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Thread: Nightmare Jobs

  1. #31
    singularity precursor Limes's Avatar
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    While still in high school:

    Five of us once picked up five tons of melted Cadbury's chocolate off the floor in five hours at Cadbury's Wispa in Bournville, Birmingham. I didn't eat chocolate for about three months after that.
    I've also cleaned razor sharp swarf out of a giant industrial lathe with a crowbar, crawling through stinky coolant, the giant rings were part of the 'Iraqi supergun', project Babylon.
    Well, there it is.

  2. #32
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    In terms of how overall shitty the day-to-day job was, food service by far. But in terms of real jobs, the bank I worked at two years ago. It had so many red flags, I was sure I'd find yellow tape over the doors any day. First off, the head of the IT "department" was some guy who used to be their maintenance worker and could barely speak English. Evidently everything had been run by his former boss (who was no longer with the company), a man that, according to my boss, didn't even understand the most basic concepts in IT (evidently he had asked why a LAN was necessary when designing a new branch office). My own boss basically knew how to set up workstations and keep the servers running, but just barely. He was so terrified of everything he didn't know that his answer to anything new (such as using an extremely basic script to monitor the connectivity of our servers) was an immediate no.

    I knew things were really fucked when they asked me, a guy who'd just come from working a remote help desk in Argentina, to do the bank's IT risk assessment. My boss was also delegating 100% of anything that dealt with their servers. At that point in my career, I had just over a year of IT experience at the lowest level, and a few certifications. They hadn't hired me for that, they hired me to be their desktop support. They hired another guy for the servers, but it turned out that he lied about everything on his resume, knew less than I did, and I wound up having to do everything assigned to him because he couldn't figure it out (and yet somehow that guy wound up with a job at Microsoft shortly after). You might think that'd look good on a resume, like "wow you managed a bank's servers", but they only updated anything when support for it ended, so I was having to manage an Exchange 2007 server. Nobody that I want to work for has an IT infrastructure that outdated. I realized I needed to GTFO fast.

    In less than 6 months, I wound up getting unofficially promoted to junior systems administrator (that way they don't have to pay me extra) and even getting to hire my own help desk guy to delegate things to. I jumped ship pretty soon after. As far as I know, they still haven't gotten shut down.
    "Doesn't matter what a man has if he doesn't have purpose. You take that away from him, man usually goes with it." -Beau

  3. #33
    Mistress Mischievous Lilith's Avatar
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    Calling opt-in leads. I had to prep at least 30mins before I make a call. I never feel so inefficient. I ended up working more hours. It was draining and stressful. It was not even part of my job description but the management decided to give it to me to save on costs. It was nightmarish because I hate phonecalls.

  4. #34
    Sky Anvil Vison's Avatar
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    -working in a "resort" that was in a constant state of having the pools shut down for health violations. The owner was an old German man who would walk around, pissing himself, leaving trails all over we had to clean up. quit.

    -working in a remanufacturing plant with less than half the safety equipment operational or in use. Witnessed one coworker die and another loose fingers. Was accused of trying to seduce every man on site by some shitty bitch because I forgot to wipe off my makeup before work one day. Had a sexual predator constantly try to get me alone. Did not receive a set of keys to lock out the equipment in the whole 3 years I worked there. Got pneumonia from inhaling too much sawdust because the filters didn't work, spent months coughing up sawdust and blood. Was too young to know better, just assumed the adult world was tough. quit.

    -worked at a hotel where my direct supervisor insisted I go to her birthday party at a club. she refused to speak to me after because I didn't stay long enough and get hammered. quit.

    -filled in 4 positions at a hotel, worked 110 hour weeks, was declined a raise. quit.
    Oh fuck it, Its the 90's.

  5. #35
    Member pmj's Avatar
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    I once worked in a secondary school on the IT support side of things. Working in education is pretty shitty in itself, but my 'manager' was a grossly incompetent, self-proclaimed sociopath. He wasn't too bad at first, but over time he began to spiral out of control. We caught him spying on staff emails, for example. He'd purposefully sabotage critical servers (Exchange, for example) just to get out of doing a job he couldn't be bothered with, or to avoid a meeting he didn't want to attend. People eventually got on to his antics and, when he was supposed to be in a disciplinary meeting, he broke down in to tears and gave management some sob story or other about how difficult his life was, how he was dealing with serious family issues - how he was at breaking point. Moments later, he came back to our office with a spring in his step and a beaming smile, proudly informing us that he'd just successfully faked a breakdown in front of management and bought himself plenty of leeway.

    Amazingly they bought the performance. He had successfully carved out a niche for himself which meant he remained in his post - practically untouched - for a good three or so years after that. He was a shit to everyone, including myself. In retrospect I have no idea why (or how) I put up with his bullshit. I suppose it was a mixture of inexperience and youth.

    Anyway, the cunt's home eventually got raided by the police at stupid o'clock in the morning a couple of years back now. His ISP had been monitoring him for some time, working with the police on some kind of paedophile sting. Needless to say, his arse didn't touch the floor - he was gone.

    Sadly, he never went to prison. He had some serious encryption on his data and wouldn't collaborate with the police. An absence of evidence eventually led to his vindication - but everyone knew he was guilty. He was laughing at all of us.

    Due to my proximity to the ass, I was asked a number of questions by the crime investigation team. One officer in particular was extremely candid with me. According to him, the material my ex-boss had (well, was suspected of having) was the "bad stuff".

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing, eh? Looking back, all the signs were there. None of us picked up on them though - we had no frame of reference for that kind of thing.

    There's a lot more to the story. For example, he even had pictures of my daughter.

    I hope for his sake I never see him again, because if I do I will knock his fucking teeth down the back of his throat - and then some. Never have I known such a stunning piece of shit.

  6. #36
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    I wrote about this on the old site years ago. Probably the worst job:

    I worked at a chicken farm once. Firstly we needed to obey cleanliness regulations so we needed to have a shower in a portable cubicle and put on some work overalls. The floor in the shower was covered in chicken poo. I had to go barefoot in that. The clothes I had to put on were covered in chicken poo. They obviously hadn't been washed in a while. My co-workers had been wearing them as well for some number of rotations. They were all the lowest rednecks/bogans imaginable. IQs sub 80 I'd say. Smokers, etc. The clothes smelled very poorly. I didn't feel comfortable wearing those clothes, but I gave it a go.

    Work began. We entered a big chicken shed and we had to round up the chickens into a small fenced area. Then I was told to pick up the chickens with the others, and hand them over to some other person for some reason. Apparently the go was to grab them by the legs and tip them upside down, holding them by the legs. That's what I was told to do and what the others were all doing. Apparently that's the best. But I found that the chickens would really not enjoy it, start flapping their wings wildly while upside down, and generally start pooing and weeing everywhere. The flapping of the wings at the same time made it fill the air and generally go towards my face. I didn't enjoy that. The whole place smelled overwhelmingly of chicken poo/wee as well.

    After that session I found that several of the chickens had died because of the general stress of that. Great.

    We had the first break. I sat down with the other bogans who were discussing things I've forgotten now. I was fairly socially anxious back then, so it took me a while, but eventually I went up to one of the guys in charge and generally told him "I'm not really enjoying this much. I don't think I want to continue." He was sympathetic and said that wasn't uncommon. He said "so you'll see out the day?" I said "no, I'm gonna go now."

    I washed myself in that filthy shower again and put my clothes on. I drove home and had another shower. The smell of chicken poo didn't leave my nose for almost a week.

    --------

    A few new contenders:

    My first school in the UK, the head of my department had no idea. Usually you should have a curriculum handed down ("in term 1, cover this...") or books, or something. In the first week the lady hadn't worked that out yet, so she told us all to play games with the kids. The kids had no books either. They hadn't been ordered properly. Someone made a mistake with numbers at the end of the previous year and they had a real mess with number of books ordered. When the books did arrive they were sharing one book between three.

    My timetable changed at least 5 times in the 7 weeks I was there. So did others'. One day I was angrily asked "why aren't you in with class X?!" She had changed the timetable and not told me. Then I was made to go teach that class, not having any idea what they were. What year level. Etc.

    In week 3, about 10 minutes before the first lesson was to begin, the principal voiced a message that the school inspectors would arrive in 5 minutes. The fear in his voice was blatant. Normally they give you warning the afternoon before. They decided to have an experiment at giving a school 5 minutes warning. This experiment happened one time in the UK and it was at this school I was at, 3 weeks into the year. They rated the school the lowest possible rating which means chaos is coming and all the teachers were on the verge of meltdown at all times. Stress central.

    As the term went on, there was a weird passive aggressive vibe everywhere. One time I wanted to look in the cupboard with 'teaching resources' to see if I could find something to be less of a shit teacher. It was locked. So I asked my boss if I could look in there and she snapped at me "why do you want to look in there?!" etc. She supervised me while I looked. "What are you looking for anyway?!" I literally didn't know. I was looking for inspiration or something.

    As time went on I appeared to lose the trust of that lady completely. I noticed that another lady was hired to teach half my classes. "hmm..." I was gradually getting demotivated. I hadn't been a teacher for that long so I kind of didn't have much idea about stuff. It was a really toxic environment.

    On the last day of term The principal came to see me and said that he'd have to fire me. I felt kind of bad for the guy. I said "that's okay... you look pretty stressed...". Then I was in some slump of worry. I was 7 weeks into this foreign country and had just been fired. No fallback to welfare or anything. I hung out with a friend in Paris, fired off a few emails, and thankfully had a new job in a few days.

    One of my other friends, the Canadian guy, was fired at the end of the next half-term. Canadian girl #1, who was best friends with the boss-lady and a legitimately good teacher, was fired at the end of half-term 4, I think, because she merely expressed thoughts of maybe wanting to quit. The other Australian girl quit at the end of the first year citing overwhelming stress. The principal was fired sometime before the end of the year for incompetence. Boss-lady quit or was fired at the end of the year. Canadian girl #2 is still surviving to this day.

  7. #37
    Member pmj's Avatar
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    ^ You'll find that a lot of schools are incredibly toxic environments, largely due to the fact that most teachers are absolute shit-heads... and believe me - I have plenty of experience with them. Hell, I even married one. She's one of the good ones, mind (all bias legitimately aside; I've seen her teach many times, and she has been graded as 'Outstanding' time and time again).

    But yeah. Schools can be seriously toxic places to work.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmj View Post
    ^ You'll find that a lot of schools are incredibly toxic environments, largely due to the fact that most teachers are absolute shit-heads... and believe me - I have plenty of experience with them. Hell, I even married one. She's one of the good ones, mind (all bias legitimately aside; I've seen her teach many times, and she has been graded as 'Outstanding' time and time again).

    But yeah. Schools can be seriously toxic places to work.
    kudos to your wife. Especially in the UK, an environment has been created where to be a decent teacher you need to have an almost impossible combination of personal traits. There is almost a reasoning which says "kids are so important that only the absolute highest standards are acceptable, so that's what we will demand", and they forget that almost no one can meet those demands. Hence the majority of those who would otherwise be decent, if they had fewer obligations, are left utterly drowning and demoralised. However I had found that there's almost a pushback: because no one can do the job, it means very few want to do the job, so you're in very high demand. In addition to that, it's almost sort of... normal that most teachers are struggling. So it's still formally expected that you reach the unattainable expectations, but not seen as unusual when you're actually a complete wreck. I feel like there may be a large number of teachers in the UK who know they do a really poor job (due to spending most of their time keeping up with bureaucratic other stuff) but can carry on anyway. It's pretty depressing.

  9. #39
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    Currently working as medical technician at a hospital, and it's the absolute worst job. Once a month I am forced to check the expiration dates of every item in an entire section of the unit, or face discipline. Daily life is full of mundane meaningless busy work. "Projects" assigned by supervisors can easily be finished by googling a way to do it. Often I will finish what I have to do and quickly get back to my desk so I can get back to my computer, but this results in multiple performance reviews where I appear lazy to the supervising staff. Luckily I will be leaving this job in the next month.

  10. #40
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rac2221 View Post
    Currently working as medical technician at a hospital, and it's the absolute worst job. Once a month I am forced to check the expiration dates of every item in an entire section of the unit, or face discipline. Daily life is full of mundane meaningless busy work. "Projects" assigned by supervisors can easily be finished by googling a way to do it. Often I will finish what I have to do and quickly get back to my desk so I can get back to my computer, but this results in multiple performance reviews where I appear lazy to the supervising staff. Luckily I will be leaving this job in the next month.
    Ouch. That does sound nightmarish.... best of luck as you move on from this.

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