What Was The Worst Job You Have Ever Had?

In a sort of follow-up post to yesterday’s “How To Go About Finding A Job Online“, I thought it would be fun to ask you guys what the worst job you ever had was. Most of us have had those particular jobs that were just really bad for whatever reason, and I am no exception — I have had a few jobs that I just hated! I have been working since I was 13 years old and have done some pretty random jobs:

  • Swept the floors in a hair salon.
  • Prepared cars for auction (my worst job ever).
  • Was a paperboy for many, many years.
  • Did construction for a bit.
  • Worked behind the counter at a drugstore.
  • Ran one of those carts at the mall selling crap.
  • Did a stint with an internet startup that then folded.
  • Worked at 2 major movie studios.
  • Was Director of Programming for a TV station.
  • Traveled around the US filming car shows.
  • Sold TV programming in Europe.
  • And currently working for myself writing, editing, and doing web design.

In case you missed it, the worst job I ever had was the one where we prepared cars for auction. These cars would come in completely trashed and we would have to make them look brand new. It was horrible. What was the worst job you have ever had?

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Comments (15)

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  1. David says:

    Like you, I’ve had a lot of random jobs since I was about 13 or 14, all leading up to working for myself too. I have been:

    A janitor
    A landscaper
    A mall security guard
    A bookstore clerk
    A coffee shop barista
    A reporter
    A car salesman
    A marketing associate
    A textbook sales rep

    The worst was probably mall security guard. It was boring and at times frightening, but most often involved babysitting 13-16 year olds!

  2. Lynnae says:

    Soliciting memberships to CalPirg. We had to go door to door, and I am NOT a natural salesperson. I lasted 2 days, before I left to take a job at Arby’s.

    The things I did to get through college…

  3. Craig says:

    Cashier in a deli was so incredible boring I sat there by myself all day long and was the youngest by 30 years. But the food was amazing.

  4. Peter says:

    Selling ladies unmentionables during the summer hols in a Department Store was pretty dire.

    Not sure I liked the experience much either.

  5. Katie says:

    I worked at a restaurant for one night. All of the employees wouldn’t speak to me directly, they’d just instruct each other to “tell her to do xyz” and thought it was totally hilarious. They made me work the cash register that night and berated me in the third person for not doing it right (giving no instructions whatsoever) and take a break by myself because “tell her you aren’t allowed to take breaks with anyone else” (which was totally false).

    The best part about that shift is that even though it was just over 10 years ago, I’ve gone on to do something with my life while the main perpetrator now works at a local steakhouse where he’s required to wear flair and sing a ridiculous version of happy birthday. Ask him how do you like dem apples?

  6. Annie Jones says:

    The worst job I had sounds great. It was through a temp agency and all I had to do was ride around the city with a driver and the “boss”, testing prototype cell phones by calling back to the office repeatedly. The bad part was that the “boss” was a chronic micromanager, correcting me for everything from the tone of my voice (anything but monotone was a no-no), to how I held the phone, to what lane the driver drove in, etc. We were all miserable and I only stayed there a week.

  7. Kevin says:

    I have had my fair share of terrible jobs. I was even robbed and stun-gunned while working at a gas station. But that wasn’t the worst job.

    Operating a tow-truck had to be the worst job I ever had. I was still in college and had to work nights. And the easiest days for me to work were Thursday-Sunday. So I had the weekend nights.

    That job was horrible for so many reasons that getting robbed at the gas-station (a job I had after leaving the tow company) seemed tame. I was half convinced that I would be found dead by the side of the road while working there. Or that I would wreck the truck and die that way. I was working 40-60 hours weeks on top of my 18 credit hours in college so I was surviving on coffee and fear instead of sleep.

    One night I accidentally put my hand into the gore that had been the top of a drunk driver’s head (and was now covering her dash)… and all I could think was, “I hope I remember to wash my hands before I get something to eat.” I was cold and jaded to everything around me.

    And, since I was constantly exposed to blood and was also experiencing tons of small cuts and slices (from exposed metal and wires)… I also had a deep fear that I had contracted AIDS or Hep. while one the job.

    And let’s not even talk about the people I worked with — or the people I ended up towing. I will never do that job again.

    I quit when I started hallucinating from lack of sleep and the boss refused to cut my hours down to 30. So I gave my two weeks notice and cut my hours down to zero.

  8. Sara says:

    Fun post! Fast food was the worst for me, easily! I don’t mind working with with food, but working fast food with people who acted like you were saving the word was just too much. 😉 I lasted only three weeks there, and told them that my dad was making me quit because it was interfering with school, heh.

  9. Miranda says:

    I was a telemarketer for an entire month. I hated it. Sitting in one place for six hours, staring at a screen, and saying the same thing over and over again. I left it to be a waitress. The work was more interesting, and it paid more, since I got tips!

  10. Construction. I am sure it is alright for those who are cut out for it, but I literally had that job for one half of one day.

    Hated it!

  11. Sam says:

    I’ve had a myriad of jobs too….

    I was a merry maid & while most of the customers were fine there was that 5-10% that never cleaned any part of their home (like wiping off the kit counters) because they figured that’s what they paid us for. I remember walking into an apt & the stench was such that Olga (my team mate & friend) grabbed me by the arm as I stood there with my jaw dropped, dragged me out and drove us to the dollar store to get rubber gloves & many gallons of bleach (both were no-no’s according to our boss).

    The absolute worst for me was when I worked the front desk at the child support office… I felt so bad for those kiddos whose mothers weren’t very “moral”. I’d go home & cry for those kids and what their parents put them through sometimes – I was only 19 at the time but the experience will probably stick with me for life.

    I’ve worked a lot of restaurants and telemarketing too… either as seasonal or to d something until I got a real job… I hated them all but it brought in money. I always feel sorry for the people who do those as their primary job & income – those places lay people off, cut hours, etc at the drop of a hat.

  12. Ron says:

    I’ve been a

    meat packager
    grocery sacker
    hamburger flipper
    frozen yogurt seller
    bank teller
    ditch digger
    construction worker
    life insurance salesman
    business owner (shaved ice place)
    retail store manager
    district manager
    business owner again (lumberyard)
    district manager again (diff company)
    vice president

    All of them sucked except owning the lumberyard. I’d still be doing that if I was the majority owner. If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.

  13. Karen says:

    It’s a tie between two different jobs – bra fitter and counting dots on soil survey maps.
    I hated the bra fitting job – I didn’t really know what I was doing (inadequate training), we weren’t allowed to sit down ever during the job (even though it was a small shop and there often was no one in the store), and I really didn’t want to take the training course to fit mastectomy bras.

    The second was excruciating. I spent the summer coding soil survey maps by counting the dots in different regions and writing them down on a large piece of paper. I thought I would lose my mind!!!

  14. Kimber says:

    Oh, I feel so bad for some of you! The job I hated the most was when I worked in a factory that boxed nails. They hurt my hands & ripped lots of skin off also. I think I lasted a week until I found a new job.

  15. Matt Jabs says:

    Oh this one is easy!

    The job I had before my current job was so incredibly painful, I truly loathed going into work each and every day!

    It wasn’t as much the work as it was my employer… he was bi-polar and his behavior created the most uncomfortable work environment I have ever been in. I happily resigned after being there for about a year & a half. My current jub is MUCH better.

    As far as bad short-term jobs… I worked at Wendy’s as the “salad bar clean up guy” back when Wendy’s still had salad bars. I lasted 2 1/2 days then walked out half way through my shift. It felt incredibly good to walk out too – you don’t even know! 🙂