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The Worst Job I Ever Had

Updated on November 19, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She lives happily in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

Me and one of my student volunteers in the high  school Career Center.
Me and one of my student volunteers in the high school Career Center. | Source

I have had many jobs in my life. Fortunately, most of them were jobs I had in high school or college while I was trying to get my bachelor's degree. I worked at most of these jobs so I could get a job in a field that I really wanted to work in (social work) instead of a lot of dead-end part-time jobs I had to do to earn money to pay for college. I never realized how many different jobs I had until I listed them all for this article.

Here's a chronological list of all the jobs I have ever had in my life, and maybe you can guess the one which was the worst before I describe it to you.

1) Babysitter: through both high school and college I babysat to earn extra money for spending money, holiday gifts for relatives and to put toward paying for college. For one summer I spent a month as a nanny for a family, and I included that in this description. While I was doing this, I also became a...

2) Newspaper Delivery Person: I took over my brother's paper route when I was in middle school, and he didn't want it anymore. It was SOOOO hard to get up that early in the morning, especially for a night owl like me. After that experience, I no longer liked black Labrador Retrievers because they always came out of their driveways and tried to nip and bite me. That was pretty scary for a kid. Once I reached the age of 16, I could work legally so became a...

3) McDonalds Crew Member: I did this job from my junior year of high school until the summer after my freshman year of college. The best thing about working at a place like McDonald's was that if you were a good worker, they would always give you extra hours during breaks from college, so I always had a summer job I could return home to. But I always left work smelling like french fries, and I was greasy if I worked that station. I always had to shower before I could go anywhere and at one point, just the music for a McDonald's ad would turn my stomach. And so the next summer I was determined to do anything but work at McDonald's so I became a...

4) Chicken Farm Worker: I only did this job for three weekends because it was only available as a weekend job, filling in for the people that did the job during the week. I was in charge of a chicken coop and had to pick all the eggs out of the nests every few hours, take them into the office and incubate them in a special cupboard. A truck would come by every few hours and pick up the incubated eggs, and I would start my rounds again. I left it when a different job came along that gave me more hours. That job was as a...

5) Mushroom Farm Worker: I did this job for a summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. We were fortunate in that the Franklin Mushroom Farm was about 15 minutes away from my house, in Franklin, Connecticut and they hired summer workers. We worked four days on and then had two days off all summer long. There were mostly men on the crews, and I heard the most raunchy jokes I have ever heard in my life at this job! After that summer, I went back to college and in my senior year got a job as a...

6) Clerk in the records office at Southern Connecticut State University: I did this during my senior year of college as part of a work-study program. I learned a lot about copy machines as my job was to copy transcripts of past graduates when they sent in requests. One of my favorite jobs in college was as a...

7) CETA Youth Summer Program Supervisor: This was my very first social work job. While going to college majoring in social work, I had an internship at a YWCA after-school program, helping kids with homework in the inner city of New Haven, CT. My supervisor hired me to work the six-week summer program. Another girl and I taught high school students how to interview people and write articles for a program newspaper. We would ride our bikes through the projects at 7:30 a.m. to get to the classroom office and we once had cops stop us and ask us why we were out in that area so early and didn't we know how dangerous it was? During this same time, I got a job as a...

8) Subway Sandwich Shop Worker: The six-week program above did not pay me enough to save money for college for the next year, so I also worked nights at a Subway down the street from the college. I worked the night shift from 7:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. and after the bars got out, guys could get pretty rude while they were waiting for their 'foot longs" to be made. Many comments were made to me about the shirts we had to wear which had the slogan, "Put a Foot in Your Mouth" to advertise the foot long subs that were Subways best sellers. It was quite embarrassing! After college, I became a...

9) Head Start Family Services Worker: This was my very first official social work job once I graduated college. The pay was terrible at this job but it was my first job out of college, and I was thrilled to have a job in my field. I worked with low-income families whose children were in the Head Start program. I referred them to social service agencies, transported parents and their children in my own car to doctor's appointments etc. I did this job for only 3 months until I got a call from a...

10) Social Worker for the Department of Children and Families, and became one myself. Once I took this job, I more than doubled my salary. Working for the state gave me great benefits and really good pay. I always tried to do a really good job with the families and children I worked with. At the time, state workers were looked down on by the general public as though they had cushy jobs and got paid more than they were worth. I never wanted to be one of those workers. I did this job for 8.5 years till I had children of my own and this job helped me realize that I wanted and needed to be home to raise my children. While working this job, I also was a...

11) Waitress: I did this job at a Greek Pizza restaurant in my home town while working as a social worker because I was also going to school for my Master's Degree in Child Welfare, and needed the money to pay for school. When it was busy, I was a terrible waitress and quite often forgot to bring people their salads or ketchup until the end of the meal! But when I could keep up with the customers on an average night, I was fine. I usually made $90 - $100 in tips on a weekend night, plus I got paid a bit as well. I once almost dumped a whole plate of spaghetti with sauce all over a customer who happened to be the sister of a guy I had just started dating. Boy was my face red as the spaghetti sauce! The next job I had was as a ...

12) Home Daycare Provider: Once my first child was born, I left my social work job and stayed home with him, but also did home daycare so I could earn extra money for my family. I only made about 1/3rd of what I had previously made as a social worker, but I was thrilled that I could stay home and raise my son. As I walked my son and another baby down the road in a double stroller, I used to think about how fortunate I was to be able to stay home and care for my son, and get paid to do it! BUT I did get covered with a lot of bodily fluids during this job that had not originally belonged to me! The next stage of my life was as a mother of multiples (twins) so my next job was one I could do from home as a...

13) Crafter: After my twins were born, I decided I couldn't do home daycare anymore because having 3 small children under 4 years of age was like having my personal home daycare. So, I took up crafting and did numerous craft shows throughout the year with dried flower arrangements and Sculpey clay jewelry. It was a lot of work to lug all my creations out of my house and into my car at very early hours on show days, only to lug them back out of the car and into the show venue and spend a few hours setting up, only to break it all down again and lug it back to the car a few hours later. There were also fees for each craft show at which I was a vendor. I just about broke even. Then I learned a new skill and became...

14) The Coupon Lady: I learned how to save a LOT of money with coupons and started teaching classes in local communities. That was going well till I did it in a local grocery store and the owner asked me to be a...

15) Consumer Advocate with a Local Grocery Store: I taught coupon classes and walked the floors of 2 local grocery stores, interfacing with customers and getting their feedback about the store that I then shared with the store owner. ( To read more about this experience, see the hub, "Coupon Lady to Consumer Advocate: The Story of Finding my Dream Job.") While I was doing this, I also decided to become a...

16) Avon Representative: I started selling Avon while teaching coupon classes but the Avon took off, and I had to give up either that or the classes. Because I was still working as a Consumer Advocate, I decided to still teach the classes at that store, but give up community classes, and work harder at Avon. I recruited 52 Avon reps to work under me at one point in time, but wasn't so great at getting orders delivered to my own personal customers on time. My life took a turn at this point and I needed a job where I could earn more money so became a...

17) Parent Educator with a local social service agency: When I first got divorced, I needed a job that actually gave me a weekly paycheck. The Consumer Advocate job ended when new owners did away with the position, so I returned to social work and worked with at-risk children and families. This job was part-time, at three days per week. I fell in love with jewelry from a home party jewelry company so became a...

18) Silpada Jewelry Representative: I fell in love with Silpada Jewelry so gave this company a try. I stopped when I couldn't find any friends who had friends that had enough extra money to buy expensive jewelry at home parties. But I did get some really great jewelry at a huge discount because I was a representative. I still wear the jewelry almost every day. But I wasn't able to get medical benefits with Silpada or as the parent Educator so became a...

19) Transition Coordinator and Career Center Director at a high school: Although I had the Parent Educator job, as I was going through the divorce, I realized I would soon need a job with benefits. The Parent Educator position was part time with no benefits so I took this job at a local high school that my children actually went to so I could be available for them if they needed me. I worked with Special Education high school students as well as students needing career/job/college advice. Originally I was only the Transition Coordinator working with Special Education students in their junior and senior years to help them plan their future. I loved my work and the kids I worked with. After 2 years, that job was cut and they added those responsibilities to the Career Center Director position and I did both jobs for no extra pay for 5 more years. After I got married for the second time, I switched careers and became a...

20) Substitute Teacher: I have only been doing this job for one school year. I left the high school job after my children graduated from high school. I became a substitute teacher for Kelly Educational Services so I could have a more flexible schedule and travel with my husband when he travels frequently for work. This gives us more flexibility to travel together for pleasure as well. This also gives me the option to have health insurance as long as I pay the premiums. So far, in the 10 months I have been doing this work, we have gone on 2 cruises, been to Amsterdam, Las Vegas and Georgia.

21) Writer: Although I have wanted to be a writer since I was 10 years old, I only actually started seriously writing in January, 2012 when I found HubPages. I now write for various clients and a number of online websites and have two blogs. I hope to make writing my full time career someday soon...

Now that you have been introduced to all of my jobs over my lifetime, have you guessed which one was my absolute worst? If you have made it this far and read about all my different jobs, I would appreciate it if you would go to the poll and vote for which one you think was my worst job, BEFORE reading the rest of this. Or at least write down which your guess would be, and vote later.....

I'm serious...stop and write it down now, please... worst job EVER, and that I can't even imagine how people do this day after day was...The Chicken Farm!!!

This was a special farm where the chickens were not inoculated, and scientists used the eggs for testing. I could not bring any germs into the chicken coops. Each morning I would get up early, drive to the farm, step into a special shower, put on my work jumpsuit that had been laid out for me, and begin my day by 7:00 am. I would have to walk through three fenced-in areas inside a large chicken coop and pick up any dead chickens that had gotten sick and either died or been pecked to death by other chickens overnight. When a chicken gets sick or weak, the other chickens in the coop seek out the weak one and attack it. You need to know that I am extremely afraid of dead things. As I would drag the dead chicken through the coops to the office, other chickens would follow me, still pecking at it. I would cry all the way to the office. Then I would bring that chicken into the office, and go back in and feed all the chickens and make sure each cage had water. The I would start my daily rounds of picking the eggs out of the hens' nests and bring them to the office, put them in a special incubator that was attached to the side of the building. I had to mix chemicals together that would incubate the eggs and shut the door quickly so I wouldn't breathe in the chemicals. Most people could do this pretty quickly and had an hour or two between rounds to read a book or a magazine or just chill out. Not me. I was quite traumatized by these poor chickens who were so angry with me for picking their eggs out of their nests, and sometimes I had to pick them up right out from under them, that they would pop out of their nests at me and squawk at me right in my face and scare me half to death. If they weren't doing that, they were pecking at my hands with their sharp beaks. We had work gloves we were to use, but the tips of the fingers were cut out over the first knuckle so we could grab the eggs easier and they often could bite me anyway. I couldn't really blame them for being upset, but it was a constant barrage of squawking in my face. I used to entertain my kids with tales of this job, and how at some points I used to get so fed up I would squawk right back at them and scare them right back. I would usually have only about 5 to 10 minutes to gobble down my lunch and start over again. At 4:30 p.m. I would leave the coop and head to the office to turn in my coop keys. I would arrive home by 5:00, shower, and often head right to bed, without even eating any dinner. I was so exhausted I would fall asleep and not wake up until the next day. Although I only did this job for three weekends, it was the absolute worst job I ever had. I worked as a nanny during the week and then did this on the weekends. The interesting thing was that after three weeks, I got a call from the Franklin Mushroom Farm, and I jumped at the chance to work for them for the summer...even though the mushrooms were grown in beds in dark rooms with soil mixed with, well a very dark, rich and SMELLY type of fertilizer. But even that was better than the chicken farm! To this day, I am not very fond of chickens! And this job helped me realize the importance of a good education to make sure I never had to end up doing a job like this again!

How many of you guessed this in the poll before I revealed it? Please leave a comment below.

My Worst Job Poll

What Did You Guess Was My Worst Job Ever Before the Answer Was Revealed?

See results
I got lots of free stuff like these items using coupons and teaching classes was a blast because I could share my knowledge with others!
I got lots of free stuff like these items using coupons and teaching classes was a blast because I could share my knowledge with others! | Source
Writing has now become my favorite job of all!
Writing has now become my favorite job of all! | Source
ACK!!!! Chickens...not one of my favorite creatures since my chicken farm offense to any of you who raise chickens!
ACK!!!! Chickens...not one of my favorite creatures since my chicken farm offense to any of you who raise chickens! | Source

© 2013 Karen Hellier


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