Tell us where your worst jobs were, the experiences, and

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EgaoNoGenki
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20 Jan 2007, 7:29 am

Full title: "Tell us your worst job experiences, the experiences there, and what you wish would happen to the workplaces."

From August 2004 to February 2005, it was at a McDonald's about 20 miles away from the home I had that time. A newspaper ad promised "above-average pay" but at $5.75/hour? (I found this out -after- I started working.) That could be valid grounds for a lawsuit; it misled.

At first, another college student I knew of worked there and left for a better job about a week or two after I started, and it didn't seem so bad at first. Eventually, I was told to start working in the lobby (they wouldn't provide adequate explanations) and I didn't mind that at first either.

However, as time went on, I noticed that once in a while, familiar people from other parts of my life would show up there. I surmised that of all the jobs at McD's, being a lobby cleaner was the lowest position, so I did NOT want them to think I was a "life's failure." Therefore, I would turn my head away from the general direction they were looking, and run into the janitor closet or restroom as soon as possible, and hope they never saw me. (Speaking of this, what is the time that it takes to download visual information from the source to the eyes, and from the eyes to the brain? I needed to ask this to determine if I could have turned my head fast enough during those encounters.)

One day, I saw a "Mr. Stuck" waiting to order. (He and his wife were there, and they are parents of a schoolmate I knew from Kindergarten through graduation.) I ran into the bathroom again and thought, "Gee, what are they doing all the way over here?" (My old hometown was about 33 miles from the town the McDonald's is in.)

Some minutes later, I heard footsteps approaching the restroom and decided if I should go into the stall or not. Then, "Nah, maybe he's not Mr. Stuck." Unfortunately, he was! We started to talk, I tried to sound as ok as possible, then it culminated up to,

"So, do you go to college anywhere right now?"
"Yes, ...I do."
(voice lowered) "K-State?"
(At the time, I was going to some satellite college on an army base, and not K-State because the college on the base was free for military dependents. At this point, I couldn't determine fast enough whether to say I'm going to college on Fort Riley, or that I've gone to both colleges, though not at the same times.) Also, I couldn't determine if saying that I'm going to a college at Fort Riley would make him "confirm" that I failed in life, because the satellite community college was a lesser college than K-State was.)
I turned my head 1/4 turn, and he walked toward where I was now looking. Therefore I answered, while swing-waving my hands in a short arc: "K-State... And, Barton County Community College Fort Riley Campus."
I thought it would impress him that I've gone to more than one college and make him overlook the fact that I was working lobby at McD's.
Apparently not; he just quickly said, "Well, cya." and left. He didn't ask for my major, which was a red flag. Usually asking for majors will follow after telling them what college I go to.

I felt sore and wished I would've said, "K-State... And, Barton County Community College Fort Riley Campus in the SUMMER." That would've ended it a lot better, wouldn't it? I did also go to that on-post college in the summer. However, would omitting the fact that I didn't go to K-State in that fall, and still went to the BCCC FRC that fall still not be... well... adequate? I also wondered if telling him that I went to the satellite college on-post would've prompted him to ask, "So you go to K-State now, do you? I wouldn't want to be faced with that. That was the last time I've talked to him. I more sorely wished I'd have stepped into the bathroom stall because he never would've seen me if I had and I would not have had another person to clear things up with. For years, he's sold fireworks at a tent every July 1-4, so one of these days, I hope to type up an explanation letter and hand-deliver it to him when I find an opportunity to visit him there. Here's how I think it'll go:

Quote:
June or July 2007

Dear Mr. Stuck,
When you saw me at McDonald's in 2004 and told me where I went to school, I went to K-State and added that I went to a satellite college at Fort Riley. Well, I did that summer. I didn't add that I went there in the summer because I did not want to be seen working at a place where many employees are considered to be "Life's Failures." Therefore, I wanted you to overlook the fact that I was working at such a mind-numbing job by telling you that I've gone to two colleges. I have, but not at the same time.

At least I didn't explicitly say that I went to two colleges at the same time because then that would've became a lie. I hoped to remain ambiguous without turning what I told you into a lie so I said that I went to K-State and the satellite college at Fort Riley without saying whether it was at the same time or not. I'm sorry if it sounded other than what I intended.

I went to the Fort Riley satellite college that summer and eventually attended K-State again, where I am now (except that now it's summer and school is out, and I am going to study abroad in Japan this Fall.) I have long since left the McJob. I don't think I'll work fast-food ever again, and would rather have an office job any day. In fact, I plan on doing missions work in the Oriental regions of East Asia (be it Japan, Korea, or China.) I intend for this letter to clear things up and reconcile our relations between us.

Sincerely,

-(Egao No Genki)


On the letter, I don't plan on disclosing that I also went to the Fort Riley satellite campus the following fall. After all, it doesn't say that "I returned to K-State that Fall" (because that would then become a lie.) It says "...eventually attended K-State again," without stating when I did (which would've been the Spring of '05) I could omit certain information on the grounds that it's impractical to include every single minute detail in a letter and thus would take too long.

An example of the impracticality: "What did you read when you surfed CNN.com yesterday?" Instead of saying, "News about cold snaps in the US and Europe, the kidnapped boy's reunion and the story surrounding it, the heavy pollution of Linfen, China" and etc., the impractical answer would be copying & pasting every last news article I read on the site that day. That would be why and when I'd omit every minute detail. Therefore, how do you feel about my plan to omit the detail(s) mentioned above?

Now back to the McD's subject- the management somehow figured out I wasn't happy about the job (nonverbally most likely- dragging feet, looking down, not having an excited face, etc.) so they reduced my hours. It was getting rather doubtful that the pay I was getting at this point was less than the gas I was paying to commute to & from work. Eventually, I started to verbally share my opinions about the work with some managers, and started to become frequently late (I would try not to be late to a job I actually like, however), and refuse to sign a "red slip".

About those "red slips", which were actually white warning slips (maybe they were originally red years ago), on the days when the store manager wasn't there, I'd refuse to sign, and the shift manager would make some protesting remarks, but nothing else would be done. One day, I made a 2-week quitting notice, but I didn't wait 2 weeks. Another day I was late, the slip that Andrew (same shift manager) gave me told me I had a 30-day probation now, and was going to get terminated if late again. I thought, maybe I won't get the 30-day probation if I don't sign so I didn't. The store manager happened to work that day, and she told me, "Actually, it's called (forgot what it's called), and is enough for me to fire you!" I replied, "I see." But she didn't fire me, I guess because I gave a polite reply. I worked my shift, and at the end of it, deciding I've had enough, I told a different, scheduling manager "to not add me to anything next week." She replied, "That won't be two weeks..." "Well, I'll know what to do. I've had enough, and can't subject myself to the stress anymore, even for two more weeks, and who cares if I quit early? I don't intend to work at any fast food again!"

Regarding the remark, "Well, I'll know what to do.": I happened to befriend one manager, and he told me before I left work for the last time, to give his cellphone number as the former work number. He gave me his business card with his work email and his cellphone number, and promised to give a good reference each time a prospective employer called.

In the time after I finally left McD's shackles without injury ("injury" = being fired in this "so to speak" sense), I started to worry about the following: When Jeff isn't working, and a prospective employer calls the #, he might just say, "Hello?", which could raise a red flag because he would not address them in an official business script at those times. The "business script" would sound something like, "This is Westloop McDonald's, Jeff speaking." Now I wonder if it's time to shove McDonald's off of my resume entirely? I think that's part of the reason why prospective employers haven't been accepting me? I did get a job at a dishroom about one month later but through some sort of different means. Through the usual means of application forms and resumes, they feel more and more like a waste of time, aggravated by the fact that I write slower than the average person.

My opinion about McDonald's: Actually, about Fast Food in general- I think ALL humans deserve BETTER than to work there. What I think should happen to these fast food establishments is that robots should take their place there. I feel sorry for whoever works in such low places in the fast food industry. At least two robots could work there (maybe more), so that if one breaks down, the other can repair it and put it back to work, and they would go for many days between a two-hour long recharge. Their kinetic, heat, and solar energies would get recaptured and recharge them on the go, and therefore they'd last longer. As for turning light to energy while working inside- the light coming from the store's light fixtures would do it, wouldn't they?

Now, please feel free to share your worst jobs and job experiences with us, as well as what you think should happen to those workplaces.



20 Jan 2007, 7:26 pm

Working in the town library dusting book shelves because it was so dusty and a dirty job, my coat get dirty. I didn't want my clothes getting dirty so I kept it on to protect them. the library was expanding the place so they had construction going on in there and it was loud from the sawing. I hate getting my clothes dirty. I'd rather wear work clothes but the job I had was a none paying job because it was for a class for kids to get job experiances.



ahayes
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20 Jan 2007, 10:59 pm

I once worked for a telephone interviewing company.



midge
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21 Jan 2007, 3:38 am

I worked as a cook in a fast-food restaurant for about four years. For the first three years it was actually a pretty good job. Then in the last six months a new manager took over and I started to hate it there. For some reason, she didn't like me and she and this other woman who was in charge of the payroll would talk down to me and make me feel really dumb. I guess I was kind of preoccupied during this time and making more mistakes than I should have, and I felt pretty embarassed about it because it's supposed to be such an easy job (although in some ways it really isn't). There were other people she wasn't nice to either-she made one of the assistant managers-who was really nice-cry, which I thought was terrible. They gave me a white slip for kind of vague reasons, and then they gave me a white slip for something that wasn't really my fault and I figured they were trying to get me fired, because all they would have had to do was give me one more, at any time, for just about any reason. They were also giving me few hours by this point and had hired a new cook, which made me suspicious, so I quit before they could fire me. They wouldn't give me my last paycheck until I turned in my original shirt even though I'm sure they knew perfectly well that I had thrown it away years ago because it had gotten so dirty, although a month or two later they finally did give me that paycheck. I was in university for the last year and a half or so that I worked there and I was self-conscious about that too. I figured everyone else my age had a better job.

I heard that the restaurant has a new manager now, and I hope he or she is good to the employees.



nutbag
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03 Feb 2007, 7:10 pm

Got hired as manager of a small warehouse as part of a tee shirt production company. I came in Monday to manage, and was told that over the weekend this dude had been hired as manager - that I could work as a laborer.
Guy they took over me was drunk and drugged most of the time. late, absent, mistakes. and eventually he fired me.

Cool, huh?

Actually that probably was not my worst job.



Gaya
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08 Feb 2007, 1:55 pm

I worked at a coffeehouse when I was 16 or 17. It was my first job, and probably my worst. It was every Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and I wasn't (and still am not) a morning person. The pay was minimum wage, but I was there more for the experience than the money.

On one of the first days, my manager took me to her office and said something that made me cry. I don't remember exactly what she said. It might have been about the fact that I was shy, and that I would need to "open up" and "be friendly" to customers. As soon as I started crying, she yelled that I should never cry at work.

I couldn't learn how to use the blasted cash register. The guy who worked with me had to help me push buttons even after I'd been there for weeks. I was ashamed when customers asked "Is this your first day?" I couldn't figure out why I was so slow at a job that is considered one of the easiest possible.

The parts of the job I didn't mind: Making sandwiches, doing dishes, grinding coffee beans, or putting sandwiches into the refrigerator box. The guy I worked with was nice, and we would play cards together sometimes. Most of the time I was dealing with customers, though.

Eventually, I got fired because the manager turned out to be a flake, and she was losing her business. The coffeehouse still exists, but under different management. I don't think anything should change about the coffeehouse. It's a local business that has a good ambiance, and some people actually don't mind working cash registers. I just shouldn't be the one doing it, for the sake of myself and the customers.



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10 Feb 2007, 6:14 pm

Well, I've only had one job so far, and it's not that bad. The worst experince I've had with it is the only time I've ever hated it.

I work as an office assistant for a tank consulting company. Others go out in the field, take measurments, observations, and ratings and then send it back. I enter it in the computer, correct anything that needs to be corrected (like grammar, which is severly lacking), and format it. It takes about an hour for each report (although it can be as short as 15 minutes and as long as an hour and a half). No problem really.
Anyway, there's a big project that's going to be due soon - 96 tanks, which means 96 tank reports to do. There was a problem with the fax machine (actually, it was a problem with the coworker and pen issues, but whatever), so when he came back he brought all the tank reports with him. So, my coworker gave me the first batch and I was told no more would be coming until the week after that. My boss would need those done by Monday though.
I set my own hours, and there weren't many reports, so I did one or two every night. Then, on Friday night, I finished what I had been given. I had a lot of homework for the weekend, so I closed up and was thankful that I didn't have any left.
Except that I learned later that night that I hadn't been given all the tank reports. My coworker had given me a section of them, but not all. There were at least 15 left and I needed to get them all done by Monday. I went back out and managed to finish a report that night, but then I had to get home.
I ended up spending most of my weekend working on those reports, which I did get by Monday, but I was sorely ticked at my coworker, who not only did not give me those on time, but attempted to do them by himself. (This being the coworker who can't write to save his life. He has a block on complete sentences and verbs.) I ended up having to spend more time on them than before.

It turned out all right though, because that week we had several snow days, so I had more time to get all my homework done and still relax some. :)


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10 Feb 2007, 8:33 pm

About 15 years ago I took a job in the library of a small college in northern Alberta. (My professional background is in Library & Information Management.) The job itself (as in, what I was paid to do) was okay, but the rest of it... I hated it.

- The rest of the staff were very much cliquey
- I was the first male staff member the library ever had (aside from student helpers)
- The college made sure there were lots of social events for the staff (being in a place so isolated up north), which were either family-oriented activities or pub-oriented activities. As a virtual non-drinker (a glass of wine once in a very long while in a formal dinner setting), I wasn't going to hang around in pubs and drink. And being single with no significant other and no dependents meant that I would feel out of place at the family events. So I didn't go... and got flak from the people above me for not fitting in.
- The worst part was the interim review after three months, in which the management told me about a problem they were having with me. My response: "Why am I hearing about this for the first time *now*?" -- if someone would have said something right away, I could have done something about it.

The only reason I didn't quit on the spot was that I signed a six-month lease for my apartment. So I stayed the next three months, then left.

What I wish would happen to the workplace: nothing bad. But I did notice that it was months before they posted an ad for my replacement. I wonder if my letter of complaint to the college president (cc to the union) that I sent on my last day had anything to do with it? ;)

I was there to catalog books. I wasn't there to socialize with my co-workers in my off time.


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10 Feb 2007, 10:07 pm

I worked at McDonald's and wouldn't want to work there anymore. But you're overreacting about that guy you ran away from. There's no need to send a letter to clarify such a simple issue. The guy might think he did something wrong, which he did not, he did no more than politely converse with you. A letter would just make a mountain out of a molehill.



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10 Feb 2007, 10:35 pm

never had a bad job. i wouldn't work in a place i didn't like


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12 Feb 2007, 12:24 am

Funny thing, THEY (and you know how they are) jusge AS to be a bit robotic in that we lack emotion. Yet is is we who have difficulties with NTs robotic jobs.


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