Posted 28 February 2005 - 03:44 PM
We have had a very strange weekend, no evening meals for one reason or the other and I had prepared myself some lovely Calamares.
Tonight I went to the fridge to see what was for dinner and was blasted by the smell of overripe fish.
This reminded me of the worst job I have ever done.
While I was at school I did the usual paper round and washing up in cafes, but when I was fourteen I took a job for the summer in the local shrimp factory. Every day I had to grade shrimp by size on to huge trays ready for freezing. You can imagine the smell!!!
The factory even had its own transport as the local bus company refused to have the workers on board.
Every afternoon when I got home my grandmother had run a bath (probably with added disinfectant) and every peice of clothing was washed immediately.
I did this for the full six week summer break - why? Well it paid really well
Amazingly I still love shrimp.
Who else has had "interesting" jobs???
Posted 28 February 2005 - 06:23 PM
For not one but two summers when I was in high school I worked for a seed grain company rouging maize, wheat and corn fields. Rouging is when a crew walks through a field all day long (10 hours a day, 6 days a week) and cuts out any weeds growing in order for the fields contents to be sold for seed for the next years crops.
Take my word for it. You haven't lived till you get up at 5am and start walking through a grain field. In 10 minutes you are soaking wet and freezing and then for the rest of the super hot day you itch like crazy. On top of that, the farmer has usually just watered the field so your feet are the size of 50 gallon drums with mud all day. The fields were usually 2 miles long with the only water at the ends (not to speak of no bathrooms at all).
The only thing that made it bearable was the great pay. The first year I got 80 cents an hour and the second year 90 cents an hour. That came to about $25 a week take home pay.
However, for the rest of my life I've never had a job so bad that I couldn't say "I could still be rouging for a living"
Posted 28 February 2005 - 07:54 PM
After my freshman year in college, I took a summer job working as a file clerk in a large engineering firm. Not bad, right? WRONG! I soon learned that one of my responsibilities was to occasionally help the Printing Department run plans and specifications. This was 1968 before copiers, so the specifications were run on a huge off-set press about the size of our house, and the blueprints on a huge monster of a machine about the size of our garage. Can you smell the ammonia yet?
About half way through the summer, the guy who ran the Printing Department quit or got fired (I can't remember) and I was asked to help out until the company found a replacement. I ran that X#O@X! blueprint machine and off-set press for the rest of the summer until I left for college in the fall. Every night I went home smelling like dirty baby diapers with black ink underneath my fingernails, on my clothes and up my nose.
I did go back and work for this company again, but not in the Printing Department!!!
Posted 01 March 2005 - 04:12 AM
MARTHA YOU'RE RIGHT - DON YOU DEFINITELY GET MY SYMPATHY FOR THE HARD WORK.
DID THE SMELL OF NAPPIES HAVE AN IMPACT ON YOUR SOCIAL LIFE?
MY SUMMER THAT YEAR WAS NOT TOO MUCH FUN.
I DID GET SOME JOY THE FOLLOWING YEAR THOUGH, MY SISTER AND COUSIN WERE ENVIOUS OF THE MONEY I HAD EARNED AT THE SHRIMP FACTORY SO THEY DECIDED TO WORK THERE.
THAT SUMMER I WAS THE ONE INVITED TO ALL THE PARTIES WHILE THEY COUNTED THEIR MONEY.
THE YEAR AFTER NONE OF US WORKED WITH FISH AND WE ALL HAD A FUN TIME - ALTHOUGH I THINK MY COUSIN SHOULD HAVE STAYED WITH THE SHRIMP? SHE GOT PREGNANT THAT SUMMER.
Posted 01 March 2005 - 05:27 AM
I was a so called "maid-of-all-work", i.e. I helped the farmer's wife in the house and garden as well as making hay and taking the milk to the dairy every day.
All over it was not such a bad job, but I was terribly homesick. And the "improving" of my French included also a couple of never heard before curses
Posted 01 March 2005 - 02:59 PM
Well...I really feel like I didn't have to work very hard by comparison. You guys have had some tough jobs!! When I was in Jr. High I worked for my Uncle (who owned a Laundromat in our neighborhood. I washed, dried, folded and wrapped clothes and worked the cash register. Sometimes, I went with my Uncle on pick up's and deliveries. Those were the days when customer service WAS CUSTOMER SERVICE and he was a wonderful boss!
In the summer of 1962 I got a job working for the Dallas Summer Musicals. I was a voice student and was delighted with the opportunity to rent opera glasses and sell confections. I even got a chance to work backstage and meet a few of the "stars" and witness their tantrums!! It was a great learning experience. I"m sure I just made minimum wage.
I'm impressed with all the rest of you guys who really worked!
Posted 02 March 2005 - 07:52 PM
fast food restaurant. I had worked previously as a waitress but not at a place where the fishy smell on my clothes was more than I could stand.
After working their for two days, I told the manager on the third day I was
quitting, I believe he was relieved. He said to me and I quote "I could tell you weren't too happy here" and I said "You are right!" and I have never worked in any fast food restaurant since then. I still enjoy eating out and have a great appreciation for anyone working in the food industry.
Posted 04 March 2005 - 11:35 AM
I am enjoying reading everyone's past work experiences. I never had a really bad job, I always waitressed while I was in college and loved it but I know what you mean Queenie when you talk about the smell!!
I did have an unusual job though, it was as a slide librarian at SCSU for the college's art history department, I made slides and gathered slides the professors needed that day for teaching. The part of the job I hated was filing back all the slides when they were done with them, it was like stacks and stacks (hundreds) everyday to be re-filed. It was for the most part fun for me being I was a art major.
Posted 05 March 2005 - 01:23 AM
It was while I was in college at USC and I worked as an usher at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. I got to see all of the musicals, operas, ballets and concerts that were held in the Ahmanson Theater, Mark Taper Forum and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Many times I would see stars attending these performances and I got to usher Gregory Peck to his seat for a performance at the Ahmanson.
But the best performance that I ever worked was the 50th Academy Awards. Because I did not have seniority I had to work for free and I was not allowed to work the main floor of the Oscars. Instead I was assigned the 4th floor elevator door. At first I was bummed because I wasn't down with all the stars...but to my surprise....every Oscar presenter and winner came through my elevator doors that night. My favorite encounter was with Kirk Douglas. When I told him that my father (who had passed away the summer prior to the 50th Oscars) and I loved watching his movies together, Mr. Doulgas gave me a hug.
OK..anyone else for best job ever?
Posted 05 March 2005 - 05:21 AM
DON, YOU REALLY GOT ME THINKING AFTER READING ABOUT YOUR TOIL IN THE FIELDS, AND I AM WONDERING IF YOU ARE BOOKED FOR THIS SUMMER?
WE COULD REALLY DO WITH SOME HARDWORKING HELP TRYING TO GET SOME SORT OF A GARDEN STARTED FROM THE WILDERNESS HERE. WE COULDN'T MATCH THE 90c AN HOUR, BUT COULD PROMISE YOU LOTS OF GOOD FOOD AND WINE
JUST A THOUGHT!!!!!!
Posted 09 March 2005 - 08:27 AM
I WAS A CHALET MAID AND EVERY DAY I HAD TO CLEAN OUT 32 BATHROOM CHALETS AND MAKE THE BEDS. THE WORK WAS SO HARD, THE PAY VERY BAD BECAUSE THEY DEDUCTED BOARD AND LODGINGS AND THE FOOD THEY GAVE YOU I WOULD NOT HAVE FED TO PIGS.
BUT THIS WAS THE 60s AND IT WAS ALL HAPPENING. AT NIGHT WE WERE ALLOWED TO USE THE CAMP BARS AND DANCEHALLS, WE DANCED THE NIGHT AWAY WITH NEVER A THOUGHT TO GETTING UP IN THE MORNING, I THINK I PACKED A FEW YEARS ENJOYMENT INTO SIX WEEKS AND WHENEVER I HEAR CERTAIN RECORDS MY MIND DRIFTS BACK TO THAT TIME.
ONE THING BEING A CHALET MAID DID FOR ME ......... I NEVER LEAVE AN UNTIDY ROOM WHEN ON HOLIDAY.
Posted 09 March 2005 - 12:11 PM
As tempting as your offer sounds, I just realized that all my time is booked for the next bout 1000 years.
(Although good food and wine and France, hmmmm )
(Let me ask Margaret, )
Posted 11 March 2005 - 04:27 PM
Your worst job sounds like one I applied for as a teenager in Iowa. Detasseling corn. Fortunately I did not qualify as I wasn't tall enough to reach the tassels. Friends who did get jobs gave the same description of working in the fields as you.
Slave labor they said.
The only really bad job I had was working in the bacon dept. of a meat packing plant. I was hired for typing in the general offices but shortly thereafter the union went on strike and office workers were compelled to not only cross a picket line but to take various jobs in the plant. Ugh. In a refrigerated room slabs of bacon slices came down a conveyor belt and had to be grabbed and placed on paper which was then folded over and sent on to be boxed. There was no way to get the smokey bacon smell out of the hair, skin even toenails. It just lingered on and on until the union got everyone a raise and I got out of there. I always felt bad for people who did this on a permanent basis.
When in Jr. High I got lucky and got what I considered at that time to be the best job in the whole world. Working the soda fountain at the corner drugstore. I did that off and on all thru high school and I never got tired of the cherry cokes, hot fudge and strawberry sundaes and the friendly people who parked on the round black stools and ordered double chocklate sodas.
Posted 11 March 2005 - 09:02 PM
I detasseled corn also.
Be very, very, glad you were too short.
However, we have a meat packing plant here also (2600 cattle a day!) and I know people who work there, so you might have gone from the smoke to the fire.
p.s. Slave labor is hitting the nail on the head
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