Many college students have part-time or full-time jobs during semester or over the summer to help pay tuition and beef up their resume. Unfortunately some positions can end up being more of a nightmare than a positive experience. Our readers shared their worst college jobs that they wish they could forget.
I worked as a laborer for a chain link fence company. For $1.65 an hour, I hauled huge wheelbarrows full of concrete over rugged terrain [and] dug countless four-foot holes for fence posts in 90-degree weather. I would lose 10 pounds of water weight each day. -Henry Timberlake
I stacked quart cans of motor oil at Kmart (NASDAQ: SHLD) for $1.75 hour.-Gail Bevill
One summer I worked for a temp agency. My friend had told me that she worked for one and always got great work, so I thought I'd give it a go and went to the first one I found. It should have given me cause for pause when I walked into the front office and the reception desk was protected by bullet-proof glass. -Jennifer Parsons
During the summer break of 1996, I was hired to run a pump out boat, which is a delicate name for a vessel that pumps raw sewage from other boats via a big green smelly hose. During one eventful afternoon I want to forget, I was attaching my green septic hose to a 45-foot boat at Stamford Landing Marina when the pump on the motor started to make weird noises. I looked down and noticed raw sewage spurting from the pump onto my Sperry Top-Siders and freshly-pressed Dockers. The owner of the boat I was pumping looked on with disgust as I "hurled" onto the side of his boat.-Evan Rosenthal
I was a diesel fitter at a ladies shoe store. I worked the store room and the sales person would ask to get a certain shoe and size. So when I brought them out I would say "dese il fit her." -Jerry Ludwig
A temporary school bus driver for middle school. Throwing rowdy students off the bus was the one redeeming grace of this job....I lasted a week. -John Stacey
Back when I was in college, I needed to work and the best paying job was at a new Holly Farms chicken plant. They paid $9 an hour, which back in 1978 was really good money. My job was to stand in about an inch of chicken blood along the assembly line and cut out the heart and gizzard from each newly-slaughtered chicken as it went by hung from an overhead moving rack. I lasted 10 days, 10 days I will never forget. And yes, I still eat chicken. -Virginia Houseman
While I worked my way through college, I used to clean the monkey cages and feed the rats in the psychology lab at Indiana University. I used to go in between 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning and spray out the lab monkey cages. Since they were awake, they used to tap me on one shoulder and when I looked, they would jump across the cage like they didn’t do it. It felt really humiliating to be outsmarted by a monkey. The rats weren’t much better, but they at least didn’t play games. -Tim Pfennig
The worst job I had in college was with a vegetable oil company in Los Angeles. I would carry 18 25-pound bags of chalk-white Food grade Diatomaceous Earth up a ladder and precariously dump the contents of each bag into a huge tank of hot churning raw vegetable oil. My clothes would last a week and then were thrown away. And I smelled like a two-day-old bag of soggy French fries until I got home for a long hot shower. Never could get the smell out of the car. - John Holborn
I went to college in Washington, D.C., and had a job on an office cleaning crew in a Department of Justice office building. My job was to clean 28 restrooms per night. Even though the building was populated by lawyers and paralegals, you can't imagine the shape of each restroom, especially the women's restrooms. Each night the walls, floors, toilets and sinks were washed and sanitized. The next day, it would look like it the bathroom wasn't cleaned in months. They were filthy beyond description. One would expect more from so-called professional people. -Timothy Bednarz
After my junior year, I was getting burned out on school and thinking of quitting. Then I got a summer job on campus working as a mason’s helper. We [the mason’s helpers] set up all the scaffolding, carried cinder blocks, mixed the concrete and made sure the mason’s were never waiting on anything since they were making WAY more than the helpers were. That summer of back-breaking work convinced me that one more year of college and working with my brain instead of my back was far better than quitting school and doing manual labor the rest of my life. -Clint Null
If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger, here’s a look at some of the worst jobs readers had in college.