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Listography – Top 5 Worst Jobs I’ve done

October 6, 2011

This week’s Listography theme from Kate Takes 5 is ‘Top 5 Worst Jobs I’ve Done‘.

So here, in reverse chronological order, are 5 jobs I’m really glad were only temporary:

Sales Assistant at Greggs, Marple

There were some good bits. I could eat lots of half-price cheese and onion pasties and I developed fantastic prowess with the 39 times table (pasties cost 39p each at the time). But I hated scrubbing baking trays with a passion and the uniform was a flowery turquoise printed tabbard with a matching hairnet. When they put me on the 10-2 lunchtime shift with no break I found I got too hungry and quit.

Hamper Clerk at Kendals Department Store, Manchester

In an access cupboard behind one of the ground floor windows sat the lowly Christmas Elf Hamper Clerk, writing out every order and address label by hand. (It was 1992 and computers were rare.) If I was very lucky I got let out onto the shop floor in the food hall and might catch a glimpse of a Coronation Street actor.

Unfortunately, a couple of ‘terrorist incidents’ in Manchester led to a drop in sales and consequently all temporary staff including me were laid off. But I was not sorry to see the back of that particular job.

Tea Lady at E&E Overalls, Marple

Actually ‘Tea Lady’ was a glamorous way to describe a job that involved cleaning the loos and canteen and sweeping the fluff out from under the sewing machines and fetching lunches from the local chip shops and sandwich shops. Making tea was the fun bit!

Shop Assistant at Toymaster, Marple

Was told I had an ‘attitude problem’! Me! Just because I didn’t like folding wrapping paper and could do sums quickly without using a calculator! The stock room was grim, all damp and dark. Piles of boxes of Subbuteo Teams. Screaming kids going into meltdown because the latest craze yoyo had sold out. It was, as my mum would say, character-building.

Dinner Monitor at Peacefield Primary School, Marple

Why I agreed to do this I don’t know. It was supposed to be an honour to be asked. A sign that you were trusted. But there was no payment or reward and it meant that you had your lunch with the infants instead of your friends. Well I fetched the meals for the younger kids and took their plates back and scraped them off. But I wouldn’t make anyone eat anything they didn’t want to eat. And that was the extent of my rebellion against the system!

‘Greggs Marple’ photo by Andy Buckingham

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 10, 2011 5:34 pm

    Now there’s a selection of naff jobs. Very amusing. Particularly liked the Toymaster job. Who wants to fold or otherwise wrapping paper anyway? At least you did it with attitude! One of my worst was a night crew cleaner at Safeways – grisly!

    • October 10, 2011 10:31 pm

      It’s certainly funnier looking back now than it was at the time.

      Night crew cleaner in a supermarket does sound grim though. I think I got off lightly compared to that!

  2. October 10, 2011 10:49 pm

    It is good to look back and realise you’ll never do those jobs again. I guess they’re character building

    • October 11, 2011 11:00 am

      These jobs, particularly the tea lady job in the overall factory, helped motivate me to finish my degree and get a proper job. They also taught me some useful things.

  3. October 17, 2011 10:41 am

    Attitude? You? How very dare they! Glad you escaped. x

    • October 17, 2011 9:04 pm

      So glad you finally read this post – it’s definitely one of my fave Listography posts
      I’m glad I escaped too! And I learned to use my so-called ‘attitude problem’ to good effect later 😉

  4. December 21, 2011 5:37 pm

    I to have to laugh, I have had some horrible jobs, I was the worst ever waitress at a hoilday park in Devon (threw a fully laden tray of steak dinners up the stairs) but the worst was selling candles (bees wax church candles ) In Greenwich Craft Market cold and soul dystroying stuff…….


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