View Full Version : What's the hardest/easiest job you ever had?

04-04-2008, 06:33 AM
I've held mostly white-collar jobs, so they were mostly rather "easy" at least physically. Mentally and intellectually they could be challenging and exhausting, though, and there were times when I just went home and crashed.

As an actor, however, I have done some physical stuff. I remember during one shoot I had to stand on a 30-feet ladder (without anything to hold on to -- it's difficult because I'm afraid of height) in 40F freezing rain and went until 4 a.m. lying in mud. And I got paid like $50 for a 14-hour shoot. That was slave wages. But the shots looked amazing.

Then there was the easiest gig I ever did. Showed up, put on a T-shirt, and just lay in bed for 45 minutes. Yup, spent 45 minutes practically "sleeping" on the job (it was for a banking ad). $300 for doing nothing. I almost felt guilty taking the money.

04-04-2008, 06:35 AM
My current contract is nearing an end. All I do during the day is surf the web looking at places to live in Europe, post my resume and apply for work in Europe, while getting paid $50.00 a day.

Dang, only three weeks left to go.

04-04-2008, 06:52 AM
I'm embarrassed to admit this but I did some cheesy bikini modeling crap and got paid $1000 to stand next to a motorcycle and smile for a couple of hours.

Hardest job would have to be what I do now--make up artistry. There are some people that have difficult features and they don't understand why I can't make them look like the celebrities they bring in pictures of and would like to emulate.

04-04-2008, 06:57 AM
I had to climb up 30 feet on a ladder in 40F freezing rain and went until 4 a.m. lying in mud.

Just got flashbacks of us hanging Christmas lights on our house last fall.

04-04-2008, 07:01 AM
I used to make auto parts in a factory. The parts were so hot that I had to change gloves with each part. Even with two pair of gloves, they burned and my hands were all blisters. My area was over 130f and I would get so hot that I would become cold. Lots of people dropped like flies every night and had to be wheeled out. Three months of twelve hour days seven days a week finally took it's toll. I had to quit. The turnover rate there was unbelievable. Seems every other night it was a new crew.

Easiest. Teaching elementary schjool.

04-04-2008, 07:07 AM
Worst gig? Probably knealing in a ditch tying rebar in 100 degree weather. Rebar is the iron rods that get tied together to form the skeleton of a foundation or wall before the concrete gets poured.

Best gig? Hanging out all night, listening to music I loved and talking about it. (Midnight DJ at a classic rock station.) Pay was crap, but I was young, single and in a college town, working for the number one station in the city.

04-04-2008, 07:38 AM
Easiest? Bookkeeper on a cattle station in the Northern Territory. The spread was half the size of Wales with a permanent population of 15. Not a lot of work to do.
Hardest? Working for a year on a cattle station that was dry - no grog allowed. I had my twenty-first birthday there!

kct webber
04-04-2008, 08:01 AM
My easiest job was working as a range operator on military base. All I did was sit in a tower and write computer codes to control targets for infantry, tanks, helocoptors, etc. Everything is completely automated. I spent most of my time reading--and getting paid really damn well for it too.

My hardest job was in the Spec Ops in the military. Very physically and mentally demanding, that job. But you get to blow stuff up and use lots of very cool guns and stuff.

04-04-2008, 08:19 AM
Easiest: Baskin Robbins as a teenager. Back then I thought it was sooo hard.

Hardest: Certified Nurses' Assistant in a nursing home. Physically and emotionally exhausting. Gross, too.

04-04-2008, 08:34 AM
Easiest: A stint DJing at a college radio station.

Hardest: My pediatric residency. Shudder.

04-04-2008, 08:51 AM
Hardest: Bridal Gown sales person --- at the peak of wedding season... I lasted a day.

Easiest: Transcribing voice mail msgs into an order database.

Yea, pretty dull.

04-04-2008, 11:00 AM
Hardest: Being a secretary for 21 years.

Easiest: never had any that were easy, unfortunately.:)

04-04-2008, 03:53 PM
easiest; Lifeguard at an indoor pool at a hotel

Hardest; what I do now- registered Nurse

04-04-2008, 04:10 PM
Easiest: worked as a hostess in a Japanese bar in Nagano lighting cigarettes and making chit-chat with businessmen. Toughest (mentally): same. :)

04-04-2008, 04:33 PM
Hardest job: When I was a full-time mom.

Easiest job: Last year I did a temp job. Stuffing envelopes. Boring as hell, but easy.

04-04-2008, 04:49 PM
Easiest: Physically, any kind of office job. Mentally, waiting tables. It may have been fast paced and taxing physically, but it was so mindless and easy. Smile, serve, smile, serve. Tips, tips, tips, thank you very much! I guess it doesn't hurt that I did it in my teens and early 20's when I had endless energy.

Hardest: To me, my hardest jobs were always my most rewarding, so it's difficult to think of them in terms of being hard. But I do know that my most difficult task was writing a 700 page report for Penn DOT on the condition of our roads. I had 3 months and millions of data points (I'm not exaggerating.) It took forever to make any sense of it.

Oh, and I did this project for a MAJOR commercial truck company. I had to spend all day, every day, for 2 weeks out of every summer, for 3 years, talking to truckers about the newly designed chassis, cab, frame, and whatnot. While most of them were well behaved, it just took one to ruin the week. And there was always one, trying to grab my ass, making lewd comments, dropping things to get me to bend over. Pigs. I would say that was the most difficult thing I had to do. The kicker was that I loved the client, a petite Asian woman with a sharp eye for statistics. She didn't want to work with anyone else in our company, or I would have sent one of my male associates.

04-04-2008, 05:01 PM
Hardest physically: When I was 14 I had a summer job counting and weeding baby trees at a nursery. 8 hours a day on my hands and knees (yeah, yeah...keep your pervert comments to yourself, sickos) in the blazing hot sun. And I got paid 3 bucks an hour.

Hardest mentally: What I do now. I love my job as a 911 dispatcher but it can be very taxing. And it's hard to deal with the same people day after day and not lose your sense of empathy. My family and friends can't figure out why I hate people now. :)

Easiest: I worked a summer at a campground store. I spent most of the time reading and flirting with the hot twins that camped there all summer.

04-04-2008, 05:07 PM
Hardest: Minimum-wage retail. I lack the qualities necessary for dealing with people, so having to talk to the public all day was nasty. Also it was lousy money. Also the boss was a ***t.

Easiest: Civil Service. Comfy chair, desk, interweb access and free coffee. 8 hours of work in a 38 hour week. Can't beat it.
Awfully dull though.

04-04-2008, 05:18 PM
Hardest physically: working on an agricultural farm during summer breaks when I was in college. I got there at 6 am and worked straight up until 4 or 5, and I rarely stopped moving. This also involved stalking and corralling a surly flock of emus when they escaped - and those bastards can kick. Damn, I loved that job.

Easiest physically: the job I've got now probably qualifies.

Hardest mentally: my first "real" job out of college, working as a proofreader/QA go-to girl/RA trainee/all-around gopher at a startup pharma. Nothing like trying to turn an 800 page document stuffed full of oddly formatted graphics and unpronounceable 30 letter words into something acceptable to a review board over a weekend, after reading a rather sickening 1000-page toxicity report about testing said drug on beagles. Plus my boss was psychotic, so I was stressed 24/7. Pretty much everything since then has seemed eminently do-able by comparison.

Easiest mentally: the farm job. God, I loved that job.

04-04-2008, 05:28 PM
I wouldn't say this was the hardest - it was mind-numbingly repetitive factory work - but it was probably the worst - in 1974 I ran a tap-and-die machine which involved setting an inch-thick circular wafer of milled steel on a plate, then slowly pulling a lever down which guided a spinning drill which drilled a hole through the center of the wafer. Automatic jets continuously squirted white oil on everything, which got hot and stank worse than roadkill on a hot day. I probably drilled, oh, 800 - 1000 on any given day, while standing all the while on a concrete floor.

I wore heavy-duty overalls, and these little spirals of corkscrewed steel would fly around and embed themselves in them, in my hair, in my skin sometimes. I'd go home stinking of this white oil and full of tiny steel corkscrews. Awful awful job. Paid incredibly well though.


hardest job I guess was a waitress gig at an insane short-order joint where you were not allowed to write anything down. The menu was limited, and customers would shout out their orders to you, you had to memorize them and scream them to the cooks amidst utter constant mayhem. I've never been able to memorize on demand, and I was a broken person within only 48 hours. Yeah.

A.M. Wildman
04-04-2008, 05:33 PM
I had to stand on a 30-feet ladder in 40F freezing rain and went until 4 a.m. lying in mud. ...

Substitue being awake for 3 days, little food, a 10k walk with 65+ pounds on your back for your ladder and you'll have an idea of what life is like in the Army Infantry/Spec Ops units.

10 years of things like that.

Second hardest job ever was as a customer service rep for a national cell carrier. Having to take crap from asinine idiots over ridiculous stuff.

Ex: Customer called in because his girlfriend was upset with him. Apparently, his detailed calls were not supposed to appear on the bill.(No record that he ever called in and asked for it to be changed either) So, it was the company's fault because he was in trouble. :rolleyes:

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. One of many I wanted to tell where he could go and what he could do with himself when he got there.

Easisest: Flipping burgers at Hardee's when I was a kid.

04-04-2008, 05:38 PM
I forgot easiest -

Proofreading. Wonderful job.


04-04-2008, 06:06 PM
Easiest: Security guard. Extra job during my first university years. Walk empty buildings.

Hardest: IT-management 1997 - 1999. Invent the job as you go, with staff and customers literally watching you do it, and then ensure that whatever you invented magically come true in the end. Last half of that decade was madness :D


04-04-2008, 06:18 PM
The "feast or famine" nature of IT (information technology) makes it both at the same time.

04-04-2008, 06:24 PM
Easiest: Running a soft-core porn photography company specializing in Chinese men. We just paid them like $300 to lay around in a t-shirt and told them it was for a bank commercial or something rediculous.

Hardest: Moderator of Music Forum on AW. I just make it look easy. My boss makes me wear 15 pieces of flair.

Elaine Margarett
04-04-2008, 06:25 PM
I accepted a photography job in 2004 at the Joint Personal Effects Depot where the personal effects (clothing, personal and military papers, photographs, laptops, etc.) of military and civillian persons killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan come for processing.

What can I say... it's the hardest job, but the most important job I've ever done. Hard because of the obvious difficulties~ cataloging the life of some 18 year old kid, or a 54 year old grandmother. One young mother who was killed (I'll never forget her) had over 1600 photos of her five year old daughter. I had to photograph everything she had. It took a day and a half. I work side by side with all branches of the military. Unlike a lot of civillian, we are immersed in what is considered a war mission; the only state-side war mission to my knowledge. It's a weird, weird environment for someone who has never experienced the military in any form.

On the upside, I've made some amazing friendships with people I'd have never met otherwise. When I started at the JPED it was manned by two Army units from Puerto Rico. My DH and I just toured PR with one of my work buddies, a young man half our age. He helped me get over some tough days when I first started. Really, all the guys from PR took me under their wing. I think I must remind them of their mom. LOL

Oh... another horrible job I had was working at a Saint Bernard show kennel. At the end of the day I was wearing the drool from over forty dogs. Yeah, that one didn't last long~

Thanks for letting me share.


04-04-2008, 06:28 PM
easiest: Now. Talking to college and NFL coaches about video equipment

hardest: construction project. Hauling buckets of crushed bricks from one site to another

most fun: motorcycle racing

04-04-2008, 06:47 PM
Hardest: It's a toss-up. I've sorted garbage for a living. Did it so well I got promoted to shift supervisor, but stinky, hard work.

I think the worst was making oil filters for automobiles--at the end of the day, my face would be swollen and red from all of the fibreglass particles flying around the plant.

Easiest: I worked for a whole summer on a volunteer training manual for a disability support organization. I had to read. I had to go with the volunteers and clients on outings--bowling, restaurants, shopping, etc. Then I had to write. Definitely my type of job!

04-04-2008, 07:04 PM
Both the easiest and hardest is probably freelance writing. I am good at the writing part, but I hate writing queries and I need to really force myself to be disciplined when I have 100 articles to write in a week (like this week :( )

04-04-2008, 07:21 PM
Easiest: bartender during college. It could get busy, but it was so much fun.

Hardest: I haven't had any physically tough jobs, but I did have a boss when I worked in advertising with a hairtrigger temper. And our clients were demanding, so there were plenty of late nights and stress.