Jobs Worse Than Yours: Readers Tell All
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An "I Love Lucy" Situation
I worked one half day on an assembly line (packaging cookies). I jammed the machinery, stopped the line, and got a migraine. Those workers need a union and really earn their salaries. -Min
Nothing Gets You in the Holiday Spirit Like Green Dye and a Machete
When I was in college I worked at a Christmas tree farm. I would ride my bike 5 miles wearing steel toed boots carrying a machete. I cut the tree with the long machette like knife to help them grow into a perfect christmas tree shape, We would then spray them with a vegetable green dye when they were almost ready to be cut and delivered. I must have been quite a site, riding home covered in green, riding a bike with my machette. But I was in amazing shape when it was all finished, and I made good money. I have to admit, I never look at Christmas trees the same again. Maybe that is why I have an artificial one now! -Sherry
I once took a job working for a man whose family owned a mortuary and funeral business. The man was given a funeral home to do with what he pleased, this being the 80’s he decided to make the building into a combo tanning salon and aerobics studio. I was there to help convert the rooms into something that didn’t remind you of when you buried your grandma there. The viewing rooms became tanning rooms and the chapel became the aerobics studio. Unfortunately the majority of rooms still stored caskets, the hearse was parked behind the building and the embalming room was still fully equipped. There were boxes and boxes of glasses and the occasional denture in the embalming room, presumably from previous, uh, customers. To this day I cannot look at a tanning bed without thinking of a funeral parlor. -Shelley
"The Name's Cheese, Chuck E. Cheese"
If you’ve ever been to Chuck E. Cheese you know it’s a fun place. Unless you work there, that is. Birthday cakes are delivered by a life-size character. The kids love this of course, but it’s not so wonderful if you are the person wearing that costume! Inside, it’s hot, difficult to see, cumbersome to walk in, and worst of all, it smells of other people’s body odor! All you want to do is get back in the office and get that thing off, but of course the birthday party guests all want to take pictures of you with their little darling, while sweat drips into your eyes! It’s not of the more pleasant memories of my high school years! –Marlene Pyle
Fastest Whopper-Maker in All the Land
My Craziest Job title was Burger King Queen! I worked at Burger King, at age 16, and I was the Fastest Whopper-Maker that ever worked there. I could make 5 Whoppers at one time and the management staff loved me. At first, it was quite embarrassing, but then, I began to enjoy getting the compliments and praise as being a hard worker and titled, Burger King Queen!! –Lady Tee
Don't Shoot the Messenger
I was a courier delivering lost luggage from the airport. It was insane because people always assumed I worked for the airline and would cuss me out when I got to their house with their bags. Once I had to deliver some bags to a family and the bags all smelled like they contained fish inside them. My car stunk for about a week even after taking it to the car wash and paying them to wash the interior. People would also be very shocked that a fairly attractive woman was bringing their bags. I got robbed on night in Brooklyn when I was trying to unload my car. I also had to drive on a highway in the middle of winter with skis hanging out of my passenger window because I drove a Dodge Neon and had no rack ot anywhere to put the skis where they would fit. Thankfully they didn’t fly out the window while I was driving. -Andrea
Why You Should Always Tip Your Aesthetician
When I was about 25, I worked in a beauty salon. I was a nail tech plus occasionally did body wraps. The weight-loss kind of wraps and the mother wrap of all, the highest gig in the salon: the seaweed wrap. Seaweed wrap were billed as a fabulously relaxing way to pull toxins from the body—the whole body—and soften the skin. It was also the smelliest. Customers paid $200 (and this was nearly 25 years ago!) to be painted with reconstituted dehydrated seaweed and lie there in the stinking mess for upwards of an hour. Who painted the seaweed on their bodies? Me. I was responsible for all the steps it took to make their skin toxin-free and baby-butt soft. For my work, my take was $125—an unthinkable amount for two hours of work, at least unthinkable to a 25-year-old with three babies and a husband already working two jobs to support the family. So I tallied up how many diapers I could buy with $125 and went through the steps, hating every stinking (and I do mean stinking!) minute of it. -Lisa
That’ll Make You a Vegetarian
My wackiest job was working on a chicken farm in Arkansas when I was 20 years old. My job was to walk through the chicken houses and pull dead chickens and chicken parts off of the conveyor belts so the eggs could continue through the belts.
Wedding Crashing for Cash
While trying to break into character acting, I did some strange things like playing a talking Easter egg at the local mall. But the weirdest thing I ever did was let a lawyer talk me into showing up at his brother’s wedding, wearing a pillow under my shirt and claiming to have been impregnated by the groom. Apparently, these guys had been playing practical jokes on each other their whole lives. I’m pretty sure I got $150 and it was a Lutheran wedding. Oh! The shame of walking into some nice woman’s wedding and standing up as she and her husband are about to be pronounced man and wife. “I’m sorry but he’s the daddy of my baby and I’m 7 months pregnant”, I said. Everyone turned and stared. There was a horrible pause (you know what kind of pause it was) and the lawyer stepped up to address the wedding party and guests. He admitted his prankster history, gestured me over, reached underneath my shirt and pulled out the pillow. I don’t think anyone laughed.
Just Call Her Ace Ventura
The craziest job I ever had was as a pet sitter for a small company. It was supposed to be easy—one dog or cat at a time. But the animals liked me, so I’d end up with everyone else’s tough cases. One of those was a tiny pomeranian who had been returned by several sitters because she barked and snapped at everyone. She took one look at me and melted. The worst weekend was the time I had a doberman who tried to eat my cat, a large white rat with just a bucket for a cage, an elderly tom cat, a parrot and a snake—all at the same time! Then there was the blind, nearly toothless poodle that I had to carry outside to potty, and the mixed breed dog that loved us to death but lunged at all of our friends’ pets. Being a pet sitter might sound easy but it felt more like being a zookeeper to me! -Kriss