From "Would you like fries with that?" to "Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.", everybody has that job that from the minute you start, until the minute that you punch the clock and race home, that you regret. I thought it would be a fun exercise to look back at the worst of the worst from my own experience.
5.) Paper Boy
In hindsight, this was a very good character building job that I held for the better part of two years. I remember the very first week and the very last week the best. In week one it rained quite hard, prompting me to call in to the newspapers office, asking if I still had to deliver the papers. The nice lady at the newspaper said "uhhh.... yeah...". The last week of working for the mass media, I was training a replacement who was about 3 years younger then I was (which is a world of difference when you are 13). Not even half way through he was complaining about it being too hot and him being too tired and wanting his mommy. No, seriously, we had to stop so I could take him to our house and call his mom to pick him up. Never learned if he kept the route or not. To this day I weep a little for the general populous born after 1984.
4.) Tooth Brush Packer
I actually had a lot of fun with this job, spending my last summer at home before college chatting it up with people quite satisfied with the eleven dollars an hour that the 3rd shift, 9pm to 5am, earned. The characters from tat experience could fill volumes of sociology texts, and dozens of frames in the Sunday comics. Some stark lessons learned as you realize that some people would rather sit on the floor of the restroom for three or four hours at a time rather then stand at a table stuffing toothbrushes into boxes.
3.) Fast Food Cashier
My first real job. Filling out W-4's and send my coin to Uncle Sam! I started at the hourly rate of $5.25/hr and thought I had struck it rich. Half of my paycheck went into the bank and half of it went straight into the local comic book store. Leaving me with well over a thousand dollars of cash on hand when I left for college, only to blow it all at an even bigger comic book store once I was living on my own.
2.) Grocery Store Clerk
Who hasn't worked at a grocery store that lived in Iowa? I mean seriously, these things are breeding pits for youth trying to take a step towards financial independence. I worked for the largest grocery chain in Iowa for almost all of college doing everything from cleaning up cans and bottles to ringing up lottery tickets. My days where numbered when the last summer I was working right before I was due to graduate, I applied for a management position, many people I worked with thought me a shoe-in for the opening. During the interview I was asked when my plans where for when I graduated in a few months. My response was a scoff and saying "Get the heck out of this place.", or something to that effect. Suffice to say I didn't get the job and left shortly there after.
1.) Data Entry Specialist
Working for a large financial institution right out of college. I was fresh out of school and ready to take on the universe. I was marveled that I would have my own cubicle complete with a built in locker. By the end of the first day, I was bored out of my mind. After receiving no training and then having my job threatened the first week for not doing correctly whatever it was I was supposed to be doing, I eventually took it upon myself to learn what it was I was supposed to be doing. I walked up three floors to the department that reviewed all the work I was supposed to be doing, after a few hours of discussion I returned to my desk to have my boss waiting there to start yelling at me again for fraternizing with other departments. By the end of the first month I had discovered about 80% of my work could be done with a series of MS Word macros and a few clicks of the mouse rather then hours of tedious typing. I suddenly was doing over 50% of my eight man departments throughput. As a result I decided to dedicate about three hours a day to catching up on my Star Wars novels. It drove my boss insane! By three months getting up to stretch was received with a yelling and idle threats. By five months, I had shown several co-workers my minimal scripting abilities, making us do circles around other departments productivity. Around eight months I started learning that my fantastic motivator of a supervisor was up for a huge promotion. I quickly excused myself and found another job. About two years later the entire company closed it's Iowa location. So, the moral of the story is that I hate guys who name their kids Kinnick! Go Cyclones!
You may notice a fairly linear progression here, the good news is that I'm four years into a job that I love in the vast industry of Information Technology. I leave you with these words of wisdom; The secret of my success is to always have your hand on Alt-Tab and a really complicated looking spreadsheet handy.