I have never understood how the jobs that other people have, ones that are exciting, glamorous and paid well, are never my job. It is not that I don’t apply for them, I do. It’s just that when the phone rings and someone offers me a job my usual response is “Where?” That’s because the top 100 places I applied don’t want me and the one place I desperately entered after losing all self esteem, knowing I have no possible interest in the job/field/industry is the job I get. Plus, as I have had about 30-40 different jobs (Wish I was kidding about that) maybe I never “career develop” enough to get to the level above crappy jobs.
1) Tape & CD assembler – This is assembling the parts of a tape set like “Learn Croatian the Easy Way” by hand – over and over again with a clock chiming every 90 seconds when you are supposed to have finished. Repeat until the room whirls around like a scene in The Twilight Zone. Time lasted: 1 day.
2) Invigilator – while the title sounds good it really means “stare at university students for three straight hours to make sure they don’t cheat.” You can’t read, you can’t move that much, you just stare at the students. After 10 minutes I got bored and started thinking about things other than if a student was cheating or not. The problem is when I start to have conversations in my mind, part of me likes to comment along with “Yeah” or “Not again” or whatever I may be thinking about (yes, technically this is “talking to yourself”). This is frowned upon during a final exam taken in complete silence, particularly when you are supposed to be the person enforcing this silence. Time lasted: 1 week.
3) Selling jewelry door to door. – this was not the first or the last thing I tried to sell door to door because a) I was always broke b) I liked money and c) my father kept saying things like “If you work hard enough at something you will succeed” and I believed him. Okay, I was 13 or 14 and couldn’t get money legally somewhere else and though I did babysitting, I wasn’t paid for it (some weird Christian cult rule). I lived in Los Angeles. Can you imagine going door to door in Los Angeles trying to sell jewelry? (my entire sales pitch: “Would you like to buy some jewelry, it’s really nice?” “NO!” door slams. “Oh.”) I learned early the face of rejection. Time lasted: many months
4) Working the luggage department in J.C.Penny’s. The rule of department stores is that all staff have to look busy. Standing around with the expressions of extreme boredom and sullenness are bad for business. A luggage department is small, already has the luggage stacked and might get 5-8 customers A DAY. So that means you a) polish the luggage about once every hour and b) work out combinations. See, kids come by and enter combinations into the combination lock suitcases and then shut them. Part of the job was to go through EVERY SINGLE variation for hours and hours until the luggage can be reopened and the combo reset. It usually took me 40 minutes for two three digit combinations. Time lasted: 2 weeks
5) Dishwasher – I worked one summer as a dishwasher and kitchen help at a summer camp. This one should be pretty self explanatory. I washed dishes for 10 hours a day and when I didn’t I peeled potatoes or ripped out chicken guts. I wasn’t allowed to cook anything or learn to cook anything. Think about it – this is the job they give AS PUNISHMENT to people during basic army training. Also, because my food and sleeping bunk were free, I made about $3 a day. Woo Hoo! Time lasted: somewhere between weeks and months, time in the kitchen tends to get blurry.
6) Cart & Rope Girl – while that sounds like some sort of thing you have to pay to see, it was actually a job I never remember applying for – collecting carts at a lumber and building supply store (the other employees teased me because..I read books during lunch- guess I should have been drinking like them). I would have to go out this tiny door (the size of a cart), round up the carts, and shove them back through the door. But that’s not all...I also tied things on to people’s cars. Why I got this job I still don’t know – apparently the low person on the cart collecting ladder gets it (there was one guy there who had collected carts for 4 years – everytime I walked by him I shouted, “Why?”). I only know the knot that ties my shoe so I would just use endless rope around and around the car to try and tie on this giant piece of plywood to the roof with granny knots every 6 feet or so. Several times, after I finished, people couldn’t get in their cars because I had roped them shut. I was really, really trying to get fired but no matter how many expensive items flew off people’s cars on the highway getting home they would never get anyone to replace me. When I handed in my notice to go back to university, the manager asked me to come back next year. How sad is that. Time lasted: 4 months
Actually this list could go on and on and on and probably will on another day. If you had any crap jobs, please email or post them as I never really tire of reading about the misery other people endure in the job force. Misery does love company.
4 hours ago