A Conversation for Talking Point: Your Worst Job
Oh God yes.
swl Started conversation Jun 4, 2008
A few years ago, after my business folded, I found myself caring for a sick wife and paying for a step-son at college. The Dole Office treated me like something scraped off a shoe and I was not eligible for any benefits - zero. I went round every business in the town looking for work and borrowed a set of ladders to start washing windows (in December ). I took a walk around the fish processing factories. Now, since I was a kid the smell of fish made me ill and I can't face most seafood so the stench around these factories was making me gag. At each factory I struggled to make myself understood to the Portugese and Polish workers so I returned home and wrote to every factory. It was basically a begging letter 'cos I was desperate. I got a call a few days later and literally ran up the road to one of the factories. I was invited inside to where the boss was gutting fish as he spoke. I swear, the vomit was making my back teeth float. He gave me a job.
Every day, I was up at 4am to start tailing prawns. Boxes of live prawns were tipped onto a table and you had to hold the head in your left hand then twist & pull the body with your right hand to remove the tail. I had to stand doing this for 5 hours at a stretch. Around 9am, we would finish and I would have to go through to another room to gut the fish. You use a sharp knife to slit the belly and then you reach in with your fingers and pull out the guts. After that, I would power hose the two rooms and clean out the fish store. I would get home around midday. At about 5pm, I would take the van down to the harbour to start meeting the boats and unload the catches. The boats would continue coming in until about 10pm, but I was given a mobile phone so boats coming in at 1 or 2am could call me to collect the catch. Sometimes this involved a sixty mile round trip if they came in to a different harbour.
I never got over the sense of revulsion when I was tailing prawns. Millions of beady black eyes staring at you as you tore them apart . Whenever I got home, no matter how tired, I stood under the shower for about an hour before my wife would come near me.
I worked there for 3 months before finally finding another job. It was tiring, smelly work but when you have no choice you do what you have to do.
The worst jobs I've ever done.
Keith Miller yes that Keith Miller Posted Jun 5, 2008
Well you did well to hold down your gorge and just do the job you had to do.
(Crikey look at that sentence hardly a multi syllable in site.)
Prawns, love em. I didn't know they were dispatched whilst still alive. I catch prawns occasionally at night with nets and I usually put them out of their misery in the by cooling them to death in a fridge.
I've just got back from a days fishing and I've also just finished gutting the catch and filleting it. It doesn't worry at all but I can imagine the difficulty someone with no knowledge or a dislike of fish would feel.
Being a fisherman I'm always interested in what's in the fish's guts as it helps me to catch more of them eventually.
Oh God yes.
catatonicsleep Posted Apr 5, 2009
That makes the smelly cheeses and various types of dressed olives I had to work with not seem so bad, even if they did make me feel ill, I could never understand why people would eat some of them, they were slimy and smelly. Luckily not every customer wanted cheese or olives. But after month or two everything on the deli made me feel ill.
Wonderful way to lose weight working with food because after being around it for a while eating is the last thing you want to do.
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