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With the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics placing the national unemployment rate at around 9.5 percent, we asked local performers about their worst jobs ever.

Joey Guevara (Lady Dottie and the Diamonds): “I was a vendor at Sea World for a while, and that fully sucked. I had to tote a burning hot box of churros up and down the steps of the Baywatch stunt-show marina on the hottest days of summer to the sounds of the Baywatch theme. One time at Shamu Stadium, I forgot to get out of the way, and Shamu spit water all over a fresh tray of popcorn. I had to pay for it. Bastard whale.”

Gene Padigos (Rise of the Speedmen): “My first job and my worst job was at a Taco Bell in the mall. I worked there for a week, but it took a month before I stopped smelling like cheese and beans. Extremely uncool.”

Coree Levy (Roxy Monoxide): “I’ve been an EMT, DMT, DM, a neuroscientist, and a full-time procrastinator, among other things. They all seemed fine at the time, but now that I play music, none of them will do.”

Gabriel Gamboa (Kill Holiday): “I was working in a plastic-printing company, and I had to pull apart the credit cards from the machine. Each time I did it, it would shock me; I probably got shocked about 12 times a day. I did learn one valuable thing that one of my bosses taught me, though. The Five Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Scott Samuels (Kitten’s Pharmacy): “In my high school and college years, I had a sucky job working at Burger King. There was a substitute manager there who really disliked me. He would always assign me to dining-room cleanup duty, which was gross from the messes that people make, or to clean out the cooler, which was even worse.”

June Cate (I Wish I): “I worked at a well-known coffee-shop chain for a bit. It was after I stopped skating professionally, so I think any job would have sucked. I went from grinding rails to grinding coffee. It was a hard transition for me, but it was important for my growth as a person.”

Joey Harris (Beat Farmers): “I used to be a salesman. A very bad salesman. I talked more people into not buying by being so bad at it.”

Molly Jenson: “I sold popcorn at Petco Park for a day. I was desperate for money awhile back, and my dad has a friend who owns the popcorn stand at Petco. He had me try all the related jobs, like walking around the stands, yelling, ‘Kettle corn! Caramel corn!’ handing out samples to people and selling the popcorn at the stand. That would’ve been great when I was 15, but I was 27. At least the popcorn was really good.”

Greg Laswell: “I used to be a shepherd. You know, a sheepherder. The hours are good, and you get to be outside, but the sheep smell like shit, and one of the little cotton balls kept straying off all the time.”

Bill Farkas: “Back in Ravenna, Ohio, I had a job shifting weights and jackets on molten rubber molds in a filthy foundry. I made five dollars an hour and all the black lung I could inhale. I had just gotten out of college, at the height of the Vietnam war, and I was contemplating my next move with a draft lottery number of 18. I had another job as a 40-ton overhead crane operator at Republic Steel in Cleveland. Cab temperatures got up to around 130 degrees while I moved hot coils in the Pickle House to railroad cars over the heads of millwrights, who were usually flipping me the bird for going over their heads. To this very day, I still hate pickles because of that stinking job.”

Mike Keneally: “Playing guitar on a side-project album by the singer of another band. Before I began recording my parts, he told me he really wanted full-blown, eccentric, and unique Keneally on his album, and that I should go nuts. I had to produce my own parts while he was in another state, and I went off and did all kinds of crazy stuff. But then, when he heard it, he asked if I could make it sound more like Jimmy Page.”

Greg Douglass: “I did a dreary multi-month stint at the Amigo Room, a bar attached to a Denny’s restaurant in Auburn, California. On second thought, I can’t even talk about it. It was that bad.”

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