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Poll: Worst Day At Work Part 2

pickaxeIt’s been quite a while since I wrote about the worst day at work that I ever had, even though it is pretty hilarious in hindsight. That day is still at the top of the list for me, despite the fact that I’ve worked just about every day since.

What has changed, however, is you, possibly. You might be a reader I’ve never heard from, or you might be one of my regular, Loyal Weird, who has had a horrifically memorable day at work that I’ve never heard about. Today is your chance to get it out there.

What was your most terrible job, or your worst day at a job?


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  • cinderkeys January 21, 2011, 12:29 am

    Tiny little company that published magazines. My job was OK. My coworkers were mostly nice people. But we all lived in terror of the guy who ran things.

    It’s kind of a blur now, which is for the best. But I know I wasn’t imagining the degree of badness. By the time I’d been there six months, with the exception of Boss and Boss’s Wife, I was the most senior employee.

  • Chris January 21, 2011, 3:34 am

    Home Health Aide for a mostly uncommunicative autistic child who, at the slightest emotional provocation, would begin involuntarily slapping himself in the face and continue to do so past the point where he’d rubbed the skin raw and bloody, unless restrained. Add to this abusive, controlling parents and siblings constantly at each other’s throats.

    He was my first client, and I lasted eight months before deciding to leave the profession. This was five years ago, and I still cry for him sometimes when I think about it.

  • David Cain January 21, 2011, 6:38 am
  • Dan January 21, 2011, 11:32 am

    I would have to say that my worst job ever was a summer job I had in college. I worked in a meat packing plant specializing in cow tongues. My entire day consisted of breaking open 75 lbs. boxes of fozen cow tongues, throwing them into large metal vats, filling the vats with water to defrost the cow tongues for eventual pickling or smoking. All I could think of was that for every tongue there was a dead cow. It was a awful job. Eventually, I was rescued by an office worker in the plant who realized that this clean cut college kid wasn’t cut our for that job, so she found me a clerical job in the air conditioned office. I never forgot her act of kindness. She moved back to Germany, where she was from, and 40 years later we are still in touch every holiday season. Hmmm…maybe it wasn’t such a bad job after all.

  • Todd@Phitzone January 21, 2011, 12:15 pm

    I can’t recall a specific bad day, but had a series of them while working for a small sheet metal shop. That place sucked, and every day there sucked. Oddly enough, two of my best friends were guys that I met there. Go figure.

  • Rhamantus January 21, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I think the worst job I’ve ever had is the one where I am working now. I work in a law office (lawyers are insane, I swear), which is definitely not what I’m passionate about. I have a crappy salary (I have a college degree and am making less than $20K a year! WTF?), don’t like any of my co-workers, and get hardly any time off.
    My worst day here was probably when I was working on an important document that I’d never done before. I worked on it for most of the day. About 15 minutes before quitting time, and nearly at the end of my work, Microsoft Word crashed, big time. Most of the day’s work was completely gone; the only thing that was there was an intro paragraph and a very rough outline. I had to spend all of the next morning re-writing it. So really, it was two miserable days.

  • Paul Andrew Russell January 22, 2011, 1:59 pm

    My worst day at work was when I worked as a dustbin man (garbage collector) back home in England. After spending my entire first week walking miles in torrential rain, eating my lunch in the truck’s cab, with no provision for hand washing, yuk, and carrying hundreds of metal dustbins on my shoulder, Friday was supposed to be the best day, the end of the working week. Not so, lol.

    On this particular Friday, I took the lid off a dustbin to find it filled to the brim with dog shit. I almost threw up. Then the crew sent me down the driveway to another house, and when I got through the gate a rotweiller chased me back out of the yard. All the guys had a great laugh at that one. Then at the end of the day, I was walking through someone’s garden to get to where the dustbins were stored, when I heard growling. Three dogs attacked me, one circling around the back and biting my arse bad enough to need medical treatment. I never heard the end of that one. 🙂 I quit that day and never went back, got a new job.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 22, 2011, 2:37 pm

      Wow Paul. That is a great story about a horrible-sounding job. I’m glad you went through it so I could hear about it:)

  • Courtney February 4, 2011, 12:27 pm

    Wow…cow tongues. I feel like mine isn’t so bad.

    When I was in college, I worked at an upscale toy store. The store was a gorgeous 150-year-old Victorian mansion. The owner was very particular about “merchandising”. Each toy had to be removed from its box, placed on a shelf in an appealing way, and the original box was carried up the creaky stairs into the attic. When a customer purchased a toy, I’d have to go up to the attic, find the box, repackage the toy perfectly, and ring it up. It was not a fast process.

    One Christmas Eve morning, I stopped in to work and got ready for the day. As customers started pouring in, I realized there was only one other clerk scheduled, and…she wasn’t there. I called the owner, but she didn’t answer the phone.

    Within an hour, the cash register was mobbed with angry parents.

    Oh, and did I mention we offered free gift wrapping?

    So, for each and every toy purchased, I’d have to run up to the disorganized attic, locate the original box, run back downstairs to the back room, wrap the gift, run to the cash register, and ring up the customer. Words cannot communicate the level of madness. I never apologized so many times, nor ran up so many stairs, in my life. Some people were forgiving; others were not exactly filled with the Christmas spirit.

    I spent Christmas sprawled out on my bed.

    • Courtney February 4, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Also, true story from the same toy store – not the worst day ever, but just amusing in a horrifying way.

      A woman was looking at some small teddy bears. She looked at the label of one and read it out loud: “Made in China.” Then she said:

      “Don’t you envy those little kids in China making these adorable bears all day long? They’re so cute.”

      Her contented sigh made me think she was completely serious. I probably looked like a deer in headlights.