Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Crap jobs.

I was inspired to write this by an earlier post over at Bryon Quertermous' place. He was complaining about his job working a call center and asked what lousy jobs we've had. That got me thinking about all the crap jobs I've had and I had to post this (expanded) response over here.

I caddied when I was 15. I weighed 125 pounds and had to carry two large bags to make 50 cents an hour. That lasted until a guy threw his putter at me.

I took my first real job at a roadside hot dog stand where I made 65 cents an hour and all I could eat. At 15 I could eat a lot, but not enough to make that job pay.

When I was 18 I worked in a warehouse loading grocery store trucks from 11 at night to 7 in the morning, all night slinging heavy cartons into the backs of tractor trailers. The dust was so thick you could sculpt it and there was never a moment when there wasn't a truck to be loaded. I made 2.12/hr.

I worked for Uncle Sam for 11 cents an hour. That was probably the worst job and none of the skills I learned was marketable. Huh.

After the Army I worked short order in midtown Manhattan, spiked ties for the Erie Lackawanna RR, set columns on construction sites and managed a janitorial crew at night.

All hard work, low pay and long hours.

The truth is, I actually enjoyed some of the work. Construction wasn't bad and I made good money working on the railroad. Short order was a sure way to get fed, which at that time in my life was a good thing. All of these jobs gave me people and places to write about.

But I wonder, do young people take these kinds of jobs today? I don't know if they do. I pass construction sites and see nothing by Latinos. I go to restaurants and see the same.

What about you? What were some of the worst jobs that you've had? And are today's crap jobs all that different?

Talk to me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

99% of jobs are crap jobs. It's work and you only do it to get paid. A few select people get to do exactly what they want to do and they actually enjoy their job. I think that construction workers have gripes just as much as someone working in an office. The grass is always greener. But I would probably enjoy digging a ditch more than dealing with corporate idiots and the stress. Unfortunately they don't pay the same.