazy people only spent 80 hours a week in the classroom; 95+ was more common), then Engineering department (working 70 hours straight makes you hallucinate). It wasn’t always like that, but when it was bad, it was bad.

Sunny2's avatar

I had 4 40 page reports to get in the same week and I didn’t plan very well. It wasn’t hard physical work, but doing all the research necessary and typing up the reports was hard and time consuming.. (Computers at that time were racks ofperforated cards in a very large warehouse.) One paper ended up late. After that I started on reports immediately after they were assigned, even if the due date was 3 months away. Short sighted of me, but a lesson learned.

Symbeline's avatar

Getting a Platinum for Trine was a lot of damn work, considering the one trophy; ’‘better than developers’’. Screw those developers.

deni's avatar

I sold posters at colleges for a little over a month this past fall. It sounds stupid but it was the hardest I’ve worked, it was very long days, then lots of driving, in a big truck (which I eventually wrecked in rural Virginia) tons of stress and accounting, but we did it because the potential to make money was through the roof and we did make a ton for a short period. It was worth it, it was a lot of physical labor but who cares? It was good for us. I did it on a 2 person team, the second person being my ex boyfriend. It was awesome. So terrible at the time, but so great to reflect upon lol. I guess this is the hardest I ever worked because the rest of my jobs are just mundane, don’t really require a lot of responsibility from me. What I do right now, I can really slack and still be better than most of the people there, I guess it just comes naturally but it still is an easy job. I haven’t really ever had a “hard” job, maybe that’s because I’m not a college graduate and I work in restaurants, but whatever! It makes me happy! I don’t like working hard.

chewhorse's avatar

Unloading two 40 foot trailers filled to the brim with North Texas Watermelons BEFORE air conditioning… Wasted my three helpers as well.

harple's avatar

There are various different points in my life where I felt like I was working the hardest I have ever worked – I’m finding it hard to put one above the other…

1 – When my marriage failed (or rather, when we acknowledged this and decided together that it was not retrievable), and we still had a partly renovated house without any stairs to the upper floor amongst many other things, and then when my estranged husband subsequently broke both his hands in a skiing accident, it fell entirely to me to find the funds needed, finish the house (I cut and fitted every bannister for that set of stairs) get it on the market and get it sold. From the February of that year to Christmas Eve, when the house-sale finally completed, I worked the hardest I had ever worked. The sustained effort to deal with problem after problem that arose, each time thinking “NOW it’s sorted!” and each time having that dashed, made that year the hardest of my life without question. (Even on Christmas eve, with the house-sale completed and the new people moving in, a problem with the banks meant I didn’t get my share of the finances until the new year. Needless to say, my estranged husband’s finances went to him without a problem.)

2 – Some time after that, having moved away, I ended up working as a manager for a t-shirt printing company. (I had initially taken a seasonal position to help with their Christmas rush, had made a good impression and been kept on to become manager.) The hours I ended up working, doing un-challenging but interesting and very manual work, was quite something, looking back. I stopped to eat (sometimes) and to sleep. I felt the pressure of the job very keenly.

3 – This year, more than ever before, I am feeling the pressure of being self-employed. The idea is that I am doing something I love, getting paid handsomely for the hours I do work, and working fewer hours because of this. (I have no desire to become rich, just to be comfortable and able to carry on in the work I love.) The reality is that every hour I am “not working”, or more accurately, not earning, I am plowing into development, paperwork, preparation and promotion. The “free” time I gain from working fewer hours is taken up with worry, and I have no spare finances to make use of during that free time. I have just been ill this last week – confined to my bed for three days, and still very weak since – and the lost income is very worrying. There is no way to make that income back, it is just gone. And right now, so has my motivation. So yeah, this year, I feel like my work is the hardest it has ever been.

john65pennington's avatar

Directing traffic, when the interstate was first being built in my city. The days were terribly hot and terribly cold and extremely dangerous.

We stopped the traffic for the big Nukes to cross the road. Nukes were filled with huge rocks.

One man was killed at this location in a traffic accident with a Nuke. He was not paying attention to his driving, passed right by us, while attempting to make him stop, and a Nuke plowed right into him. The bumper of the Nuke hit his head and his death was instant.

Blackberry's avatar

A deckhand: stripping, sanding, and repainting surfaces, mooring ships to the pier, standing watches in the middle of the night as a lookout or driving the ship across the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and random other things.

It made it hard because most of the time these things run together, so I would have to get off watch at 6am to go strip paint in the sun until 3ish, then do a firefighting drill where I have to wear that huge firefighting suit and sweat my butt off, then go back on watch.

mattbrowne's avatar

My oral theoretical computer science exam in 1986.

smilingheart1's avatar

To get my adult son out of the house. Yes, he moved, but no he didn’t move out of town. Guess who stayed over last night?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you mean physically or mentally?
The shop was a great deal of physical work (and mental for me, the book keeper) plus we worked 50+ hours a week. Why did we work so hard? Because we owned it and the responsibility for ALL of it was 100% on us.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Housework and rearing children is the hardest work there is, in my opinion. I’ve been working since I was 14.

Nullo's avatar

Probably back when I was on carts. There was lifting and loading, and pushing the same five hundred carts up the same hill all day long.

Esedess's avatar

One time I washed the dishes. My hands got all wet and soapy and I couldn’t fit them into a few cups so I had to use a wooden spoon to reach down and work the sponge. Needless to say, it almost killed me. I subsequently adopted a strict policy of disposable everything in my apt… but the memory still haunts me.

Paradox25's avatar

The Christmas tree farm as a teenager and in my early 20’s. Dragging 100 to 200 lbs trees across several hundred yards of snow by yourself and throwing them on top of large piles is no fun, and extremely backbreaking. Loading the trees on to the trucks was even worse. I still work in very physical jobs but not that physical anymore.

Pachy's avatar

During my ad agency years, I worked my tail off. Late nights, weekends, even holidays, trying to keep current clients happy and constantly pitching new ones, trying to stay on top of agency politics, always pushing for the next raise, the next promotion. Now I look back and think, W-T-F!!! All that time and energy and stress just to churn out ads and TV commercials that nobody remembered the day after they ran… and yet… I loved it. LOVED IT!

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