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What is the Worst Job You Ever Had?

Detasseling corn
YouTube

Mike Rowe has made it a career of spending a day in the life of regular folks who just happen to have some of the most difficult, nasty, disgusting jobs on the planet. He hosts the Discovery Channel television series “Dirty Jobs”, and gives us all a friendly reminder that our job could be worse (or at least dirtier). While most of the workers that show Rowe how to do their job seem to enjoywhat they do, lots of us have had work that we didn’t care for.

My coworkers all love their jobs now, but Rudy quickly recalls his undesirable days as a “kick driver” for the newspaper. That’s a job that had him waking up at the wee hours to deliver the papers to the paperboys, acting as paperboy when the actual paperboy didn’t show up. He also had to answer the 24-hour customer complaint line.

Shay was not particularly fond of her days in retail. Having to go in an hour early and stay an hour late to repair the damage left behind by shoppers

Frank worked at a sewage treatment plant. Nuff said.

My worst job was my first job. Just a week after turning 13, was detasseling corn in the fields of Schoolcraft, Michigan. Detasseling consisted of walking rows of corn for up to 14 hours a day (with one half hour, and two 15 minute breaks) and pulling the tassels off the tops of the “male” corn. I was small for my age – under 5 feet tall, so the corn I detasseled was often well above my head.

I had to wake up before the crack of dawn in order to be carried off to that day’s field on the back of a pickup or a school bus or something. Most days, I would skip breakfast in order to sleep an extra 5 minutes. I’d be starving by lunch, but for some reason, it seemed worth it.

I didn’t wear gloves, because I couldn’t grip the tassels well enough with them on, so my hands were blistered before the end of the first day. Then they were sliced open the next day. By the end of the 2nd week of detasseling, some impressive calluses would develop just in time to be laid off and sent home for the summer.

I made $3.00 an hour. And according to my mom, it built character. I felt I had plenty character before detasseling corn, to be honest.

Here is a video that nicely highlights the glamorous side of the job.

What’s the worst job you ? Have you ever had a job that you look back on and ask yourself “what was I thinking?”. Tell me about it in the comment section below.

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