Workers explain what they were told to do or what they went through that made them realize at that exact point they need to be making more money to deal with that crap. The things they went through are insane.
"When I was 17, I was working at the local skating rink after their 'skate and dance' where all the middle schoolers and freshman/sophomore high school boys would grind on each other to bad late '90s/2000s hip-hop. One night, in particular, was really bad, I needed a garden hose for a few of these kids who were going above and beyond grinding. After dealing with that all night, I had to clean the bathrooms.
In the boy's bathroom, I found a used rubber floating in the toilet after an event that was 17 and under only. So that's great, not sure where that occurred, but first thing tomorrow (Saturday) there's going to be a gaggle of small children all over the building for public skate and birthday parties, so that's gross. In the girl's bathroom though...
Some soul-sucking, evil teenaged witch, possibly witches, had smeared menstrual blood all over the stall doors and mirrors and flung a tampon against the wall so it stuck. I went to my manager who was a 300+lb nasty, swamp beast who hated me, to tell her about how bad it was and that I wasn't cleaning it, and she told me it was my job to clean it up.
I quit. So yeah, they literally didn't pay me enough for that crap, and I went and found a real job the next week."
"While I was still in training as an EMT I got a call for a cardiac arrest. When we arrived there was a very green looking police officer sitting on the porch who had been called for a welfare check. He started to tell us that we didn't want to go in there, but it was too late, one of the paramedics had already opened the door. As soon as the door was opened the smell hit us. Inside was the body of the man that lived there and he had clearly been dead for quite some time. He had melted partially into the couch he was laying on and what remained of his skin was dark gray. You could also clearly see the bones in his hands. He looked like a horror movie prop and I have never smelled anything else like it. His neighbors said that they hadn't seen him since January and it was April.
Luckily my service doesn't transport bodies, so once we have verified that someone is without a doubt 100% dead we alert the appropriate authorities and wait for them to arrive and take over. One thing we always have to do on these calls is attach limb leads and run a quick ECG for any sign of life. We have to do it even when it seems ridiculous. So as the trainee, of course, I had to do it. I am not sure if you have ever tried to put stickers on a rotten corpse, but they do not want to stay in place at all.
That is the only call that has ever made me vomit."
"I worked at a gas station in my teens. I lived on my own, needed the money, and there weren't many options in my area for someone my age. Every week I'd clock in a minimum of 50 hours and only ever get paid for 30-38 hours. They kept saying they'd fix it, it never got fixed. I worked double shifts regularly and got called in every single day off I had scheduled. Every one. I couldn't afford caller ID at the time (this was before it was standard) so on my day off, I had to stop answering the phone because simply telling them I couldn't make it in would result in them calling all freaking day. Then, since I lived so close by, they started sending other employees to my apartment. Most of them felt bad about it, and eventually refused but then the manager and district manager started showing up, pounding at my door, pleading with me, slipping notes under my door, and trying to guilt trip and threaten my job safety. I can't even begin to explain the toll that took on me, physically and mentally. I stopped menstruating (TMI) and actually started losing my hair. But, I needed the money.
My breaking point was shortly after I'd already quit once. The first time was because I'd requested my birthday off, they approved it, and then the day before told me I'd need to come in. I said no and stood my ground. The manager eventually agreed to figure something else out. Birthday comes around and my phone gets blown up by every on-duty employee and one off-duty. I finally tell the boss they can leave me alone for the rest of the day or I quit. He replies 'Well, we're going to need you to come in still.'
So I quit. I got rehired the next day after I plugged my phone back in (because quitting didn't stop the calls) by the district manager who begged me to stay and promised to have the store back off when I had a free day. A few weeks later was Easter. I'd surprisingly been given it off and was excited to finally get to spend a holiday with my family. That morning I woke up to the phone ringing. And ringing. And ringing. It was 6:30 am. I am not a morning person. I answered, told them no, and ignored the barrage of calls that continued until I went out the door. About an hour after I got to my Mom's, the calls started there. I'd never given them her number. I refused, asked them not to call there again and hung up. My mom answered and asked them not to call back. My stepdad answered and threatened to call the cops for harassment. They wouldn't stop.
We had to unplug all the phones for dinner and I was terrified they were going to show up there too. As soon as the phone reconnected, the calls started again. That's when I finally snapped. I answered and told the boss every possible way to go eff himself. He eventually hung up on me so I called his butt right back and continued. I didn't just quit, I unhinged. I kept calling until they took their phone off the hook. Then I (kind of) enjoyed the rest of my Easter evening. I've had my share of crappy jobs before and since, but nothing that compares to that place."
"In 2003, I was working at Blockbuster when a customer came up to the register chatting on their phone, which was held between their tilted head and their shoulder, holding a baby in their arms. It's always been frustrating to help people out when they're talking on their phones, but I held my tongue because she was holding a kid and clearly busy. Anyway, she puts the kid right on top of the counter, and immediately, I ask her to continue holding her child or put him on the ground, because the counter isn't a seat. She scoffs because I obviously have no idea how rude it is to interrupt her phone call, and acts like she didn't even hear me. Then I sternly tell her 'Ma'am, please take your child off of the counter, it's not a seat.'
'Listen, mister, I do this all the time, he'll be fi-'
The kid falls right off of the counter and hits the floor with a loud thump (a thump that is CLEARLY the sound of his head/skull making contact with the tile floor). The whole place suddenly gets completely quiet, and the woman tells the person on the phone 'I have to go' and puts the phone down.
The weird part is that the kid is just totally silent, laying there on the ground. He's still moving, but completely freaking quiet. You'd expect crying or something. It was eerie. She picks the kid up like nothing happened, and continues trying to check out. Meanwhile, the entire store is still embraced by silence, and everyone is looking on with what I'd best describe as 'concern/horror.' I'm kind of in shock at the whole thing that just happened, and the lady starts clearing her throat at me, implying that I need to check out her items so she can be on her way. Like I'm just supposed to completely ignore the fact that her infant child just smashed his head on the tile, and that there are more important things to be taking care of.
Suddenly, the kid just starts projectile vomiting PURE BLACK all over the place. All over his mom's shirt, the floor, the counter, etc. I jump back and say 'You need to take him to the hospital.'
Everyone is gasping and speechless at the sight they are beholding. Loudly, I proclaim 'RIGHT NOW!'
She starts scurrying to pick up all of her movies, and I yell 'HOSPITAL! LEAVE RIGHT NOW!'
So she just ditches her movies and runs out the door to her car. Over the span of the entire interaction, everyone in the building, including my manager, had stopped what they were doing to turn their focus to the lady, her child, and myself. I remember telling my manager that I wasn't going to be cleaning that up, and she closed the store early and let us go home for the night. The memory of that night is still burned into my mind. I always wonder what happened to that kid. Jesus Christ."
"I worked at a pool store for about 2 months. It was toward the beginning of the season when I got the job, so it was me, 4 salespeople, and a cashier or two. My job was basically to go out to the warehouse and stock everything. Since none of the salespeople or cashiers would help, I was literally the only person that would stock the store. I had to get all the chemicals, all the pool toys, all the accessories, as well as other jobs like cleaning filters every day while the sales people hung around the store watching movies on their phones until a customer came in and they all pounced like wolves. Basically, I had a crappy mindset the whole time.
Well once early on, I got Shock on me. Shock is basically bleach. It burns like heck and will immediately ruin your clothes. It literally tore through my shorts and burned my leg something fierce. I had to basically stand in one of the pool displays for an hour to calm the burning down. Whatever, it sucked but I figured it would get better.
Well, they also had me use the forklift (didn't have the license) to unload the truck that would make deliveries every week or two. All the chemicals came stacked 4x4x4 in boxes wrapped in plastic wrap on the WORST pallets you could imagine. I'm talking old, rotted wood, with pieces of the wood missing, which they left in the rain to soak all day, nails sticking out and splintered wood all over the place. The dock they also used was this old, busted cement 'dock' that the truck drivers didn't give a crap about parking straight on. The owners of the place, whom I met once, were money grubbing pricks that wouldn't spend a dime on something that might make anything safer or better to use.
So here you have me, a guy who literally just learned to use a forklift weeks prior, taking huge, busted pallets of dangerous pool chemicals off a truck that felt like it could tip because it's lined up like crap and nobody cares because they're not the ones taking them off. Then, one time it happened. The pallet basically snapped in half, the Shock boxes basically all fell off and became a mess of chemicals, bottles, boxes and plastic. So I go 'Eff, this is going to suck cleaning up. I need help.'
I go inside to see 3 of the salespeople and 2 of the cashiers, and not a single customer in the store, and ask if anyone can help me clean up out back. Most of them didn't even respond, and the manager/head salesperson said he was busy. Doing absolutely nothing. I waited a few seconds, no one offered to help. I pretty much said okay, walked out back, got my stuff and walked out the door without saying a word. One of my best friends (who was off that day) got me the job, and I was ECSTATIC when he said the manager was ticked to find what awaited him outside and he had to clean it up. Screw that. Getting paid minimum wage to be everyone's butler to a bunch of greedy, prick owners that didn't care about their employees. I hope that place rots."
"I got beat up by a 12-year-old. We had two youth at our group home who would escalate one another. One was a 13-year-old female who had a habit of destroying everything that wasn't locked down. The other was a 12-year-old developmentally delayed female who had a habit of hitting staff. Don't get me wrong, these kids were highly traumatized and came from terrible upbringings, but, I sadly admit, after working with them, I started to lose compassion due to the daily abuses. Neither of them understood consequences of their actions and were daily nightmares to work with.
Another staff member and I were working that night and they started off escalating over stupid things, one, and then the other, and then the other. It would be things like 'Give me ice cream you stupid witch' or just random 'I effing hate you.'
Because in the group home we don't give into rude demands and try to redirect youth to ask more politely for things they want, we were targets. Long story short, the entire house is covered in smoothie, 10 video games were broken/scratched, everything within reach was on the ground/broken, constant swearing, name-calling, screaming, unknown groaning sounds for literally 6 hours, both staff members had been hit multiple times (we weigh less than the youth so it hurt!). We had locked ourselves in the office, we had turned off the power to try to encourage the youth to go to their rooms, then the last straw was when the 12-year-old tried to push the other staff member down the stairs and I intervened and she smoked me as hard as she could.
I finally called the police (they were constantly coming and getting really annoyed at our inability to handle these kids so we really tried to refrain). After my nightmare shift, full of tears, smoothie covered clothes and stress, I came outside to find a freaking vibrator sitting on the back of my car - some unknown random person put it there for some reason. I karate chopped the heck out of it with total disregard of what my hand was touching because I was getting home. Gross, I know, but I was soooo done."
"While in my probation as a police officer I was on guard of a prisoner under arrest who had been paid to swallow around 20 wraps of an illegal substance in order to catch a flight and export them to another country. He handed himself into the A&E department at the hospital as he realized that if one of them broke out of its cling film wrap he would die - hence the police were called and he was placed under arrest. He had been there for a day or two before I attended and had been given some enemas to try to help him crap the things out.
We guarded and watched him all night. I was looking forward to going home and crawling into bed. The next crew was due to come any moment to relieve us. And then, our offender wakes up and proudly proclaims: 'Officers, I'm ready.'
Me: 'Sorry, what?'
Offender: 'I'm ready for you.'
Me: 'What do you mean?'
Offender: 'I'm ready to go to the toilet for you.'
Me: 'Can you not wait just five minutes?'
Offender: 'Nope, I really need to go right now.'
The nurse brings along a cardboard commode for him to crap into. I have to stand there, watching a grown man poop into this cardboard. After a few minutes, he was finished and I went with the nurse and the commode into a nearby side room and close the door. I look at the nurse and she looks at me. I ask 'Well are you going to fish the wraps out?' She seemed amused and replies 'Nope. It's not my job. If you want them then you've got to do it, otherwise, I'll just throw it out.'
With no other option I put on two pairs of latex gloves, tried as best I could to hide my nose under my shirt to keep out some of the smell - and for the next few minutes I was searching and picking through a grown man's poop with a plastic toothpick-like implement the nurse had given me. I fished out several wraps, had to wash them in a sink and them put them into a beaker.
When I opened the door back into the corridor, there was a whole line of the nurses from the whole department outside giggling and my crewmate. Apparently, they found it hilarious listening to a police officer repeatedly make gagging noises for ages knowing full well what I was having to do. Oh, and our early turn relief was there too laughing. Apparently, they turned up just as I went into the room, but when they found out I was a probationer said that they wouldn't take over until I finished as I was a newbie. I don't remember in my police application form them mentioning in the job description that I'd have to physically look through fresh, warm human crap and then wash and bottle its contents!"
"I worked at a well-known ice cream chain. Minimum wage. The drains that consume all of the dairy and fruit from the ice cream scoopers had been clogged for a WEEK before my manager decided to do something about it. There was gray, smelly water all over the floor behind the counter. She calls the plumber who shows up like 4 hours late to fix this drain. Well let me tell you, friends, he opened up that grate and scraped off the first layer of muck and it was like Hell itself had opened up from this drain and had viciously lashed about searching for souls to claim.
The plumber immediately sat up, trotted out to the front of our building and vomited profusely for a few minutes while my coworker and I ran to the back room. We called the manager and asked if we could go ahead and close the store for the night so that no unsuspecting customers had to be subjected to this foul decay as they walked in. She refused and also told us it couldn't be that bad and that we needed to stay and serve. We were also not allowed to leave the store to buy medical masks across the street. I sat there, constantly nauseous, waiting for time to pass.
FOUR FREAKING HOURS pass and we can finally close down. We get another call informing us that we are to stay another 2 hours until the manager could get to our store to ensure the plumber did not harm any store property. I left that night with the knowledge that I just subjected myself to a serious health hazard, without safety equipment, for $7.50 an hour."
"I still refer to a wreck years ago as 'the big green fist.' Simple two-car wreck, light damage, no one hurt. I hook to the lead car with chains and get ready to winch it up on the deck. I ask the somewhat attractive lady that was driving for her ignition key so I could put it in neutral. I opened the door, reached over to put the key in, and what I can only describe as a huge green fist of STANK punched me in the face.
I ran over to the guardrail and projectile vomited off the side of the interstate. State Trooper came over to see if I was okay, and between choking and gagging, I tried to explain that I was NOT getting back in that car. I guess he did not understand the severity of the smell because he had to go investigate it for himself.
To his credit, he did not vomit, but his uncontrollable gagging was just as bad. The woman's back floorboard was filled up to the seat with dirty diapers, hundreds of them crawling with maggots in the late July heat. I have smelled dead people left in cars, I have seen cars filled with rotting food and trash, NOTHING EVEN REMOTELY COMES CLOSE TO THE BIG GREEN FIST.
I did what any self-respecting Wreckmaster Trained, Wes Wilburn certified, elite wrecker operator would do. I DRAGGED THAT EFFING STANK MISSILE UP IN PARK WITH ALL FOUR WHEELS SCREAMING. When I dropped it off at a body shop I dropped in the middle of the holding yard and explained the situation. If I recall correctly, they would only move it with a forklift."
"I worked at a popular nightclub at the time this happened. It was during a PRIDE event and we were slammed - our capacity was 300 and we ended up having over 1000 people come in and out of the club in the 5 hours we were open. Somehow, someone was stabbed by the little coat hanger thing that's on the back of the bathroom stall door.
This individual managed to bleed profusely all over the bathroom stall, half of our dance floor and all over at least 30 individuals within the club and no one noticed. I'm not kidding when I say that it looked like a crime scene, some serious Law & Order kind of stuff. And yet somehow no one complained about the blood on themselves, the floor, or the bathroom until we turned the lights on.
Cleaning up a load of semi-dried blood throughout our club after one (if not the) busiest time of the year was wretched. I was exhausted, gagging from the smell of blood, drinks, illegal substances and (most likely) other bodily fluids. After several hours of scrubbing and then getting up a few hours later to work another event, I realized that I hated bar life and needed to get out or double my hourly rate."
"I used to be a case manager for adults with severe mental illness. One day I was meeting with a client in her home, she was experiencing auditory hallucinations that directed her to cut herself. She tells me 'The voices are saying to hurt myself.'
I say, can you ask them to wait until we're done? She then says, 'Now they're telling me to hurt you.'
She then pulls the slowest ever turn of her head to look down at the table beside her (where I then notice three cheap box cutters are sitting, which is clearly what she's been using on her arm) and then just as slowly looks back at me, all without saying another word.
I asked her for the box cutters, which she handed to me, and quickly ended the session. Nope nope nope nope nope."
"I was earning minimum wage for working in the claims call center for a health insurance company. I was called regarding a query on a claim where the person owed a certain amount of money to a psychiatric hospital for overstaying in the facility when he capped out the amount his insurance allowed. He was not happy about this. He proceeded to berate and belittle me for 45 minutes, then put his wife on the phone who told me in horrific detail how he tried to kill himself and why he needed to stay in the facility. It was gory, it was gruesome, and I still think about what she told me sometimes.
At the end of the phone call I went and locked myself in the bathroom and cried. It was then I decided that job was no longer worth it, especially on the money I was on. I stuck it out for a bit longer and then moved abroad. Best decision I ever made."
"I was a nurse's assistant a few years ago. I took one of my many patients to the bathroom like any other day. She said she wasn't feeling well, but who feels good in a nursing home? So I'm watching her try to poop, and she turned ghost white and passed out. I yell for help and a nurse and a few other CNA's come to my aid. The lady freaking died - sudden cardiac arrest. So now we have to carry her dead body to the bed so we can perform CPR.
Now I'm sure that you have heard that people who die void their bowels. Well, that is no myth. It's happened to everyone I've watched die and this was no exception. As soon as we picked her up off the toilet, this lady started to do what she died trying to do, poop like no tomorrow.
At this point, we realize that this lady has some serious internal bleeding and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). All you need to know about C. diff is that it makes you poop a100 times more than you normally would, and it smells 100 times worse. So here we are, carrying a dead lady by her arms and legs while she spews a sea of smelly orange poop and blood out of her butt and all over the floor. Every inch of the floor was covered in blood and rancid feces.
Good news is that we were able to revive the lady and she kept on trucking for who knows how long. I made $9.50/hour and minimum wage in my state is $8.50. Screw being a CNA."
"I worked in a deli at a grocery store. We did cheese and meat slices and sandwiches, other food, etc. One day in the busy lunch rush while making people sandwiches someone asked for a type of meat on their sandwich that we usually don't use, it isn't in our pre-cut selections we make right before the lunch rush. Okay, I say I'll go slice some. I let my teammate I'm working with know I'll be right back, they continue making sandwiches for other people. I slice the meat and, of course, they ask for cheese not on the usual list too. I slice that up, get back over to the sandwich making area, put on their toppings, and start to ring them up. They stop me and say, no no I didn't order off your menu there, just ring me up for the meat and cheese.
Of course, that's about $2 compared to $6 or $7 for a sandwich. We argue for a moment, loudly enough for all the other people in line and my teammate to hear. I glance at my teammate (who had been there longer than me) for help and they give the tiniest of head shakes. So I looked right at the customer and said 'You want a sandwich, you pay for a sandwich!' And threw the nice, neatly wrapped sandwich in the trash can behind me and shouted 'Next!'"
"I was working at a private school, teaching a pre-k/kindergarten class with no benefits, no prep time, coming in on evenings and weekends to catch up on work, not being given the full set of training manuals (for their special technique I needed to follow and wasn't well versed in), dealing with entitled parents who actually used the phrases 'I pay good money,' 'I pay your salary,' and 'I am the customer.'
Not to mention, a clueless, powerless, incompetent administration who had no actual power over the running of the school and who didn't understand why I'd want to call social services when a child disclosed abuse. All this for less than half of what the public school teachers make in my city.
I definitely didn't get paid enough for that crap."
"I was at a ShoBiz (similar to Chuck-e-Cheese, might even be the same place) for a relative's birthday. All the kids are running about having fun, playing games, etc. Suddenly there is a commotion around the ball pit. Turns out some kid has had a serious diarrhea Hershey-squirt blowout and it is all over in the ball pit. The little plastic balls are all covered with a thin film of booty butter.
I'm across the room from the code brown near the counter where you trade in tickets for fake mustaches and Laffy Taffy. The manager tells this teenager he needs to get to the ball pit right away and is trying to hand him a mop (not sure what a mop will do in this situation but I digress). Anywho, the teen is not having it and loudly says, 'Nah bro, that ain't me' and strolls out the door and into the sunset."