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Worst. Job. Ever.

By Sarah Larson | Comment Diversions | January 13, 2010 |

By Sarah Larson | Comment Diversions | January 13, 2010 |

Have you lot heard of Bonanza? Not the show, the restaurant. They’re owned by the same company that operates Ponderosa restaurants, and they’re basically the same thing. Cheap stakes and poorly-cooked hamburgers served in a joint decorated in a “western” theme, as designed by someone who’s never been further west than, say, Delaware.

When I was 15, I worked in a Bonanza restaurant for almost four months, and they were four of the worst months of my life. I’ve been working for 17 years and have had a wildly varied work history, but Bonanza was easily the worst job I’ve ever had. There are extremely restrictive child labour laws here, so it’s virtually impossible to find someplace that will hire anyone under the age of 16. That’s how I ended up at Bonanza, because they had a lot of trouble finding anyone with other options who’d be willing to work there, so they’d take anybody who would stand still long enough. I hated that place. HATED IT. The uniforms were itchy and ugly and we had to wear hats and mine was too big and I couldn’t really see anything unless I walked around with my head tipped back like my neck was broken or something. Our manager was an incompetent dickbag who treated us like shit, rarely ever paid us on time and constantly screwed up the schedule, regularly assigning me shifts for when I was in school and then yelling at me when I told him I wouldn’t be there. The line cooks were mostly ex-cons who seemed to really enjoy sexually harassing high school sophomores. Most of the customers were at least 65 years old and usually thought fifty cents constituted a good tip. The whole joint smelled like a grease fire and no matter how many times you washed your hair when you got home, it would still reek like a week-old burger.

I got a job as a cashier in a store four days after I turned 16, and I quit Bonanza with something like two days’ notice and I didn’t even feel bad about it because I hated that place so much. Detasseling corn was a better job, and that was outside in 100-degree heat with grizzled old slavedriving farmers yelling at us because we couldn’t reach more than halfway up the corn stalks (around here, corn detasseling is done [mostly illegally] by little kids because they’re the only people dumb enough to agree to do it). We would be lucky if we got one 10-minute break per day, and I’m allergic to pretty much everything that happens in a corn field. That job still wasn’t as bad as Bonanza. To this day, I hardly ever eat hamburgers.

So what was the worst job you’ve ever had? Maybe not the one with the worst actual labour, but the one you hated the most because it made you feel like your entire life was a disgusting nightmare of monotonous misery?

Oh, and apologies to Lainey for breaking the No Whining Wednesday rules, but Comment Diversions happen to fall on Wednesdays and these things can’t be a ray of goddamn sunshine ALL the time. You’re probably going to shun me again now, aren’t you? I HATE IT when I’m under a shunnening!

Sarah Larson lives in Minnesota, where she is usually up to no good. She only updates her blog when bullied into it, but you can read the archive here if you’re bored enough.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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