World’s Worst Jobs

For the last few weeks, as I near my house every night on the return from work, I pass this man and think to myself, “That job has to stink”. He’s a tall African American gentleman that has been dressing in an Uncle Sam costume to advertise for some tax preparation company. Not only is the costume humiliating, but it has been freezing cold here for the last few weeks and he doesn’t even get the luxury of a coat (aside from the paper thin cheap costume coat that’s part of the Uncle Sam get up). Now to his credit, this guy appears to have a great attitude. He stands out there day after day waving very enthusiastically at every car. One day as I passed, I realized that things could get worse. They had him in a Statue of Liberty dress and crown! Wow. Now that’s a guy who’s secure in himself. I have to say that a 6’2″ male, black Statue of Liberty is an attention grabber, but I feel for the guy. They better be paying him well!

Here are some of the jobs I’ve run across that have to be in the running for world’s worst job:

1. Bus driver for children who attend a Behavior Disorder school. I kinda know about this one first hand. Although I wasn’t the bus driver, working with these kids was challenge enough when you were in a school full of supportive people that could come running at a moment’s notice to help out. But to think about trying to drive down the road with only 1 bus aide and a (short) bus full of kids who are as unpredictable as all get out, is just scary to me. There were actually video cameras on some of the buses and as school staff, we sometimes watched them to determine what kinds of consequences the kids needed, and let me just say, those bus drivers need a medal!

2. 10-Key Data Entry. By far, the job that was the absolute worst fit for me was a temp job I had a few years back. Now keep in mind that I am an artist, and thrive in settings where I can be creative. I worked for several weeks at a trucking company. For the first 4 hours of the day, all I did was straighten invoices so that they could be run through a scanner. I had to unfold the dog ears and make sure they were facing the correct way (believe me, that got old after about 38 minutes). For the last 4 hours of the day, I had to enter the numbers from invoices that wouldn’t scan. As I would drive home, I’d be picturing how to 10-key every number I saw, from license plates to serial numbers. AARRGGHH! Good thing it was temporary. I believe that job truly had the capability to torture me into going crazy.

3. Denny’s waitress. I did this for 7 months before I went to grad school. Waitressing is hard work. People can be rude and demanding, the hours are crazy, and you are constantly on the go. You can however make a fairly good living as a waitress (provided you don’t waitress at Denny’s). What was I thinking? Why didn’t I apply at Red Lobster or something a bit higher class? After all, I would have customers come in for the $1.99 grand slam and ask if that included the tip. When I had a group come in and all order grand slams, I pretty much knew I wouldn’t be getting much. My last night as a waitress (hopefully ever) was New Year’s Eve of 1995-6. We were one of the few restaurants open when the bars closed, and I realized just how rude, demanding (and harassing) a room full of drunk people could be. On top of that, seeing how food is prepared in the restaurant industry was an eye-opening experience. Once I witnessed the cook holding a cigarette in one hand just outside the door (so he wasn’t technically smoking in the kitchen) and the other hand preparing the food. I’ll spare you the other details, but let’s just say, I have trouble eating at a Denny’s anymore.

Well, there are lots more in the running, but those definitely top my list.

~ by tawnyamarie on February 10, 2007.

3 Responses to “World’s Worst Jobs”

  1. I have also had some miserable jobs.
    1. I worked at a bank in the late night, sorting, scanning and 10 keying account numbers, and amounts. It was not the worst job, but I didn’t like being in a bad area of town after dark. 2. I worked at Subway. No tips, but at least it wasn’t flipping burgers and frying stuff. I still have a hard time eating there. Not because it was bad or I had horror stories (we never had a bad inspection, from Subway or from Health Dept.), but because the smell of their bread in the air still makes me cringe.
    3. I sold cell phones in a truck stop. For only 4 days! I quit, because I wasn’t getting money or benefits… and there was smoke constantly around me. Couldn’t handle that.

  2. I cleaned toilets in the Nursing Building at Harding from 6-8 in the morning one semester. I worked doing 10-key one summer too (at the old cable company in Wichita). I also worked at COMCARE. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

  3. Chelf: I think the 4 days at the truck stop would definitely put me over the edge! Yuck!

    Krystal: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind toilets too much, if 1. they were my own and 2. it didn’t have to be from 6 – 8 am. That’s a lot of toilet cleaning.

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