Monday is a holiday in the United States. I had planned to close the blog for the day, but our contest this week ties in nicely with the Labor Day theme, so I decided to run it early. This will be our only post for the day, but we’ll be back tomorrow with a normal schedule. In the meantime, let’s give away a copy of ‘The Office: Season Nine‘ on Blu-ray. Just to mix things up a little bit, this will be different than most of our recent contests. Be sure to read the rules carefully.
As much as I love our photo caption contests, I have a better idea in mind for this one. In order to win the final season of ‘The Office’ on Blu-ray, I want you to tell me a story about either the best job you ever had, or the worst job you ever had. True stories only, please. You are allowed to submit one story for best job and one for worst, but that’s the cut-off.
Each entry must be 400 words or less. Please heed this limit. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to read dozens of novel-length contest entries. Be as succinct as you can to make the point.
Now, we had a similar contest about worst jobs back in 2010, but I figure that three years is enough time to do it again. If, by chance, you entered that previous contest, I expect only new stories here. I will check, and duplicates will be disqualified.
For my part, my best job was my college work-study position. I worked in my university’s media lab. My responsibilities entailed sitting down and waiting for professors to come in and sign out TVs and VCRs to use in their classes. If a professor came in, I would point to a TV on a cart, make him sign a sheet, and watch him wheel it out. Then I’d wait for him to bring it back later. That’s it. That’s all I did, from 5 PM to 9 PM every evening. On a busy week, I might see three professors who needed TVs. Because the office was filled with televisions and Laserdisc players (this was the early ’90s), I rented and watched lots of movies at work. That’s where my obsession with home theater started, and also where I met the future Mrs. Z. Best. Job. Ever.
As for the worst, I worked as a telemarketer for one and a half days, sold absolutely nothing and was fired.
(You see how short these stories are? That’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.)
We have one copy of the Blu-ray box set to give away. The winner will be chosen at our own subjective discretion based on whichever responses we enjoy the most. All entries must be submitted in the Comments section of this blog post. Please do not attempt to email them to me.
This contest is only open to entrants from the domestic United States. We will not ship internationally (whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not). Employees of High-Def Digest or Internet Brands and their families are not eligible. Standard contest rules and conditions apply. People who have won any of our previous contests within the past one year are also not eligible to win, but may get Honorable Mentions.
The deadline for entry is Friday, September 6th. The winners will be announced the following week. Good luck!
This may sound cheesy, but the best job I have ever had is my current one. After the birth of my second son I quit my job at the bank to just be a father. Since then I have taught my 3-year-old to read, ticked off every milestone my newborn has reached and seriously enjoyed every aspect of their little lives. What an awesome job!
Worst job ever was as a California Relay Operator for the deaf or hard of hearing. Relay operators relay conversations from someone who is deaf to someone who can hear by speaking what is typed, and typing what is spoken. What made this the worst job ever was I started right when they integrated the ability for anyone to use the service via the internet. We were forced to voice every single typed word in a convincing manor. With an 80% prank-call rate you can imagine the things one might have to say regularly. This was the worst job ever simply because I went in with the anticipation of working with the deaf, but instead saying “Polish my helmet!” as enthusiastically as possible.
Worst job ever lasted two weeks. I was working with someone doing home theater installations, and he was one of the most arrogant, prejudiced person I’ve ever worked with.
Best job is a tie, my first job working at a local Laserdiscs/Home Theater store, and my first job doing QC in Los Angeles, where I was able to learn about the actual ins and outs of DVD and post production. I was also was able to bring in one of my friends to help with QC, who has gone on to work on video supplements for multiple films over the past few years.
My worst job was working as a waiter while in high school. I had to deal with horrible people daily for an awful pay(even with tips). I got fired when a guy whose table I had waited talked to the manager and said he changed his mind about the tip he left. He actually didn’t give me any, but I ended up having to hand over $30 from my own wallet after arguing with the manager and him, in hopes of preserving my job. I was fired anyway for “attempting to steal and lie.”
My best job was working at an independently owned coffee shop the year after graduating. Really awesome co-workers, wonderful pay, and my boss threw out anyone who didn’t respect his employees.
I was the goalie on our town’s Dart Team.
Best Job Ever was when I was working in Dallas. I was working IT at an advertising agency. We were constantly playing with new toys, not just computers, but editing bays, studios, sound stages, etc. Got to see a couple of rough cuts of a few movies as they were putting together trailers and marketing and promotional items. Had a few celebrities come in to do endoresements and shoot commercials. On Fridays, they passed around the beer cart and gave out free beer. You were also allowed to drink on the job as long as you were still able to perform your job.
As there were sometimes long periods of nothing going on, the IT guys sometimes played LAN games to pass the time. We might stream Netflix if we were imaging machines.
Then the economy crashed and I got laid off. Man, I miss that job
Worst job : Early job as apprentice donut maker at a Dunkin Donuts. You stand over a vat of super hot grease and drop in globs of dough and with these over sized chop sticks you flip them over. To this day I still don’t eat those things.
Best Job : My current job, which I have held down for the last 30 years, Resident Manager for a 30 story condominium on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Excellent pay and benefits,two bedroom apartment free, Electricity free, Cable TV almost free, no commute, two blocks in either direction from Central Park or the Hudson’s Riverside Park, two blocks south of the Beacon Theater and three blocks North of Lincoln Center. There are times of hard work and emergencies but it has been a fun and profitable ride. I am in the final countdown to retire at the end of this month and move to Austin, TX, a town of music and movies.
After high school, I worked for the county highway department. The first day on the job, I went out and scraped roadkill off the highways. Little known secret: after scraping off a dead carcass, usually with a spearhead shovel, the animal is thrown in the woods. If it was a larger animal, like a deer, we just pulled them to the side of the road and called the Department of Natural Resources to clean it up (whatever was left of it, of course; if it was a leg or two, into the woods). From 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., I did this. It wasn’t an everyday job, but it was one I was assigned more often than the average employee. Other tasks included cleaning garbage, mowing, straightening signs, holding flags on hot pavement crews, and cleaning up branches and, sometimes, entire trees, off roads and throwing them into wood chippers, most of the time in 100-degree weather. Oh yeah, this was the best job I ever had. Just kidding, it was the worst.
The worst job I ever had was the first of my many forays in retail, working for a local grocer. I was mainly a cashier and dealing with old people getting mad about getting denied when trying to use $0.25 coupons that expired in 1986. Then a couple months into the job, I was “promoted” to cart collector, since I was a pretty reserved person and a male. That involved collecting the carts from all over the parking lot, regardless of rain, snow, freezing temperatures and the other joys of being outside in the winter for 6 hours at a time.
The best job I’ve had is my current one. I am a civilian engineer for the US Army. I love the work, and the benefits are pretty good too (who else outside the government can say they get MLK Day off). Go ‘Merica!
A few years ago, I had an office job near The University of Chicago. I hate public transportation and I like running errands after work, so I insisted on driving. In my interview I was told there is “ample street parking,” but it was virtually non-existent. So every morning I had to arrive at least 20 minutes early and drive around in circles hoping to get lucky enough for a parking spot to open up. Sometimes I would have to settle for parking at a meter, which means every 2 hours I would have to take the elevator down and feed $2 into it. Chicago LOVES to issue parking tickets, so if I got stuck in a meeting or on a phone call, the meter maids would get me! If I parked too close to a driveway or an ally I’d get a ticket. In 3 years working there I got 7 tickets ($50-$150 each) and was towed twice (at $310 a pop).
Then I had to deal with my boss… The fax machine was right outside of his office but he would get up, walk past it, travel all the way back to my cubicle, hand me some papers and say, “Hey, can you fax this for me? Thanks!” He would then proceed to walk back towards his office and pass up the fax machine once more. Also, he had a boring life and would live vicariously through all the college-age people who worked there. Every Monday he would ask what I did on the weekend, inquire about my love life, constantly give “advice” about how I need to live my life, and I could never request a day off without getting asked in detail what I had planned for that day.
Lastly, there was a girl who worked there that I was in love with. We got to know each other and she would eventually make hanky-panky with me, but then refused to be my girlfriend because she claimed she was “not attracted” to me. One day I walked in the lunch room and saw her smooching with the office horndog. Believe it or not, I didn’t quit after all that because it was the heart of the recession and I needed the job. Eventually, I got fired for taking a day off to go on a job interview at another office. Best job ever!
Worst job: desk attendant at my college student center. Had to be the bad guy who asked people for IDs to use stuff and such. Two things rank this as worst. 1. My boss yelled at me for not breaking up a fight at a mixer (even though security complimented me for not doing so and told him so). 2. The girls volleyball coach tried to kick some guys out of the gym so he and his non-student buddies could play volleyball. My boss yelled at me for siding with the guys already in there playing b-ball.
2. Best job, like Josh, was working a/v at college. My boss there hired me on the spot when I ran into him after getting yelled at for the gym incident. Five minutes of work at the start of the shift, five minutes at the end, and free to do whatever in the interim. We got along so well that he tried his hardest to get me hired on full time when I graduated with the proviso that I quit when I get a “real” job.
The best job I ever had was working for a medical laboratory that serviced animal hospitals and veterinary clinics. I didn’t work in the lab; I was in the transportation department. I worked the evening shift (from 6:00pm to 1:00 am) which I loved because I am a total night owl. I would drive around to various animal hospitals and clinics in the Chicagoland area to collect blood samples and other such specimens. Since I was on the night shift, most of the places were closed. All I had to do was drive up and grab the specimens from the lockbox. That was it. No annoying coworkers, no boss on my back, no clients to deal with, just me and my car listening to music and DVD commentaries every day.
The only rule I had to follow was that I needed to be back at the lab with my collections by a certain time. But this deadline gave me way more time than I needed to complete my route. So I could go to any restaurant I wanted and take my time eating. I was able to go to all the Best Buy and Circuit City stores I desired in order to find rare DVD slipcovers and retailer exclusive bonus discs that I would normally never have the opportunity to hunt for. (Side note: I had this job back when there was no such thing as blu-ray and a store called Circuit City still existed.)
There were 2 animal clinics on my route that were open 24 hours because they were essentially animal emergency rooms. They were always busy and would often take a long time to gather their specimens, which means I got to sit in the waiting room and read comic books or play with people’s dogs while I waited. Awesome! But I have to say my favorite perk of the job was that it gave a valid excuse to not go to church. See, my parents are super religious and would not only make me and my siblings go to church on Sunday mornings but also every Tuesday and Thursday night. I have been an atheist since I was a child and HATED going to church, but my parents forced me to go. However, since I was working the evening shift Monday through Friday I finally had a valid excuse not to go. Hallelujah!
Just saw I posted three years ago the same job. Okay, Round 2: another job I had when I was in my post-high school phase was at an alcohol and drug rehabilitation clinic, which was simultaneously one of the best and worst jobs I have had. Best moment: seeing a meth addict of 10+ years completely turn his life around, get a job, get promoted to manager of a call center, and graduate the program. I worked there for almost three years, and he would pop in every once in a while, looking great and feeling even better. I had a couple bad moments, like the time a resident clogged the toilet in the middle of the night and it soaked into the carpet, or the time a carload of drunk college kids drove into the parking lot, or the time I had to kick out a resident for coming back drunk. The worst moment was when a resident came back from a day out and had gashed himself in the shoulder and arm with a box cutter. He entered my office and said he didn’t remember what happened, but he thought he had an accident. The first thing I saw was a cut about three inches wide on his shoulder and blood squirting out. The second thing I saw was a box cutter in his hand. Not only was I working alone, but I had to disarm him, tend to his wound, clean the blood off the floor, and keep the other residents from lurking and getting in the way. After all that, I had to call the police. I never saw him again, but it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life and easily my worst work-related experience.
As a kid, I worked for my father. We had a small business. But I wanted a new boss; having Dad as home and work boss is tough.
Told my father I wanted to go elsewhere. I was sixteen. A friend of our family had a musical instruments store and taught music lessons. And he would pay me under the table.
This would be great. I would learn about guitars, violins, pianos, drums. I would pick up some music skills. And I would get some teenage spending money.
Anyway, my new boss didn’t have me do any of the daily grind of cleaning around the shop, menial storage and inventory work, answering phone calls, working the sales floor to talk to perspective buyers. I didn’t do any of those things.
He had me sit in on music lessons. Watch him assemble or repair musical instruments. And he wanted me to take computer lessons on typing, word processing, and spreadsheets.
I would try to take the trash out, and he would tell another employee to do it and had me go do a more apprentice-like task.
A couple months in, other employees resented me for not doing the sh*tty work. And I learned that my boss wasn’t paying me. It was my dad who was really paying him to indirectly pay me. I didn’t appreciate getting lied to. It ended ugly.
Of course, as a teen, this farce, this masquerade of a job, was the worst joke on me.
But now many, many years later, I’m thinking I should call my Dad and thank him for trying his best.
Worst Job I had was working at a movie theater. You’d think it would be fun and such. Getting a chance to see the latest movies, right? Nope. At the theater I worked at you only got one free movie every month. Also it had to been out for two weeks before you can see it on a free pass. That’s because the owners didn’t want any potential profit (what little theaters get on tickets themselves) not coming in on a mega blockbuster. Or probably in case the movie was a hugely hyped up film that happened to be a dud that said employee would tell potential film goers to pass on seeing it.
I only lasted there three months. Got tired of being yelled at for movies already cycled out, the content in movies, what people called “stale” popcorn despite it being freshly popped (and far from stale), and just about any other complaint you can think of.