A description of a Job once gone, will always be remember. What's Yours?

telleutelleme

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Houston
After I got out of the service and moved to New Orleans, my first job was at Avondale shipyards. I operated a high pressure hose in the holds of barges in a full Hazmat suit spraying off the contents stuck on the walls. You could last about 20 minutes and then had to come up for clean air and cooling. I lasted 1 week. Hardest thing I ever did. I am kind of glad I bailed because what was considered protection in 1969 would probably not fly nowadays.
 

Rustbucket

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Mar 28, 2016
Posts
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Arizona / Québec
Coolest job I had was staking mineral claims for the copper mine companies in Arizona in my early 20’s. Basically we were getting paid to go hiking around the Dripping Springs Mountains near Superior, AZ. We would drive along jeep trails until we intersected a grid line, then take off walking with GPS and a big bag of stakes and mineral claim tags, driving stakes on 150’ x 600’ grid for hundreds of acres of raw mountain terrain. Wages were only so-so, but the experience was awesome. I got per diem pay for food & lodging plus was paid an extra $35/day for using my 4x4 International Scout as a work vehicle.
 
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kuch

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Sep 30, 2011
Posts
2,197
Location
Great Northwest
when I was in high school, I worked in a grocery store. did everything from selling in the dept store area to bagging groceries to stocking shelves to working in the produce and meat depts. 2 of the worst jobs in my life was at that store: cleaning out the grease traps in the meat dept and taking 100lb bags of potatoes and cleaning out the rotten ones.....
 

THX1123

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Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Posts
1,275
Location
Gibsonville
Because I tried to be a rock star I've had over 50 jobs. Maybe 10 of them were good. I finally went to school and got some degrees and became able to get some pretty good jobs. But for decades I had to work a ton of day jobs because I had to quit them (or get fired) often because of the band.

Most memorable:

Liquor Store delivery guy when I was 21 (sounds better than it was)
Schlep at a Kosher catering company (brutal)
Mom & Pop Hardware store guy
Guy who collects $ for parking at the local hockey arena
Forklift and Head Receiver at the Super Chex hockey game factory
Assembler/dubber at CD/Cassette duplicator company
Ticket taker at the lowest level of minor league's baseball
 

Bellacaster

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Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Posts
1,260
Location
Ypsilanti, MI
First job in high school was working as a carnie day laborer at a hot air balloon festival in my hometown. Peeled onions and made Philly Cheesesteaks for like 12 hours a day. The owners had a coffee can full of minithins (gas station stimulants) and everyone would grab a handful for the day. The worst was a telemarketing job right out of college arranging consultations for people seeking cosmetic medical procedures. I had moved to the big city and was desperate.
 

Chuckster

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Mar 30, 2017
Posts
1,638
Location
Boston/Cape Cod
When I was in high school, I worked part-time at a KFC take-out. On one occasion, the main sink drain clogged, and the manager made me open the grease trap and clean it out. It smelled worse than puke. Even holding my breath, I almost puked.
^^^See my master plumber post above.

I feel you... I single-handedly serviced 23 grocery stores in my area... each store has 5-7 grease traps that needed to be cleaned monthly.

That's some very unpleasant math.
 
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schmee

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Jun 2, 2003
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northwest
In my early 20's I worked at a steel fabrication shop. They specialized in big stuff: railroad related things like "frogs" but also did large beams etc for bridges too. I was low man on the totem pole, starting as a shop "helper" I knew a little welding though.
Out back they had huge piles of long used railroad rails. The stacks were like 15 feet high!
For a while I worked with a rough old angry guy out there. He ran this dilapidated old 'Link Belt' crane that the cable brake and other things sometimes didn't work properly. I would crawl up on the stack of rail and set the 'grabber' on a rail for him to lift while moving stuff around. You had to guess where center was standing up there on slick wet rails and set it dead center so the rail would balance as he lifted it.
Next door there was a renovating plant for animal carcasses, so the smell was terrible at times.
One day, it was raining and I set the lifting device a bit off center. He picked up the rail a bit too fast (the Link Belt cable may slip and not lift or lift too fast if you gunned it a bit to get it to work) the 20 foot rail went up, one end tipped down and the rail slid out of the grabber! It hit the pile I was standing on and the pile started to collapse! I jumped to a nearby stack and was ok with a couple of bruised ribs.
The old guy that was already angry at everyone had a fit, but not at me. He went inside and told the boss he wasn't doing that anymore... too dangerous!
A frog: This one looks cast, we made them out of multiple rail pieces, planed and through bolted.
railway-frog-20893530.jpg
LinkBelt Crane:
LinkBelt.jpg
 
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LGOberean

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Joined
May 31, 2008
Posts
13,615
Age
69
Location
Corpus Christi, Texas
I used to be a truck driver. At different times I drove for different industries, oil companies and paper/chemical deliveries. I have two stories from those days that are competing in my mind for inclusion here. I'll share both of them and let you decide which one best fits the parameters of this thread.

Story #1 - While driving a bulk oil tanker for a local oil company, the "Old man" owner of the company landed an account with a drilling company that had rig sites all over south Texas. My tanker truck had four compartments, so I could load up to four different products for delivery: fleet oil, gear oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, whatever.

Normally, I would drive the truck back to the yard after completing my day's runs to park the truck for the night. But for these oil rig orders, it was too unpredictable. Most often I wouldn't be done with the job and back to Corpus before they closed the gates to the yard, so my immediate supervisor, the warehouse manager, told me to just drive the truck home for the night.

One day I had to make a delivery to one of these oil rig sites that had been dropped in the middle of a corn field near Tynan, Texas. And it had been raining. Access to the site was about 100 yards from the road, and even with my tandem axle tanker truck I had to be towed in by a Caterpillar bulldozer. The dozer operator told me to keep it in low gear and "push" while he "pulled." I shouldn't have listened to him, because it blew my clutch linkage.

Not even counting the fact that I needed the clutch to be able to drive back out and home, I needed the clutch to engage to power takeoff (PTO) valve in order to deliver the products in my tanker. The "ground" of the rig site was standing water, mud, probably drilling mud and what smelled like diesel fuel. I had to scrounge some parts and then plop down in all that muck and crawl under the truck to rig up a temporary clutch linkage to deliver the product and head home.

When I got home, my wife very nearly made me strip outside. I kicked off my boots, shed my work shirt and hosed off outside before she let me in the house.

Story #2 - I was driving a 1.5 ton dry cargo/box delivery truck (Mercedes-Benz) for a local paper and chemical company. I had just started for the company, and was driving with a guy that had previously driven what would become my route, the out-of-town route. To head north for the first delivery of the day, we had to go over the Harbor Bridge and across the causeway to Portland (Texas).

We had just come over the bridge and were on the causeway spanning the Corpus Christi Bay. I was in the left lane, traveling at a rate of speed probably a tad bit over the posted limit. Suddenly, I felt the truck dropping speed. I looked down at the dashboard and saw the needle for the speedometer taking a nose dive. At the same moment, I saw smoke billowing in from around the stick shift.

I tried to move out of the fast lane, but vehicles behind me were passing me on the right, blocking me in the left lane. The next thing I know, I felt a big jolt, and heard a crushing sound. From behind me, also blocked in the left lane, was an 18-wheeler hauling a load of sand. He too was probably exceeding the speed limit, and with all that inertia he couldn't stop, so he plowed right into the back of my delivery truck.

And kept on plowing into me, until the box/cargo area of the truck looked like an accordion. He pushed my truck out of the left lane across the lanes and up onto the guardrails. Even from the driver's seat I could see the waters below us. I breathed a quick prayer: "Lord, I don't want to go into the water."

I learned from that prayer experience to word my petitions to the Almighty more specifically, because the next thing that happened was the truck falling off the rails, landing driver's side (my side) down on the bridge. We were still being hit by the 18-wheeler, who pushed us sideways back across the lanes, the nose of our truck finally coming to rest against the guardrails on the other side. The cab of his rig came to a stop up against the fuel tanks of our truck. (Glad it was diesel, not gasoline.)

The guy in the cab with me scrambled out of the truck on his side as soon as we came to a stop. He quit the job that very day. I stopped to picked up the invoices from the clipboard scattered around the cab. I figured the paper trail might help the company account for what product they'd lost or had damaged in the wreck. I then literally climbed out of the cab. We had a ride in an ambulance to the hospital. The only ill effects for me was a bruised left shoulder, which no doubt happened when the truck fell off the rails my side down.

Oh, and my younger brother Buddy worked for the company as well, as a salesman. If y'all think I have the gift of the gab, you shoulda known my kid brother. He was a tall, handsome kid that didn't have a shy bone in his body, and he could talk. And he was well suited for the job of salesman. That kid could sell ice cubes to eskimos. Just after my accident on the causeway, Buddy was coincidentally stopped in town by a cop for speeding.

When the cop noticed he worked for Bancroft Paper & Chemical, he said, "I just heard about one of your trucks having an accident on the causeway." Buddy immediately said, "Is the driver all right?" The cop said, "I dunno, I just heard an ambulance took some guys to the hospital." Buddy said, "If your gonna give me a ticket, do it right now and let me outta here. That's my brother you're talking about!"

Yep, two descriptions of job related/driving incidents for me. Once experienced, never to be forgotten.
 
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nojazzhere

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Feb 3, 2017
Posts
19,033
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71
Location
Foat Wuth, Texas
I used to be a truck driver. At different times I drove for different industries, oil companies and paper/chemical deliveries. I have two stories from those days that are competing in my mind for inclusion here. I'll share both of them and let you decide which one best fits the parameters of this thread.

Story #1 - While driving a bulk oil tanker for a local oil company, the "Old man" owner of the company landed an account with a drilling company that had rig sites all over south Texas. My tanker truck had four compartments, so I could load up to four different products for delivery: fleet oil, gear oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, whatever.

Normally, I would drive the truck back to the yard after completing my day's runs to park the truck for the night. But for these oil rig orders, it was too unpredictable. Most often I wouldn't be done with the job and back to Corpus before they closed the gates to the yard, so my immediate supervisor, the warehouse manager, told me to just drive the truck home for the night.

One day I had to make a delivery to one of these oil rig sites that had been dropped in the middle of a corn field near Tynan, Texas. And it had been raining. Access to the site was about 100 yards from the road, and even with my tandem axle tanker truck I had to be towed in by a Caterpillar bulldozer. The dozer operator told me to keep it in low gear and "push" while he "pulled." I shouldn't have listened to him, because it blew my clutch linkage.

Not even counting the fact that I needed the clutch to be able to drive back out and home, I needed the clutch to engage to power takeoff (PTO) valve in order to deliver the products in my tanker. The "ground" of the rig site was standing water, mud, probably drilling mud and what smelled like diesel fuel. I had to scrounge some parts and then plop down in all that muck and crawl under the truck to rig up a temporary clutch linkage to deliver the product and head home.

When I got home, my wife very nearly made me strip outside. I kicked off my boots, shed my work shirt and hosed off outside before she let me in the house.

Story #2 - I was driving a 1.5 ton dry cargo/box delivery truck (Mercedes-Benz) for a local paper and chemical company. I had just started for the company, and was driving with a guy that had previously driven what would become my route, the out-of-town route. To head north for the first delivery of the day, we had to go over the Harbor Bridge and across the causeway to Portland (Texas).

We had just come over the bridge and were on the causeway spanning the Corpus Christi Bay. I was in the left lane, traveling at a rate of speed probably a tad bit over the posted limit. Suddenly, I felt the truck dropping speed. I looked down at the dashboard and saw the needle for the speedometer taking a nose dive. At the same moment, I saw smoke billowing in from around the stick shift.

I tried to move out of the fast lane, but vehicles behind me were passing me on the right, blocking me in the left lane. The next thing I know, I felt a big jolt, and heard a crushing sound. From behind me, also blocked in the left lane, was an 18-wheeler hauling a load of sand. He too was probably exceeding the speed limit, and with all that inertia he couldn't stop, so he plowed right into the back of my delivery truck.

And kept on plowing into me, until the box/cargo area of the truck looked like an accordion. He pushed my truck out of the left lane across the lanes and up onto the guardrails. Even from the driver's seat I could see the waters below us. I breathed a quick prayer: "Lord, I don't want to go into the water."

I learned from that prayer experience to word my petitions to the Almighty more specifically, because the next thing that happened was the truck falling off the rails, landing driver's side (my side) down on the bridge. We were still being hit by the 18-wheeler, who pushed us sideways back across the lanes, the nose of our truck finally coming to rest against the guardrails on the other side. The cab of his rig came to a stop up against the fuel tanks of our truck. (Glad it was diesel, not gasoline.)

The guy in the cab with me scrambled out of the truck on his side as soon as we came to a stop. He quit the job that very day. I stopped to picked up the invoices from the clipboard scattered around the cab. I figured the paper trail might help the company account for what product they'd lost or had damaged in the wreck. I then literally climbed out of the cab. We had a ride in an ambulance to the hospital. The only ill effects for me was a bruised left shoulder, which no doubt happened when the truck fell off the rails my side down.

Oh, and my younger brother Buddy worked for the company as well, as a salesman. If y'all think I have the gift of the gab, you shoulda known my kid brother. He was a tall, handsome kid that didn't have a shy bone in his body, and he could talk. And he was well suited for the job of salesman. That kid could sell ice cubes to eskimos. Just after my accident on the causeway, Buddy was coincidentally stopped in town by a cop for speeding.

When the cop noticed he worked for Bancroft Paper & Chemical, he said, "I just heard about one of your trucks having an accident on the causeway." Buddy immediately said, "Is the driver all right?" The cop said, "I dunno, I just heard an ambulance took some guys to the hospital." Buddy said, "If your gonna give me a ticket, do it right now and let me outta here. That's my brother you're talking about!"

Yep, two descriptions of job related/driving incidents for me. Once experienced, never to be forgotten.
So.....did Buddy get a ticket or not??????;)
 

burtonfan

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Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Posts
1,518
Location
michigan
In college I was a dump truck driver during the summers. Long story short, I was delivering a load of topsoil to a customer's back yard garden when the rear axle fell through the septic tank.

After wasting several hours to extract the truck, the boss handed me a pair of hip waders and a shovel...

You can fill in the rest (of the story). 🤢🤮
 

P Thought

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Posts
14,343
Location
Plundertown (Gasville) OR
Had a few bad ones. I once worked on a ham pumping line. I pumped ham. Yes, my job title was Ham Pumper.
Reminds me of a blind date I had once!

I've had quite a few jobs since I entered the "work force". Two or three of them--flying, teaching--I have loved, but I count myself lucky that most of them were enjoyable, and none of them sank below the level of tolerable. None of them paid much money.

Edit: retirement, one of THE best financial benefits of teaching, is turning out to be my favorite job of all!
 
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tweeet

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Joined
Oct 2, 2008
Posts
1,370
Location
england
Did a night shift ONCE at a cheese factory back in 1988. They had like a rota system. First rota 9pm...was humping huge blocks of cheese off the lorry. Then rota 2 (1am) was putting blocks on a conveyer belt. Rota 3 (4am to 8am) was using a cutter to slice the blocks into smaller blocks. You had two tea breaks and a 'lunch' break. Canteen food was...wait for it...sandwiches...cheese...cheese and tomato or cheese and ham ! There were about 80 odd workers at the factory...the majority were black north Londoners...hence why the music on the tannoy was dub reggae...all night. I never went back for another shift.

If they'd played Bob Marley it wouldn't have been so bad...and back then I wasn't too fond of cheese !
 

ce24

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Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Posts
7,843
Location
Idahoastan
Manual pinsetter in a bowling alley….jump in the pit after the first ball pick downed pins and put them in the setter.…..after the second ball you finish loading the pins and push a bar to lower the setter to drop the pins on their spots.
 

trapdoor2

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Posts
3,843
Age
65
Location
Sauth Carolina
I worked my way through Tech School as a Knitting Machine Mechanic (Munsingwear). It wasn't a bad job, just depressing for a kid raised in the "not poor" suburbs of a city.

It was in a West-Alabama small town, everybody was either too poor to pay attention, drunk or pregnant. The only decent-paying factory was "somebody's gotta die first" to get a job there. The knitting mill did its damndest to not pay minimum wage, abused anyone who couldn't get out, etc. The girls padded along the rows of machines like zombies. They talked about being thankful that the company gave them two weeks off to have their babies. Everybody there chain-smoked like freight trains, most of them ran drugs as a side hustle. It was worse than "Norma Rae" ever thought about being. The union finally got in there...and mgmt. closed the doors. I heard they'd moved the work to Thailand or something like that.

I left when I got my A&P ticket. Moved to Louisiana and worked for Petroleum Helicopters. Double my pay at the knitting mill. I had a ball, spent a year offshore on an oil rig. I had a lovely Bell 206 L-1 without a single issue to her. Never had to do anything but the standard inspections, cleaning and greasing. Worked 3pm to 3am (unless someone needed fueling, a rarity). I would get up in the morning, play the banjo till 4. The helicopter would come in around 4-4:30 and I'd hustle up to get whatever I needed to do done...usually done before 6. Eat dinner with the crew and start fishing the instant the sun touched the horizon. That first hour as the sun was setting was usually great fishing. Red Snapper, Speckled Trout, Cobia, etc.

After a year, the poor mech. on the opposite shift (we worked 7days on, 7 days off) had an engine blow...and spent his week replacing it...just to have the new one fail on the test flight (his fault). The pilot successfully popped the floats and landed it upright but the recovery crew screwed up and she flipped upside down in the water and started to sink. Divers ran a chain thru the cabin and she was hoisted out, putting a kink in the upper cabin. I figured she was scrap.

I thought it was a shame...and a few weeks later, I got my boost to Senior Mechanic...which required a stint at the main hangar in Lafayette. Guess what was waiting for me? The same bent/broke copter I'd spent a year with. We stripped her of all parts (all tech parts were tossed, seawater and tech don't mix), the sheet-metal dept fixed the roof, paint dept did a brand-new paintjob and we put her back together...just in time for me to do my flight-test dept. requirement. I got her thru all her tests and off she went.
 




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