Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Worst Job I Almost Had

I always think it's interesting to read about celebrities former jobs.  I love to hear how some big, successful business person started at the bottom and worked their way up.  I think former professions and summer jobs offer a glimpse into one's personality.  

When our kids were younger, Rob worked as an investment advisor.  He loved his job helping people with their investments, retirement, and estate planning.  The only problem - he received no salary.  The insurance benefits were outstanding, but it was hard to budget expenses when his compensation was so sporadic.  I was busy at home with young children, and honestly, for me to work would have made no fiscal sense (the cost of day care would have outweighed any financial benefit).  But, as I was perusing the want ads in the paper, I thought I had found the perfect solution. 

I could deliver newspapers!  I figured this would be something to supplement our income and that I could work while everyone else was sleeping.  So, I called the number and scheduled to train for the following Monday.  I arranged to meet my trainer at a local high school (the newspaper pick-up) at 2:45 am.  No, that's not a typo, you read that correctly.  There is something really, really unnatural about setting an alarm for 2:30 am. 

I was not discouraged, though, I figured I could nap when the kids napped in the afternoons.  So, on my first day, I rode along with a nice enough guy who took me along on his route and showed me the ropes.  He warned me that I'd probably need to replace the brakes on my car at least twice during the year, that I'd probably see people in various states of undress through illuminated windows, and that the papers had to be delivered by 6:00 am.  We drove around in the pitch-black, I was trying in vain to see the addresses on the front of totally dark houses and my hands were black with ink by the time we were finished. 

The next day I met with a different trainer, who would ride along with me (in my car) and show me my new route.  We met again at the same location and again at 2:45.  I began to hate my life.  Honestly, it was awful.  I literally hated everything about it.  It was stressful, I felt sick from lack of sleep, and I knew this was something I could not do.  Now, if our lives depended on me delivering newspapers, of course I would step up - but, thankfully it didn't and I canceled my appointment to officially sign up to be an employee. 

I think that God has created things to give us a foretaste of eternity.  When I am inspired by nature and all Creation I think, "I wonder what heaven will be like".  When I delivered newspapers I thought, "I wonder what hell will be like".   Between you and me, I don't really think people will be delivering newspapers in hell,  but it really was that bad - like a "personal" hell.  I also think that people will be wearing ski boots in hell, like 24 hours a day, but that's just my opinion. 

I'm not really sure why this memory was sparked for me, but I'd love to hear your stories!  What was the worst job you ever had? 


  1. My worst job was as a supermarket checkout chick when I was in high school.The work was Ok but my boss was revolting. I did that job for about 18 months part time.

    I've worked for 29 years, 25 of them in the same field for the same organisation. Obviously that's my best job!

  2. so, according to my math, you must have started working when you were 13! :)

    I'm so happy you love your job and I know the people that you serve are thankful, too!

    A good or bad boss can make all the difference in the world!

  3. hmm, I think my worst job was as a clothing salesperson. They and I both knew I didn't belong but it still felt a bit insulting to be fired. I just didn't care if people wanted to buy the clothes or not... lol

    Is it sad to say I did better as a McDonald's employees for somthing like 7 years? yikes!

  4. My worst job was working in an accounts dept for a company that was, hmmm, in Aus we would say a bit dodgy, not sure what you would call it, but they definitely weren't ok. The accountant kept on telling me to ignore the figures etc and I was sure I was going to get blamed for something so I left before that happened. Scary and a relief to get out of there.
    Delivering newspapers sounds absolutely awful, half the time I am lying in bed awake at 3am but that is much better than driving around doing that. I'm not going to complain next time I wake up in the middle of the night.

  5. I worked at the Rutter's "bottling" factory type thing. We made the plastic gallons that milk and ice tea come in. I stood for 12 hours making sure the plastic containers were made correctly by the big machine, which would package a bunch together. Then I'd load a whole bunch of packaged empty gallons in the tractor trailor, filling it up. If I'd miss one little imperfection on one gallon jug? I'd have to remove everything from the truck and "recycle" it. It was dark, long, and a lot of lifting. The one saving grace to it all? Great co-workers.

    I also worked in Giant's bakery - that was a yummy job!