Friday, March 5, 2010

Not All of Them End in Tears

I was reading a post by SFA on Employment Fail and was inspired to tell you about some of my more interesting jobs.

Canvassing - There is this great nonprofit organization that does some great work in Denver.  I was only there for one day, so I can't tell you any more, as I don't remember.  I showed up on Day 1 (and only) with a room full of other trainees.  They gave us a script, which we had approximately 10 minutes to learn, and turned us loose onto the city.  My job was to knock on people's doors and spew out the script that told about how great the organization was and ask for money.  Problem #1:  I couldn't speed memorize the stupid script.   Problem #2:  I couldn't answer any questions about said organization.  And #3:  I felt like a damned fool asking for money.  The day ended with me sitting on the curb crying having made $0 for the org. and therefore $0 for myself.

Telemarketing (sorta) - I didn't call people, they called me.  Have you ever heard those ads on the radio that go:  Just call for your risk-free trial of _____ today!  I was AWESOME in my training class.  For two weeks I said the right things, asked the right questions and got tons of role-modeling customers to part with their fictitious money.  Then I got to the phones.  These poor people were desperate.  Some had young children with psoriasis and they had tried everything to alleviate their pain and I had to convince them that my $100 miracle drug would solve all of their problems.  Needless to say, I sucked.  I felt bad for them.  I believed them when they said they didn't have any money, that they just wanted to be sent more information, that they just wanted their free sample (of which there were none.)  I tried to follow the carefully written script but I couldn't push.  If they did buy my $100 miracle, I couldn't push another $100 worth of crap on them too.  I wasn't selling, so I wasn't making any money.  So that job, too, ended in tears and me walking out.

Cleaning - I trained for a few weeks with some woman.  We would get our assignments and get into her car, which contained all of her cleaning supplies from feather duster to vacuum, and be on our way.  What we were cleaning were houses in the process of being built.  Therefore many didn't even have water.  You try cleaning a house without water, at all.  Not as fun as it sounds.  The truly shitty part of the job was that you used your own car to drive all over the city.  You were not paid for gas or driving time.  Say the assignment should take 2 hours.  If you finished in one hour you were paid for one hour.  If it took you three hours, you were paid for two.  This ended the last day of training in tears.  (See a pattern?)

Scanner - How about a job I actually liked and didn't quit after two weeks.  When a child takes a standardized test they fill in the ovals in an answer booklet.  We would take those books, cut off the spines (with this machine called the guillotine) then scan them into computers using these giant scanners.  I would put a pile of papers on the machine then 5 minutes or so later I would take them out.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  I loved this job.  Even though the machines were loud as hell, I would doze until I heard it stop.  At the end of the day, it was satisfying as the work in the "to do" section was now in the "done" section.  Unfortunately, when there was no school, there is no work.

Janitor - I was a janitor in a bio-pharmaceutical company.  Mostly they produced insulin.  My job was to make sure the clean areas stayed clean.  Really clean.  No, like you had to put on a gown, gloves, booties, masks, etc, to get into these areas that I, then, had to clean.  Which, as you can imagine, was pretty easy.  We worked 12 hour shifts, which suited me just fine.  It was a good job, fairly boring (you can only find so much to clean).  Don't worry about me, though, I spent a lot of time that summer catching rays.

Best Buy - They had pep rallies everyday before the store opened.  Fucking weird.

I did a whole lot of less interesting jobs:  retail, waitress, pizza delivery, zookeeper, cafeteria worker, marketing research, that maybe I'll tell you about some other time.


  1. My sister answers the calls for infomercials :) There's actually a lot of people needed for that kind of work

  2. I had a job cleaning the Premiers airplane (Premier is Canadian equivalent to Governor) as well as a telephone companies airplane. I also cleaned the hangar, offices, checked the oil, air pressure on the planes, did shipping and receiving and inventory, as well as any required errands, record keeping, transcribing of logs and used some chemicals that are in the top 10 list of worst pollutants in Canada. I'm pretty sure I probably have tumours growing on my spine, lol.

    Though those are some pretty bad jobs you had!

  3. My worst job was at the town landfill, driving over all the trash with a large dozer and compacting it. It was fun as hell most of the time, but every now and then something blew up, like a dead animal, and splattered. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

  4. well arent you full of surprises....interesting gal you are;)

  5. hahaha! I'd love to hear about those other jobs!

  6. Raine,

    Bless your heart. Those are some doozy jobs you tried out.

  7. WalMart used to do pep rallys, too, back in the day. We had to do whootin' and hollerin' and and calesthetics!! I was there two days thinking to myself, "WTF?" I couldn't take it :)

  8. An award awaits you at No excuse No explanation;)


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