Redditors share horror stories from their worst jobs

If you're stuck performing actual labor on Labor Day, don't despair.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Published Sep 2, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 7:35 am CDT

If you’re stuck performing actual labor on Labor Day, don’t despair. At least you never had to wander around a thorn-filled cornfield, yanking the tassels out of ears of corn in sweltering heat, with a redditor called BigFatNutsack.

From retail employees to nurses, there are plenty of people out there who do not get to indulge in last-minute vacations and barbecues today. Instead, they’re forced to continue toiling away at their job, like it’s any other Monday.

In observance of Labor Day, we culled the best answers from several Reddit threads about redditors’ worst-ever jobs.

Sorting through salmon guts for egg skeins for a bait shop at 16. All summer in the warm basement of a cannery surrounded by fish innards of varying stages of decay, fish oil caked an inch thick on my knuckles… did I mention the middle of summer? (mr_oof)

Catching chickens. Nothing like walking into a dark smelly barn filled with 40,000 birds to make you question your life choices. (noob_goldberg)

Paper boy. Virtually no pay, had to deal with collecting from customers that would never answer their door then yell at 13 year old me when they owed $20 because they never answered the door. Then on top of that you always came home with ink-stained hands and paper cuts… (cryonine)

Dietary aide at a retirement home. Saw my first naked woman in real life when I was 13. She was 80+ years old. (murdocneverdies)

Security guard on the graveyard shift in a swanky Miami condo back in the 1980s. The first night I was there, someone was assassinated in the parking garage! There was no second night for me because I quit on the first night. (gary_keith)

I’ve cleaned up dog shit, horse shit, rat shit, and child shit for jobs through the years. I would rather do any one of them than go back to the accounting internship. (katorade24)

Probably the job I got picking up trash out of a farmer’s field.

The farmer had paid a local company to spread compost (lawn trimmings and such-like) on their field to fertilize it. The problem was that the compost was in non-biodegradable plastic bags and people weren’t too particular about what they put into their compost.

So I got hired to pick up all of this garbage. By hand. The days alternated between freezing-ass cold days where I’d have to literally chisel the trash out of the ground and the days that were above freezing where you’d end up with about ten pounds of mud stuck to your shoes as you walked through this muddy field picking up pieces of plastic, used condoms, needles, pieces of cassette tapes, CDs, children’s toys, etc. All while carrying a plastic bag that got heavier and heavier the more you picked up.

When the bag was finally full, I’d then have to walk about half a mile to a dumpster and toss the bag in, grab another empty bag and go do it all over again. (erath_droid)

I worked at a 7-11 once. I will never have a slurpee again, and I will forever clean the tops of soda cans before consuming. (djchainsmok3r)

I once worked as a production assistant for a prank show, where the “star” of the show would run up to people and just insult them, or say something completely inane while referencing pop culture, or quiz them about fairly common knowledge so they could make fools out of themselves in front of the camera. As a PA, I was the one who had to run up to the victims and get all their information and signatures, including SS#s, photo IDs, addresses, and other info for the release forms. None of these people ever wanted to be on camera in the first place, especially after being insulted or humiliated. I was yelled at, spit on, hated by these poor people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time; all while a producer screamed into a walkie-talkie hooked to my ear that we NEED this person’s permission, and to make sure they don’t get away. It was as if my job was to ruin their day. It sucked (littlemissmovie)

I worked at a haunted house that was a paintball course during the day. My boyfriend’s dad helped run it and I needed a second job, so I got hired on. The place was rampant with testosterone. Everywhere I went, it was slaps on the ass. My pay always came in an envelope and each week it was a new, creative, sexist nickname on the name line. My boss constantly told the guys I worked with to try and fuck me in the woods. The worst was they constantly destroyed my costume. I would leave my costume there overnight, like everyone else, and when I came in the next night, my costume would be ripped/sliced up in the chest/crotch area and I would have to wear it anyway, because there was NO complaining there–if you complained, you were a pussy and you would get torn apart. I was so glad when my boyfriend dumped me and I finally had an excuse to just stop coming. (thegrassqueen)

I was working 6 days a week, 5am start til whenever we finished (sometimes didn’t get home til 8pm) riding/training racehorses. I worked all those hard hours, in an extremely physically demanding job (try have 500kg or raw power and muscle pull against you, your arms/abbs sometime lock on so much that you get pins and needles, you can’t let go) not to mention extremely dangerous, I could die in this job. It happens. And I get paid $450 a week. yeah…. (maddy77)

The Daily Dot’s subreddit, r/dailydot, highlights the most interesting and important discussions from around the social news site every day.

  • What are the top words for the top subreddits? (/r/TheoryOfReddit)
  • Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca from *Star Wars*) hosts an AMA… with a special in-thread appearance by William Shatner. (/r/IAMA)
  • Two different redditors bond over the same wedgie story from high school. (/r/defaultgems)

Read more here.

Photo via joelogon/Flickr

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*First Published: Sep 2, 2013, 3:23 pm CDT