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My worst job. EVER.

The worst job I ever had was only mine for two days. You'll soon see why!

For all those who have never been a temp, sometimes "temp" seems to equate to "dogsbody" with little, if any, respect had for you. Naturally, what the recruitment agency had neglected to tell me was, this company had used practically everyone on their books... I soon learnt why.

I was there to help clear a back-log of work. When I arrived there at the slightly gruelling time of 7am, I understood why there was this back-log - none of them did a bloody thing.

The offices were above the factory where you could peer down and see them make... shower bases. That's right, shower bases. I had never imagined someone actually made things like this but, then again, I had never really given it that much thought.

"What's that smell?" was my first question. There was no point in asking where the kettle was after I was immediately told that you NEVER leave your seat. If you did have to go to the loo, you had sixty seconds.

"You'll get used to it," was their reply.

By which they meant I would spend my sixty seconds throwing up from the over-powering resin smell and admiring the rash it induced in me. Admittedly, other than the sick feeling, the first morning wasn't that bad. I was only there to process invoices, which was pretty straight-forward, and I happily agreed to cover the phones and take messages whilst the girl who comprised the sales team took her lunch.

"Hello, X company."

"Can I speak to Sam?" a gruff-sounding man asked me.

I had no idea who Sam was, I hadn't exactly been given the grand tour, so decided a message was the safest way to play it. "I'm sorry, but he's away from his desk. Can I take a message, please?"

"Don't f-ing lie to me. He owes me money. Put him on the f-ing phone. NOW."

"I'm sorry," I cautiously replied, ears burning at the swearing. "He's not here."

"Well, you can sort my money out then, Laura."

"No, it's Elle. I'm the new temp. Everyone is out at lunch at the moment."

"Stop f-ing lying Laura. You amazingly have a f-ing new temp every other day. I want my money."

"No, really. I am the temp. It's my first day, and I'm sorry I can't help, but-"

"Stop f-ing fobbing me off Laura. How many more messages do I have to leave before I get my bloody money?"

And on it went. His tone getting more and more aggressive but, the problem is, I'm really polite. Stupidly polite. I sat there and took the abuse meant for someone else...

After the third phone call of this nature, I realised the company owed a lot of money. When the others came back into the office, I was told to continue answering the phones, take messages, and not put through the calls to the relevant people. Fun.

Day two was worse. At noon the office staff disappeared and told me I could go for lunch when they came back. They came back at 3.30pm meaning I'd just worked 8 1/12 hours solid without a break - not exactly legal, but they didn't really care. At this point, I was beyond hunger and feeling violently sick from the smell. All I wanted was some fresh air, but their office locking system meant if I left the office, I would need a key or someone else to let me back in. Neither of those were options for me.

When I finally got to leave for my break, all the local shops were closed, and I just wanted to cry. I mean, I’d spent the morning been abused on the phone whilst they went to the pub. Nice. On my return, I found them reading Closer magazine and a new pile of work on my desk, their work.

Unsurprisingly, after I got home and threw up some more from the toxic smell that seemed to be embedded up my nose and admired my ever-spreading rash, I didn't make it back for day three. The agency weren't surprised. My two days had been a record...

That experience was definitely my worst job ever, especially since they didn't even pay me all the money they should have. I hope I never suffer such levels of abuse, lack of respect, or that sort of physical reaction from my working environment ever again.

Have you had a horrid job? x

8 comments:

  1. I've had horrible experiences like that.

    I worked as a temp for a certain company for a couple of days. I was receptionist for the HR department. The agency had told me it was for 2 days so I organised to do stuff on the third day. At the end of Day 2 the HR manager person was like "see you tomorrow" I was like huh? I can't i have plans i was told it was two day post.

    Well - i didn't get paid for my two days - so I sat staring at the wall (google news being my only friend!) and then didn't get paid for it - evil people

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  2. That sounds absolutely horrendous. I'm surprised you even made it to the second day with the toxicity you were breathing in! Crazy!

    My worst job ever was my stint working in the automotive department at Wal-Mart (this despite having ZERO knowledge of cars beyond how to put gas in, mind you). I wrote one incident here: http://elizabethditty.com/2010/01/28/fridayflash-ive-got-bills-in-all-the-right-places/

    I only lasted two weeks before I put in my notice, though I agreed to stay on three more until they could find a replacement since I was leaving so quickly. As frustrated as I get in my current job sometimes, I can always remind myself that at least it's not Wal-Mart.

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  3. Nice post- good idea! Man that sucks though - you must have infinite levels of patience!

    My worst job was a day temping at an insurance company. The person that i was supposed to meet didn't turn up and no one knew what to do with me so i was made to sell indemnity insurance (which is apparently what doctors and lawyers need to stop getting sued).

    I was told to be deliberately rude to the receptionists i spoke to - in order to get through to the various doctors and lawyers i was ringing! Needless to say on the rare occasion i got through to a doc or lawyer they knew far more about what i was selling than me and didn't hesitate to tell me that. One even had to correct me when i mispronounced it! "Umm yeah indemnity that's the one - would you like some?!" I didn't sell anything and I didn't get paid!!

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  4. You are good. Have been there...but without the smell..... Bloody agencies.

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  5. What are you worried about, some people* would pay good money for that level of abuse....

    *Men of a certain type**

    **Ex Public school with more money than sense

    I can't think of any really bad jobs, I would have said working in a kitchen as a temp years ago, but that was actually good fun. The temp before me had lasted less than an hour*** while by the end of the week the Chef was giving me steaks to take home...

    *** The kitchen had an old fashioned dishwasher which had to be filled via an external hose. They instructed the first temp to fill the dish washer but to keep an eye on it so that it did not overflow. He sat and stared at it for 20 minutes and was still staring as the water came flooding over the top of the unit

    P.S. Your colour scheme is not easy to read - or at least I hope it's your colour scheme otherwise I'm going to be getting a Labrador puppy any day soon.....

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  6. Oh this reminds me of my worst job - where I was working for a con artist. I keep meaning to post about it and keep forgetting. FYI - I didn't KNOW she was a con artist at the time...

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  7. That is horrible. I'm surprised they even still had a business!!

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  8. Interesting to see a few people saying that it was whilst temping they experienced their worst jobs ... I hope I *never* have to temp again! x

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