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What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: May 07, 2020 06:29PM
Looking back, I would say hiring in the Buick Foundry in Flint, MI right after I turned 19. Liquid metal!!

I was scared beyond belief the first time touring the plant. I secretly prayed I wouldn't be sent to this factory.

Ancient technology, dust so thick from the sand moulds that you couldn't see the lights above, so noisy you had to scream into your coworkers ear and MAYBE they would hear you. So dirty that all the grime would stick to you and if you blew your nose or hacked up phlegm, it would be black.

Not to mention you constantly heard of someone getting burned.

Also, I started in August! There was a guy who went around to all the workers selling ice cold can pops. I used to wait for him to stop by, and I would buy 2 cans and gulp them both down. The alternative was a water cooler nearby with salt tablets...for free!! eye twitch smiley

So, how about you? Have you done anything terrifying for money?



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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: May 07, 2020 07:41PM
I was a computer consultant in a college Mac workroom filled with Mac II’s and SE/30’s, armed with only a Mac Plus and my wits. I still have nightmares.

In other words, no.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 07, 2020 07:50PM
Working as a very, very junior Amtrak waiter in 1975. Slept with a knife under my pillow.

Now, those weren’t entirely realistic fears, but I sure was terrified!
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 07, 2020 07:59PM
My first time to perform a wedding in Japan, expected to speak formal Japanese in front of the guests and family. Even though I received training, I was scared to death. I was standing in front waiting for the service to begin and remember thinking, "What if I just walked out the door and never came back? What would be the worst thing that could happen to me?"

No liquid metal, no need for a knife, still terrifying though.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 07, 2020 08:01PM
Eating my ex-wife's cooking?



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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 07, 2020 08:08PM
......HJob......BJob.....or RJob.......???



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 07, 2020 08:11PM
I was faux painting a dome in this house.
I was crawling around inside the edge about 20’ off the ground.
I realized I had no idea if it would actually support me and that if I screwed up and fell out, it would probably kill me.
I decided right then, that was the last dome I was doing, and yes, I had done several. This was the first, and last, time I had crawled around the edge like that.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 07, 2020 08:35PM
So many perspectives here! I was once a retail bank manager (on the operations side, so ... customer service) Hated it, was always between a rock and hard place regarding policy and reality. I lost many pounds from stress. Walked away with no future job to go to.

Actually I did that again as a retail store manager for Circuit City Express, placed into an impossible store that lost money every month of its existence before and after me.

That was the end of retail for me, two decades ago. So many lost years in early @#$%& jobs/careers.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 07, 2020 09:08PM
Working in a large refinery. One episode was during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The other was when a piece of equipment failed due to the Peter Principle and a half dozen people did not die from a massive H2S release due to dumb luck.



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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 07, 2020 09:23PM
Working on a railroad section crew two summers during college.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 07, 2020 09:23PM
Truck driving.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: May 07, 2020 10:10PM
Until I joined the Army, summer job working (only 14!) on a crane rigging crew.
OJT how to use a cutting torch underneath massive, creosoted timbers to cut some
refinery equipment free so the crane could lift it. "He's the boss's kid, make him do it" kinda thing.
hot smiley



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Altered Horizons
Date: May 07, 2020 11:27PM
Taught junior high math in Camden, NJ.



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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 07, 2020 11:33PM
For money: shoveling snow off of the high-rises in Breckenridge, '82. Single and double stories was $12/hour, but the 4 stories with the steep roofs were $15. We'd tie ourselves off the lightning rods with a rope, but it was pure guess to the length. Slipped a few times and slid towards the edge.

For adventure: sailing unknowingly into and through what became a Force 9 storm off the coast of South Africa, 1981. Lasted 4 solid days. Everything on that 41' sloop broke except the main mast. It was a tight ship when we started out, but it leaked after that storm.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 08, 2020 12:24AM
I worked construction during and after college, and encountered many "dumb" situations where I could have very easily been killed had something slipped or something collapsed.

But I guess a specific instance of terror has noting to do with physical harm, just "what did I just get myself into" mental anguish scenario. I talked myself into a job as a darkroom tech, beginning the next day, and didn't know how to roll film onto steel reels, so I bought one and stayed up all night practicing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2020 12:25AM by mrbigstuff.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: May 08, 2020 12:43AM
I installed some cabling in a plenum that required me to get inside the duct to run the cable. The duct was just barely big enough to crawl my way through. I probably had to belly crawl through for at least 100-150 feet.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 08, 2020 08:02AM
Too young and too stupid to know better -

one that comes to mind was shooting photos of a holed up sniper while hiding behind a 250-gallon propane gas tank. Yeah, not the best shelter I could have found.

also, while mowing yards as teen, I would routinely drink from garden hoses.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: tuqqer
Date: May 08, 2020 08:20AM
Quote
Ombligo
also, while mowing yards as teen, I would routinely drink from garden hoses.

I vote this as the top dangerous job so far. Amazed you're still alive to tell the story.



Mac Pro 2013 3.7GHz Quad-Core, 32G RAM Catalina 10.15.x Dual 25" Acer 1440p LCDs11" i5 MacBook Air
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 08, 2020 09:06AM
As a young teen in the early 80s I delivered newspapers in pre-gentrified Brooklyn, NY. Had to make money for my comic book addiction. Every Thursday evening I had to knock on all my customers doors on my route to get paid. $3.80 for the weeks worth of delivered papers.

One customer in an apartment building let me in while she went looking for her purse. The place was a mess. On the coffee table were 2-3 sliding scales, containers, saran wrap and old crumpled up aluminum foil everywhere. At the time, I thought to myself, wow, this place is messy. She's a baker? She needs to clean up! A few weeks later there was police tape on her apartment door. And a neighbor told me to stop leaving the paper. She still owes me $7.60!! Darn. She tipped well.

In hindsight, I guess that wasn't flour on her coffee table.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/08/2020 09:15AM by d4.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 08, 2020 09:33AM
So many.... I worked for a couple of years during college in the summer as part of a maintenance crew for an apartment management company. As the 'kid' I got the worst jobs. As a skinny agoraphilic brachiator I would .. um.. reach tall places without proper equipment. Hey, why walk half a mile to get a ladder when I can just climb up the 15 foot tall hallway to replace the light bulbs ? I did get yelled at when a resident walked under me and happened to look up and screamed at Spider Man...

And one rainy summer afternoon I was asked to caulk around a leaking skylight. 5 stories up. Did we have an extension ladder for that ? No, we did not.

No problem... grabbed my tool belt, caulking gun, took off my no-slip Redwing boots and climbed up inside the hall, opened the skylight, and crawled out on the rather steep roof. Put my boots back on. And proceeded to caulk around the skylight. And then I.. slipped.

And started sliding off the roof. And grabbed the awl from my tool belt and slammed it into the roof, with half my body hanging off the roof. 60 feet down to concrete.

Grabbed a screwdriver and proceeded to climb back up onto the roof, making a hole every few feet with each hand. Got back up to the skylight, climbed back down, and lay on the floor just... gasping. No, I did NOT go back and fix the holes I made.

Did I still climb around like a wild monkey ? Of course I did. I didn't really stop until I badly sprained an ankle jumping out of a tree when I was in my 30's. And my wife yelled at me and said "Old men don't jump out of trees !" So I had to promise to stop. Now I'm too broken to climb any more....
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 08, 2020 10:41AM
.....I have.....a tale....to tell.......



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: JoeM
Date: May 08, 2020 11:00AM
I worked in collections for Leslie Fay in NYC back in the early 70s. One day my manager asked me to take the subway to Red Hook Brooklyn, a tough neighborhood in those days to pick up $12k in cash. I figured it would be a day out of the office so I said ok. I wound up having to go down by the water front and when I got there the guy gave me the $12K in a large brown bag, all in small bills. Walking back along the waterfront to the train with all that money was a bit nerve wracking.



JoeM
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 08, 2020 11:41AM
.....$1 bills......???


....stripping mob......??



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 08, 2020 11:59AM
You people are making my more recent tasks of wielding a chainsaw while standing in the raised front loader bucket of a tractor seem quaint.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: BobC
Date: May 08, 2020 12:50PM
I was a busboy in an Italian restaurant. Since I was the new guy, I had to stay past closing time for cleanup, when most of the staff had left. The owner would sometimes let a friend of his bring in a small group and stay at their table past closing, which meant I had to do some (minimal) table work for them and the actual shutdown would be delayed. I was annoyed, but wanted to keep the job.

However, one of the waiters said to me as he was leaving and the owner's friend was coming in, "Hey, do you know who that is? That's [X] Junior.". I recognized the name [X] as one of the major mob figures in town. This was a few years after there had been a series of horrible retaliatory mob murders (car bombs, etc.) in town.

I looked around the darkened restaurant while I finished my shift, decided that I'd seen enough news and movies to know that I didn't want to be an extra in this scene, and told the owners the next day that I was quitting effective immediately. They were peeved that I hadn't given them notice, but I didn't really care.

So that was only a couple of hours of prospective terror, but it was enough for me.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 08, 2020 02:48PM
Quote
Rick-o
Looking back, I would say hiring in the Buick Foundry in Flint, MI right after I turned 19. Liquid metal!! ...?
ooh foundries.... I spent half a year in the Mansfield Foundry helping set up their QA system. At one point in February we had a record cold snap. I'm talking -40F without windchill. All businesses were required to stop heating their buildings.

So operations stacked metal boxes filled with coke (Processed coal) around the floor. Lit them on fire so they produced heat so the employees would not freeze to death. Now coke produces a red choking cloud as it burns. And everyone (myself included) was wearing at least three layers of clothing, and moving very slowly as a result. And of course molten iron was flowing from the ladles into the sand molds moving along the floor. And occasional showers of ice as the sprinkler system froze up and failed.

Think about it. Misshapen people staggering around holding long poles. Spears ? Pitchforks ? Choking red smoke. Rivers of molten iron. Showers of ice.

Yeah. I was in Hell.
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Cary
Date: May 08, 2020 05:48PM
Quote
d4
As a young teen in the early 80s I delivered newspapers in pre-gentrified Brooklyn, NY. Had to make money for my comic book addiction. Every Thursday evening I had to knock on all my customers doors on my route to get paid. $3.80 for the weeks worth of delivered papers.

One customer in an apartment building let me in while she went looking for her purse. The place was a mess. On the coffee table were 2-3 sliding scales, containers, saran wrap and old crumpled up aluminum foil everywhere. At the time, I thought to myself, wow, this place is messy. She's a baker? She needs to clean up! A few weeks later there was police tape on her apartment door. And a neighbor told me to stop leaving the paper. She still owes me $7.60!! Darn. She tipped well.

In hindsight, I guess that wasn't flour on her coffee table.

I delivered papers in Queens - no drug dealers, that I know about, but 2 different houses had huge German Shepherds that didn't like me. I also had to collect every week.

At one house, with 2 dogs, every week I would ring the bell, and the dogs would jump at the screen door, trying to get to me. Often, they would break the louvered glass slats with their paws.

At the second house, there was a glassed in porch. An old man lived there, with a huge shepherd. Every week, the man would be sitting in the porch with the dog. The dog would harm and growl, but the man was there, and kept him under control. One week they weren't in the porch. I rang the bell, and the dog raced around from the side of the house, and up the stoop, and tried to bite my thigh. I kicked the dog down the stairs, jumped off the side of the stoop, and ran. The doc took off after me.after I got half a block away, with the dog closing on me, the old man finally got to the front of his house, and called the dog. Thankfully, the dog , after pausing and looking back at me, went back.

I was scared sh-tless...
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 08, 2020 07:16PM




_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What's The Most Terrifying Job You've Done For A Wage?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: May 09, 2020 07:46AM
Unskilled construction worker summers in college...scariest was climbing up high...no rigging back then.
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