Alrighty, I guess I should start off:
The worst job I have ever had was in 2001-2002. I was working in a fish hatchery for a semi-local company that raises Atlantic Salmon for fish farms. For those of you who don't know, a lot of the salmon you eat is raised here on the West Coast of British Columbia in fish farms. Fish farms and fish hatcheries have got to be one of the dirtiest and nastiest places on earth. When I started this vaccination job, it was billed as a "seasonal" job but the pay was right for a young guy though, with a starting wage of $12.00/hr I figured it would be pretty good. I was dead wrong... so wrong.
When raising salmonids, they grow the fastest when it is the summer as that is the time for them to prepare to go up river to spawn. Fish Vet(ernarians) know this fact and expose the salmonids to UV light all year round to induce the fish to eat and grow faster. This results in a much shorter maturation rate of fish stocks. This also induces the females to produce eggs, and the males to produce sperm...
Imagine this scenario if you can. Vaccinating fish involves injecting them with about 1cc of this absolutely *deadly-to-humans* concoction that looks like brown bearing grease. For a fish that is no longer than 3-4 inches, that would equate to stuffing a human with a needle the size of a Jiffy Marker and injecting 3 quarts of mayonnaise between your stomach and your intestines. Fun stuff. Fortunately for the fish, this rarely kills them because they have this little sac that gives them nourishment when they are little alevin (baby fish).
So, aside from having to sit in this makeshift truck trailer with a canopy of tarps above your head, you have no protection from exposure to the elements. This makes for bad work conditions because vaccinating is typically done in the winter to early spring. West Coast weather up here during the winter is typically stormy with rain/high winds/hail/snow.
If that wasn't bad enough, you continually had to keep your hands in cold moving water to retrieve these fish, which are incredibly slimy and hard to hold. Once you have the fish you have to position the hypodermic needle gun in the right spot, pierce, inject, remove and send the fish on it's way. This wouldn't be such an issue, but you were expected to do about one fish a second. On top of that, if you happen to accidentally graze your finger/hand/any kind of flesh with the hypodermic needle gun *or* heaven help you if you accidentally shoot yourself with it, you would need an immediate extraction to a Hospital or die. The first aid for an injection would consist of getting an epineferin shot immediately, followed by your fingers, hand and lower arm swelling 3-4 times the original size. If at any point you don't get to hospital fast enough, your fingers and maybe even your hand with burst out the sides. Yummy.
Hazing #1. There is a "new guy/girl" ritual on vaccinating crews. This has to be one of the most humiliating things ever. I almost feel ill thinking about it still. The running gag that the "new guy/girl" has to endure for a good week to a month is called "painting". "Painting" occurs when a small male fish which believes it is time to spawn (aka release the man juice) winds up on the table. It is typically a mad scramble to get one or two of these to "paint" by squirting the "new guy/girl" with fish semen. Urk. I have literally been covered head to toe in fish semen. In my eyes, hair, mouth, ears you name it. Coming home was like returning home from being a "fluffer" for a male porno set.
Morts. What are morts you say? Morts are dead fish or fish that have been "culled" because they had one form of physical imperfection or disease which means they wouldn't survive once shipped off to a fish farm. Morts at the end of the day had to be counted, cataloged and disposed of in the underground vat on the outskirts of the fish hatchery. The smell of this vat was so incredibly rancid that being within a 100' radius of the inlet would induce the gag reflex. Rotting, fish I may add attracts bears. So once and a while you had to use a "pop gun" to scare them away. A "pop gun" is a gun that emits a near sonic boom proportioned sound wave that drives bears away. Being mauled by a bear, I've been told (first hand account) is not fun.
Hazing #2. Morts, morts and more morts. It seems to be a popular gag, to put dead fish under the boot liner or in the pocket of someone's rain gear so that when it is exposed to the warm dry room over the weekend/days off it becomes a thick soup of rotten smelling well... fish. Imagine returning to work and finding that the only pair of boots/rain gear that fit you have rotten fish in them. Fun stuff...
I could go on and on about that job, it is by far the worst job I have ever had, but certainly not the last. I think the terrible thing, was I did that for nearly two years...
Whew, anyone else have any terrible job experiences?