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Old 04-18-17, 09:58 AM   #26
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I grew up in Iowa and worked on farms in the summers. IIRC, the minimum age was lower for farm work so you could start younger. I think I got paid $2.25 an hour or something like that. I worked on a hog farm one summer, that was pretty bad, the smell was the worst. Another summer I worked for a farmer doing whatever needed to be done on the farm. Baling hay is pretty hard work, as is putting it up in the loft of the barn. I spent a couple of summers detasseling corn, that's where you pull the tassel off the top of seed corn so it doesn't pollinate itself. That's probably the hardest job, not quite as physically demanding as baling hay but it lasts longer. There is only about a 3-4 week window to pull the tassels so the teams worked from dawn to dusk for a month straight. The worst job I had was one summer as a janitor at the local hospital. As the low man on the totem pole, I got all the worst jobs, including cleaning up after a dementia patient whose colostomy bag broke while he was wandering around the hospital. At least the trail was easy to follow.
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Old 04-18-17, 01:38 PM   #27
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Worst job I ever had was my current job, for the first year or so. I was hired as a 'systems engineer', which meant I had to design software classes, write requirements, etc. It was soul-crushingly boring. Finally, I started looking around the company for other job reqs, and managed to jump to another program with a job that involved actually writing software. Since I became a code monkey I've never looked back.
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Old 04-18-17, 01:51 PM   #28
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Worst was the last months of my job as an in-house lawyer for a company that was in the process of being acquired and mostly split up. If you ever think you would like to get paid to do nothing, think again. I was going to be downsized (at my request), but that couldn't happen for several months. I still had to go to work every day, but most days I literally had nothing to do. The days where I did have something to do it took me all of about 10 to 15 minutes. I would play Minesweeper for hours on end to pass the time. Even taking two hour lunch breaks didn't stave off the boredom. But I kept my eyes on the prize, which was a cross country bike trip once I finally got let go.
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Old 04-18-17, 04:54 PM   #29
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Yeah, boredom on the job can be the pits... Often with the work I did there was a huge run up to the deadline... with the days getting longer and longer and the stress piling on while changes are added and the deadline isn't moved... then, at the triumphant "tape out moment," I'd send out a message to all team members that the design had left the building.

After that, there was often a lull as the next project started to shape up... Was I allowed to "cruise" for a few days... No... "report to the office as usual." Only to sit on my hands for days... before I'd have to start building libraries and parts for the next design.

What always chapped me was that I was expected to work long and late, but that was never made up... there was no follow up down time.

This didn't happen with every company... some managers were really human... others... just... well... just an appendage.

At more than one company, I trained my replacement... once even going to China, twice, to show them how to do RF type work (no, you can't just use an autorouter...) The joke there is that the folks I trained in China left that company and went to work for a better company... and thanked me for the training. I still talk to one of them from time to time now, some 14 years later.

The last regular full time job I had, I taught my "boss," (a friend of the CEO... ) a latecomer in the company, how to use the tools, maintain the design structure and the library, and held his hand through every little problem he had... He was hired last, I was laid off first. They actually had to bring me back for a few weeks (at a higher pay rate) to finish some design work. It was just too ironic.

Oh, and the division head that had laid me off, saw me coming back in, after he too was laid off, and thought I was just reporting for my final check, like he was... "Uh, no, they hired me as a contractor, to finish the work." The look on his face was priceless. It was worth it just for that.

I did contracting for a few years after that, but the pace was just brutal... so I packed it in and retired; contracting in the high tech world is a young persons game.
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Old 04-18-17, 05:21 PM   #30
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I would play Minesweeper for hours on end to pass the time.
LOL I'm ranked in the US with 2+18+69=89. I can't do that anymore though. Nowadays it takes me probably 100 tries to get sub-30 on Intermediate or sub-100 on Expert.

Nowadays though you could improve yourself by studying almost anything over the internet.
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Old 04-18-17, 05:25 PM   #31
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I did contracting for a few years after that, but the pace was just brutal... so I packed it in and retired; contracting in the high tech world is a young persons game.
Interesting; My dream (I think) would be to replace myself in my current job as a contractor. Instead of the company bidding 3x my salary for me to work on contracts, how about if they just pay me 2x my current salary, and let me deal with insurance, 401(k), etc myself?

If you're contracting, aren't you making a much higher hourly rate, so you can choose when to take on projects, and when to take time off, to get a long-term pace that works for you?
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Old 04-18-17, 07:12 PM   #32
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My worst job was my first job, picking up trash at drive in theatre. Up early to beat the heat, picking up stuff tossed out the windows of cars. The further back you got, the nastier it got. I carried a stick to pick up items of personal feminine hygiene and condoms. I'd break off then end of the stick so I wouldn't grab the wrong end by mistake. Some days were two or three stuck days. An education for a 15 year old back then.
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Old 04-18-17, 07:32 PM   #33
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Back in the summer of '94 I worked in a scrapyard similar to the photo below. Got paid $5 an hour and had to take 2 baths everyday just to get the grit and dirt off of me.

Now if I worked there, I'd hunt for old bikes to take home and restore...
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Old 04-18-17, 11:07 PM   #34
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I call those jobs between real jobs.

I'm kind of lucky for somebody who has had countless jobs in that my worst was not so bad as some of these. I guess my worst ones only lasted until payday: Working in a foundry where I repaired the inside of the cupola until we poured and I loaded it with grey iron when we did. Lots of grey boogers no matter how many times you showered.

I didn't care for working for a B grade movie theatre in my 20s only because it seemed embarrassing to me somehow but the frig needed filling. The boss was livid when I quit the day my ushers uniform came in.....Just couldn't bring myself to wear it.

And I've had countless close runners-up to these but nothing so bad or smelly as some in this thread..

Probably the two hardest jobs out of many to choose from weren't anything like the worst and I worked both through the summer: Raking hotmix for a parking lot paving outfit in Phoenix and working the scrubbing line of a very busy carwash.

And I hate carwash songs......we all hated them.
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Old 04-19-17, 02:19 AM   #35
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Aside from that, the worst I have ever known of was the guy that had to mop out the spank rooms at the adult novelty store, a family acquaintance was the manager there . They must have paid that guy well.
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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.
Yep. We were pondering worst possible jobs one day and I said: Dead livestock removal truck driver. A girl threw that one back at me and I declared her the winner.

Not the worst but the first job I ever got fired from was building wooden trusses. I don't shoot a very straight pool cue stick or swing a very straight hammer. I was just beating the hell out of those 2x4s. The faster they went the more I missed and they were just horrified looking on. I think they pitched in a week's pay as it was right before Christmas. They could afford a free weeks pay easier than the damage I would do, lol.

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Old 04-19-17, 03:39 AM   #36
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Back in the 80s I ended up working graveyards at a convenience store in one of Tucson's bad neighborhoods. I know. Tucson's bad 'hood doesn't compare to NYC or Chicago. I know this because people from those 'hoods told me so.

The thing is I wasn't prepared for it. The violence, threats of violence, anger and hatred. Every week I had people arrested for fighting, stealing, etc. The little kids looked at me with fear because I was the bad guy. I sent their fathers to jail. It was that kind of neighborhood.

The good side was I learned another aspect to behavior and dealing with people. I had to learn that old John Wayne concept, "Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness." That wasn't normal for me. And after a couple of years people learned to respect me. That I was consistent in what I did. I would talk with them when I could and tell them that under certain conditions I was calling the police. No matter what. But after four years I was very glad to see the last of that job.
I ran a couple of hotels in downtown San Diego for a short while and that kept me watching my back on the street alright. One guy had done time for arson in Florida but I didn't know that when I had to evict him from the premises of a weekly rental hotel for starting trouble with other tenants. He came back and checked in on the graveyard shift and the shift desk guy didn't check for him on the 86 list. So he set the place on fire and it killed one of the tenants who had taken my old room when I took the manager's job. I was standing outside the back door after we got almost everybody out waiting to see if anybody was coming out that way. I didn't know at the time that the guy had started his fire to block that door which only opened from the inside.

So I got to hear the tenant's panic and screams when he died. I still think about that, mostly during the holiday season for some reason, even though it didn't happen at that time of year.
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Old 04-19-17, 03:50 AM   #37
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Interesting; My dream (I think) would be to replace myself in my current job as a contractor. Instead of the company bidding 3x my salary for me to work on contracts, how about if they just pay me 2x my current salary, and let me deal with insurance, 401(k), etc myself?

If you're contracting, aren't you making a much higher hourly rate, so you can choose when to take on projects, and when to take time off, to get a long-term pace that works for you?
The market is competitive, so while you do make more, it is not as lucrative as you seem to think. You DO get more time off, which can be a plus, but the "on time" can be quite brutal, as companies tend to chew up and spit out contractors like gum.

Contracting for government type work tends to be the most lucritive... the private high tech sector tends to be quite vicious.... the latter is where you fare best as a stock option "slave."

If you represent yourself, you have to set up as a corporation, carry liability insurance, and maybe completion bonds and provide your background and drug tests, which can be expensive. If you work for an agency, (which many contractors do) keep in mind that they get a chunk of your income... which is why contractors cost so much to a company (that 2x "prize" you dream of).

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Old 04-19-17, 06:08 AM   #38
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Dead livestock removal truck driver. A girl threw that one back at me and I declared her the winner.

Good family friend IS the guy that goes along and picks up road kill for his "locality" in Maine.
Apparently, and forgive as I am a GA boy and know nothing of snow like this, from fall into late spring when animals are hit, they are commonly left, pushed to the side by the plow, etc. It's not a big deal till the thaw comes, and then you have all this roadside rot and stink going on.
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Old 04-20-17, 01:24 AM   #39
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I ran a couple of hotels in downtown San Diego for a short while and that kept me watching my back on the street alright. One guy had done time for arson in Florida but I didn't know that when I had to evict him from the premises of a weekly rental hotel for starting trouble with other tenants. He came back and checked in on the graveyard shift and the shift desk guy didn't check for him on the 86 list. So he set the place on fire and it killed one of the tenants who had taken my old room when I took the manager's job. I was standing outside the back door after we got almost everybody out waiting to see if anybody was coming out that way. I didn't know at the time that the guy had started his fire to block that door which only opened from the inside.

So I got to hear the tenant's panic and screams when he died. I still think about that, mostly during the holiday season for some reason, even though it didn't happen at that time of year.
Was that during the 1970s? I remember downtown San Diego during that time. What a dump. Mini-Times Square of the same era.

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Old 04-21-17, 07:44 AM   #40
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Was that during the 1970s? I remember downtown San Diego during that time. What a dump. Mini-Times Square of the same era.

What a dump!
That's the time. Had falling out with supervisor at hot mix plant at Naturita Colorado and had just enough left over from season's first payday after paying motel and restaurant tabs to get to San Diego where I planned to get on at the Shipyards. Had a Navy buddy there but didn't want to impose myself more than a night or two so I got a room at the cheapest place I could find: The Las Flores on the 700 block of 4th. I passed my vertical break welding test fine but all the shipyards were going on strike and I wanted to keep that job for awhile and declined the offer as shipfitter to wait the strike out.

So the strike lasted about a year and a half and those guys went back for absolutely nothing over what they had before. Meantime I worked at the hotel until the manager took the money and run. The other two desk guys didn't want the manager's job so I was just desperate enough to take it thinking it might save me rent enough to get a place on old Bankers Hill. After that disaster I drove a rent-a-car shuttle bus until another Hotel owner offered me a job at the Arlington on 7th & G. I did that until I could afford the place on the hill and drove a cab until the strike ended then got on at NASSCO as a burner.

I liked working as a 2nd shift burner there because they liked me to trim the hull sections as I was the only one who could finish a pass from the deck down in a shift.

Looking back I wish I'd handled everything different with that guy as I waited too long to evict. As soon as I found out he'd been kicked out of the Golden West across the street I should have given his rent back (which I did anyway) and told him to find another place then. I blame myself some for that as I certainly could have handled it differently all around. I had no idea what I was dealing with in that ex con from Florida but I could have probably got him out without the trouble had I taken someone with me.

EDIT

I should clarify that the hotel had a history of hourly rentals and the cops wouldn't show up to do our bouncing. I declined the option for hourly rentals but the reputation was still there insofar as the SDPD was concerned. If your wallet got taken in your room you'd have as much luck calling the Better Business Bureau.

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Old 04-21-17, 08:37 AM   #41
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Baling hay is pretty hard work, as is putting it up in the loft of the barn.
I still do haying for my ex-in-laws every summer. Nasty, hot, dusty work.

Just the past couple of years, I started helping them slaughter -- they have a beef farm -- and as low man on the totem pole in the slaughtering room, I get jobs like tail-twister to get animals moving along, cutting upper body cavity bits free which means being shoulder deep in gore, and shoveling and removing stomach contents...

I'd rather do slaughtering any day than haying.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:06 AM   #42
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I still do haying for my ex-in-laws every summer. Nasty, hot, dusty work.

Just the past couple of years, I started helping them slaughter -- they have a beef farm -- and as low man on the totem pole in the slaughtering room, I get jobs like tail-twister to get animals moving along, cutting upper body cavity bits free which means being shoulder deep in gore, and shoveling and removing stomach contents...

I'd rather do slaughtering any day than haying.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:29 AM   #43
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As a teenager, I worked at a retail store that didn't have a compactor for waste cardboard. One of my main duties was to climb on top of the dumpster contents and jump until the contents were compressed. I guess it had never occurred to the manager to have the employees flatten the cardboard before throwing it in the dumpster. Maybe jumping on the cardboard wasn't so bad, except that the dumpsters were sometime previously used for regular garbage and had a tendency to stink.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:32 AM   #44
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The vacation jobs I did as a student were OK but I wouldn't want to do them full time.
I did overnights at a bread bakery which was hard work, especially for someone getting older. One white-haired guy was getting more cheerful every day and he finally told us he would be retiring at the end of the week. On the assigned day he headed up to the manager's office with a big smile on his face, but he came back with a frown. "Worked my bloody age out wrong - got another year to do!"
As a change from the bakery I did one summer working at a cardboard box factory. I helped this guy run a machine that made Parker pen boxes - he showed me how to unjam the gluey wads of paper and cardboard and keep the machine running. When the job was over and I told him I was leaving next week to go back to school he was devastated - he was about to retire and thought he had trained the perfect successor to run his beautiful machine.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:38 AM   #45
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When I was in High School (1984?) I took a summer job at the Campagnolo warehouse in Fairfield, NJ. Heard about the job from a cycling buddy. It was below minimum wage at $2.80/hr, if I recall. Was there for about a month being general box boy and unpacking hundreds of cranksets (they wanted the BB out of the box). Never thought I'd get sick of seeing Campy cranks. After that (next summer?) I got a much better job at a bike shop making $5/hr.
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Old 04-21-17, 09:50 AM   #46
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I did overnights at a bread bakery which was hard work

I worked at a very large industrial scale bakery for about a year as janitoral, general cleanup, whatever guy. I boxed bread some days, but mostly just cleaned up flour dust and dough. The "night" shift didn't have a cleanup guy worth a damn as he layed out on one of the unused docks drunk all night...there was a whole other story as to why he was still there....anywho, in the morning the trash cans used to hold the dropped/overage dough that was made would be "blown", huge sticky mess of beer smelling ooze coming out the top of the can and generally all over the floor as well.
These things were heavy in a way that is hard to describe. When I started it about killed me to get them out to the dumpster. By the time I left it was nothing. All in the leverage the old guys would say.....I figured it was due to sheer muscle mass before/after.

I can't really qualify it as a "bad" job, for me. Not something I wanted to do forever by any means but the process and machines were simply fascinating.
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Old 04-21-17, 10:11 AM   #47
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the process and machines were simply fascinating.
I worked on the industrial side of the bakery, putting dough into tins on the oven trays, lifting out the tins of baked bread from the trays and slamming the loaves out onto a conveyor belt. I had lines of burns up both arms from the edges of the trays. We just had little burlap bags to protect our hands.
The interesting part was the "Vienna Room" where some of the older guys kneaded and rolled "vienna rolls", baguettes and "bloomers" by hand. The tops were sliced with a blade then placed on slats so that they could be tipped row by row on to an ancient oven tray that was wheeled into an oven behind the wall. I had been eating that fabulous bread since I was a kid and when the bakery finally closed (in favour if in-store bakeries) and that bread ceased to be available it was like the extinction of a species as far as I was concerned.
I guess my worst job was as a schoolkid on Saturday afternoons - I worked at a hardware store where I had to weigh and bag cement, plaster and lime, and measure turpentine, paraffin and creosote into bottles. I really stank by the time I got home.
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Old 04-21-17, 10:26 AM   #48
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I worked on the industrial side of the bakery, putting dough into tins on the oven trays, lifting out the tins of baked bread from the trays and slamming the loaves out onto a conveyor belt. I had lines of burns up both arms from the edges of the trays. We just had little burlap bags to protect our hands.
The interesting part was the "Vienna Room" where some of the older guys kneaded and rolled "vienna rolls", baguettes and "bloomers" by hand. The tops were sliced with a blade then placed on slats so that they could be tipped row by row on to an ancient oven tray that was wheeled into an oven behind the wall. I had been eating that fabulous bread since I was a kid and when the bakery finally closed (in favour if in-store bakeries) and that bread ceased to be available it was like the extinction of a species as far as I was concerned.
I guess my worst job was as a schoolkid on Saturday afternoons - I worked at a hardware store where I had to weigh and bag cement, plaster and lime, and measure turpentine, paraffin and creosote into bottles. I really stank by the time I got home.
This place was almost fully automated. The only place that people's "hands" came in contact with product were the test kitchen and packing, and even there not really ON the product.
We had a huge hopper/silo system that trucks would pull up and have raw ingredient vacuumed out of into the bins we accessed inside. All the bins emptied into the equivalent of a bobcat bucket and were put into this giant hopper. After the mix, the bowl was moved to another machine via the same bobcat like tractor and all the dough was then automatically cut/shaped and put onto what we called a "petite pan" tray. It was somewhat named after the bread of the same name which was out namesake product, among lots of others.
The pans would run through a proofer, and according to product into ovens, freezer, boxes, etc.

I recall those mits, and the same burns up my arm. What was really fun was running the steam, gas fired pressure washer to clean the pans. That darned wand got HOT. The little mit did nothing for hot water either.
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Old 04-22-17, 07:49 AM   #49
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About 20 years ago I worked for a company selling haz waste removal services, industrial chemicals, and machining fluids. It wasn't the job function that was bad, but the sales tactics and unethical practices at the place which made it bad. Most folks were commissioned sales & service reps, I was technical support and got a salary plus yearly bonus based on branch performance. When the company went bankrupt (corporate mgmt. 'fudged' the books to make the company look profitable), the mgmt. controls on sales and service tactics were ignored and it was everyone for himself, doing anything (unethical, too) to rake in the $$$$. IT was a dog-eat-dog period, with reps sabotaging each other, raiding other's service areas, and blaming each other for customer losses and complaints. I kept good track of my activities so I could counter the accusations levels at me, but eventually quit.
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Old 04-22-17, 08:23 AM   #50
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Third shift janitor in a factory. Everybody in the place was focussed on their assembly line task as I went through pushing broom or emptying trash. Horribly boring work and I didn't feel like I could deal with the shift. Lasted about a month.
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