The worst jobs I’ve done

October 2, 2011 § 7 Comments

The theme over at KateTakes5 this week is ‘the five worst jobs I’ve done’. I am not short of material for this one, in fact it was hard to choose just five. Here goes:

1. Counting gift cards.
In a factory, counting cards into piles of 25. Enduring the wrath of the permanent workers who hated the students and got first dibs on the ‘Take a Break’ mags in the staffroom. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Lady Diana died. The radio that had previously kept me sane played two weeks of dirges and ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM. 

2. Working in the marketing department at ASDA.
I worked on ASDA magazine, based at head office in Leeds. Truly a corporate hellhole. They played ‘that’ ASDA music in reception. Everyone had to wear ‘happy to help’ badges with their name on, and answer the phone after three rings and issue the same corporate-approved greeting. Management were hero-worshipped. The day I left I turned my name badge over and walked around the office with ‘happy to help…am I f*ck’ on my lapel.

3. Receptionist for an estate agent.
The job itself wasn’t too awful but the boss was tighter than a duck’s arse on a frosty morning. We had to clean the office ourselves and donate each week towards tea bags and milk. One day, I chewed a bic biro, the end came off and I threw it in the bin. The next day I found it sellotaped back together and placed in a prominent position on my desk. Twat.

3. Telesales.
I did a lot of this when a student. Mainly cold calling home improvements. Twenty chain smoking students in a room above a showroom, being bribed with 20/20 Maddog to get the most ‘leads’ (or conning the most grannies into letting a kindly representative, who just happens to be in the area, into their home). Worse than the job itself though, were the ‘team leaders’ and their motivational techniques. One boss in a Watford branch I worked at used to chant ‘what are we going to do?…LTJ…’ and expect us to shout back ‘Bookem!’ (LTJ Bukem being a drum and bass DJ). Cringe.

4. The petrol station.
When at school, my best friend and I worked in our local garage, stacking the shelves, cleaning the floors etc. The extremely kindly lady who ran the garage hated me. HATED me. Because she caught wind of the fact that my dad worked for the oil company that owned the garage. My friend did far less work than I did, yet I got regular written warnings and made to clean the toilets.  

5. The market research.
Admittedly this was a one off, but it hurt. I was looking forward to a lazy Saturday in bed, having had a bit of a heavy Friday night. Instead my boyfriend was let down by an unreliable friend (who in hindsight we shouldn’t have taken drinking with us the night before), and I was rudely roused from my bedchamber and made to drive to Birmingham, where I spent six cold, rainy hours on the street trying to persuade reluctant pedestrians to listen to and rate clips from insurance advertisements. 

None of this beats my friend who used to work at Ina Bearing’s ballbearing factory in Llanelli and would arrive home as sticky as a seabird after an oil spillage. Pop over to Kate’s gaff to read some more.


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