I’ve done all kind of work in my life so far – from bringing around two newspapers a week, cleaning toilets in Australian hostels, selling slushy ice-cream on a showground to building boxes on a banana farm. But since last June, in about one year, I’ve done the 6 most horrible jobs I’ve ever had and I learned A TON about it.
Professional slushy ice-cream-seller in fancy wardrobe and saving a frog while building banana boxes.
So, if you’re curious (you definitely should be) about these jobs, then keep on reading and also find out why it was by far the worst year of my life.
Now, after I concurred these tasks, I’m proud that I never quit even though I could have just take the easy way out. Then I would have missed out on these learning opportunities for sure!
The jobs in itself were alright. It was more the surroundings, co-workers and bosses who made it an absolute bad experience. This was also a huge learning factor because it made me realize it’s incredible important to have nice co-workers and good working conditions to be able to enjoy the job you do. If you can work with awesome people who you genuinly like, it gets less important to find your ‘dream task’.
I went back to school which will last for two years. After this time I’ll be qualified to attend universities. In the first school-year I had to do an internship for one year which I splitted it into three different internships and at the same time I had to take classes for two days a week. And as a poor student I had to take side jobs to be able to get money to afford traveling and other stuff.
Looking for the next job like…
I start with my first job which seemed totally normal at the beginning – I was working as a waitress in a café-bar. But not long into it, I discovered that the boss was an absolute asshole. For some reasons, in the 6 different waitress jobs I had over the years, I experienced that in the gastronomy, the bosses and co-workers are pretty nasty in general which is worth an entire blog entry on its own.
But this boss was on top of the list of the asshole-league. He screamed a lot. For no good reason at all. There’s never a good reason to scream anyway. One time, a costumer came up and whispered to me: ‘Your boss is an asshole.’
This taught me that it’s extremely important to control your temper and don’t just let your anger out because you ALWAYS make a bad impression on other people and you’re more likely to not get the response you actually want. It’s so important to stay nice because if people like you, they are more likely to actually do want you want and do a better job at it. That’s a pretty obvious one but I guess not for everyone. My boss couldn’t learn it in about 50 years, so don’t do the same mistake.
I recommend kissing dogs when you have this urge to scream at people again.
The second job was my 6-month-long internship in a women’s shelter. Ooooh… it was the most stressful job I probably ever had and it was so bad for so many reasons but on the other hand it taught me a lot. About myself, about other people and where my future career should NOT go.
I had 5 co-workers who kind of were a little bit weird in their own way but they were still one of the nicest co-workers I had so far.
The cases of illnesses amongst the employees were extremely high, they were complaining a lot and two even didn’t want to do the job and told me they would rather do something else. And of course, their mindset effected their work and they didn’t work as efficient as my other co-workers.
All this stress from work got to me, too. I had to take care of 5-8 traumatized children aged between 1-10. Of course, I don’t have any background knowledge of that but I still had to do the job because as an intern, you don’t really have a choice. I was absolutely overwhelmed and after every working day, when I got home, I sat over one hour in the kitchen and I couldn’t bring myself to get up because I was so exhausted. Most of the times I starred blindly into the wall.
That was the result of getting too much stress because I was in a situation I didn’t belong in. I realized that my strength lies somewhere else and I would do a much better job if I realize my true strengths.
It’s so important to listen to the signals of your body and realize what makes you stress out. It made me realize that you should choose your career path wisely and based on what you REALLY want. These two co-workers who were always ill and complaining about their job didn’t do that for sure. They were near their retirement and they spend their whole life-career in the social working field. One told me that it was always her dream to work as an engineer and the other one said when she was in her 20s she became depressed for many years because of the stress from work and if she could go back, she would change her career into something else. I told her that she still had time to do that but she just laughed and said it’s too late and she’s too old to do that.
But for me it’s just the beginning and I’m eager to find out what I’m truly passionate about.
Everyone should do that – Try to discover yourself a bit every day. There are so many ways to do that: Write out your thoughts, write down what you love and what you absolutely hate, read books about self-discovery… and you will find out what your dream job would look like. And not when you’re about to retire.
Hands always tell a story – what will your hands say about you when you’re about to retire after a life full of work? Will they be stiff and wrinkly from hard work and adventure?
And then during the internship I quit the first waitress job because I was too fed up with it… You would think that I chose a job which would not be a waitress job. But I got the glorious idea … hey why not work in a shisha (also called hookah) bar?! Even though I never smoked in my life. If you want to kill your lungs, then go ahead and start working in such a bar. It will do the job for you.
And during this time, I met the most arrogant, superficial and material-obsessed people in my life. I didn’t fit in AT ALL because I’m pretty much the opposite. I like to talk about deep topics, I try to not care too much about material things because I know that the meaning of life lies somewhere else and I could list another 100 things.
But my point is that I tried to fit in, even though I could have never managed that. Maybe if I went to an actress school and got brainwashed into thinking that buying designer clothing, having an awesome car and pretending to be cool would determine my self-worth. And I can’t pretend I’m cool even if my life would depend on it. I just can’t hide my awkward goofiness. What I’m saying with that is that you should not hide your interests, your personality and your quirky side to be able to make some friends even though you don’t really like the people in the first place.
I got caught… pretending to be cool again with my fancy car.
Now it gets funny because I kept repeating the same mistake. I didn’t learn my lesson, obviously. After I quit the job at the shisha bar… guess what… I applied for another waitress job at weddings and other events. Soooo, what did I learn this time around?
It started when I worked with a co-worker. Let’s call her Dora. She was a bit… how can I say it politely? Not my type of juice. Dora had this Mona-Lisa smile and the habit to tell me what I was supposed to do even though she was just another waitress. I had important conversations with her. Like this one time she told me that her parents own three houses but in the house, she lives in, the swimming-pool is shaded by the trees in the afternoon when she wants to take a bath and that she’s not amused about that. Lol. That’s all I have to say about that.
When she kept acting like a boss, I got too furious at one point and literally told her: ‘Stop telling me what I should do. You’re NOT the boss.’ And oh boy, she freaked out. She said to me that she will go to our boss and tell her what I said which is too ridiculous beyond words. (She didn’t tell the boss though)
I swore to myself on this evening that I’ll never find myself in this kind of situation again. I’m not gonna waste my time with this kind of people in the first place. I usually stay nice and keep on the conversations but if someone tells me again their parents own three houses… I’ll drop everything and run as fast as possible. I’m not going to waste my precious time like that again.
My face when someone tells me about their fancy holidays… I’m like… well, I lived in an Australian hostel with cockroaches for 5 months and did a roadtrip for two weeks where I slept in a tent without mattress. #dontgetjealous
And while I was a waitress for weddings, I also worked as a dishwasher which was extremely exhausting – I worked with 4 other dishwashers and we had to wash a huuuuge pile of dirty dishes, pans, cutlery, bowls and so on. Each time I felt like Reinhold Messner who was about to climb the Mount Everest, except that it was a mountain of dirty dishes. I was always so relieved when I conquered 7 hours of washing, stacking and polishing these dishes. At the end, I felt like I was standing up on this mountain and looking down and realizing how much I achieved.
And I will probably never forget this one co-worker I came across. We did get along but it was a bit difficult to work with her because she absolutely hated this job. And because of that she turned into a negative person who was always complaining about other co-workers and her job in general. I asked her why she worked there for over 5 years when she obviously couldn’t stand it. She told me that it had been her dream to open her own speech therapy facility but she thought she couldn’t handle the stress that comes with being a boss and so, she NEVER even tried. Now, she was working as a speech therapist but it was the facility of someone else and she wasn’t happy with her salary. So, to get some extra money to buy an extra pair of pants without having guilt for spending too much money.
I’m not sure if it’s sadder that she didn’t follow her dream or that she just had this awful job to buy an extra pair of pants.
The last internship I had was with mental-ill people. This time, I was working in two different facilities for mental-ill people which was led by one big constitution. To put it in a nutshell – the co-workers from the first facility were mean douchebags who treated me like I was below them and the other one’s from the second office were extremely nice and respectful to me. There couldn’t be a bigger difference than that.
Let’s imagine the names of the guys from the first office were Laurel and Hardy. Laurel told me that she likes to watch reality TV which made her feel better about life because there were people who had a worse life than her. Besides that, she had an emotionless face like a statue and when she talked to me, she usually didn’t look at me and stared into the air or at her computer. And Hardy liked to gossip a lot about, well, basically everyone who hadn’t the same opinion as her. Her favourite task was looking over my shoulder and register every little mistake I did. She pointed out everything and I had to do it exactly the way she wanted. It went like that for four months and I couldn’t handle it anymore. When Hardy told me some ridiculous shit again, I starred at her and I literally rolled my eyes which I had never done at any job in my life so far. She totally freaked out and because of that I got the worst internship reference I EVER had even though I didn’t deserve that for sure. The work of four month was for nothing.
On the other hand, when I was working with the absolutely nice co-workers, I started to feel immensely grateful for them. I was happy to work with them because of how respectful and nice they were. They made me feel like the work I did mattered. We had awesome conversations about many topics and I could ask them everything. At the end of the internship, they gave me presents and the best reference I ever received.
And what did I do?! I concentrated too much on this bad experience I had and worried that the bad reference would get me in the way of doing something. I started to act like a clairvoyant and imagined horrible scenarios. And guess what… nothing happened and it will not matter in my career because I’ll never work in the social field anyway. Worrying does nothing for you, except it will make you feel bad. Instead you should focus on the good stuff that happen to you which is way more productive.
Now, I prefer animals for obvious reasons.
Even though it was a really shitty year for obvious reasons, I’m still grateful for it in many ways. It became the worst year of my life though because I neglected my needs – spending time with friends, relaxing and doing stuff I truly enjoy. I didn’t take care of myself and I experienced the downside of it: This constant stress built up over time and I could feel the effects: I was getting insecure, my skin got worse, I had trouble falling asleep, I didn’t feel a purpose in life anymore and even worse… I became like these negative people who were hateful and always judging other people.
On top of that, I just felt like a robot who woke up, went to work, ate and slept again. That’s not life, that’s just slowly going to your grave.
But I turned it all around because I didn’t want to make the same mistakes like the people I met during this time.
What makes you truly happy? I love seeing the sun go down at the beach while being with good friends. These are the moments in life that matter.
I will NEVER choose a career path I’m not satisfied with. I will take time to find out what makes me the happiest version I could become. I will choose more wisely which people I want to be surrounded by and I want to live the hell out of my life because life is too short.
EVERYONE should do that and we should start now.
‘If you believe it will work out, you will see opportunities. If you believe it won’t you will see obstacles.’ – anonymous