The worst job you had before becoming a Nurse?


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NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,599 Posts

My worst job was when I was 17 working in the food court at the mall at one of those chicken places. My boss was something else. Anyways, one day I was at the mall with my friends on my day off and he saw me and told me that I had to come in to work, "Now". I wasn't on the schedule but someone didn't show and he was short staffed. I told him that I didn't have a change of clothes. He stated, "Don't need it". Threw an apron over my head and handed me a platter of chicken to give out as samples. It was a bit awkward: plaid miniskirt, knit top, three inch heals, with a read apron and a platter of chicken in my hand-felt like the chicken hoe (not sure if this word is acceptable on here, if not-my apologies) with all the creepy comments it got me...needless to say, the next day I went out and looked for a job that would not pull that crap while I was on my personal time. I have no problem helping out, but at least let me dress respectably for what your asking me to do.



Has 17 years experience. 134 Posts

This was when I was a teenager counselor in summer camp age 17 then Au Pairs Vs. Nannie age 18-21

emtpbill, ASN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in EMT since 92, Paramedic since 97, RN and PHRN 2021. Has 1 years experience. 444 Posts

Hmmmm. Worst job???? My very first job was working in a packaging company. We would vacuum seal pliers and other tools for the military, very boring, hot, and sometimes dangerous as the vacuum equipment wasn't very reliable or safe.(this was in the 80s). The part that makes it the worst is that I was 18, 6'2 high school football running back. (Boy I wish I was in that shape still), well the owners wife thought I was hired just for her to flirt with and harass. She was 50 and smoked these long, thin, nasty looking cigarettes. I lasted two weeks and had to leave before I was molested.

ChristopherB, BSN, RN

Specializes in MICU, SICU, CVICU, CCU, and Neuro ICU. Has 15 years experience. 59 Posts

I was a bottle cap inspector one summer during college. Yes that's a real job description.

I worked in a chemical plant. I'd open a box of 1,000 battle caps and inspect them under a magnifying class for dirt and damage. Then I'd put them in another box. Apparently, if there was dirt in the bottle caps and the bottle caps were used on sulfuric acid battles, the dirt would fall into the bottle and make the bottle explode.

Do you know how boring it is to look at bottle caps under a magnifying glass for 8 hours a day?



186 Posts

Waitress at an fancy retirement place The people would come down to the dining hall. Rudest people ever!! Never be rude to a server. They handle your food

NurseSpeedy, ADN, LPN, RN

Has 20 years experience. 1,599 Posts

I loved working at Target years ago. . When I shop there now I still want to "zone" the areas.

Me too!...I worked there at the end of high school and throughout my PN nursing program. I did not like staying until 2am putting crap back where it belonged so that it could be torn down to the same way it was at 11pm during the holidays, but other than that it wasn't a bad job. After 3 years the 'zoning' became compulsive working there....15 years out and I still have to stop myself when I'm shopping there and I see something out of place.


Diane1025, LPN

Specializes in LTC. Has 4 years experience. 9 Posts

First job at age 16 was a meat wrapper in local family owned supermarket. Freezing cold, worked every single weekend and 3 weeknights after school. Wage at that time was $1.85/hour. Won't even say how many years ago this was !!! Built character!!

I think the worst "pre-nursing" job ever may have been my wife's. She was in the Army during the invasion of Iraq (2003 - 2004), and some of her experiences included:

* While waiting in Kuwait to invade, they were attacked with Scud missiles, one of which she saw destroyed by a Patriot missile battery right over their camp. Scuds were rumored to be armed with chemical weapons, so much of the time they were in full MOPP gear in the desert heat.

* During the run up to the North, they were constantly on the move, sleeping in holes in the ground or on the hoods of their vehicles. Four or five hours of sleep was a luxury.

* The "ladies' room" was the same as the "men's room" - a slit trench in the sand - no walls - you just "drop trou" and squat over the trench. Then they'd douse the whole thing with diesel fuel and burn it. You did NOT want to be downwind when they did that.

*Everywhere they went, they were in "full battle rattle", including body armor and carrying a weapon with a full ammo load-out. Daytime temps could reach 130 degrees (F), and there wasn't much shade to be found.

* Breakfast, lunch and dinner was MREs - "Meals Ready to Eat", sometimes referred to as "Meals Rejected by Ethiopians". If you had time to eat it.

* Water was trucked in, and it tasted like the truck, but they had to hydrate constantly in the dry desert heat. Kool-Aid was about the only thing that could kill the taste, so it was worth its weight in gold. I sent boxes of it every week. It almost became the unofficial currency of the war, and you could trade it for just about anything you needed. Four containers of Kool-Aid were worth a new set of tires for a Humvee.

* Showers were nonexistent for the first few months. Bathing, such as it was, was accomplished with baby wipes.

* Fine, gritty, powdery sand was everywhere, and it got into everything -- weapons, vehicles, gear and even working its way into underwear and parts of the body where sand is never welcome.

* Once they established a Forward Operating Base, they were hit with mortar or sniper fire about every night. Fortunately, the bad guys didn't get much training on how to aim the things. It was strictly "spray and pray", with Allah guiding the round to wherever he willed it to land. The only "casualty" was an unoccupied (thankfully) latrine. Some locals were employed to perform various tasks around the base, and they always wondered if the same guys who were working for them during the day were scouting targets and shooting at them at night.

* Way too many male soldiers subscribed to the theory that "What happens in Iraq, stays in Iraq", and were constantly hitting on all the females. Their efforts didn't work with my wife, but a couple of gals in her unit did have to go home early -- due to pregnancy.

* About once a month they could use a phone for a five minute "morale call" to phone home. It didn't help all that much and just made the homesickness a bit worse.

* Occasionally there would be a memorial service for people she knew who wouldn't be going home to their loved ones. Those were tough.

Needless to say, nursing school was a picnic in the park after that experience.



113 Posts

Selling vacuums, I lasted one day. The sales person training me was so rude and talked so much crap about the people and their homes. He would get them to let him in because he would tell them it was just one free room, no strings attached. They would let us in and when they found out the vacuum was 1200 and couldn't afford it, he would belittle them. He would leave all the dirt piles all over the house, worst job ever in my opinion.

Edited by OscarTheOwl



11 Posts

worst job was at a hardy's fast food restaurant.. It was so busy at lunch time and the people always the same ones would come in and scream at me. then the worst part was when my boss asked me to clean the bathroom after the lunch rush.. That was an eye opener



15 Posts

I've read some comments, and I see a lot of grocery-store jobs.. Which was my worst job as well. I worked as a cashier throughout my nursing school. It's not that it was hard or anything, but it was the most tedious and boring job I've worked. Standing behind a cashier til for 8 hours ringing people's groceries. The only thing I miss is the lack of responsibility :sleep: haha



Has 17 years experience. 134 Posts

"Sale and trade" is different from "care" . Some tried as a future career in sale and trade and undestude that it is not THE FLOW. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task although flow is also described as a deep focus on nothing but the activity – not even oneself or one's emotions.