The worst job?

20 01 2008

Andrew was talking about the tough jobs he’s had. Here’s his story …

“I had an extraordinary life because my parents were actually shopkeepers and I was pretty much brought up in the back room of the shop. My father made a lot of money but he gambled it away on dogs and horses. While I was still at school we had a small stable with our own horses and when I left school I ended up running that and training greyhounds to race on the flapper tracks.

Eventually my parents decided to give up business and become farmers in Devon, that’s where I did the cows, then we moved to Cornwall where I did the horses. The other jobs were as a result of my trying to break away from my parents. They were very controlling and had a really bad attitude towards my deafness and kept me very dependent on them. So I had to do all these rubbish jobs in my efforts to get away.

By the way I ended up doing a degree in IT at the Open University but unfortunately I have back trouble, caused by all that hard work so I am actually on Incapacity Benefit at the moment.

The worst job? OK tough guy. Let’s see YOU get up at 3.30 am for a 4.30 start at the slaughterhouse and then be confronted first thing in the morning by a steaming line of freshly killed and skinned dead bodies. Let’s see the hard man try that one. The first thing that happens is they lower a 200lb side of cow onto your shoulder to be taken out to the van. By 8 am we had a fleet of vans fully loaded and on the road to the butchers.

You think that’s easy. OK lets see ya 🙂

Then of course there was the three years I spent working in the construction industry. I was originally on the Liskeard Bypass working for Costain but I got the opportunity to take a post in materials testing on the Humber Bridge. So off I went to the Humber which at that time was just a hole in the ground and a very expensive one too. I spent 18 months crawling all over every structure in the site. My initials are hopefully still carved at the top of the towers along with all the others.

Then of course there were the years I spent working with racehorses, just after I left school. My father had racing connections and I went to work for them. Alternately shoveling the brown stuff and thundering along at 40 mph. I wanted to be a jockey.

Then there was working on my parents farm, milking cows, shoveling 500 tons of poo. Ploughing the fields and scattering. Getting off the tractor so cold that your legs collapsed.

The most fun job was starting my own photographic business from scratch, no capital, nuffink. Unfortunately after 12 years I lost the lot in the recession. I didn’t have to shovel poo in that one though.

Then there was the truck driving job, the warehouse job, the garage job, putting up a tented village job, the painting and decorating job.

But the one that sticks out was my first morning at a big car sales firm near here. If you see a helicopter on TV the chances are it belongs to them but their main business is car sales. I was working in an engineering factory as a cleaner and this firm advertised a better paid job doing a similar thing. So I changed jobs but I knew on my first morning that I had made a terrible mistake.

I turned up with sandwiches and a cup and tea bags, not knowing what facilities they had beacuse it is out of town. So it turned out that they didn’t have a kettle out the back but I as told that there was a staff kitchen at the front. So I went over with my tea cup and they had a sumptuous fitted kitchen there, some people were in there and I knew this was a family firm so I knocked on the door and asked if I could just scrounge some boiling water. Somebody said “Come in help yourself” so I went over to the kettle and touched the switch. Just as it began to boil the managing director of the company came in.

He glared at me and snapped “What are you doing in here this is for family only?” I tried to explain that it was my first day (which he knew) and I wasn’t prepared for the fact that there was no kettle out the back. So he grabbed my by the arm, ignored the boiling kettle and took me into the loo and said to use the water out of the tap. I should have walked out there and then but actually I toughed it out for three long weeks. I hated them and they hated me.

I think that was probably the worst one in terms of bad treatment.”

See Hear are thinking about making an item in the programme about ‘The Worst Job’ you know of.

They are looking for Deaf people to tell them about the worst jobs they have had, or the worst job in the world that you or your friends may have had.

Any sort of job that you think is really horrible. If you are Deaf please contact Joe at joe.collins@bbc.co.uk

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2 responses

20 01 2008
Macian

Dear god Andy, how you managed to restrain yourself and not deck that boss I will never know, and you lasted three weeks, wow.
I remember you telling me of some of the jobs you had but I had no idea they were that bad.

21 01 2008
Kyle

I’m catching up with Andrew. First started off as a farmer’s helper, shovelling cow shit from one pile to another and back again, construction helper where I had to poke out the mortar from the stonework of a country house, a park attendant in a run-down estate where they burnt my office with me in it (they eventually decide to smash up the cricket pavillion and burn down a marquee tent when it turns out that I wasn’t that combustible), a shelf-filler of exclusively washing powder boxes and household scents (I think I’ve lost a few cells in my nose), warehouse porter where I ripped the skin off one of my thumbs, data entry where I typed in 8-10 digit numbers for 8 hours, kitchen porter washing 20,000 dishes a night, hotel porter in a ski resort in France, emergency management for a council, data quality control in Holland with the boss from hell and now I’m quality controlling stuff I don’t understand in the oil industry in places like Libya and Cambodia.

And I got a job interview next week. Wish me luck!

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