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Bad jobs?(37 posts)

Bad jobs?mickey-mac
Nov 7, 2001 9:28 PM
I know many people are feeling lucky just to have a job these days, but how many of you have had really crappy jobs? My worst job was working at an oil refinery the summer I graduated high school. My dad got me the job to convince me to go to college. I spent the summer standing out in the blazing sun in a hard-hat and long-sleeve shirt emptying 5-gallon containers of Mobil 1 oil into a big trough (ours is not to reason why) and working a conveyor belt that was filling anti-freeze bottles. The refinery was in the L.A. Harbor in the shadow of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

When the wind blew from the east, we smelled rotting tuna corpses from the packing plant. When it blew from the east, we smelled the sewage treatment plant. We just prayed for no wind every day. On a crew of roughly 25-30 people, there were two other guys who spoke English. One of the guys missed work for a week before we found out he had been stabbed in a bar fight. As soon as he got out of the hospital, he came into the plant to show off his scars. In addition to arranging to get me hired, my dad apparently arranged to get me laid off at the end of summer. I went to college.
re: Bad jobs?Js Haiku Shop
Nov 8, 2001 6:28 AM
11pm-7am shift working drive-through window at krystal (aka white castle)

8am-3:30 pm high school

5pm-8pm shift telemarketing M.A.D.D.

all at the same time, living on my own and paying bills. one of the reasons i quit high school. other one is: didn't learn a damned thing after the 9th grade. (GED and college grad now.)
re: Bad jobs?troy
Nov 8, 2001 7:00 AM
Hey at least you weren't rowing through the sludge with used condoms floating around in the water while trying to avoid the fireboats!
Meat packing plant/slaughter house.MB1
Nov 8, 2001 8:13 AM
In Hawaii in the summer of '73 I worked as a day laborer-the worst job was loading a weeks worth of hides into containers for Japan. It was hot, smelly, nasty work and there were leaches everywhere. After a day of that your clothes were ruined and you didn't want to ever eat meat again. We could only imagine how bad it must be to unload those containers on the other end after 2 weeks in transit without refridgeration. Sure was glad to go back to school in the fall.

Every summer after that I got a job in the bars in Waikiki-also very crazy but it didn't ruin your clothes.
Meat packing plant/slaughter house.mickey-mac
Nov 8, 2001 9:06 AM
If you haven't already done so, you should read Fast Food Nation. It contains some pretty graphic descriptions of work in the nation's slaughterhouses. Most of what used to be skilled butchering work has been mechanized, with the menial tasks being performed by untrained workers, many of whom are from Latin America. The lack of training combined with dangerous equipment and working conditions leads to some horrendous deaths and injuries.
another book: Animal Liberation...Js Haiku Shop
Nov 8, 2001 10:39 AM
ever wanted to become vegeterian, but needed just that little push over the edge? Get this book. Read it as a Philosophy course requirement.

Good material, but not for the weak-kneed.
I couldn't even make it through "Slaughterhouse Five" nm.Spinchick
Nov 9, 2001 10:43 AM
Meat packing plant/slaughter house.Iseemo
Nov 8, 2001 10:33 AM
concur! i've seen the worst job, it's called: Pig Rectum Extractor
Veterinary workKristin
Nov 8, 2001 8:13 AM
I had dreamed of becoming a vet. My mother (I suspect) arranged not only for the job, but also that I would not be desiring a career that required 10 years of college.

Day 1: Kennel hand (pooper scooper duty)

Day 2: Learn to administrer a feecle matter tests. Hence forth to be known as overseer of the feeces department...aka queen sh!t!

Day 4: Learn to incise, clean and stitch an inebriated cat. I don't care if they call it anesthetia. You shot 'em up with the stuff, they barf and then pass out. When the wake up the barf again. Cats can throw up twice their body weight.

Day 7: Care for ailing seagull which was found and drug in by the nice family down the street. Wear full body armor. Mites are small and bite.

Day 12: Clean out (notso)Lucky's infected ear. (They forgot to mention I should hold my breath). I walked out the back door, surrendered my lunch and went home. A dream died that day!
Veterinary workweider
Nov 8, 2001 9:35 AM
no anal gland expressing?
Not for the faint of heart (open at your own risk)...Kristin
Nov 8, 2001 2:30 PM
No, but our family dog, Patches, once exspelled her rectum. That was lovely to behold! Poor girl.
Ironic name for the dog (nm)mickey-mac
Nov 8, 2001 2:44 PM
Nov 9, 2001 8:28 AM
exspell:(v) the act of formerly spelling
expel:(v) the act of forcefully removing something

I guess spellcheck wouldn't have caught your sweat/sweet mistake on the other thread, though. I wouldn't have said anything, except you were lecturing us on using "search" the other day. :-)
HA! Try interning for a *LARGE* animal vet!!!lonefrontranger
Nov 8, 2001 7:12 PM
12 A.M. with your arm up to the shoulder in the @$$-end of a laboring cow (hurts like hell, too!). Or wading ankle-deep through unmentionable sludge playing "greased piggies" (guess what they're greased with?!) so's you can hold 'em up by the rear legs and "fix" 'em, snip, snip.

Ever seen what a 600-lb sow can do to a 150-lb vet who's messing with her piglets? Better pray that rickety-looking wooden stock can hold her! (sometimes it didn't).

Small animal vetting is merely gross. Large animal vetting is gross, exhausting and incredibly dangerous.
Speaking of LARGE animalsmickey-mac
Nov 8, 2001 8:18 PM
I saw a piece on the Daily Show a while back about a guy whose job is . . . uh . . . pleasuring bulls for the purpose of acquiring . . . umm . . . seed for use in insemenating cattle. Now that's a bad job.
Oh my wordKristin
Nov 9, 2001 8:03 AM
Yes, I'm glad I missed nastiness on the grander scale.

So how many professions have you traversed? Engineer...Vet? Wow... I'm 30 (err...31) and have only taste tested a couple careers. You're 60 years old aren't you?
My wife4bykn
Nov 9, 2001 8:36 AM
My wife was certified in college (ag major) in artificial insemination. She has had her arm in all the way up to her shoulder, ew. You ever wonder who was the first to try that, and why? I've helped with "cutting pigs" too. A bit nervous, holding a piglet by the back legs while someone uses a scalpel about two inches from my "jewels". Piglet squirming, one slip could mean no 4BYKN juniors!
A Jar Head I was...DINOSAUR
Nov 8, 2001 10:25 AM
I enlisted in the Marine Corps after I graduated from high school (back when they had wooden ships). When I went through boot camp at MCRD San Diego. One of my Drill Instructors was a alcoholic psycopath, who used to take my platoon out into the boonies and abuse us by inflicting God awful exercises as punishment. Our head D.I. used to find us and bring us back to civilization. Toward the end of our training the junior D.I. disappeared, and we later found out that he was court martialed after they discovered he had a bottle of booze in his locker and he was half ripped most of the time. One of my high school friends went through basic training the same time I did but was in a different company. He said that boot camp was easy for him, but their was this "one platoon" that went through hell as they had a sadistic D.I.
I could go on and talk about the time I was sea sick for three days straight while on a troop ship caught in a major north pacific storm off of Adak Alaska. Or the time I was sleeping outside in a monsoon with nothing but a rain poncho while I was in the infantry stationed in Japan.
The list goes on, but if you can survive four years in the Marine Corps, you can survive anything. Unless of course it's a teenage daughter, then run for cover...
A Kid on the FarmJon
Nov 8, 2001 2:23 PM
The two worst jobs as a kid growing up were pitching silage for over 100 cows, standing waist deep
in the stuff in a 110 deg silo, and cleaning pig pens out by hand. Many times I would barf, then
continue on. As a college-aged adult working my way through school I did a number of day labourer
jobs that were just as bad: shovelling out coal cars, working waist deep in mud on pipelines, etc.
RoofingRusty McNasty
Nov 8, 2001 4:58 PM
Residential roofing, especially tear-offs, were bad enough, but throw in an 8/12 pitch, a headwind, and temperatures in the 90's, get the idea. Lost 30 pounds that summer. That's when I got back into cycling.
Commercial roofing was in some ways even worse. At least the roof was usually level, but those 3 a.m. job starts, and all the fiberglas dust from the "roof rippers" more than made up for the lack of heat.
Some day my roof will need to be replaced. I think that I'll hire a contractor, sit back, and enjoy watching them.
Cleaning drains in funeral homes.STEELYeyed
Nov 8, 2001 5:26 PM
I worked as a Journeyman plumber for 18 years,whenever we got a call from a funeral home,I was the only one that would take the call,believe me,you do not want to know what clogs up drains in a funeral home operating room. I have paid my dues in full.
You're ahead on points so far (nm)mickey-mac
Nov 8, 2001 5:40 PM
ElaborateWoof the dog
Nov 8, 2001 8:36 PM
tell us something nasty...please! I am in a mood to get horrified. Serious

Woof the Bee.
I will say this....STEELYeyed
Nov 8, 2001 9:53 PM
a surprisingly large part of the dearly departed ends up in the sewer-or the bio-hazard trash,all bodily fluids,stomach contents and anything that happens to fall off for whatever reason.-I think I'll opt for creamation.
Hey,you asked for it.
Infantry soldiermuncher
Nov 9, 2001 8:36 AM
In Northern Europe.

48% of time freezing cold and soaking wet. 48% of time baking hot and sweating to death. Remaining 4% split between sprinting up hills carrying heavy stuff and tabbing across boggy uneven ground carrying unbelievably heavy stuff in either condition 1 or 2.
Seasonal Checker at ToysRus. nmjavagenki
Nov 9, 2001 12:50 PM
In pursuit of the scientific truthTommyD
Nov 9, 2001 2:04 PM
I was working for a professor who was doing research on groundwater pollution on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Now the largest pollution sources down there are pig sh!t, chicken sh!t, and human sh!t. I spent the long, hot summers collecting samples from broiler houses, sewage lagoons, and septic tanks.
All in a days work...DINOSAUR
Nov 9, 2001 8:49 PM
I've been slapped, punched, kicked, jabbed, poked, scratched, spit on, head butted. Had people fake heart attacks, comas, death, seizures, convulsions, labor. Yelled at, screamed at, vulgarity that would make a sailor blush. People who refush to talk, move, make a sound. I've had my life threatened, my family has been threatened. My car has been urinated in, defecated in, vomited in, windows kicked out. People who beg me to shoot them, cry, beg, plead, bribe. Are combative, run away, hysterical.
Then when all is said and done a mountain of paper work that takes hours to compete. What was it? Booking drunk drivers, 27 years worth.
If I were cheif final-sayer, you'd win!Kristin
Nov 12, 2001 1:10 PM
And the way!
sounds like a long weekend with my 18-month-old son. nmJs Haiku Shop
Nov 14, 2001 10:57 AM
ps: i ALWAYS have wanted to be a LEOJs Haiku Shop
Nov 14, 2001 11:04 AM
wanted to go into the service as a kid, with MP in the back of my mind...later, the one thing stopping me from going to school to be a cop was having to cut my hair (ahh, youth, hormones, and the lure of women). a few years later, the thing that stopped me from pursuing the greater good was the money. now it's the money and the time--swing shifts, nights, weekends, working holidays, you know the rest, i'm sure. still, it's something i will semi-regret...though i know i'd have been miserable doing it, it was always a dream.

never cared to be a doctor, lawyer, firefighter, indian chief (just kidding, that), politician, and otherwise have the interest but not the head for numbers to be a scientist or astronomer. no patience to be a teacher. now it's just me and a couple dozen computers.
ps: i ALWAYS have wanted to be a LEODINOSAUR
Nov 14, 2001 2:05 PM
It was good career for me. I don't know if I would want to be a cop in this day and age. The paper work is tedious and repetitive. The action cops shows make it look like fun but they don't show the long boring hours completing form after form. Usually at the end of your shift when you are bone tired and any little thing omitted will leave loopholes for attorneys to rip you apart in court.
All said and done, I made it in almost one piece, a lot of guys I knew didn't. And the thing that helped me through it all was my wife and family. A big minus also is shift work and working weekends and holidays. You didn't miss much. Spend time with your little one, I missed out, I was never home......I told both my sons NOT to go into law enforcement....
but what about driving fast?Dog
Nov 15, 2001 3:01 PM
You mean the driving fast didn't make it all worthwhile?

BTW, in Missouri, the troopers pretty much drive .1 mph under the speed limit. They dare anyone to pass. Out here in California, they blow by like it's the autobahn, even when not apparently in a chase, almost always. I've never seen a CHP driving at the limit. Any idea why?

What's the fastest you ever drove your patrol car?

but what about driving fast?DINOSAUR
Nov 17, 2001 8:59 PM
Patrol driving is a different type of driving. They are always in a "shark mode" working packs of traffic looking for violations. A lot of times they are on a call responding somewhere that doesn't call for a code three response (redlight and siren), but they want to get there as soon as possible. Also when they pace vehicles they have to maintain a steady and constant speed in order to determine the violators speed. And when they close in for the kill they don't activate their emergency lights until they are directly behind the violator otherwise they will see your lights and try to ditch you by taking an off ramp. Things have changed a little since I retired as they now use radar on the freeway in CA.

I'll have to say that I got a thrill when I was closing in for a stop flying down I-80 doing 130MPH from Heather Glen (I think you know the location). There is no other feeling close to it. It's the old adrenaline rush that gets the old heart rate up and blood pumping. That is one downfall of retirement for police and firemen. That rush is gone and it's difficult to replace. Descending fast on a bike turns me on, but it's a different feeling.

My fastest speed was 140MPH in Barstow. Although it was easy as the roads were straight and flat and it really required no special skill. I got lane changed a couple of times shagging speed on I-80 doing 130MPH. The first time shook me up, the second time I was prepared for it.

Of course some guys just have a lead foot and have a license to speed. Some Chippies drive like maniacs and sooner or later (usually later) they end up stacking a car up big time. I can honestly say the worst wreck I had is when I got hit head-on by a drunk driver. I was saved because of the air bag in the Ford Crown Vic. Now that I think about it, it was almost 9 years ago to the day.

Probably why we all enjoy riding road bikes is the thrill of speed, there is nothing else like it except for, well you know what...
CHP Motorsmickey-mac
Nov 17, 2001 9:15 PM
The paper had an obituary the other day for a former CHP officer who designed the first CHP motorcycle. He seemed like an interesting man and made it to the ripe old age of 100.
Nov 17, 2001 11:37 PM
I think that would be Legrand Jordan, believe he was the oldest retired CHP.
You're right (nm)mickey-mac
Nov 18, 2001 5:50 AM