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Susan M. Heathfield

What Was Your Worst Job - Ever?

By November 1, 2013

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At some point in most careers, you will have had a job that you hated. No matter whether your worst job offered you lousy or distasteful work, a boss you hated, or coworkers who constantly undermined you or complained, you remember the job as your worst job - ever.

I thought back over my career, and mind you, because I have been writing and consulting for years, I have not taken any jobs except for clients I loved and for whom I really thought I could make a difference, in a long time. But, in the earlier days, I worked at a GM education center as a management development specialist.

I really liked the director, the clients, and the work, but my immediate boss was petty, self-serving, and a tyrant who wanted her way all of the time. Plus, coming out of 16 years in an education setting, I was first of all, used to running things, but secondly, I felt as if I was, once again, managing another school - the environment I had just left - on purpose.

The job gave me connections, however, and I was soon able to move to a GM plant where I learned a whole new world - and even became friends with my former boss when I no longer reported to her. If that opportunity had not come up, however, I would have spent all of my time job searching to get rid of a bad boss and a public sector repeat career in an industry setting.

I also worked as a Good Humor ice cream truck substitute driver during the summer of the Detroit riots in 1967. But, I loved that job, and its unexpected dire environment, is a story for another day.

Okay, I've shared my worst job story. What's yours? Compared to the stories I regularly hear about on this website, my story is mild, and fortunately, I got out of there quickly.

Please share your worst job - ever - story.

Image Copyright Bobbieo

June 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(1) Anne5696 says:

I just left a job where the owner of the company repeatedly made inappropriate advances to me and made inappropriate comments (which he treated as jokes) to the rest of the staff about being with me and others intimately. A new manager joined the company and I told her about the situation as well as about my hopes and dreams for future employment. To ingratiate herself with the owner, she told him that I had mentioned “sexual harassment” and that I was unhappy with my job. I am now no longer employed, however, even with no income, I feel I am better off!

February 26, 2013 at 2:40 pm
(2) Janelle says:

Worst job was when I was 21, when me and another 21 year old had our desks pushed right up against the desk of a dictatorial micromanager who was 72 years old. She refused to retire, and was driven to control and criticize, and the boss “gave” her two new girls every six months or so, to micromanage, control, berate, criticize, eavesdrop upon, yank on our clothing, et al. So that she would leave everybody else alone. Six months was just about as long as anyone lasted. Everybody called us “The Sacrificial Lambs.” I remember she let us have one ball point pen at a time, and we had to give her written explanations before she would give us a postage stamp.

November 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(3) Ellen Carter says:

The worst job I ever had is right now. I’m 51 years old and went back to school when I was 48 to finish my masters in hopes that for full time work, I would come out of this bad market better prepared. As it turns out I’m stuck moving from one short assignment to another. it takes me 8 to 10 weeks to secure another position somewhere close to my needed income. I’ve gone through my savings and my retirement hanging on by a thread and I just learned my current assignment is ending early due to a reorg. They like my work and they like me, but I just keep being offered contract temporary positions. THis is the third Christmas in a row I’ve been unemployed. I’ve secured 4 different jobs in the last 2 years. I need to break the cycle when I don’t know how. Before going back to school I had two jobs for major corporate brands during 14 years. I have never been unemployed like this.

November 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm
(4) Susan Heathfield says:

Hi, you have my sympathy and best wishes. It is a tough job market. Here are a couple of resources that may give you encouragement and help you break the pattern:



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