After posting some pretty heavily researched articles recently, today I’m going to keep it a little lighter and tell you about my 11 worst jobs ever!
The main reason for writing this is to think about the importance of reflecting. I don’t mean about reflecting in a nostalgic way about the past. It’s almost the opposite in fact when thinking about some of the jobs I’ve done.
Though I’ve not enjoyed some of the work, I have never been out of work so I’ve been lucky.
I try to keep in mind that I’ve been very, very lucky.
The worst thing about some of the jobs below is that they’ve were soul-destroyingly boring or that an employer treated me badly.
So what follows is a list of some of my worst jobs. Most of these were either casual or temporary prior to studying at university before I had any real direction.
So here goes…
The 11 Worst Jobs I Ever Had
- A shop assistant in a homewares store chain – the store was slowly going out of business and customers were few and far between. There was literally nothing to do and it was an incredibly boring job. The area manager of the business made me clean the undersides of all the shelves in the whole store as a daily task. It took around 2 hours and was totally pointless.
- I had a temporary job in a chicken factory, which was horrific and changed my attitude towards eating meat. I lasted two days before my stomach refused to allow me back there again.
- One December, I worked for a week dressed up as Santa Claus in a restaurant. They thought it would be great entertainment for kids and so believed it would attract families. It didn’t… and I was ridiculed on a daily basis by the customers AND the staff.
- I worked serving fast food in a late night burger bar that serviced people coming out of pubs and clubs at closing time. The combination of very unsocial hours and a clientele that was mostly drunk and abusive was not a barrel of laughs.
- In Sydney, Australia, I worked as a fundraiser for the Wilderness Society. My job was to walk around Sydney city centre in a very furry koala costume collecting money in 35°c temperatures. It was hot and on one occasion I fainted from heat exhaustion.
- I hand delivered junk mail for an advertising company that resulted in me being bitten by dogs (twice), abused by people I was delivering the mail to (understandably) and nearly arrested by the local police for walking around a neighbourhood looking “shonky”.
- While backpacking in Australia I worked at a law firm paginating documents for a case they were preparing. The “paginators” had hundreds of thousands of documents to go through and at that time it could only be done by hand. There was pressure to finish the preparation in as short a time as possible, so I worked (as a part of a ten person team) practically every day for three months: 7 days a week and up to 14 hours a day on some occasions. I earned good money but boy it was boring and paginating machines are very tough on your hands!
- I worked in a “boiler room” selling life insurance through telephone cold calling. Each morning the owner of the business would come out of his office to give us a few motivational words to help inspire us. He used such pearls as “Right you f****** c****, time to start selling” and “Any p**** who doesn’t close leads today will be f*****g fired!”
- I sold homemade vodka jellies with a friend of mine at the Glastonbury Festival. It was a disaster! We sold only a handful before the festival ended having lost around 150 shots when a drunken reveller accidentally sat down on them. We only managed to recoup our investment by selling them super-cheap on the last day because everywhere had run dry!
- I worked in the kitchen of a pub restaurant, where the owners (who were also lovers) both tried to seduce me. I resisted both attempts, but it was extremely embarrassing and intimidating.
- Perhaps my worst job experience ever was working in a clothing store. The owner had blocked the water closet but accused me! She forced me to put on rubber gloves and unblock it by hand to teach me a lesson! Quite sadistic.
I’m lucky these days that I no longer have to do jobs like this but as I say it’s often worth reflecting on the past (but not living in it!) to see how far you’ve come when things seem bad.
I use these memories to drive myself forward. It’s an especially useful tactic right now as I try to get SideGains off the ground.
Working on a project like SideGains is tough. Ask anyone who’s started a blog and made a success of it and if they’re honest they’ll all tell you it requires:
- A huge leap of faith;
- Commitment over months if not years before you get where you want to be;
- The discipline to maintain your efforts when nothing appears to be working the way you’d like;
- And a smile on your face throughout!
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
I’m not the only person to have had crappy jobs. Drop me a comment and let me know what you’ve had to do to survive!
I really enjoyed this post 😂 Some of your job experiences sound excruciating but I like how you can look back & share the humor in it all! The boiler room boss sounded quite professional haha
Thanks James. We’ve all had bad experiences but it’s good to look back and laugh about it!