There are a lot of awful jobs out there. The other night the conversation on the back porch led to a sharing of worst jobs ever. (More)

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Worst is of course relative. None of us has ever been a migrant worker, worked in a slaughter house or had some of the other jobs that may have crossed your mind when you read the title. Sometimes best and worst mingled as the stories were shared.

One persons worse job was bussing dishes at a fairly upsacle local restaurant. Part of that was also doing set-ups. When she walked into the walk-in-freezer, there was a large mouse or a small rat sitting on top of an open bowl of maraschino cherries. She hasn’t been able to eat once since.

One holiday season I worked at a candy factory. It was a production line and I was in college and gung ho. I was also too fast compared to the regular crew. They nicely took me aside and asked me to slow down because they were older and there was no way they could pack at that pace year in and year out. I got it and slowed down. I packed those pink and white peppermint circles that are individually wrapped. Even though I wore a smock and a head net, I smelled like peppermint for weeks after my season was over. I’m not a fan fifty years later.

When I worked in HR at Medtronic, sons and daughters of executives and other important people would apply for part-time or summer jobs. Invariably they’d say, “I’ll do anything, anything at all.” We always had openings at the animal research lab. I would ask, as a test, how they felt about gavanging rats. They got points if they asked what that meant. It means grabbing a rat with one hand behind the head, opening the mouth and force feeding them. Only one kid said, “Okay I can do that.” Most of them looked absolutely terrified at the prospect. I gave them advice. “Don’t say I’ll do anything before you know what that entails. It’s good to be excited about a job, but not before you know what it is.” One young man calmly stood up and grabbed my wastebasket and heaved. He asked that I not tell his dad. Then he asked, “Do you have anything else?”

I get that the candy packing is not a horrible job, relatively speaking. I have led a charmed life. I have had worse episodes at jobs I loved but for the sheer monotony I picked the candy packing.

My youngest son said taht roofing in 100 heat one summer in college was rough byt really he has had more awful bosses than awful jobs.

What is your worst job? Or share the stories from friends and family.

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