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worst holiday gap years then..

(32 Posts)
lynne Fri 13-Sep-13 17:15:58

Grew up before enjoyable gap time adventures were invented...had to work during Uni holidays...
Worst job.. toss up between a hotel in St Andrews, where the owner, fag hanging out of mouth, made a large pan of porridge on Monday morning, reheated it every day ,still fag hanging and we were still serving it on the Saturday or Butlin's chalet maid....what an eye opener!!!

Ana Fri 13-Sep-13 17:25:10

Working in the Returns department of a well-known mail order firm in Manchester, where the old hands took great delight in waving any item of used and soiled underwear (you'd be surprised!) that had been returned under the noses of us lowly holiday employees....

suzied Fri 13-Sep-13 17:39:07

On the "pasty belt" in a bakery factory in Devon,

Galen Fri 13-Sep-13 17:41:09

In the maternity wear department during the sales in Rackhams Birmingham.

Gally Fri 13-Sep-13 17:47:07

Working in a Clairol factory, putting caps on bottles of hair dye - horrible stink of ammonia. I lasted 3 weeks and it's the first and only time I 'clocked-in' for any job!

whenim64 Fri 13-Sep-13 18:09:51

Buttering bread on a sandwich production line for visitors to Belle Vue Zoo, in Manchester. Next to our group were the people piping cream on to jelly and custard for individual trifles. Under their table were mouse droppings! Ugh!!

Riverwalk Fri 13-Sep-13 18:15:54

Waitressing in a Golden Egg 'restaurant' - a sort of Wimpy Bar.

Just so bloody awful!

As a result of this trauma I'm always soooo nice and generous to waiting staff grin

LizG Fri 13-Sep-13 18:50:20

Working on the hardware section in Woolworths in a green overall which was too small and torn. It was much more fun weighing out biscuits from those glass topped tins. Mind you I think I ate the profits!

Iam64 Fri 13-Sep-13 19:02:46

I was working from age 17, so had no holiday jobs - but worst experience was working as the secretary to the managers in an engineering works. I was 18, and one of my tasks was making mid morning coffee for the 3 managers. This involved walking through the engineering works to the only kitchen on site. It was dreadful - I was whistled at, shouted at, had obscene suggestions made etc etc every single time. It was simply part of my day, three times daily for several months. I went to work as a temp and never worked in engineering again.

Penstemmon Fri 13-Sep-13 19:08:21

I did not like the waitressing I did, aged 18, .think it was a Kenco Coffee House in a shop called Ely's in Wimbledon which at the time was like Grace Bros.

I was given a few small tables in the corner where all the time wasters sat for hours with one cup of coffee and left no tips. The regular staff of course had the popular tables and regular customers. Service moved from coffee to lunch to tea and menus were strict about what you could order when! If I took a coffee and cake order in the lunch period I was in BIG trouble!

Silver service in a local hotel was scary too but everyone was friendlier there than at the shop! I am always kind and thoughtful to wiating staff and get angry with snotty customers!

flowerfriend Fri 13-Sep-13 19:15:13

Worked as a waitress/chambermaid in what seemed like a 'nice' hotel when I was sixteen. It was fine most of the time but when the cook got her wages each week she drank until she was 'nasty' and before she was leg-less she could be violent.

Did these jobs help us in ways other than monetary? Yes, of course, they did. Here, in France, youngsters don't work while they are still in school. My holiday jobs were an informative part of my education.

Penstemmon Fri 13-Sep-13 19:17:22

Holiday jobs in order of preference:

Xmas post person x 3
Children's home assistant x 2
Care assistant (Elderly care)
TEFL teaching
Silver service ( not just hols..weekends too)

Bez Fri 13-Sep-13 19:23:04

Bit of a toss up between the Saturday job I had for about a year in a chain store and sometimes had to push round the trolley and clear the tables in the cafe - or the summer holiday working in a factory which made plastic pots of varying sizes for the airline meal Industry. The smell of the melting plastic all day was awful.

tiggypiro Fri 13-Sep-13 19:28:20

Working in a cafe on Saturdays when I was 14. Cakes -uncovered - seemed familiar each week and so I ''signed'' some of them one week and they were still on sale the next. Pay was 13/6 a day and it seemed like a fortune in 1963.
At 16 I worked as a waitress in a 'steak bar' where the food was cooked behind the counter in view of the customer if they sat at the counter. If a steak was dropped on the floor, it was retrieved and served up to the next unsuspecting customer who sat at a table.

joannapiano Fri 13-Sep-13 19:34:25

First holiday job I worked on the conveyor belt in a toy factory putting plastic ladders onto plastic fire engines.Had to do 3 gross a day.(Do younger people know what a gross is?) Boy, were my hands sore at the end of the day.
Second job was as an usherette at the local cinema-Sound of Music was on for the summer and I saw it 52 times. My friend and I used to sing and dance along at the back in the dark.I knew every word of the script.

Grannylin Fri 13-Sep-13 19:35:04

Working as a kitchen assistant in the summer at 'Junior Holidays' in Eastbourne.It was a horrible boarding school used for residential holidays for the brats of celebs (the Shadows!) and they were totally ripped was like boot camp.

FlicketyB Fri 13-Sep-13 20:27:49

Working in the sub-basement of Selfridges writing the price on the back of Christmas cards and then paper clipping card and envelope together. All day long, 7.5 hours a day.

There were four of us and because we were so deep in the ground we could not get any radio reception, we worked in a tiny room, no windows, by definition, and as the summer vacation wore on our time keeping got worse and our lunch hours and tee breaks grew longer

Granny23 Fri 13-Sep-13 20:29:48

As I started full time work at 15 I did not have any 'formal' holiday jobs but did spend 2 summers as a milk girl on a horse and cart - no pay, tips only + as much milk and orange juice as you could drink + fresh eggs for mum. Then I was a berry picker (July only) 4d a pound before 8.30am and 3d per pound thereafter. Also did some casual shifts in my Aunt's General Store and occasionally served as my Mum's hairdressing apprentice (good tips at that one). Finally, at 14 spent Saturdays/Sundays and the summer staffing the Kiosk at the local golf course with my sister, taking the green fees and selling balls and tees, soft drinks, crisps, Home Made cakes, etc at inflated prices as the only remuneration was that we could keep any profit.

Certainly taught me that money had to be earned by hard graft.

Penstemmon Fri 13-Sep-13 20:42:10

I did a paper round from about 13/14 and started working on Saturdays at a local stationers when I was 15. My DDs worked on a Saturday as soon as they were ols eough to do so..also delivered free papers. It seems this work is not available now to youngsters so they do not get into the work habit as quickly. This may why some kids find the world of work difficult.

LizG Fri 13-Sep-13 21:01:39

At the age of 18 I started work full time in a bank and I remember saying to my mother on the first Saturday I had off (one in three) that it was the first Saturday of freedom I had had since the age of 13 when I started a string of Saturday jobs. We didn't go on holidays!

MiceElf Fri 13-Sep-13 21:29:14

Factory work sewing on buttons. Canteen work in said factory. Picking daffs in Tresco. But really, the worst if all, was not paid. My mother did a huge amount of parish work and one holiday she said she thought I should do my bit. I helped her with what would now be known as disfuctional families, and the very worst was cleaning up an infested house and sorting out out six children who were sleeping in a urine soaked bed. It would be a SS matter now, but they were just known as a needy family.

Charleygirl Fri 13-Sep-13 21:43:50

I was only covering summer holidays so I only worked for 4 weeks on two consecutive years for £2 a week, working behind the counter in a shop in the grounds of a large psychiatric hospital. We sold cigarettes singly as the patients could rarely afford to buy a packet of 10. I also cleared the dirty cups etc from the tables to help out.

I also picked raspberries and my mother used to say that it cost more to give me sandwiches and something to drink than what I actually earned. I did this when I was around 10 years old and picked the berries locally with friends.

lynne Sat 14-Sep-13 11:10:11

haha charleygirl....had to go to the berries too as a kid...forgot about that..full day earned 2/6 then accidently dropped it down the drain in the field

flowerfriend Sat 14-Sep-13 12:38:50

I'm loving this thread.

lynne Sat 14-Sep-13 13:27:41