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Another Top Five List

While I have a few minutes to kill in between artists and photographers calling me, I thought I'd do a new list. Every time I bitch about my current job, Deb reminds me I have an extensive collection of nametags and smocks to remind me of the really bad jobs I've had. So without further adieu.

The Top Five Worst Jobs I've Ever Had

And the Stuff That Made It So Bad

5. New Car Porter for a Datsun/ Chrysler Plymouth Dealer - OK, this was long enough ago that Nissan was not even a name yet. It was still Datsun back then. This was the summer of 1983. I was already bummed because I had applied to work at a job on a ranch in New Mexico that hadn't come through. So instead of a great summer in the Old West, I had to stay in Northern Virginia and work at a car dealership. I had just graduated from High School. My girlfriend’s brother was a salesman at this place and got me the job. For $5/hr and 8 hours/day, I cleaned cars that people had just bought and got them ready for delivery. Sometimes I even got to put new plates on them...ooooooh. Most of the time, I was washing and vacuuming and cleaning windshields in 90 degree heat. Only really good part was when the dealership bought new cars at auction, me and the other porters had to go up to Baltimore and drive these cars back. Lots of fun driving 100 mph on I-95, racing each other back. Oh, and once I got to drive a convertible LeBaron with a half naked girl in it for a parade.

4. Delivery Guy for a Telemarketing Firm - In 1984, I had dropped out of college at Virginia Tech and gone back to Northern Virginia to live with the folks and go to community college. In order to support my need to buy gas for my 72 Mustang so I could drag race, I took a job as a night time delivery guy for this telemarketing firm. Basically this place was a scam in the early days of telemarketing before the government started regulating them. What they would do was call people and offer them free trips to Hawaii if they bought this cheap little plastic 35mm camera. They even got free rolls of Kodak film for a year. Sounds pretty good right? Well what the scam was is this. The camera cost them $30 and they got one roll of film. By today's standards, this camera would have been equivalent to a disposable camera. But hey, they wanted the trip to Hawaii right? The free film for a year part was only if they sent their film in to be developed by the parent company of this telemarketer. They had to pay high prices for the developing and they would get a free roll of film. But still what they wanted was the trip so they would still go along with it. Now the real catch was Kodak had paid for all these free trips for real. But what the customer didn't find out until I delivered the package was the trip did not include transportation to Hawaii. So I was the guy who got to receive all the customer's anger when they found out the real deal. If they didn't realize what was going on, I sometimes felt so bad about the deal, I would tell them it was a scam. There was this one woman whose husband flew back and forth to Hawaii all the time and she never could go because the hotels were too expensive. So I didn't feel bad about giving the deal to her. So in reality, she spent $30 for a week's vacation in Hawaii. One guy even asked me if I would recommend the camera and I told him I wouldn't give it to my dog to play with. Besides my conscience getting the better of me all the time, these guys called in like a $100 mile radius. So I would be out all night on deliveries sometimes. They paid for the gas and I worked on commission for every delivery I would make. Plus if I sold and extras, I would make higher commissions. After about three weeks, I got really sick of it and started ripping them off for the free film which we had cases of. On the day I was going to quit, they got raided by the FTC and were shut down anyway. Definitely not high on my list of jobs to take again.

3. Door to Door Sales - In 1993, I found myself in Denver. My soon to be ex-wife was taking control of all my possessions and money back in Thomasville, NC. I was staying with a friend in a tiny apartment in a drug, crime and prostitute infested neighborhood in Northern Denver. I had applications in with all the temp agencies but public relations jobs were few and far between. So, to make ends meet, I answered an ad for an advertising salesman. That title must have been something catch just to attract people because basically this was an old fashioned door-to-door sales job. This firm was hire by new restaurants and clubs to do promotions for them. They would make up a certificate for five free meals if you paid for one at the same time. Each certificate cost $20. The deal was, every morning, we would go to work and be given a map of a territory. We would be in teams and we would blanket an area going house to house and trying to unload these damned things. For every sale, we got $6 and got paid at the end of each day. If the team made a certain amount by the end of the week, the team would get a bonus of $500 to be split evenly. Doesn't sound too bad until you figure you had to supply your own car and gas and we were selling in Colorado Springs which is a good 1.5 hours from Denver. Then you had to supply your own lunches and dinners too. Plus you had to freaking walk all over the place and through some of the shittiest neighborhoods you've ever seen, fearing for your life 'cause you were carrying cash on you. I got lucky on a couple of days and sold like 10 to one guy or another because they wanted them as incentive prizes for their workers. But you gotta think about who is going to be home in the middle of the day. Guys who are working third shift and who sleep in the day. Out of work people. Bored stay-at-home housewives with no money. And college dropouts with bad attitudes and no money. Most people had that look on their face when they opened the door like "What the hell are you doing on my doorstep?" Two high points, once a chick who worked at Hooters answered the door wearing just a loose robe. She asked me in while she got some money and three of her friends were also inside running around in thong underwear and halter tops. I got an invite to a hottub party with them later in the week....sweet. And On Friday nights, the owner of the business would invite us all to this reggae club he owned in Denver and we got to drink for free. Once I picked up this cute drunk blonde named Rhonda who owned a limousine service. After we left the bar, she had a chauffeur drive us up to Boulder and then to Estes Park where we made love in this meadow under the full moon. Unfortunately, the expenses far outweighed the benefits and I had to quit after a month.

2. Maintenance Man for Pilot Oil Company- So after I quit the sales job, I moved on to an even worse job. My roommate worked as an assistant manager for Pilot Oil who owns a chain of truck stops in the Southwest and Southeast US. He was able to get me a job in the maintenance department. Whatever broke, I got to fix. This included, cleaning up messes in the convenience store and restaurant, cleaning up diesel fuel spills when truckers would forget the hose was still in the tank at the pump and drive off. Hundreds of gallons of smelly ole diesel would spill out on the ground and I would have to shut down the pumps, clean the spill and fix the pump. I got to paint the entire parking lot once. All the handicapped zones and all the no parking zones. I had to do it with a brush and roller. Took me days. Oh and then of course, I go to clean the showers on a continual basis after big smelly truckers had cleaned off and quite often jerked off in them. Plus if one of the gas customers ever drove off without paying, the management didn't want the female clerks running after them so I got to do that too. Once, I caught this guy in a shitty old Gremlin at the stop light after he had driven off with a $20 tank of gas. I ran up to his window out of breath and said "Excuse me Sir, you forgot to pay for the gas." At which point he pulled out a 9mm and said, "No I didn't forget Pendejo. Now back the Fuck away from my car!" No problem! For five bucks and hour, I'm not risking my life. After 3 months of this, I inherited $17,000 from my grandma's estate. I got the check cashed and put it in a briefcase and walked in to the managers office at Pilot. I opened the case and said "I fucking quit!" and walked out never to be seen again.

And now, the all time worst job I've ever had -

1. Newspaper Managing Editor - This should have been my best job ever because it had been my dream to run a newspaper for years. Too bad it worked out the way it did. In November of 1997, I was hired by the Dewitt Publishing Company in Clinton, IL to become the Associate Managing Editor for a new paper called The DeWitt County Constitution. This was a big step up from the newspaper I was working at doing ad sales and layout. It was a dream because I had started pursuing a lifetime in Journalism 11 years before. Plus I had a BA in Journalism and an MA in Communications. Between education and experience, I felt ready to take on the world. Thins started a little rocky as one of the directors of the company in all his brilliance decide to take the cheap route and by PC's instead of Macs for the newspaper. Now this would not be a problem if every printer in the state were not using Macs and we were doing fully electronic layout. I can't tell you the hours I spent trying to make sure fonts and files would translate properly. Plus, they didn't think about all sorts of things they should have thought about. They blew tons of money printing free papers for every resident in the county to try to get subscriptions. One of the board members had lied to the rest of the board about how much money had been raised for start-up and by Late December, we were essentially bankrupt. In January, The Managing Editor had a nervous breakdown and was put in an asylum. I got his job which included paying all the paychecks with no money coming in. At one point, we had to sell some equipment to make payroll. We owed the printer $8000 at one point and they said they would not print unless they got a payment. So I sold the laser printer to pay for that bill. At an emergency board meeting, I got in a physical fight with the idiot who had decided to buy the PC's in the first place over his decision. I needed up bringing in two Macs of my own to handle the work load every week. By March, the publisher decided each employee had to take a reduction in pay so mine being the highest, I got cut $100 per week. Try explaining that to your landlord and creditors. So as I was not getting paid, I had to put more and more on my credit cards until they were maxed and I had no way to pay. In April, I came in one day to find I had been replaced by the woman who had been the ad sales manager. How that happened, I still don't know except she had formed an alliance with the board member who I had gotten in a fight with. So I was busted back down to Associate Editor and had to take orders from this bitch. Now my job included not only layout but ad sales as well and on less pay. And since I was the only one who was an expert at all the software, I got to do photo editing and delivering the paper to the printer as well. In August of 98, my present employer offered me a job and I was able to quit that nightmare. I ended up suing them for $2500 in unpaid benefits and $3000 in back pay. I've not seen a dime. In the 8 months I worked there, I never worked less than 80 hours a week and most of the time is was around 100. Pretty much soured me on the profession as well and that was my dream. Two years later, I'm still paying off all the bills.

So there it is, my sad history of bad jobs. Hope you enjoyed reading this.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2000 07:33 am (UTC)
What a surprise.
What a surprise I just couldn't resist commenting on this one. Now while I haven't had as many jobs as you have(about 6) I have had some shitty ones. So heres the top three:

3. Corn Dog 7. Goes without sayin the stupid hats were a drag and my friends couldn't resist taking blackmail pictures. The boss was a pig and the pay sucked. It was also a disgusting unclean place to work. Lasted about two weeks.

2. Handy Pantry Cashier. Ever have a job that didn't fit your school schedule? Yeah 3rd shift sucks ass when you got college the next morning. And it was dull as hell to.

1. Telemarketer. No contest this was the worse job I ever had. Getting cussed out by people you can't even see sucks like none other. People truly don't give a damn anymore and my short temper didn't help. Lasted about two months till I quit to have more time to sleep with my girlfriend.


Oct. 25th, 2000 08:18 am (UTC)
Re: What a surprise.
What a good excuse to quit. I never thought of that one. Sir, I'm quitting so I can have more time to sleep with my girlfriend. Hahahahaha


Oct. 25th, 2000 09:19 am (UTC)
Re: What a surprise.
Well let's see? It was either go to work and be yelled and cussed out by people i don't even know and by my boss cause I failed miserably at raising money or.......going through yet another chapter of The Karma Sutra with a very friendly and beautiful accounting student that lived next door to me at the time. Hmmmmmm.......hard to decide on that one. I just couldn't make up my mind. Who would possibly wanna be suffocated in a pair of D-cups all day after a long day of college? Telemarketing was so fun and so rewarding. Excuse me I have to go to a plastic surgeon now as my nose just grew eight feet.


Oct. 25th, 2000 09:46 am (UTC)
Re: What a surprise.
I once had a job (no kidding here) popping popcorn for a major movie theater chain. I worked in this mall and I had this room all to myself where I popped the corn. The room also had a couch and a stereo in it. What more could a horny teenager need. I was seeing one of the concession stand girls and she would come up for quickies between movies. See, that's what you need to find, a job that will let you have sex while you work. That way you don't have to quit.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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