10. Paper Boy in Western New York: I delivered papers for 4 years while in junior high and high school back in Western New York. My entire route was over 5 miles of riding my bike, going up and down multiple flights of stairs in apartment complexes, chasing people down to collect money, getting bit by a huge German Shepherd, trudging through the snow and slush three months out of the year, and coming close to getting hit by a car innumerable times, all for $50 per week. The Buffalo News still owes me!
9. Shipping/Receiving Clerk: I worked at a large warehouse on the loading dock unloading and loading huge trucks all day. What made this job more "interesting" was the freight we received and shipped. The company was a science supply company that provided all sorts of supplies for schools across the U.S. and Canada. Supplies included all sorts of dead and pickled animals. Every so often we'd get a load of rotten cats. The smell haunts me to this day.
8. Moody Special Crew: I worked on campus during college setting up and taking down for special events. Additionally, while I was there, Moody acquired some old, abandoned buildings which they set out to refurbish and use for various purposes. I spent several months helping to clean out an old, condemned, rat-infested, asbestos-laden, death trap of a building in downtown Chicago. It took weeks just to get rid of the pigeons so we didn't get "rained" on while working.
7. Cinderella Motel/Campground Lawn Mower etc.: When I was 13, I mowed the lawn at a local motel/RV Campground. One summer the Grateful Dead came to Buffalo and hundreds of bikers stayed at the campground. When they left I had to put all the empty beer bottles and cans in bags for recycling and pick up the trash. The maggot factor was staggering as drunken fly larvae wiggled all over the garbage I had to pick up and throw away. Yummy.
6. Tree Trimming: I worked for a time cutting trees with my boss from another job. We would contract to trim old, huge trees in the St. Louis area. The job paid well, and I enjoyed the manliness of a Husqavarna chainsaw, however, I'm more or less afraid of heights. Being up in a tree most of the day grew more and more difficult as the jobs went on. Eventually I was relegated to staying on the ground and cutting the wood there and hauling it off. Major hit on my pride, I might as well have been forced to wear a dress.
5. Rock Shoveler: I only had this job for a week, but I'll never forget it. A friend of our family was building his own house. He was too cheap to pay a company to put stone down where he was going to pour his basement floor, so he hired me, for a pittance, to shovel a couple tons of stones down in to the basement hole. It took me a week (would have taken a front-end loader a couple hours) to shovel all those stones down there. Blistered and sore, I came to realize not every job is worth taking.
4. Covenant Seminary Grounds Crew: I loved this job for the physical outlet it provided in the midst of so much studying and reading. Still, it was a very tough job. We dug trenches constantly, shoveled mulch, cut the lawn on some crazy hillsides, weed-whacked 8-10 hours per week (poison ivy and all), and any other job the seminary needed done. The St. Louis, beastly humid summers, made this all the more interesting. In the winter, getting a call at 5 am to come shovel before classes started also provided excitement.
3. Montessori School Maintenance Man: While in seminary, I worked at a private pre-school owned by a nice elderly couple. The job as a whole wasn't too demanding, however taking care of two ponies, for this animal lover (not), was the factor that made it difficult. Each day I would have to shovel an abundance of pony "byproduct" and feed these thankless, stinky, beasts. Sometimes I had to give them medication- have you seen how that's done on a pony? To this day I can see almost no value in these genetically inferior, lazy, ungrateful animals. Oh yeah, the kids thought they were cute.
2. Telemarketer: I am most embarrassed to say I worked as a telemarketer for about 6 months right after I got married. I needed an evening job to try and save more money for seminary, so telemarketing was about all that was available for a guy with a biblical Greek degree. I actually did pretty well at it, I just couldn't stand doing something I knew drove most people nuts. The shifts were 4 hours long and I would get hung up on no less than 300 times in that span. Making 10 sales per shift was considered very good. Maybe this is where I got over the fear of rejection?
1. McDonald's Grill "dog": Without question, my hardest job ever was working at McDonald's while in High School. I had two other jobs, so I only worked two 8 hour shifts a week at McDonald's. They were the toughest hours of work every week. I worked on the grill and was there for the "changeover" from breakfast to lunch. Brutal. Further, I worked in a McD's that was located directly across the street from an amusement park. During the lunch hour busloads of people would come to eat there. I literally put 12 burgers down and when I turned them, had to put 12 more down. We ran like crazy the whole day, sliding across the grease coated floor, all for $3.35 an hour. I remember having one short lull and my supervisor said- "if you have time to lean, you have time to clean"! Wow, was that a tough job.