Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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My worst job ever

What makes something the worst job ever? In my eyes, it’s a lack of excitement. The worst jobs in the world are boring. Yeah, Discovery’s Dirtiest Jobs Ever are pretty bad, but I’d like to think I’d pick one of those any day over boring work. Excitement = Happiness.

Before I describe the worst job I’ve ever had, let’s run down my list of employers and/or clients in chronological order: Chick-fil-A (first job), IBM (PC specialist), Lucent Technologies, Youth Soccer Coach (paid, baby!), Cingular Wireless (retail clerk), BYU Performing Arts (male secretary), BYU web developer, Griffio (my company, still a male secretary), Combat Films (freelancer), Weblogs Inc (blogger), Provo Labs (business incubator), Next-Generation (writer), GamePro (writer), and GigaOM (reporter/blogger). A large number of the latter gigs have been managed concurrently and are/were part-time.

I’m very blessed in terms of having or have had great gigs and jobs in my 11 years since first joining the workforce. But not everything has been gravy. What’s the worst job I’ve ever had? Lucent Technologies when I was 21. Easily the crappiest job Blake Snow has ever been associated with.

My formal title was “Inventory Specialist.” Sounds fancy, but here’s what I really did. I sat (pretty much all of the time) in a large fiber optics warehouse up to eight hours at a time. About 2-3 times during that shift, a worker from the assembly line would saunter back to my workspace and have me fetch a bag of fiber optic connectors that they could have easily gotten themselves. It took me about 15 seconds to locate the bag from a row of about 30 storage shelves then give it to the worker. Once in a blue moon I would also hop on a forklift (perhaps the only enjoyable thing I learned while at Lucent) and take a massive reel of fiber optic cable to the assembly line.

Once a month I would count inventory. That took a total of about 2-3 hours max. Just what did I do to fill the time then? Well, the internet wasn’t available to me so I couldn’t learn new things (read: watch lame web videos). Therefore, I kept that place clean as a whistle. It must have been the cleanest warehouse on the planet at the time. Sadly, even that didn’t eat up my time. There was simply no work for me. To make matter’s worse, I actually had a second “Inventory Specialist” that worked alongside me. Made for good conversation, but it was amazing how deficient the whole thing was. Despite what was then good money ($10/hour), it was the most boring job I’ve ever held, and I hated it. I worked there for six months before being laid off (laziness kept me from quitting). I then moved on to a very rewarding, outdoor job the following week teaching 5- and 10 year-olds how to play soccer.

What did I learn from my forgettable experience at Lucent? Don’t let good money and/or laziness keep you from doing what you love or what you think you may love. Do what excites you and you will live a much happier life. Excitement = Happiness.

What’s your worst job and why?