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AshLeigh's avatar

Care to share your worst job experiences?

Asked by AshLeigh (16276points) October 5th, 2014

I’m about to leave a job at a hotel that I loved, until they refused to pay me, and broke several other laws. (Such as not hazmat training anyone, when we were expected to deal with hazardous materials…) Then switched me to housekeeping with no training whatsoever, and got mad when I didn’t know what I was doing. (sigh) To say that I’m angry would be an understatement.

What was your worst job?

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31 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

The US Navy.

I wish I had time to post the major annoyances, but I don’t.

Instead, I’ll paraphrase George Carlin and quote someone else who was confined to my ship (USS Hairy Urinal, DLG 17):

Military intelligence is an oxymoron.

USN- never again.

jerv's avatar

Navy here too.

Switchboard blew up, I had already been up about 30 hours. My LPO dismissed my opinion that he missed something when he lead the rest of us to rebuild the switchboard, prompting it to blow up a second time. I went behind his back, did what needed to be done for the repair to hold, and it did.

In the end, I was up for 70 hours straight, didn’t didn’t even get an “attaboy”, and he walks away with a NAM! (Navy Achievement Medal)

Never Again Volunteer Yourself

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Well there was the mining company I worked for where some of the staff would talk French to each other, in my presence, knowing I didn’t speak the language. That was a casual job and I was very glad when it ended.

Or the company I worked for that we know framed a couple of members of staff for theft to get rid of them. We actually caught them out with a third and stopped him being fired. I was safe in my position but I left soon after this.

Apart from being worked almost to death in a job, I can’t think of anything particularly bad.

cookieman's avatar

I have two nightmare jobs. Note that both started out well enough, then went very wrong:

manager at a glass company and frame shop
It was run by two brothers who recently took over from their dad. They hired me to run the frame shop. Aside from the fact that the shop had no windows or AC, the younger brother was perpetually drunk, while the older brother had serious anger management issues. I gave up after two years when he threw a chunk of 2×4 at me, in a fit of rage — because he didn’t like a mirror I designed.

graphic designer at an event design company
I loved this job. Too bad the owner was mentally unstable and prone to massive, whiplash inducing, mood swings. We all quit when she never returned from a business trip and stopped paying us.

AshLeigh's avatar

@cookieman I relate to both of those situations on a spiritual level.

Pachy's avatar

My shortest nightmare job was at a small ad agency. I had been hired as a copywriter by my manager at a previous agency who was also a friend. His partner took me to lunch on my third day to welcome me to the company… and spent the entire time proselytizing his born-again Christian faith and warning me that I was at serious risk of going to hell because I was Jewish. I quit that afternoon.

P.S., the agency went bust less than a year later. My friend’s partner had been embezzling from the company.

downtide's avatar

Worked in the kitchen of a hospital as a cook. It was like a factory production line and the place was filthy. The only member of staff I ever saw washing their hands before touching food was me. No wonder people get sicker in hospital. I handed in my notice after the first day and they made me work out the whole week. I got to keep the shoes though.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Applebee’s. ‘Nuff said.

jca's avatar

Hearing these stories makes me really appreciate being a union member.

hominid's avatar

My worst job experience is one that I was never technically hired for.

Years ago, I went in for a development interview. After about of half-hour of being interviewed by development manager and the VP, they gave me a coding task and a pc, then asked me to let them know when I was done. Whenever I would show them what I had done and did some brief code review, they would ask for more functionality.

Eight hours later, I had built a fully-functional chart module for their software. They said, “Thanks, we’ll get back to you.” and they never did. When I followed up with them, they wouldn’t return my calls. Note: I was there for 8 hours without break or food. They offered me water only, didn’t have a snack machine, and at one point, I escaped to my car and found an old granola bar.

I am fairly convinced that this was their business model. They were likely having much of their development done via unpaid interviews.

Haleth's avatar

I had two jobs for a while. One was working late nights at an adult bookstore- it was so awesome! For a while, I took a second job at a corporate coffeehouse to make ends meet.

It was winter and I took public transit then, so I would wait for the bus at like 4 AM on about 4 hours of sleep to get to work. My main memory of the winter I worked there was being freezing and exhausted just, like, all the time, and trying to catch a few minutes of sleep on the bus during my commute. I think being sleep-deprived thins your blood or something, because when I don’t sleep enough I always feel colder. No matter how many layers I wore, I just couldn’t get warm that winter.

The customers were snobby, rude, stressed out professional types. The place kept the staff numbers to the bare minimum at all times to cut costs, and there were lines of customers constantly backed out the door. We ran around like scared rabbits trying to keep up. Customers having meltdowns were, like, an hourly occurrence.

The manager used to come over to me and use his fingers to turn up the corners of his mouth, and tell me to “turn that frown upside down!” One day when it was slow he had us use toothbrushes to clean the grout between the floor tiles. The cleaning chemical had fumes that made everyone dizzy, even though we had gloves and safety masks. It was just AAAAARGH. One day my alarm kept going off, and I was like too exhausted to even hit the snooze button. It was just like, “fuck it,” and I rolled over and slept all the way through my shift. It was GLORIOUS. I never went back.

I’ve worked in other coffee places before, and loved it! This one was just a corporate hellhole.

Coloma's avatar

Working at a seafood processing warehouse shelling crab legs when I was 17 and the worst by far, an aide job for an elderly woman years ago. Ugh….I am NOT a care giving type and negative, nosy, gossipy old ladies should just drop dead. This woman drove me insane! lol

BeenThereSaidThat's avatar

working in a doctors office for about a year and being expected to lie to the doctor’s wife about where he is when she called the office. He was having an affair with one of his patients. Everyone in the office knew about it except her. After a year, I quit since I could not stand lying to this poor woman over the phone all the time. I kept the bastard’s secret and didn’t get involved in his marriage problems.

Not all Doctors are the Saints that we sometimes make them out to be. It was a real eye opener.

Coloma's avatar

@BeenThereSaidThat Man, I would have exposed him for the jackass he was. You were a saint, what a jerk, expecting his staff to cover his sorry ass. haha

gondwanalon's avatar

I don’t like to whine but you asked for it. I sometimes feel like my current job is tearing me apart. It requires me to work a kaleidoscope of different hours, shifts and locations always changing even at a moments notice (day, swing, evening and night shifts are all part of the deal also 8, 10 and 12 hour shifts). On top of that I have an absolutely brutal commute where I must navigate through some of the worst traffic on the planet. It sometimes takes me 1½ hours to drive 31 miles to work (going home is just as bad). They have a very strict tardy/late requirements in which clocking-in exactly on time is considered tardy because it take a couple minutes to be functional. Three tardies during a pay period will get you a derogatory counseling statement. My job is also very high pressure and high stress (human lives are involved) in which no mistake is tolerated no matter how minuscule. And of course I’m over-worked (expected to do the work of 3 people).

In spite of all of this I must admit that I feel good at the end of the day knowing that I survived the ordeal and have helped people. I don’t hate my job but the word dread comes to mind. Definitely it is by far the worst job that I’ve ever had.

Coloma's avatar

@gondwanalon Dude, you’re a human too and the stress is putting your life at stake!
Maybe time to relocate somewhere peaceful and smell them roses. ;-)
You could become a ranch vet out in these hills. haha

dxs's avatar

Interesting stories. I’m bothered just by reading them!

The first job I left was at a hotel. It wasn’t a disaster, but the owner was racist & bigoted and would yell at me a lot. It was such a nice job other than that, though—good location and very social.

The second job I left was a job at Subway. I had a disaster of a coworker. I don’t want to explain; I’ll leave you with this link to avoid frustrating myself more than I already am.

cookieman's avatar

It is amazing the shit we put up with for a paycheck.

AshLeigh's avatar

Until you don’t get a paycheck for a month and have to report them…

keobooks's avatar

I had a boss that was a piece of work in and of himself. He was a micromanager and pretty brutal to his employees. But the worst thing about him for me was that he had no clue of what my job was supposed to be. He thought “media specialist” meant that I’d be good with electronics, sound equipment, video, radio and the like. He would ask me to rig up these complicated sound systems for plays or special nights at the school and would come down hard on me for not being able to do it.

He also had me be a substitute teacher for two classes at the same time. They’d just take a teacher who was absent and send their kids to the library. They figured that the library could handle 40 kids, so I could take two classes at once and watch over both of them.

And one extra thing—being a micromanager, he took all the fun duties of my job, ordering books and cataloging and did them POORLY all by himself. While I worked there, I was basically a substitute teacher/stage tech and HE was the media specialist.
Finally he ended up firing me, saying I was good with the books and teaching kids to do research, but for some reason I was completely incompetent at setting up sound equipment and manning the sound booth! He was genuinely shocked when I told him that was not the role of the media specialist. We are librarians who teach kids to work with computers. We occasionally fix overhead projectors and stuff, but there’s no WAY we rig up the crap he wanted me to do.

I was getting ready to quit, so I had a long letter already put up about how he harassed me and forced me to to work I wasn’t trained to do. I also said it was shameful that a principal had no idea what a media specialist did.

At the end of the year, the principal of the school ended up being fired. Boo hoo. The sad part was that they hired a guy who knew how to set up sound equipment (he was a stage tech guy from Disney World) but who had NO experience with books or teaching. They were happy they finally got a “real” media specialist. This was a school for kids with learning disabilities and reading trouble and they had no clue how vital a real media specialist was to that school.

dxs's avatar

@cookieman And then realizing shit’s only getting you $200/week max.

AshLeigh's avatar

My first boss was a dick. I hated her so much that I actually had a dream that I walked up to her and kicked her in the face.

Coloma's avatar

I had a boss I hated years ago named “Nancy”..sooo…when I got a pet rat I named her Nancy. Gave me a passive aggressive thrill. haha Nancy the rat was a sweetheart, I always wanted to tell my boss I named a rat after her. lol

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I worked 12 years in a rendering plant,that is where you take dead animals, and animal inerds and cook them down, to make meat meal, and tallow for animal feed,the heat, smell, and managment was freaking horrible.
Safety as next to nothing, I have seen huge hoses and pumps blow up right in front of me, looking back I can’t believe none of us were not killed .

Aethelwine's avatar

Being forced to watch a bouncer jerk off when I worked at a gentlemens club.

AshLeigh's avatar

@jonsblond, that’s terrible. :/

stanleybmanly's avatar

During a frigid Midwestern winter, I made the mistake of trading a job on a garbage truck for work in a rendering plant. The first day on the job was a series of spectacular and truly grim revelations. I was stunned to discover how many animals in this country are killed daily in encounters with autos, farm machinery, even trains. And the numbers taken by disease and other natural causes are staggering. Walking from building to building in high rubber boots through pools of freezing viscera and blood was lesson enough. Within 15 minutes of punching in, it occurred to me that the place was probably heaven compared to conditions there in the Summer, and I knew for certain that I would not be there to experience the “wonders” of the Spring thaw.

keobooks's avatar

I think SQUEEKY wins. Rendering plants are like hell on earth, I hear.

stanleybmanly's avatar

No bout adoubt it! And the fact that squeek stuck it out for 12 years is to my mind phenomenal. The experience for me was a long time ago, but believe me the memories of those 2 weeks are indelible. I have almost no recollection of the tour on the garbage truck. One interesting fact that stuck in my head is that anyone skilled in skinning an animal could make a VERY good living separating an animal from its hide. I wonder if that’s still the case. The one line of work that is probably right up there fulfillment wise with the rendering plant is the slaughterhouse, meat packing industry, and it’s a sure bet that both industries these days are probably the exclusive domain of immigrant Latinos, with the shameful exploitive wages which accompany that fact.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve been in a lot of slaughterhouses, in a meats class and on the job. They were pretty bad and they were USDA inspected. I can’t imagine a rendering plant.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I have reasons to suspect that the packing houses are probably more dangerous than the rendering/tallow plants. Many more blades involved in the systematic butchering of animals, and there are some really appalling stories coming out of the Midwest from plant workers.

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