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What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

ar5d1nr6q11b5856zk16Every hour of every day, somebody, somewhere, is being stripped of their dignity, wondering what happened to the glittering career they hoped for. Unfortunately, we’ve not yet been able to substitute technology for human labour in jobs that largely rely on hand-eye co-ordination.
Read about these real-life experiences and feel the trauma from the comfort of your desk, thanking your lucky stars it isn’t you:*
“I worked in a cafe in a department store but resigned when the manager asked me to clean between the floor tiles with a toothbrush…I don’t think so!”
Lou, Sheffield
“My worst job ever was being a postman. Early starts, work Saturdays, really knackering lugging a heavy bag around for hours and you are bullied into doing masses of overtime.”
Andrew, Ealing
“I used to work at a drinks factory and had to watch the bottles come out of a tunnel and poke them with a stick IF they got stuck. On one 12 hour night shift they got stuck ONCE after about 10 and a half hours of bottle watching.”
Cathy, Kingston
“I was at a large car manufacturing plant. The rules were so rigid that if you were going to be more than a few minutes late you had better not turn up at all. You had to be at your desk in uniform at 8 am (this included the IT department that I was working in as well as the factory floor) – a lovely white boiler suit along with steel toe-capped DMs and a green baseball cap – none too flattering for women. Wearing the cap backwards was even a sackable offence! To top this all off, the nearest pub was 30 minutes drive away, we only had 40 minutes for lunch and weren’t allowed off site in uniform. I lasted nine months.”
Jo, Totnes
“I had to quality control cat food. Test 1: Bury face in a huge tub of it and sniff it to make sure it’s fresh. Test 2: Plunge arms in it up to the elbows and grope for bony bits and take them out. Test 3: Scoop up huge dollop of it, smear it flat on surface and prod it with fingers to test how much gristle is there. Uggghh!”
Jon, Tunbridge Wells
“I worked as a temp in a bank’s fraud department. I had to look through miles and miles of spreadsheets for a specific two digit code next to clients’ names and then highlight it. I fell asleep and my assignment was terminated.”
Sarah, London
“My most pointless job was when I had to change the price tickets on 200 blazers from £79.99 to £80.00. The next day, down came the price again to £79.99.”
Paula, Newcastle
“I worked on a fairground game stall which was the worst job in the world because: a) I was expected to work from nine to midnight six days a week, b) I had to stand in the freezing cold bouncing a basket ball the whole time, and c) at least 50% of the people expected me just to give their children a prize for nothing, then gave me much abuse when I wouldn’t. ”
Gary, Birmingham
“Nothing can be worse than working in a financial call centre. After wearing a headset for eight hours a day for six months, I eventually started hearing voices in my head after my shift had finished.”
Neill, London
“The worst I ever had was working in a pickled onion factory. I lasted three weeks but couldn’t get rid of the smell for about six weeks. I can’t even stand to look at a jar of onions now.”
Dolly, Rotherham
“I was a shelf stacker at [a shop] – possibly the most tedious, mind-numbing job in the world, exacerbated by having to deal with rude, arrogant customers, for whose culinary crises I had no concern whatsoever.”
Dave, Bristol
“I had a job dumping chemicals from steel drums onto the ground where a front-loader would pick up the “stuff” and load it onto a dump truck. The working conditions were terrible, it was winter and I was covered in half frozen muck for almost 18 hours straight. My back was killing me by the end of the day! They paid me about half minimum wage for my efforts.”
John, Kent
“I was once asked to weed the pitch at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground – by hand. At least there were four of us doing it, so the time simply flew by…”
Nick, St Albans
“My least favourite job was in a public library. I thought it would be much more civilised than bar work – how wrong can you be! Part of my duties included checking returned books for “unauthorised contents” – things people left inside books. I was also verbally abused by a little old lady for not having a romance novel she wanted (I’m sure MY gran never used that kind of language!), slapped by a woman for asking her to pay a fine for overdue books and accused of having an affair with a man when his wife found he’d borrowed a sex manual from the library!”
Shirley, Bristol



*Note to readers: These are opinions of random workers and their individual experiences, and not to a job, industry or employer as a whole.

Image: © Picture-Factory –

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  1. Cannon | Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I worked in a credit control department between 1997 and 1999. I had no understanding of the training I was given, partly because I smoked far too much weed back then and sent everything to discount. The manager,a jumped up comb-overed tit, who had been there probably before the office had been built wouldn’t even fire me. I eventually left to become a gardener and the last I heard the comb overed tit fell backwards out of a 1st floor window on holiday. Golden daze!

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