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Author Topic: Worst job you've ever had?
Jeff C.
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I'm not trying to use this as a way of venting or anything. I was just thinking about it and I thought it might be interesting to discuss our worst jobs. I know each of you must have at least one that you just couldn't stand (unless you were extremely lucky).

For me, it's the Air Force. I have been thoroughly disappointed with the results of my decision to join. If I could, I'd go back in time and kick my own ass for ever considering it. [Wink]

Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of crappy jobs, but the lack of freedom that comes with this particular career is simply too much for somebody like me. Living in a tiny dorm, surrounded by kids who are ten years younger than you are, eating cafeteria food, and being forced to move across the country (or the world) is enough for me to call this the worst occupational choice of my adult life.

How about the rest of you? [ROFL]

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J-Put
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Would have to agree with you on the Air Force. Just a bad bad decision that's already taken two years of my life, and will take another four before it's done.
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I Used to Be a Drummer
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Almost any call center, especially ones that are 3rd-party vendors, where your employer is contracted by another company to handle their customer service calls.

At least the Air Force has halfway-decent benefits.

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RivalOfTheRose
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McDonalds
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scifibum
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I had a job once lining an artificial pond with rocks. I would say the rocks averaged about 80 pounds, and I was in a line of dudes passing rocks to each other. I think the pace was about 20 to 30 rocks per minute. I didn't speak the same language as the rest of them, and they were much tougher. It was a miracle I wasn't injured, because I wasn't strong enough for it.
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Dan_Frank
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Heh, I've worked at call centers and I've worked in fast food (though not necessarily call centers of the type Former Drummer mentioned, and not McDonald's) and I found them both to be fine.

I'm glad I make more money than I made then, but I was grateful for the jobs and I did the best I could at 'em. They weren't all that bad.

Worst job for me was definitely painting. Houses, that is, not, uh, y'know, canvases or something.

I wasn't very experienced, and my boss didn't really know how to explain anything, so it went downhill pretty fast. I was also just a kid, it was the first full-time no-longer-living-at-home job I ever had.

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advice for robots
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Dishwasher in a big pizza establishment. There was usually just one dishwasher working per shift. The delivery drivers were supposed to help with the dishes but rarely did. Bussers would bring back tubs full of dishes and silverware at such a rate that it was impossible to keep up, and I was a very fast dishwasher. Pizza pans crusted with baked-on gunk. And the owner was too cheap to allow the soaking sink or any of the sprayers to have hot water (luckily, the dish machine itself did). So when there was finally a lull and I had time to scrub pots, it took about 5 times as long. Add to that the 9-hour closing shifts on Friday nights at the end of which I couldn't have been wetter if I'd jumped into a lake. And the owner was also anal enough to want every single cup and plate clean before I took down the machine. It's a wonder I didn't quit. I snapped at people, I mumbled to myself, and I threw bowls at the wall just to watch them break. I think that job drove me half mad.
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advice for robots
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I'm actually interested to know what about the Air Force makes it such a sucky job. Not to be argumentative, just curious. Would the other branches of the armed forces be better?
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Marie
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quote:
Originally posted by I Used to Be a Drummer:
Almost any call center, especially ones that are 3rd-party vendors, where your employer is contracted by another company to handle their customer service calls.

At least the Air Force has halfway-decent benefits.

Seconded! I worked in sales and could barely afford the expensive benefits they offered...
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Samprimary
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Bad jobs are for the non-rich.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I'm actually interested to know what about the Air Force makes it such a sucky job. Not to be argumentative, just curious. Would the other branches of the armed forces be better?

You have little to know say in what your actual job will be once you get to your posting sometimes, and it can be a completely different field than what you trained for in AIT. I was stuck in a safety office in a research facility but I was trained as a medic.

You often live in dorm style rooms, 20-30 people in two big rooms. In the Navy/Marines it is much worse than that with hundreds of cots stacked up to the ceilings in very, very cramped living spaces.

You can be shipped anywhere in the world at a moments notice, and once you get there they can keep you there even if you are suppose to be leaving the service, simply by declaring your job mission critical, or using stop-loss procedures. You have no legal recourse in either case. You are half a world away from every person in the world you care about, and about 55% of people deployed for longer than 1 year end up divorced or in marriage counseling, so even if you go back to your normal life it might never be the same again.

You have a bunch of petty tyrants who can use loopholes to make your life miserable on a day to day basis, and as long as they follow the letter of the law you can't stop it. Far more than in a civilian job, where at the very least you can quit. If you work in a research facility, you work along side of civilians who have better benefits than you do, make more than twice what you do per hour, and they are protected by a bunch of laws that don't apply to you, which means you get stuck with all of the overtime work, as they service doesn't pay you for overtime.

Then you get your taxes, and find out that they credit you with lodging and food as "income", even though you are living in barracks and eating slop that could have come from a 1970's school cafeteria, so while you only took home $17,000 or so, you get taxed on $29,000 a year....which means you OWE!


Plus you can die.

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JoeAlvord
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I am a retired high school teacher. I have always loved my profession and the kids. For two years I was department head and it became the worst job in the world. I can manage students. Adults are awful to manage, at least for me to manage. If I hadn't been able to drop those duties, I would have quit the profession long ago.
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AchillesHeel
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I've worked in a small business knife shop, Del Taco on the graveyard shift and at a hardware distribution center (warehouse work.)

But my worst is the one I still have. I've spent almost four years working the graveyard shift in central Phoenix at a gas station, recently I moved to a much more quiet store but the first three and half years were spent in twenty-four hour busy gang neighborhood in a store that was never allowed to close. I've had my life threatened for asking a twenty-two year old for i.d. when buying cigarettes, been told by grown angry men that they just got out of prison and don't like me, had people try to figure out if my car is the same one they see parked at such and such address during the day and finally had a gun pulled in the store because a return customer didn't like that I needed him to actually tell me what particular blunt wrap he wanted to buy from the vast selection available. The clerk who switched stores with me after that last one recently got hit on the head with a rock, no other interaction with the guy, some kook literally just felt like hitting the poor guy in the head with a rock.

I hate my job because it is menial labor, I hate the douchebag customers who seem to really need me to be subservient to them just because I have a low paying job (it's about half and half between rich and poor who treat me like I'm their slave) but if there were ever a single reason why this is the worst job at all it would be because my job has a mortality rate and if I carry a weapon to defend myself I lose my job on the spot.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I'm actually interested to know what about the Air Force makes it such a sucky job. Not to be argumentative, just curious. Would the other branches of the armed forces be better?

You have little to know say in what your actual job will be once you get to your posting sometimes, and it can be a completely different field than what you trained for in AIT. I was stuck in a safety office in a research facility but I was trained as a medic.

You often live in dorm style rooms, 20-30 people in two big rooms. In the Navy/Marines it is much worse than that with hundreds of cots stacked up to the ceilings in very, very cramped living spaces.

You can be shipped anywhere in the world at a moments notice, and once you get there they can keep you there even if you are suppose to be leaving the service, simply by declaring your job mission critical, or using stop-loss procedures. You have no legal recourse in either case. You are half a world away from every person in the world you care about, and about 55% of people deployed for longer than 1 year end up divorced or in marriage counseling, so even if you go back to your normal life it might never be the same again.

You have a bunch of petty tyrants who can use loopholes to make your life miserable on a day to day basis, and as long as they follow the letter of the law you can't stop it. Far more than in a civilian job, where at the very least you can quit. If you work in a research facility, you work along side of civilians who have better benefits than you do, make more than twice what you do per hour, and they are protected by a bunch of laws that don't apply to you, which means you get stuck with all of the overtime work, as they service doesn't pay you for overtime.

Then you get your taxes, and find out that they credit you with lodging and food as "income", even though you are living in barracks and eating slop that could have come from a 1970's school cafeteria, so while you only took home $17,000 or so, you get taxed on $29,000 a year....which means you OWE!


Plus you can die.

That does sound miserable. Yeek.
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Aros
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Fast food? Washing dishes? I've done that and more (plastic extrusion, lumping pallets, etc). Easy. Here are a few of my worst jobs:

- Digging post-holes with a shovel: Stupid farm. About as labor intensive as it gets.

- At a Hologram Factory: Quality control was terrible -- imagine staring INTO holograms for nine hours and looking for errors (your hands and eyes get all shaky for hours afterword). And there were these metal tops that I had to clean with a solvent that hurt my lungs for days afterword.

- Packing Whey in a Milk Factory: Talk about painful lungs. I packed 50 lb bags of whey powder. It coats your lungs, and you cough the gunk for days afterword.

- Glass cutter: A job to avoid, if you're sharp. Because glass definitely is.

- Piece-rate Riveter: Imagine wielding a rivet gun for 10 hours. Imagine they pay you by how many rivets you smash. Are you going to take breaks? Everyone in that position developed carpal tunnel within 18 months. Thankfully, the insurance covers that. Not to mention all the metal slivers in your hands and eyes. . . .

- Business to Business Sales: I sold perfume. Kind of a scam of a "training program". In hopes that you'll run your own store one day, you typically lose money (rather than make it). Can you say 120 hour work week, starving poor, on your feet?

I actually had a good military experience. I was in the Navy, I had a job that I loved (Electronics Technician), and I worked in my field. I had a lot of control over my career, got to see the world, and wasn't in any real danger. But I do have an example of a bad military job that I had:

- Calibrating High-Wattage Power Meters: A job for the "new guy", calibrating power meters that measure up to 10 kW. You have to inject a 10 kW RF signal and place your face directly in front of the needle, lining it up to be as accurate as possible. After the end of the first day, your fillings (in your teeth) ache. After days two and three your mouth and jaw hurt, and you begin vomiting. Not a very good experience. At least when you're done, it's the next "new guy's" turn.

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FoolishTook
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quote:
Dishwasher in a big pizza establishment. There was usually just one dishwasher working per shift.
Same here, although it was a small pizza place. But the dishwasher ran out of hot water about 30 minutes into the shift, so I had to rinse the dishes in cold water.

It was always busy during the buffet. The diswasher itself took forever, so I'd get behind. And the waitresses would keep coming back to inform me that they needed more clean plates.

I had to stand on a cement floor for the entire shift, and I was close to 300 lbs back then. Plus, the backroom was always about 15 degrees hotter than the front. That was a year of misery.

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kmbboots
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I have been pretty lucky. I have had to do some really annoying retail but I have never had to do anything dangerous, or physically demanding, dirty, or food service.

The worst job I had was one that I was really excited about getting - working theatre tech at a theme park. What I didn't know is that running a spotlight for the same show 5 times a day, six days a week would want to make me throw myself out of the booth. It is like having to watch the same insipid sitcom over and over again but, because I was running a spotlight, I had to pay attention and not let my mind wander. The fourth show of the day was the worst as I had already seen it 3 times that day and knew there was another on still to come.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Fast food? Washing dishes? I've done that and more (plastic extrusion, lumping pallets, etc). Easy.
Well, I've also worked fast food. Flipping burgers at McDonald's isn't much fun. But yeah, I've been relatively lucky to have as few crappy jobs as I've had. And it sounds like your crappy jobs have been far worse than mine. I'm very, very fortunate to have spent the last 10 years in a line of work that I quite enjoy.
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BlackBlade
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This thread validates my decision to listen to a feeling I was having when I was meeting with an Air Force recruiter and felt I should stop trying to get into the Air Force.
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Phillyn
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When I was a student at BYU-Hawaii I worked for about 10 days(all I could stand) shovelling poop out of the drying pools in the university sewage plant. We put it in wheel barrows and loaded it onto a truck to go to the university farm, where it was used for fertiliser.

Most of the stuff was dry, in large concrete swimming pool-shaped and -sized drying vats, but there was at least one pool where it was still liquidy.

We had to wheel the barrows along the dividing walls between the vats and shovel it in. One guy overbalanced and fell in! Luckily it was dry, so he was only in halfway up his boots. Wasn't good.

There were huge cockroaches scuttling around on top of it, and pink tampon applicators that got flushed mixed in with it. Not a nice job.

It was an extra vacation job that I had to take to make up my hours over Christmas break, but like I said, I only lasted 10 days. Stank, too...

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Xavier
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I've been pretty spoiled myself. I did have a couple of years where I built wooden "steps and decks" in a little shop. That wasn't bad most times, but the wood was left outside and when it was all covered in ice it was a bitch to cut and stack. About half the time my boss would have us doing some odd contracting jobs, where I'd usually be the one hauling cement bags or plywood up ladders. As a young man that wasn't so bad, and I got pretty darn strong from the physical labor. We also did some roofing in 90+ degree heat, which at times was hard. At least a couple of instances I nearly fell off one of those roofs (no safety equipment to speak of), which would have been fatal in a couple of cases.

I'd still probably rate that job above my time at Staples, selling office equipment. I had a BS in Computer Science at this point, but swallowing my pride wasn't the bad part. It was being thrown on a floor with thousands of products, that I was somehow supposed to be an expert in. There was absolutely no training on the products (at least that I was given).

My general manager had the bright idea to cheat the "secret shopper" by staffing twice the number of people in the weeks before we got our monthly visit, and then afterwards he'd cut everyone's hours to a minimum. So for a couple of weeks it was crazy boring as we'd have to fight to help each shopper. Then in the weeks after the visit, you'd have 10+ angry people waiting for you to help them, with no backup. The system was supposed to help improve customer service, but it totally backfired at our store as the management tried to game the system. I also hated selling warranties that I knew were a rip-off.

I know that the above is quite tame compared to most employment horror stories [Smile] .

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Hobbes
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Boy, these are some stories! I've always known I was lucky when it comes to work experience, but... well I've been quite lucky.

I'd say the worst experience I had was as a research assistant down in Texas. I love research, and it was in my field, so most of the time it was great. But the my lead professor retired after I hired on and no one took over, so I got overlooked. Bad experiences came and went, but it all came to a head (and here's the experience that fits the thread title [Smile] ) at the end of my last full semester there. I'd been on a plan to get my thesis and school work done by the end of Summer, and everything was playing out that way. Then shortly before the end of the preceding Spring semester one of my advisers said I'd be graduating in June, even though the money and research was set-up for Summer work. I ended up working 20 hours a day, six days a week for the last month+ (with multiple ecclesiastical responsibilities keeping me busy more than 10 hours on Sundays). Then as it came down to it I was told it was just a mis-communication and of course I'd be on until the end of Summer since no one was going to review my thesis until July at the earliest anyway.

Not comparable to a lot of the other stories but it was bad enough to sour me on Texas in general. Not really fair, but it did.

Hobbes [Smile]

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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by RivalOfTheRose:
McDonalds

Yep. Horrible food, job, pay, boss, hours, and I had to walk 3.5 miles each way. Uphill both ways, in the snow, while being chased by dogs that drove Hummers...

Well, most of that is true anyway.

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Kwea
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There are some good things about the service. It provides direction, and purpose, and a lot of young people (myself included back then) need more of that. The pay isn't good, but it is about the same a retail.

And not every time frame is wartime, and a lot of people, such as myself, never even went overseas. I was stateside the whole time.

On the bad side, one more thing....every modern enlistment is for 8 years. Even a 2 year enlistment is 2 years active, 6 years inactive. Which means they can force you to come back into the service after 5 years of living as a civilian, then stop loss you and keep you overseas in mission critical position for YEARS!

And the suicide rate is more than double the civilian rate, and that is just the suicides they know about. The real number of soldiers who die in the field because of depression and suicidal ideation are unknown, but thought to be fairly high. If someone gives up and walks into enemy fire, it's not classified as a suicide. Not the least because of the death benefits that are provided to the families if they die in combat....


Going into the Army was one of the best things that happened to me, I learned I loved helping people, that I had an aptitude for the medical field, and that I wanted to work hands-on with patients.

But LEAVING the service was also one of the best things that ever happened to me. I was a very, very good and motivated medic....but a horrible soldier.


Thank God!

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Lyrhawn
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My worst job was actually one of my favorites: Expediter in a big sports bar/restaurant.

The job was incredibly high stress. People were always yelling at me, I was always yelling at that, I was always being blamed for everything that went wrong in the entire restaurant despite being one of the lowest paid people there. I had to deal with bitchy servers complaining about food mistakes made by the cooks, and bitchy cooks complaining about misrang food from the servers. There were just a ton of attitude issues, and it was so fast pace I considered walking out a number of times in the seven years I worked there. I even worked the dish tank, twice, and NEVER again. Dish was a nightmare.

On the other hand, even though I was paid less than most of the cooks, it was still the most I'd ever made at a job. Despite the fact that I was constantly fighting with people, I also loved most of my co-workers and made great friends. It also exposed me to a wide variety of people I'd never normally meet. I also think I picked up some great stress and people management skills in that job which will serve me well later in life. So much as I hated that job and I'm glad it's over...I actually miss it a couple times a month.

I quit that job 10 months ago when I went to grad school, and thought about going back this summer. My boss even called me out of the blue last week to ask if I was coming back for the summer. I guess in the last ten months they've been trying to find a replacement for me but simply can't find anyone who will put up with that mess of a job. Makes me wish I'd quit years ago. I could have squeezed a huge raise out of them.

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Ginol_Enam
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I worked at a local amusement park in the "food" department for a little over four months during high school. At first, it was pretty alright as far as high school summer jobs go. The "restaurant" I worked at was was in the back of the park and all on its own (the building was lovingly called The Lone Buffalo). It got busy sometimes, but never too busy. I worked with the same 4 or 5 people, most of which were pretty alright. We had a "supervisor," but he was also just a high school kid and, fortunately, not one who let his supposed authority got to his head. We did our job, but we never felt that anyone was breathing down our necks or anything. It was alright.

After about a month and a half, when school started, things started to go down hill. A couple of our staff quit which was also indicative of the rest of the park. Since everybody was quitting, the higher ups decided to close down the Lone Buffalo and move the few of us that remained from there to other restaurants within the park (this was in hindsight probably fortunate since the roof collapsed just a few days later). This, at first, was also not so bad. It was a little awkward trying to get integrated with the rest of the "food department." Most of the eateries in the park were pretty close together, so they knew each other and moved around. The Buffalo was pretty self contained in comparison. I didn't really see any of the people I had worked with again, but the people I started working with were cool, too.

So far, not so bad. Then I got placed in the corn dog booth. [Angst]

The corn dog booth was a little booth located near the entrance to the park. It was the only place in the theme park that sold corn dogs. I felt this was an odd decision because corn dogs seem like an inherent theme park/fair type food. Indeed, the booth was insanely busy. Additionally, since it was just a little booth, they only ever staffed one person in there. Maybe they staffed two during the summer when they had more staff to schedule, but I only ever worked solo. The booth always always had a line.

Worse, the corn dogs took a relatively long time to make. I really don't remember how long it was; I just remember it was longer than pretty much anything else I had to make at that theme park. It was also only possible to cook 8 a time in the corn dog fryers. One could dump some corns dogs in the basket fryers to increase production, but that was discouraged unless absolutely necessary. It was absolutely necessary all the time.

The booth was so busy so constantly that I consistently fell behind in how many corn dogs I had made. I had create my own numbered system on how to make sure I gave corn dogs to the right people in the right order when they had to wait for the corn dogs to finish cooking. It wasn't unheard of for people to have to wait through two or three batches of corn dogs before it was their turn. This was, of course, in addition to running the register itself. I also had to sell other typical things as well: fries, nachos, pretzels, etc. So I had to make sure they were prepared in addition to those corn dogs.

It became worse as the season inched closer to the end. During the last month of business or so, management would start shutting down certain pieces of equipment so they could be cleaned and covered for storage during the winter. This included by basket fryer which was not only a last resort in trying to keep up with the corn dog demand, but also how I made my french fries (which I also sold a lot of, of course). Alas, business only increased due to the park's annual Oktoberfest and Fright Fest during October. I had to rely on the restaurant next door to supply me with french fries for my customers. They weren't always reliable in getting it to me, though, so I often had to remind them to make me fries which, of course, demanded that I abandon my post for a brief second to duck my head out the door and shout, "I need fries!" which only decreased the speed in which I could get through the line and increased the time it took for me to get the corn dogs out.

To make matters even worse, the theme park, as a fundraiser and a last resort to make up for all the lost staff due to school, started "hiring" soccer moms and their soccer clubs on a temporary basis to run some of the restaurants including the one next door. I'm going to speculate why, but they sucked at the job and would frequently "forget" to give me fries even after I had asked and then demanded them. So now I had a waiting list for both corn dogs and chili cheese fries.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that my work schedule was typically (and by typically, I mean every week from when the park went to weekends only to the final blessed day it was open for the season): 5:00pm to midnight on Fridays; 10:00am to 12:00am on Saturdays; and 10:00am to 10:00pm on Sundays. In addition to school and the various functions that contained.

So, suffice to say, I didn't return management's call when they tried to recruit me again the next year. Instead, I went to work for a movie theatre (why didn't I think of it before!) which I've turned into a pretty successful career, IMO.


tl;dr - Theme park. Corn dogs. PAIN.

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Lyrhawn
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I've never had a corn dog. Are they worth it?
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TomDavidson
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Yes, for a given value of "it."
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kmbboots
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Now I want a corndog.
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BlackBlade
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They are pretty tasty.
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Teshi
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Hm, I thought I had posted but evidently not.

I have an optimistic outlook, but I think I've worked some crappy jobs.

Right out of university I worked for five months in an understaffed coffee shop. Hygiene was pretty awful because nobody had any time to clean anything properly. There were cockroaches basking in the heat of the espresso machine. ALL our mugs were cracked or chipped and we were the only coffee shop in a large mall so the line was always out the door at busy times.

*

Now I work as a supply/part time teacher and I do a regular Tuesday at a school which is quite tough. I'm not tough. Fights regularly break out in my classroom and emotionally it's much harder than the coffee shop was. I actually hope I get punched by the kids one day so I have a pretty good excuse to leave that position.

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PSI Teleport
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When I was about fifteen I set pins for old fogies at a non-automated bowling alley in a country club. Meaning that I stood at the end of one lane while a guy bowled on the lane next to me, then hopped over to clear his fallen pins and send his ball back while someone bowled in the lane I'd just been standing in. Back and forth, back and forth for three hours straight. I was hit by errant balls and flying pins multiple times and stank like old shoes at the end of the night, but the guys were great and tipped really well. It occurred me a couple of years ago that they were probably staring down my shirt all night long. Oh well.

There was only one bowler that actually scared me: a massive bleach blonde thirty-something in the women's league. She was at least six-two and she heaved that 16-lb, hot pink ball faster than any other bowler. I can't remember exactly how many times I was hit in the head by her pins, but, yeah.

[Just to be clear, that's errant balls and flying PINS. Don't be weird, now.]

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advice for robots
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Along the lines of flying PINS:

http://now.msn.com/now/0404-brazil-pee-guitar.aspx

Sure hate to be the guy who has to change the strings.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
There are some good things about the service. It provides direction, and purpose, and a lot of young people (myself included back then) need more of that. The pay isn't good, but it is about the same a retail.

And not every time frame is wartime, and a lot of people, such as myself, never even went overseas. I was stateside the whole time.

On the bad side, one more thing....every modern enlistment is for 8 years. Even a 2 year enlistment is 2 years active, 6 years inactive. Which means they can force you to come back into the service after 5 years of living as a civilian, then stop loss you and keep you overseas in mission critical position for YEARS!

And the suicide rate is more than double the civilian rate, and that is just the suicides they know about. The real number of soldiers who die in the field because of depression and suicidal ideation are unknown, but thought to be fairly high. If someone gives up and walks into enemy fire, it's not classified as a suicide. Not the least because of the death benefits that are provided to the families if they die in combat....


Going into the Army was one of the best things that happened to me, I learned I loved helping people, that I had an aptitude for the medical field, and that I wanted to work hands-on with patients.

But LEAVING the service was also one of the best things that ever happened to me. I was a very, very good and motivated medic....but a horrible soldier.


Thank God!

I pretty much feel the same. Most people I know who are planning on getting out are glad to be doing it. Unfortunately, the benefits that everyone keeps talking about might not last very long (the higher ups are constantly talking about cutting them because of the budget), which is even more of a reason to get out. The only reason I joined was to get a Master's degree, but I've been in for two years now and I haven't been allowed to start it yet because of training. That's two years of non-progression in my eyes.

I'm not going to lie though...working at McDonalds would probably be worse. I can't say for sure, though, since I've never done it.

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Geraine
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My worst job was as a custodial engineer (janitor) at a fitness center. It was there I learned that when women complain about how bad men's restrooms are, they fail to mention how much worse women's restrooms are.

Seriously....I saw things that can never be unseen. Things smeared all over bathroom stalls, things clogging drains... I threw up many a night at that job.

It was my first job as well. I'll never ever do it again, and I respect those that do. They should seriously get paid more.

I say the dirtier the job, the higher the pay.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:

I'm not going to lie though...working at McDonalds would probably be worse. I can't say for sure, though, since I've never done it.

Once again, I've never worked at McDonald's specifically, but I've spent years off and on in food service, both fast food and fine dining. And based on your stories of the Air Force, it (the Air Force, I mean) sounds way, way worse.

But then, some people think of food service as beneath them, and one of the worse conceivable jobs, so perhaps your mileage would vary.

[ April 04, 2012, 06:50 PM: Message edited by: Dan_Frank ]

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Aros
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The military is a mixed bag, but it depends a lot on your job and your attitude. I had an outstanding experience. I got more out of the military than I had dreamed possible. But I knew twice as many people who got screwed over.

It's really odd -- any particular duty station can either be the absolutely worst job or best job in the world. And it's (generally) outside of your control.

A good attitude and and a readiness to conform are pretty important, however. Without them, you will be miserable.

I would argue that the job you sign up for is a pretty good indicator of your chances at having a good career. The kids with low ASVAB scores generally don't get good jobs and are treated poorly. People with higher scores often get much better jobs, sometimes better than jobs you can get in the real world. Anyone that is thinking about joining should both evaluate the job options (waiting to join until there's an opening in the job you want) and STUDY for the ASVAB. You can take it as many times as you want. I can't iterate enough how important this is.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
The military is a mixed bag, but it depends a lot on your job and your attitude. I had an outstanding experience. I got more out of the military than I had dreamed possible. But I knew twice as many people who got screwed over.

It's really odd -- any particular duty station can either be the absolutely worst job or best job in the world. And it's (generally) outside of your control.

A good attitude and and a readiness to conform are pretty important, however. Without them, you will be miserable.

I would argue that the job you sign up for is a pretty good indicator of your chances at having a good career. The kids with low ASVAB scores generally don't get good jobs and are treated poorly. People with higher scores often get much better jobs, sometimes better than jobs you can get in the real world. Anyone that is thinking about joining should both evaluate the job options (waiting to join until there's an opening in the job you want) and STUDY for the ASVAB. You can take it as many times as you want. I can't iterate enough how important this is.

That's true. I scored a 94, but my job only requires a 65. I probably could have picked a better job, and it seems like what I do is probably better than something that only requires a 30 (like being a cop). Still, a lot of complaints that people have are more directed towards the military side of things, rather than the actual job (although it is certainly not always the case).

quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
Seriously....I saw things that can never be unseen. Things smeared all over bathroom stalls, things clogging drains..

I apologize. That was my fault. I had a rough night that night. [Razz]
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Stephan
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Aaron Rents. First job out of college, they called in a management position, which only meant I didn't get overtime. After having to lug a rented couch up 5 flights of stairs, and the non-manager truck driver getting the full tip, I took about a 50% pay cut to work at a hotel until an insurance job came up.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I was 22 and living in Bakersfield (if you don't know it, it's a good place to stop and empty your ash tray). I got a job working at a local shooting range, as a sales associate. I asked them if it was okay if I give my current job a week's notice, and they said yes. A week later I show up only to discover that they had filled the position they had promised me and I was now "maintenance man". And instead of being inside an air conditioned floor room selling guns and helping with the range, I was to be outside sweeping the parking lot in the 110 degree heat from the constant assault of hay which blew over from the feed store next door.

My duties also included retrieving 100 plus pound cases of ammo from the non ventilated, non lighted shipping containers, again, in the 110 plus degree heat (had to be 30 degrees hotting in those steel bi**hs), cleaning the bathrooms, putting on a full head to toe (hot and uncomfortable) environmental suit and sweeping up the brass and cleaning out the lead traps and buffing the floors of the range and dealing with an A #1 butthole of a supervisor who screamed at me for any little thing. I also got to clean the guns, which was fine, but rare, as the other crap duties were so time consuming.

I eventually demanded the position I was promised, and was refused. When I mentioned going to the labor board I was fired. Good riddance.

Second Amendment Sports can suck it!

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Still, a lot of complaints that people have are more directed towards the military side of things, rather than the actual job (although it is certainly not always the case).

Think about this, however. Your leadership is generally in the same job field as you are. If your leaders are more intelligent people, they are MUCH less likely to be abusive and much more likely to allow leniency. Service-members with lower ASVAB jobs are often treated as commodities, while those with better jobs often get better rank, better pay, better housing, better treatment, better duty stations, etc. Part of it has to do with the fact that they're more rare. Part of it is (again) their better leaders.

Anyone would be better off studying and re-taking the ASVAB (again and again) and selecting a job that requires a 70 or higher. Get a tutor, anything. Unless you want a specific job (police, journalist, etc) -- but remember that those jobs can come with poorer treatment.

I worked in electronics in the Navy (radars, SATCOM, etc). I had two years of full-time technical training and 25 choices of duty station, stateside and worldwide. I had a fantastic time. I really felt bad for people in deck, in the boilers, firefighters, etc. They often worked 20 hour days in miserable conditions, while we spent most of our time playing Halo or touring cool countries.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
while we spent most of our time playing Halo or touring cool countries.

I hate you so much, Aros.

So, so much.

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Jake
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Geraine, when I've had jobs that have required me to clean bathrooms, that's been my experience as well.

quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Now I work as a supply/part time teacher and I do a regular Tuesday at a school which is quite tough. I'm not tough. Fights regularly break out in my classroom and emotionally it's much harder than the coffee shop was. I actually hope I get punched by the kids one day so I have a pretty good excuse to leave that position.

Teshi, I'm sorry that your current job is that unpleasant. I knew you weren't enjoying it, but I don't think I realized quite how bad it was. How come you're sticking with it?
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Kwea
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A lot of people, particularly in nuclear (meaning Navy, mostly) who loved their jobs, and when they left the service they made tons of cash doing what they considered easy work in the civilian sector.

I had sky high ASVAB scores....my recruiter was psyched as I literally qualified for every single job in the service...but I was a moron and chose medic. Even without a degree I could have gone LPN, and left the service as a nurse. Literally my whole life was changed by a lack of prep before going to the recruiter. I DID do some research, but I knew I didn;t want an extended inital enlistment...and I was right, I didn't even serve my full 4 years. But had I signed up for LPN, or x-ray tech, or something along those lines, I could have left the service making $30,000 - $45,000 a year rather than $18,000-$25,000 for a decade.

There are definate downsides to the millitary, but I can't say enough about how it varies from person to person. It was an overall good experience for me, and has helped me in later life for sure. And I came from an upper middle class upbringing, not the inner city or deep country. A lot of recruits are from there, and thanks to the GI bill change not just their own lives but the loves of their families.

I met some of the smarted people i have ever met in the Army, and that came as quite a surprise to me. Most people don't realize the average infantryman now has a 2 year college degree, and then has specialized training on top of that...and that a large number of service members work in the healthcare/medical field, and provide outstanding care for the most part. Dentists, DR's, nurses (RN and LPN), medics, X-Ray techs, researchers......that's a LOT of very, very smart people who are all in the service.

Too bad they weren't in charge of me, I'd probably still be in......hell, I could have retired this year at age 42 with my full pension!

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
A lot of people, particularly in nuclear (meaning Navy, mostly) who loved their jobs, and when they left the service they made tons of cash doing what they considered easy work in the civilian sector.


+1 But I was conventional electronics, not nuke. Additionally, I was able to take the credits from military school (as well as a few CLEPs) and finish my Bachelor's in one year. Now, I'm about to finish my MBA, and I'll still have about 6 months of GI Bill benefits to apply to my next Masters (Computer Science at Columbia).

In the end, your future is determined by the decisions you make. It can be great or terrible -- in or out of the military. But if you approach it well, and have a lot of luck, the military can give you a whole heck of a lot.

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Kwea
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Yep. And it can take everything, even if you make the right decisions....your wife, your family, your life....


I'm not saying don't do it. I am saying be careful if you do, and go into it with your eyes open.


The first weekend I was at my posting in MD, I went to the education office and asked about CLEP testing. They said study and come back. I asked why, and they copped an attitude, hardcore. So I asked to take the pre-test they were warning me about, to see if I could CLEP. I guess they had had a bunch of morons come through and fail the CLEPS after talking about how well they test.

I got 4 wrong. Over 3 different pre-tests. [Big Grin] They let me take a CLEP right there and then. [Big Grin]


I passed. [Big Grin]

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Stone_Wolf_
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I was going to join the Navy at age 17, and took what I assume is the CLEP...got one wrong...well, they said I got two wrong, but one of them was a math question and I proved that their answer key had the wrong answer. Before the test they were talking about some kind of maintenance job for me, after it was nuke school.

My uncle was a submariner and died from taking too many rads...slow and painful. They gave him a military burial even though he had been out of the service for years at the time of his death, and my aunt and cousin get great benefits.

That and I didn't loose 40 lbs, so I didn't join.

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advice for robots
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I wouldn't voluntarily join the military for one simple reason: I don't think I could take all the acronyms. [Big Grin]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I wouldn't voluntarily join the military for one simple reason: I don't think I could take all the acronyms. [Big Grin]

Then never get into post-secondary financial aid, either. [Wink]
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Dan_Frank
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Or really any financial services at all.

Or most programming!

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