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Wednesday, April 22, 2009



My parents didn't want me to get a job until I was in college for the same reason! And then, when I looked for a job the summer after I graduated, no one would hire me. Not to be a waitress, not to scoop ice cream, not even to pick strawberries. I finally got a job at the campus library where I would be going to college. The best part about that job is when we finished shelving books, we would hide back in the stacks and play cards.

The worst part about that same job is that in the very back of the third floor in the 600 section, someone used to pee (WHY????) and it always stunk. I wish I was making that up.

Amy H

I was a flight attendant right after I graduated from college. On my first flight as the first class flight attendant (a promotion! wow) a grown man waited until the end of the movie to get up to relieve himself. Problem for him was so did another man...who was...well, taking a while. The GROWN MAN IN FIRST CLASS could not wait any longer and asked me for a glass. To pee in. But before I could even think straight after a request like that he had gone ahead and peed himself. All over the floor of the first class galley of the plane. And I had to clean it up. One day before that I had been on a beach enjoying my time with my new husband and there I was cleaning up the urine from a grown man.


AJU5's Mom

My parents only had us work during the summers (other than babysitting/pet sitting, etc). My first job was life guarding at the pool I used to frequent. It was okay other than the fact my co-workers weren't the best (one got drunk on the job, one didn't show up so I had to sit on the stand for 4 hours straight, etc). But I loved having fun with the kids - many of whom I had known for years. Oh, and the free frozen lemonade wasn't bad either!

Dr. Maureen

Woah. Woah woah woah woah woah. WOAH. Hold up. There are places that... boil eggs in a bag? Have I eaten at these places? How is this even possible? Are they powdered? Are there really such a thing as powdered eggs?

I am now traumatized.

Also, Amy H, while I feel very bad for you, I have to say that I also feel bad for that guy. Unless he was drunk or a jerk about it. But if he was sober and humiliated, I feel bad for him. Still, it sucked to be you then, too.


I worked in a suction cup factory during one college summer, and one of the drafters who had black teeth asked me out and then fled before he could hear me turn him down. It was the highlight of the summer.

Incidentally, the other two college summers were spent working at a Christian church camp where I think the cook from YOUR camp probably trained our kitchen staff because the food was truly unspeakable.


When I was about 16 or 17, I worked for a catering company at the Portland Rose Garden and Portland Convention Center. This was right before the 1992 Olympics - the first time that professional basketball players would be allowed - it was Dream Team time (you know Jordan, Pippen, Bird, etc.). A Olympic qualifying tournament was played in Portland and there was a big fancy dinner at the Convention Center for anyone with enough $$ and desire to be near all the famous players. For that dinner, I had to learn to say pinot grigio, serve a dessert that included a chocolate basketball, and not speak to any other famous people unless spoken to.

The only famous person that said anything to me? Mike Krzyzewski (of Duke fame) said, "Excuse me."

Made my year.


I had no idea that you could boil eggs. I'd tell you more about my jobby-jobs but I swear I'm stuck on the boiling eggs.

See, I need to get out more.


Im guessing these were not whole, boiled eggs, but "scrambled" boiled eggs you make reference to. I always wondered how scrambled eggs could be one solid piece.


I cleaned hotel rooms while in college, which was pretty disgusting because people are pigs. But the worst part was that it was a hotel owned by a seminary and I ended up working there because the manager, also a seminary student, was a friend's brother-in-law. He was quite possibly the assholiest boss I ever had. It was very disappointing. Hopefully he is a kinder pastor than he was a boss.


I didn't get my first real job until I was 17, but I did babysit until I was 16. And I'm in the same camp as you-- BORN responsible. It was a pretty good job actually; I worked at a call center for hotel reservations. It paid well, but every day was a lesson in the stupidity of the general public. Like the lady who wanted a hotel room in Ohio with an ocean view. When I assured her that Ohio isn't on the ocean she told me she couldn't remember which one, but that it was either the Atlantic or the Pacific. Good times.


I delivered Chinese food as my college job and one day I had to drive into the woods, up to a dark house where the front door was cracked open just a smidge, allowing just a wee bit of light out. When I knocked on the door I heard a man's voice say, "I'm upstairs." And you know what, I went on up (naive college student) and then down a hall and into a bedroom where the light was on. Inside that room there was an obese, bedridden man (600 pounds obese, I would guess) and the two huge bags of Chinese food I was delivering was all for him. And also, the best part, was the empty mayonaise jars he had strewn about, which contained, yes, his pee! GROSSSSSS. And guess what...no freaking tip - not one red cent. A couple of weeks, or maybe a month later, I had to deliver food to him again and it was the same exact scene - pee jars and all. Oh, and the stink - whooo-eeeee. Oh, and still no tip. A-hole


Seriously, I was laughing so hard while I was reading this that I had to read the part about the pancakes out loud to my husband. I'll never be able to eat any kind of mexican lasagna EVER again.


McDonalds. Early 1990s. McRib sandwich. Grease traps at the end of the day.

Oddly, it was not the grease that bothered me. It was the BBQ sauce on the McRib. To this day I have a gag reflex to straight BBQ sauce.


Ah, the classic Christian camp job. I had that one too. I'll tell you a secret...the reason they hire mostly 16-18 year olds to work at those places is they're still too drunk on freedom from their parents (a whole summer! squeeee!!!!) to realize how crappy the pay is! I had that job as well. Luckily my camp seems to have been slightly less awful than what you have described (no pancake mexican casserole -gag!). I was the actual lifeguard, sitting on a comically huge lifeguard chair down by the lake. I was tasked with the job of keeping the girls from showing up in "inappropriate" swimwear (ie. anything not one piece) and sending them back to their cabins to cover their shamefulness with tank tops. Other than being the bad guy, it was actually a good job.

Worst job ever? Straightening shelves at Kmart. First job. It sucked the big one.


Ha! I actually wrote about this in a blog post about a year ago. I once worked in a pet store where I had to bag live crickets and touch reptiles (gag). Another time I was bean girl on a farm that did company picnics, which was pretty much an exercise in rejection. No one wants steaming hot beans served from a giant cauldron. I can't tell you how many gallons of beans we used to pour down the storm drain every day...


I wouldn't have lasted a week at that job. I wouldn't have been able to handle the terror!


I've worked since I was 15. My first job was as a mechanic's helper at the upscale used car lot where my dad worked as a mechanic. I got to dump the used oil from all the oil changes at the end of the day. Good times. Good times.

The definite up side of that was when he fixed a really cool car, like a corvette or something, I got to test drive it. I got to drive lots of VERY nice cars.

The owner of the car lot was an ass though, and wouldn't cut me a deal on buying the fully restored '89 VW Bug that I wanted (and also that I HELPED RESTORE). I wound up with an '84 Ford F-150 standard with no power steering and rust holes in the floor boards that smelled like the inside of a bad nursing home.

My dad made me buy it b/c he said the old mad selling it really needed the money. I REALLY think he just wanted me to buy that stupid truck to teach me a lesson in humility.


Sorry, that was supposed to say "the old MAN selling it"


the smell of eggs and ketchup will never leave my sensory memory. I washed dishes during my first semester of college. The pay was good and the people were nice at least... I loaded and unloaded a giant dishwasher, burning the crud out of my hands. The worst part was scraping the plates as they came off the line WITH MY HANDS. Ug, the smell! I have to stop remembering now...

Valerie Harvey

Please oh PLEASE tell me you did not work at Latham Springs Baptist Summer Camp...because I went there...and ATE that food!!
The only upside is that I remember eating breakfast (cereal - safe) and lunch (sandwiches - safe) and recall dinner consisting of ice cream sandwiches?? Maybe the food sucked so bad at first that we started eating ice cream for dinner? Or maybe I just had rock star metabolism then and could.


I have had some pretty bad jobs while in high school and college. First job ever was at BK- one of my friends and I worked drive through there in a small college town and we'd put our phone numbers on their napkins in the bag for the cute college way-too-much-older-than-us boys. They actually called us! LOL

Other job was a one-person-can-do-all nursing home-ish. First day I had to help shower a 103 year old. My 19 year old self could not comprehend that it was actually her boobies that were LITERALLY down to her knees. They looked nothing like boobs! THEN the worst part was the girl training me said "when you dress this lady just tuck them into her pants". Luckily I've had "real" jobs since that involve normal people and office responsibilities, otherwise I may have jumped off a cliff.


So, I too have a Church Camp job story, however, I was the lucky one. (I think). Apparently I was also born responsible, and it must have shown, since the camp director asked me if I would babysit her brand new infant daughter while she ran the camp. I got to hang out in one of the AIR CONDITIONED fancy cabins that were reserved for staff, all day long. With a cute baby. And a boombox that could play tapes. And I had a constant stream of visitors because all the other camp counselors wanted to hang out in there, because HELLO, air conditioning!

It was not a bad gig. Now, when I had to do regular camp counseling, and sleep in the lame screened-in cabins with 10 eight year olds...ugh. I feel ya.


PS- for all those fascinated with the boiled in a bag eggs- BK uses fake eggs.
They are frozen yellow round circles and we used to put them on a cookie sheet and bake in the convection oven for like 10 minutes. And they were allowed to sit in the warmer for an hour- no wonder I can't let my kids eat there...


OK, I'm totally cracking up while reading these stories.

Yes, PLEASE, elaborate on the eggs in a bag thing. So. Confused.

Also? The image of you with the hook next to the swimming pool conjured by a flashback to my youth of one of those magnetic fishing games. I guess, if nothing else, you could've used the hook to clean up the sucked-out intestines, right?


This is pretty hilarious.
Not much happened at my first job. I wanted to work at this greenhouse when I was 16. My dad actually went to high school with the owner and all of a sudden - I was working in the greenhouse. But not in the front with all the pretty gifts. In the actual greenhouse part with the plants. Which wasn't bad, except I was so SHY at first, not knowing ANYTHING about plants, let alone where the Black-Eyed Susan vine was located. I spent a lot of time carrying heavy flats to cars. I got great arm muscles that Spring.

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