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Work

And You Thought Your Job Was Hard!

You get up. Commute on a crowded bus and spend 50% of your waking hours in a space smaller than a prison cell. Your job sucks right? Maybe. Maybe not. Read the following anecdotes I sourced from Reddit. You might change your mind.

  1. Stuffed

I used to work at XYZ Buffet, and there were kids who would eat until they threw up- like alllll the time-

This one case that is seared into my mind was when I was once fixing up the salad bar and I heard ‘Billy Run!’ screamed from an ignorant parent and then I see this 12ish year old boy running to the bathroom, only he didn’t make it. An unholy amount of undigested red Jello-O came exploded out of him like a fucking volcano all over the Caesar Salad, the floor next to the cash register, and on about 5 or 6 diners waiting in line to get in. It looked like he had literally vomited his guts out in an arc about 10 feet in diameter. I had to sweep up the chunks with a broom until a dishwasher with a mop could take care of the rest.

2. Fishy

Fish monger in a grocery store. We got a large number of lobsters in, soft-shelled and already dieing. So my manager decided we could at least sell their tails. Apparently lobsters don’t really have a central nervous system, so when you sever the tails and put their tails on ice they freaking run away.

So I had to chase these tails down because they’ve escaped into the rest of the display case, onto the floor, and hidden under our prep tables. Never again.

3. Call of Doody

Bagging groceries at a major supermarket. The manager came over to tell me that I needed to clean up the bathroom. An elderly gentleman fell off the toilet while pooping and it was a literal shitshow. Apparently I was the most qualified because I was 16. I was handed a broom and a dustpan. I shit you not (sorry had to.) My reward for going above and beyond the call of duty? Five dollars in store coupons. Sometimes dreams really do come true.

4. The Horror

Plumber

Owner of a mobile home called and said they had a stinky yard.

I could smell it when I pulled up.

the mobile home was new and had only been set up for about 8 months. while setting it up, someone didn’t tighten a no-hub band of the toilet in the kids bathroom.

8 months of flushed toilet was all over the ground, under the home and had just started being noticed outside.

I told the homeowner to call the guys that set it up to come fix it. I wasn’t crawling under there.

5. Crawl Space

Back when I did plumbing went out to a job that required us to crawl into the crawl space of about a 200 year old mill house. I opened up the crawl space and shined my light in there across the crawl space to see all the rafters and pipes just draped in snake skins and some snakes slithering away into the darkness. Noped the fuck out of that one. I’d rather crawl though shit than snakes.

6. Options

Plumber as well. Had to do a tie for a 6″ waste stack main to offset it for a boiler to go in later at a hospital. Told all staff and had maintenance shut down bathrooms from 6am-8am for us to do the offsets. Had everything measured cut and ready to move into place. Fucking staff on every floor ignored the signs because we got constant flushes of fresh shit and shredded toliet paper. At one point I was holding the outlet side of a horizontal piece with my hardhat and trying to no hub band the fitting for it in place while shit literally rolled down my back and into my shirt, down my pants, my socks were soaked in the waste. Took us a total time of 45 minutes but scheduled a 2 hour window just in case. Worst part of this was that they had another bathroom option just down the hall. So inconsiderate… this trade sucks sometimes

7. Thankswhating?

After 4 months of not seeing my family because I was working full-time and only getting one day off a week, I finally quit without notice when they were gonna make me close last Thanksgiving. I had already requested and approved the day off a month prior. I left and never came back. The GM even tried pulling the “you can’t quit you’re fired” ahaha

8. Intellectual Property

When I was doing 90% of my boss’ job in hopes of a full time promotion that I had been promised for three years and he took all the credit and told me my promotion wasn’t in the budget.

9. Head Master

First day at the health department, I’m left at the reception desk alone while literally everyone else in the office went out to a farewell lunch for the person I was replacing. As I was on 90 day probation, wasn’t yet licensed and badged, my pay was $7.96/hr.

I’m sitting at reception, and some redneck comes in with a leaking garbage bag and drops it on my desk. It contains a newly beheaded javelina head. His buddy had been bitten, and it needed to be tested for rabies ASAP.

I had no fucking clue what to do with a leaking garbage bag of javelina head. He couldn’t wait for others to return, so he left a number and split.

Turns out, we don’t do that sort of thing at the health department. Guy refused to come back.

10. Giving

Grocery store cashier. The customer was angry because her cereal had rung up wrong. I called a price check and this lady berated me the whole time. I recall that she accused me of trying to steal from her. Said she was going to get me fired.

I looked at her and said, “I make $7.25 per hour no matter how much you pay for this cereal, so I do not give a shit how this situation turns out.”

She stared at me in shock. The price check comes back saying the price scanned correctly. Silence.

I said, “So do you want the cereal or not?” She said, “Yes.” And that was that. She did not complain to the manager.

11. Blue in the Face

I worked at a heating and air conditioning company doing bookkeeping. I was being trained by the companies accountant. If I made a mistake the owner would literally scream at me full voice. I overheard him talking to his brother and his brother had told him not to scream at me. The owner said, “you have to tear them down to build them up.” I decided I wasn’t going to take another day of his screaming after that.

12. Mom Vibes

I ran the entire company’s financials and general management for $14/hr. I had a meeting with the owner telling him I need a raise and to hire an assistant, he told me I wasn’t “business minded” and should be a stay at home mom. I quit the next day.

13. Insanity

I used to work in a mall music store, back when that was a thing. There was a corporate policy to play new music regularly, y’know, because that’s the fucking thing you’re trying to sell.

My boss, every single day she worked, would play the entire Madonna album, Ray of Light. Hours of the same eight fucking songs. For most of a year, until it was either go mad, commit murder, or bail. I bailed.

That music franchise went under a little over a year later. I hold Madonna and my old boss responsible.

14. Shhhh

I’m a public librarian. I was helping someone in the computer room and turned to tell someone he needed to keep his exclamations at the video he was watching down. Just then, the woman I was helping leapt aside because the man I was shushing pissed himself. It ran down onto the jacket he had tied around his waist, down the chair, onto the ground. Turns out he’d snuck in alcohol and was totally black out drunk. I told him he had to leave. He put the piss covered jacket on and stumbled out. As I returned with gloves and cleaning supplies, another patron decided this was a good time to complain about some kids who were making noise. I took a deep breath and said “This is a good time for us all to appeal to our higher selves and do our best in the moment. Please just adapt for a minute”. Then I thought about the student loans I took out for the master’s degree as I scrubbed up piss.

15. Broccoli

Working for a popular grocery store, the amount of people that think the workers are stupid are astounding.. the produce all have codes and sometimes I forget. To the customer, this looks like I simply don’t know what a broccoli is. They’re like “it’s broccoli” in a condescending tone, and I just have to brush it off. It happens so many times, and though it’s not terrible it really gets me down sometimes. Most people assume retail workers are people with no goals, or even bums. That’s not true at all, everyone I work with including myself is planning to go to college or already enrolled.

16. Vomit

Bartender here. Grown man threw a lit cigarette at my face and threatened me with physical violence. This was a year or so ago but a 45 (maybe older) year old man behaving that way towards a 24 year old female was definitely one of those moments. Plus the people getting handsy and occasional cleaning of vomit I do not get paid enough.

17. Actions have Consequences

When I was 20 I had 3 jobs. I worked as a bank teller from 8-4, then as a closing shift manager at a coffee shop from 5-10, then as an overnight janitor from 11- 2 am.

This wasn’t every day but it was enough that it equated to about 80 hours a week between the 3 jobs, and yes you can imagine this would lead to burnout real fast.

So at the overnight janitor gig my “boss” comes over to me and asks me to come to the office for a review. This was weird, all I did was mop floors on a production line that made air train brakes. But whatever.

I go into his office and he closes the door behind me and pulls out a gay porn magazine and starts asking me about different dicks and put his hand on my shoulder.

I was surprisingly calm and just said I don’t like dicks and went back to work.

Then it hit me what happened. I called in sick the rest of the week and picked up my final paycheck when he wasn’t there.

It was a hard enough job without being sexually harassed for $8.50 an hour.

This was 15 years ago and everything is fine. I have a great career, and that guy was fired after other employees came forward with similar complaints. It was actually a very sad case. He was obviously very gay with a wife and kids. I know he was losing his house to her and his kid was dying of something, I think cancer. He ended up losing everything and I think he died homeless. I really don’t have any animosity towards the guy, I think he was broken and looking to find a little of himself, even though the way he did it was absolutely wrong.

It’s just sad.

18. Front Lines

When I was a 9-1-1 Telecommunicator. Taking all those suicide calls domestics with children, medical calls, people dying, officers getting shot, etc. Did it for 16 years before enough was enough.

19. Some Say He’s Still Waiting

I worked at ABC retailer for less than a month in 2009. I scanned a big box fan for a guy and it didn’t ring up, so I said “I gotta do a price check on this, I apologize.” The guy said “It’s $24.99 you fucking idiot.” I stared at him for a moment, then reached up and turned my little register light off, turned around, walked out to my car, and went home.

Fuck that shit.

20. The Biggest Turkey

Working in a grocery store meat department during Thanksgiving, when every third customer asks if you have any larger turkeys in the back. And insists you go back to the walk-in freezer and sift through multiple pallets of frozen turkeys for the 80th time today.

Categories
Work

4 Tips for Job Seekers

Over the course of my career I’ve hired dozens and interviewed hundreds. If you are looking for a job you need to understand what the hiring manager is going through.

Finding a job is hard. But so is hiring.

I’m currently trying to fill two investments marketing roles and this requires my full attention on top of what I should be doing every day. I enjoy the process, but doing a proper evaluation of all candidates requires a lot of time and energy.

Here are a few things you can do to make it easier for the hiring manager. And by making it easier for the hiring manager you make it easier for yourself.

  1. It’s easy to get lost in the noise during the early stages of the hiring process. When a posting goes live, the hiring manager is often inundated with emails, calls and LinkedIn messages offering to chat about the role. I try to talk to as many people as possible, but the volume of conversations can be overwhelming. In addition, the hiring manager must go through hundreds of resumes. Names and faces get mixed up and good candidates can get accidentally looked-over or forgotten. Make it your responsibility to ensure you stay on the agenda – particularly during the early days of the hiring process.
  2. My next tip might seem like it contradicts the first. While you need to remain top of mind, you must avoid pestering the hiring manager. If they hint that you might not be a good fit for the role, accept it. If they say they’ll get back to you Thursday, wait until Friday to follow up if you haven’t heard anything. To help manage your own expectations don’t hesitate to ask about the process and timing.
  3. If you’re interested in a role, don’t wait for the hiring manager to ask you to apply online. First of all, those postings are only live for a limited time. Second, it’s a pain in the ass when people try to go around the online application portal. It’s there for a reason – it effectively becomes a database of interested candidates. If you’re not captured in the database, the train might leave without you.
  4. Be true to yourself. Do you really want the job and are you really a good fit? That initial conversation with the hiring manager is your opportunity to probe and figure out what you’re really applying for. I always start out with a 20 minute casual phone call to plainly state what I’m looking for. I expect candidates to do the same.

Start building wealth today!

Categories
Work

10 Things You Can Do To Succeed in a New Job

Over the years I’ve employed dozens of people, many of whom were just starting their careers. I’ve helped many people transition from entry-level staff to senior managers and directors within the investments industry.

I am always willing to invest my time in someone who first commits to investing in themselves. I say this because while many people talk about growing their careers, not everyone puts the energy into doing so. If you are just starting out and want to build a career, you must first look inward.

What can you do to help yourself? It’s quite simple:

  1. Absorb as much information as possible, whether it comes from industry research, department meetings, competitive intelligence, and so on. If you’re new, almost everyone around you knows more than you. Respect this fact and use it to your advantage to learn.
  2. Understand what your firm does, who it serves and what makes it different from its competitors. Determine industry threats and opportunities, and company weaknesses and strengths. Get a sense of the competitive landscape.
  3. Take the time to connect with the people you serve – internal or external clients. Ask them a lot of questions about their opinions on the business and listen. Some people see the vague offer for an open-ended ‘coffee chat’ as a waste of time. Instead, get to the point and say “I’d like to get your thoughts on topic X”. First, email them the question. If they’d rather talk on the phone or meet for coffee they’ll let you know.
  4. Observe the successful people in your industry and emulate them to a degree. Of course, you shouldn’t uncomfortably adopt a fake persona but if you see a common theme among successful people you might have no choice but to try new things.
  5. Ask for feedback and learn from that feeback. Your boss is paid to be your mentor. Take advantage of that, but also reach out to colleagues for feedback. A lot of work is subjective so you want to get multiple opinions on your work. As you get feedback, remember it and incorporate it into future efforts.
  6. Make lists. Every time you get a new task add it to a list in a notebook. At the end of each day cross completed items off your list and copy incomplete items onto a new list on the next page of your notebook. Lists are a critical tool to help ensure you get things done. It’s simple, but it works. Lists were key to my success.
  7. Do what you say you’re going to do. So many people in big companies get complacent and after saying they’ll do something never follow through. While they might not get in trouble, they do lose credibility.
  8. Arrive early and work late. I’m sorry, this one sucks. But if you want to build your career you need to invest in your work. One of the simplest ways to set yourself from others is to work harder than others. Of course, don’t allow yourself to burn out or become unproductive. If it’s 7pm and you’re just spinning your wheels it might be time to call it a day. Personally, what takes me an hour at 6pm might take me 10 minutes the next morning.
  9. Remember: We’re all just winging it. The only thing setting you apart from more experienced people is knowledge and experience. They aren’t better or more skillful. So don’t feel inferior. After all, more experienced people are still making it up as they go – they just have more information to depend on.
  10. Promote your work. After you’ve completed a task send an email to the team or present it in your department meeting. Teach people how to use your work. Show people what you’ve done and what you’re capable of.

I think by doing these 10 things consistently, a junior level employee can start to set themselves apart from the pack.