Everyone has worked a shitty job.
My first job ever was at Burger King. Nothing filled me with dread more than seeing my name scheduled between the hours of two and five on a Sunday afternoon. That shift meant that you were cleaning “The Pit.” Our Burger King had a kids play area that included a slide that led into a hole filled with hundreds of plastic balls. Every Sunday it was some poor schmuck’s job to remove all the balls from “The Pit” and wash them one by one in the kitchen’s industrial sink. Once the balls were clean, they took about an hour to dry. During this time, said schmuck would hop into the empty “pit” and give it a good scrub. This was the absolute worst part of the job. There were always “treasures” left behind from a week’s worth of play. Chewed up little bits of hamburger meat, rotting french fries, gum in a variety of colours and pee. Always pee.
Burger King was a pretty terrible job, but it wasn’t the shittiest I’ve ever had…
I worked as a hostess at a Nickel’s one summer and as it was owned by Celine Dion, we had to listen to one of her shitty songs every hour on the hour. It was torture. The only upside of that job was the irony of being yelled at by the servers for “slamming their sections” while “Because You Loved Me” blared in the background.
I worked at a shifty pizza restaurant that paid me biweekly in small bills that were given to me in a Ziplock bag. Every time I went to the bank to deposit my “cheque”, I wondered if the teller thought that I was a drug dealer. The owner of the restaurant was a total knob. One evening, the kitchen ran out of cheese. When the owner found out he totally lost his shit and proceeded to whack the cooks with a rolled up newspaper. Later that night, once the owner had left, we as a staff decided to partake in various selections from the restaurant’s bar rail. We felt like the owner owed us a drink or seven.
I worked for a farm selling corn on the side of the road. It was actually a great job. I got to be outside all day so when I left for my first year of University, I had a killer tan. I got to work by myself and during slow times I would read or write stories or eat snacks. It was my all time favourite job until a dude in a white Neon started to frequent my stand. At first he was fine, just a little creepy. He would buy his corn and make small talk and give me a tip of a couple of dollars and then be on his way. But as the summer went on, he started to ask me about my personal life, if I had a boyfriend, if I liked to party. I was eighteen at the time and if I had to guess, I would say that this dude was pushing thirty. One day he stopped by and asked if I liked wine. I said no. He said that of course I liked wine and that I should go over to his car and check out all the wine he had in his trunk. I said no. He said come on. I said no. He said there’s no one here, you can leave your stand. I said no. Just then, a customer pulled up and I eagerly went to serve them. I took a great deal of time expertly selecting their corn and I guess creepy dude got the message or got tired of waiting, so he left. That night, I told a couple of my friends about the incident. Feeling a bit nervous the next day at work, I was relieved when two of my guy friends showed up to hang with me at my stand. They hadn’t been there very long when creepy dude rolled up. He got out of his Neon and smiled at me and asked who are these guys with an annoyed look on his face. My friends, I said. Bless those boys as they puffed up their chests like angry toads, ready for battle. I thought you said you didn’t have a boyfriend, he said. My friends stepped towards him, not saying a word. Creepy dude stepped back, put up his hands as a sign of surrender, retreated into his shitty Neon and drove away. He never came back to my stand.
Believe it or not, Celine Dion, an “under the table” establishment and a possible abduction do not take the top spot for my shittiest job ever. That space is reserved for the brief time that I was a receptionist at a walk-in clinic.
The summer that I was twenty, I somehow managed to land a cushy job as a medical receptionist. The job itself was fine. I took people’s health cards, double checked their addresses and put them in examining rooms. The doctors I worked for lacked basic social skills. They never learned my name. I was simply the girl that made their coffee, sent them patients, brought them files and cleaned up their office.
One busy Saturday morning, a woman cut the line of waiting patients and rudely set something down on my desk. This is for the doctor, can you give it to him, she said. Obviously she didn’t notice that I was being slammed by patients and was unavailable to be her personal errand girl. I rolled my eyes as I told the woman I would give it to the doctor when I had time. I begrudgingly picked up the package and put it under my desk.
A few hours went by and the clinic finally emptied out. I took the opportunity to eat my lunch. When I bent down to throw out my garbage in the trash can under my desk, I saw the package that the woman had dropped off hours earlier. I had totally forgotten that it was there. The package was in a plastic grocery store bag that was tied shut. I carefully untied the knot, reached inside and pulled out a large mason jar. I set the jar on my desk, looked at it and quickly discovered that it was not full of pickles or homemade preserves…
It was literally full of shit.
A jar FULL of human feces sat on my desk.
I stared at it in shock for a few horrifying seconds before my mouth started sweating.
What the actual fuck was I supposed to do with a mason jar full of poop? I didn’t want to touch it or look at it. I wanted to deny it’s existence.
Why? WHY had this woman done this? Why had she collected so much shit in a jar? Had she not been explained how to properly gather a stool sample? Did the doctor not mention that only a small smear was required? Maybe the doctor requested a liter of poop from this woman? I had so many questions, but also a deep desire not to know any of the answers.
Unable to cope with the jar of poop, I knew that I needed help. I got up from my desk and went to find the doctor. He was sitting at his desk, his back to me. Excuse me, I said in a shaky voice. He turned around and stared at me blankly. Sorry to bother you, I continued, but I have a bit of a situation. I waited for him to say something but he just stared at me. I didn’t know how to say it, so I just blurted out, a patient left a jar of poo for you. The doctor raised his eyebrows. It’s up front, I said as I turned around and walked back to my desk. The doctor followed. Right there, I said pointing at the jar of poop. Without hesitation, the doctor picked it up and opened the lid right there in the reception area. I thought I was going to vomit. Why? WHY did he open the lid? Could he not see through the transparent glass that the jar was clearly filled with shit? Did he not believe me? Did he want to give it a smell? Lucky for me, he only had it open for a hot second before closing it again. We can’t have this, he said as he put the jar down on my desk. You need to take it to the back and collect a proper sample. ME? Collect a sample? NO. NO. NOPE. That was not going to happen. Feces Handling was not in my job description. I looked at the doctor and said, I’m not going to do that. He rolled his eyes, picked up the jar and stormed off.
I avoided the doctor for the rest of my shift. He left without saying a word, like he normally did, because he was a weirdo. As soon as he was gone, I turned off the lights and took out the garbage. I couldn’t wait to get the fuck out of that place, but I remembered that I had left some of my lunch in the staff fridge. As I opened the fridge door, there it sat, right beside my lunch leftovers. The doctor had put to mason jar of shit IN THE STAFF FRIDGE!!!! Why? WHY did he do that? Why didn’t he dispose of it after he collected the sample? Why was he saving it? Disgusted, I left my leftovers there and slammed the fridge door shut. That night, I believe I got very drunk with my friends in the hopes of erasing the horrid memory of the mason jar of shit. Obviously it didn’t work because the image of that jar of poop is still ingrained in my brain sixteen years later.
And that my friends, are my shittiest jobs.
Do you have a great shitty job story? I’d love to hear it! Feel free to share your shit in the comments!
Until we meet again,