In health news, uncle Robber is feeling a little better today, so it looks (fingers crossed) as if he might finally be on the mend.
In other news, I read the news, and I felt so disheartened by it, I have decided to ignore it in favour of this article on Some of the World’s Most Boring Jobs that my friend sent me today. She sent me the link via an e-mail with the title: ‘I think we’ve done most of these between us.’
She is indeed, right. Or jobs that are scarily similar. I even have a friend who did the filling pork pie cases with jelly job that is actually featured in the article. He did it one summer while we were at university, and became a vegetarian shortly thereafter. He said the job gave him actual nightmares.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.
I did hope, after university, that I would be visited by some lightning flash of inspiration that would show me the way into a shining new career. This did not happen. Instead, after being unemployed for several months, the Job Centre allowed me to go on a course where I learned to touch type, work a computer and do double entry book keeping. Then I was forced by a competent friend to sign up to several temping agencies and find my way in the world of jobs.
At this point I thought that if I did enough temp jobs, I would finally find a job which would give me that lightning flash of inspiration.
Instead I just went through my years of employment, hopping from one weirdly boring job to another. The longest I was ever gainfully employed was just over a year. It turns out that I am one of the world’s worst employees. It’s not that I can’t do the jobs. It’s that I get bored, and then I get creative. Then I generally leave before I get fired.
Here is a selection of some of the worst jobs I’ve ever had.
Writing begging letters to the families of rich corpses who had left large sums of money to ‘charity’ in their wills. This was for one of the big London museums. I had to be sympathetic and yet grasping. Not an easy task.
Working for a pharmaceutical company doing 18 months of back filing in a month. They took me and two other people into a room stacked to the ceiling with paperwork. It was like Rumpelstiltskin’s spinning straw into gold moment. We did the job. In later jobs I did stuff like this and watched my peers stuff papers down the radiators and into the back of filing cabinets to get rid of them. I wondered why I hadn’t thought of this.
Harvesting thistles for a biology department project in Bavaria. The leaves had to be measured and cooked. The smell was terrible and I developed an allergy to the latex gloves.
Being an audio typist/telephonist/receptionist at a solicitors in Highgate, London. It’s very hard to hear with audio headphones on, and quite often I would answer the phone with a line from the tape I was listening to, or type a line from a caller into a will.
Working for a company who made diabetic implant rods for a pharmaceutical company. Their admin system was byzantine and used DOS when everyone else was using windows. It took me three hours to figure out how to type a document about wearing beard nets on the factory floor and I quit in tears at lunch time from a payphone at a nearby McDonalds.
Being sent to do an urgent job creating powerpoint slides for a conference on bowel cancer, despite having no experience on powerpoint at that stage and not even being able to turn on the computer because it was a Mac and I’d never used one before. Being used to being sent to do jobs I was not qualified for, I thought I could wing it, until I had to confess I didn’t know how to turn the Mac on. I sat and drank tea for eight hours until the one bus home arrived. Surprisingly, they didn’t want me back the following day.
Working in a clothes shop as a ‘bouncer’ on the changing room floor. My job was to stop the tough girls in the neighbourhood stealing jeans, which they did by wearing very baggy jeans into the shop, taking a pair of jeans into the changing room, and coming out wearing two pairs of jeans. They were all hard as nails and I was a wimp. I never stopped a single pair being stolen. In this job I also broke the till, and managed to nearly sever my finger with one of the label guns. Fun times. I got paid £10 for 8 hours work, during which time I was not allowed to sit down, as I had to be on constant jean alert.
Working at a ‘communications office’ for a well known high street bank. The communications office was a boiling hot loft space above the bank proper in which me and a death metal fan sat and worked the switchboard for the whole bank network. The machine was about forty years old and all the labels had fallen off the switches. There were two pairs of Walkman headphones to ‘listen in’ to calls. One of them was broken. I got the broken set. The phones never stopped ringing so the Death Metal guy had no time to teach me what to do. By tea break I was in tears. As I left he patted my shoulder consolingly and said he was impressed I’d lasted that long. I didn’t go back.
Putting out tenders for potted plants and stab vests for the police force. I confess that in this job I stole two toilet rolls and mailed them to my boyfriend who never had toilet roll in his flat. I forged a letter from the Chief Constable to accompany them. One day I will no doubt go to jail for this, or at the very least be exposed in the Daily Mail. You heard it here first.
There are so many others, but I have to go and do real life now.
Tell me about your worst/most boring jobs.