What Was The Worst Job You Ever Had?

I am the queen of bad jobs. I had my first at age 15 when my dad informed me I’d be working at the local dry cleaners for the summer. It was a very long three months at $5 an hour. I took my next bad job as a hostess at Chili’s thinking it would be a good job. Free Awesome Blossoms! It was not as awesome as I thought. It turns out hungry people are a**holes and onion rings are so much grosser when you know how they’re made. I quit after I discovered a couple having sex in a booth. Eww! After that, I had a string of awful employment situations that stretched out over the next seven years. I was sandwich bitch at Mrs. Fields, a sales girl at Contempo Casuals, a makeup consultant at Cosmetics Plus, a merch girl at a nightclub, a nanny for three brats, and wait for it … a car salesman. I can’t relive the details of how I got the job or why, but I will say that the month I sold cars was my all-time employment low. My sales pitch went something like, “If you want to buy this car, just let me know. If you don’t, no biggie.” Needless to say, I didn’t make much commission. All the bad jobs I suffered through seem worth it now that I finally have a great job. Read on to hear tales of Frisky staffers’ worst work experiences.

The summer after sophomore year of college I worked at a toy store. The owners were not normal. They didn’t have any defined job for me, so sometimes I would show up for work and do nothing all day.  I had worked at a jewelry store and can wrap presents really well, but all the gifts that I wrapped, they would unwrap them and re-wrap them. They weren’t even wrapped badly. Not to mention that it pissed off customers that I would have wrapped a perfectly nice gift and then the owner would waste time unwrapping and re-wrapping it. Plus, the owners were so paranoid about pickpocketing that they made me follow around customers and watch them as they shopped. It is really, really obvious when shopclerks do this, so I felt uncomfortable. One afternoon, the owners randomly fired me, claiming there wasn’t enough work for me to do. I can’t say I minded, because it was true. I later heard through the grapevine that it really was obvious that the owners followed customers around the store and some people felt it was racist. Miraculously, this toy store is still in business. – Jessica

I’m not sure if this was the worst job ever, but it was certainly the most difficult — the summer before my senior year of high school, I was a canvasser for the California Public Interest Research Group which is basically an environmental and consumer rights group (originally founded by Ralph Nader!). Canvassing is just a fancy way of saying “door-to-door salesman” only I wasn’t selling tupperware or cosmetics — so easy! — but memberships, as well as pleading for donations. Work started in the afternoon so you could catch people after they got home from work. Each evening we were dropped off in a specific neighborhood and had to hit all the houses on a couple different blocks. I learned to not take no for answer. “No, you don’t give a crap about the environment? Well, sir, here is why you should! Still don’t care? What if I begged? Will you give me 10 bucks and then I’ll leave you alone? Awesome!” In theory, it was actually kind of a dangerous job since I was alone, going to strangers’ houses, AT NIGHT. But I learned a lot, actually, and it was a challenge considering I was pretty shy. The best donation I ever got was from a drunk guy who gave me $300 IN CHANGE. Also, I fell in love — from afar — with a coworker who wore Teva sandals. He has a cute face but I am still so ashamed. –Amelia

My first job out of college: I was a spam email writer. Yes, I wrote and coded email ads for penis enlargement supplements, pyramid schemes, “Spider-man” DVDs, sex pillows, the worst stuff you can imagine. Every day I spent in that office, I felt like I was selling my soul. And yes, I did receive my own “work” in my email inbox. Of course, I had no idea what I was getting into when I was hired for this job. I had responded to a totally fraudulent ad looking for a college grad to write “email travel newsletters”—it wasn’t until I accepted the position and started my first day that I realized what was actually going on. Also, I should note that the office was all male, with the exception of myself and the girl who sat next to me, who had been hired the same day. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we looked a lot a like—I have a feeling our boss hired us because we were both to his taste. Gross. I was so, so happy when I finally got out of there and went back to what I’d hoped to do—work at a magazine. –Kate

I was an appliance sales person (yes, refrigerators and washers and dryers) at Best Buy. Then, I worked at a student loan call center.  Imagine saying, “Hi, thank you for calling Nelnet, may I have your name and SSN please?”100,000 times a day. I had to alert my supervisor if I needed to go to the restroom. Another fun one was my job in client services for the shoe department at a major luxury retailer.  “I’ve only had them for five years and they are falling apart!” Grrrrrr. But the very worst was when I sold $2,000 vacuum cleaners door-to-door by luring people with fliers to get a free 2-liter of soda! – Intern Kamilah

Okay, your turn! Tell us about your worst jobs in the comments.

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