Thought Catalog
September 18, 2014

17 People On The Most Spirit-Crushing Jobs They’ve Ever Had

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ArtFamily / (Shutterstock.com)
ArtFamily / (Shutterstock.com)
Found on AskReddit.

1. Telemarketer.

Telemarketing. So many lonely 80+ year old widows to sell vitamin D to, who try to keep the call going for ten minutes even though they aren’t buying everything, and you try to hang up on them so that you could actually make some money but your heart says no.

2. Death-certificate verifier.

Working in the estates department at a major credit card. All day you read death certificates to confirm a death and then you send bills, usually with late fees, to their widow/widower.

3. Croissant-bender/colostomy-bag maker.

I worked on a croissant line. You can bet they never came out of the machine with that nice curved shape. Nope – they are straight, but someone has to bend them into shape, thousands of them every day, on a moving line. This equates to the most depressing job in the world….

I got the Fuck out of there and found a new job. …in a colostomy bag factory which involved (I kid you not) adding charcoal (fart) filters midway in the manufacturing process.

4. Animal-shelter volunteer.

Volunteered at an animal shelter.

Poor dogs and cats :( I remember right around Christmas some guy came in and dropped his dog off. For the next week she would look for him whenever anybody came into the kennel.

I only lasted about 2 months.

5. Cashier.

I’ve worked for 6 years as a retail cashier; at this point the cash register has more of a soul than I do.

6. Staff worker at an elderly home.

In Sweden … I was assigned to an elderly home for dementia, where my job description was “to get along and socialize with the elderly”. And that was also fine, or so I thought.

My job … was to talk to the elderly, get them active, and just generally socialize. So I would sit there, while people did actual work around me, and just talk people who were there because of their dementia. Some fared better than others, while others barely reached the surface at times, mumbling about something that happened a long time ago, then slipping back down again. None of them remembered my name, but day in and day out I would talk to them. For three weeks I listened to an old man’s life story while pretending to be his grandson. After a while I would fill in the blanks for him, to try to get farther into the story, or to change the direction of it entirely. He would forget every conversation we’d had the next day. Another woman would be convinced her doctor hadn’t prescribed her the pills she was supposed to take and had hysteric fits. Another would want to call her daughter, would need to call her daughter, even though I explained that her daughter had called her an hour ago and that her daughter was at work now, and that no, she couldn’t call her….

I was not allowed to distract myself in any way whatsoever, because my job was to be social, the thing I’m worst at, and I couldn’t even help the elderly in any way I perceived as helping. I couldn’t even leave or take a lunch break without asking for the key. And that made me feel as locked in as the rest of them.

7. Youth worker.

Youth worker. Going in with the best intentions and getting beaten, abused and treated like shit while babysitting/taxi driving underdeveloped teenagers with severe behavioral issues. Did a 24-hour shift once and also worked Christmas day….

8. Beach cop.

My job was to check registration at a private beach to see if people could park and walk down. There’s nothing worse than telling a sad-eyed father carrying a cooler, three boogie boards, and an umbrella, with his hyperactive children trailing behind: “Sorry this beach is for the special people; leave now, please.” We were the only accessible beach for twenty minutes in any direction.

9. Community-college janitor.

I was working for my community college I was attending as a janitor. Weekdays after prime time I had to clean the bathrooms. Men’s room occasional shit on the seat but god damn the women’s room was one of the most disgusting places I’ve ever had to venture, it should be considered a HAZMAT. There would be blood shit and piss and tampons everywhere and it never let up. I’ve wiped countless numbers in blood off the walls, some off mirrors, cleaned up nasty vomit. Anyone who ever had to clean a college women’s bathroom will probably understand.

10. Reader of illegible checks.

I used to work for a huge bank. The bank had a big automated system for reading checks. However, the system had to try and decipher human handwriting.

About 60% of checks could not be understood by the automated system, so the computer would take a screen shot and put in in the “illegible” folder.

My job was to sit in front of a computer screen and a picture of am “illegible” check would appear. I would manually type in the amount (which was usually scrawled in shitty handwriting) and press enter.

Then another check would appear on the screen.

400 / hour was my target.

I never once reached it.

11. Underpaid, overworked lawyer.

Being an attorney. As a litigator in a medium-sized town, it means dealing with usually terrible people with really terrible family problems. Generally, divorce, criminal, and juvenile law. At some point, I went to law school to learn about “law,” but I’m having difficulty remembering why because I haven’t needed to read law in so long. Mired in conflict all day, odd hostility from other attorneys who simply love “the fight” (why would any one love the fight about Johnny’s visitation?), and the demand of billable hours add up to one awful way to live.

And, no. Attorneys generally don’t make much more money than the average adult. The average breadwinner in a household who is under 35 makes about 35K per year—about what attorneys start at around here. And law students are behind the eight ball, having foregone three years opportunity costs to incur an incredible debt load. …

TL; DR: don’t go to law school unless you’re sure you know what a lawyer does and you can see yourself doing that.

12. Insurance Adjuster.

Insurance adjuster.

“Oh you had a storm come through and destroy every single possession in your house and cause $50,000 in damage, and you have no way of paying for it because you are elderly and on a fixed income? Sorry, the contract our team of lawyers crafted excludes you from this kind of damage. If you had read and understood the 110-page document of legal jargon you agreed to, you would know about all the various ways you are not covered even though a bunch of others things in the contract make it sound like you should be.”

“No, I realize your agent did not explain this to you, that is because they work on commission and only care about getting you signed up.”

“I know I am the spawn of Satan because I am the poor fool the company hires to explain why they fucked you over, and I have almost no power to help you.”

13. Medicaid clerk.

I work for Medicaid and sit on my ass for eight hours inputting inmates into our system for Medicaid coverage. The amount of morons that run our nation’s healthcare system no longer surprises me. The amount of fat fucks that sit and drink soda all damn day is also no longer surprising… I am college-educated and now feel even dumber than I was when I was 14 because of this job…

14. Worker at extremely conservative church.

I’ve worked at a church for about 6 years. A very, very conservative church. As a progressive it has blown my mind to see the insane amounts of xenophobia, bigotry, racism, and me-first selfishness that the Tea Party congregation bathes themselves in.

Why did I go work there? I had no idea it would be like this. I just wanted to work with kids and help them. Over the years I’ve been shocked as the onion layers have been peeled back, revealing more and more ideologically fucked-up garbage. It makes me so freaking sad. It’s awful to work for a place that considers gay people, foreigners, practitioners of other religions, and “liberals” as subhuman. Science is mocked. Poor people are helped, but the people helping them are very vocal about how lazy and greedy people on welfare are. Also groups from the church travel to protest immigrant children in America and scream at them to go home, and I feel like that kind of cancels out the ministry to the poor.

1. I can’t out myself because I would immediately lose my job and my wife and I are so poor that we would become homeless. I have been desperately searching for a new job for about 3 years now but haven’t even gotten an interview (turns out a Bible degree isn’t very sought after in the real world).

2. My soul is quite literally being crushed here. I still believe in God and still love the teachings of Christ. But never in my life have I been so disappointed and so disillusioned by the church. The worst part is knowing that although my current church is pretty extreme, the majority of Western evangelicalism would side with them on many of their views.

3. Most days I want to cry and/or scream at every single person here about how they are literally ignoring Christ’s teachings in favor of following a political ideology.

Doesn’t help that I’ve never gotten a raise while cost of living goes up about 4.6 percent annually in our area.

15. Fast-food manager.

I think being a manager at a fast food restaurant. Not only do you have to put up with bullshit from customers, ones that think they’re entitled to everything on the menu because one of their items wasn’t correct. Then there’s the ones that claim that our people are too stupid to have a job because they didn’t order something right. I’ll put up with your complaint, and if you have something constructive to say I may give you a refund while still letting you have another meal, but as soon as you start being abusive to me or my employees I will destroy you.

Then there are the employees. Oh, the employees. The ones that I see take thousands of dollars of school loans when they’re really not even smart enough to do their fast-food job. I think it hurt me the most to see them, because they will be there for a very long time. Then there’s the parents who work because they lost their job, and you know they’re probably on welfare while working full time because it is hard enough to get by when you’re their manager.

The worst, absolute worst though was seeing the veterans. I worked at a place where we promoted it as a “first job” back from the battlefield. I once had a 50-year-old man have an anxiety attack from PTSD in my fridge and I tried my hardest to help him, but he was so ashamed that he quit.

It’s so sad to see all of these people making $7.25 an hour because it almost makes you feel, since you’re making more than that, that you’re just barely out of that cycle of poverty so suddenly you’re promoting it.

16. Clerk at women’s clothing boutique.

Working at a young women’s clothing boutique in the mall. Full disclosure: I am female, but working in an all girl environment was just not for me. They are like sharks.

17. Pipe-yard worker in the Canadian winter.

I had a job in a pipe yard last year. That job was easily the worst job I’ve ever worked. I made great money and it wasn’t unusual to take home 3000 dollars every two weeks. I didn’t mind the work as it was fairly easy and laid back. I assisted loader operators with the loading and unloading of pipe. The only bad part about the job itself was working outside in the Canadian winter all day in minus-40 Celsius.

The thing that was bad about the job was how long they worked you (worked 12 hours a day for 12 days straight then had two off, enough time to do some laundry and spend time with the girlfriend for a movie night), and the people I worked with. I worked in a crew of 9 guys and out of those 9 half were alcoholics with some very dark pasts, and half were drug addicts or bros who would party way too much and way too hard. They all lived paycheck to paycheck and most made more money than me! Being around dipshits like that all day every day slowly turned me into one of them. I became vulgar and bad with my money and started smoking weed every day heavily instead of my usual hoots before bedtime. It was the only way I could cope with spending my days around those people.

That job put me into a huge bout of depression and affected my personal life immensely. I became withdrawn and aggressive to everyone around me. If you said something I didn’t like then I’d call you out. The breaking point was when me and my girlfriend had a fight one day and she screamed “you haven’t been happy for over a year since you started that job!” And I just stopped and collapsed to the ground crying and said in between sobs, “I know.” I had known it all along but I was seriously depressed and denying it.

I quit and got out and am back in university. … If you’re ever curious about how you’ll end up if you go down a certain career path then look at the people who have been in that field for a while, it will tell you tons. The people I worked with were all lost souls who had nowhere else to go and weren’t motivated to turn their lives around, they were stuck there. Money doesn’t buy happiness, people. TC mark

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