Skip Nav
Settling the Confusion Between 401(k), IRA, and Roth IRA Accounts — Once and For All
Personal Essay
I Got Fired For Writing Like a Girl
Budget Tips
Don't Panic! You CAN Recover From These 5 Major Financial Mistakes

What Was Your Worst Summer Job?

Before we all get the fabulous jobs that express our personalities and true abilities — we often have to suck it up in crap jobs.

Yes, they help us build character. Yes, we learn how to budget small amounts of money, learning the valuable fiscal lesson that no amount of saving will buy us a trip to Paris and allow us to purchase our dream wardrobes on a part-time, minimum-wage salary. And the most important lesson of all is we learn how to be employees — dealing with annoying bosses, rude customers, and weird co-workers.

I wore many hats as a teen. I served cocktails (yes, you can do that legally in Texas even if you're not old enough to drink); I slaved in a fast-food joint; and I cashiered behind the counter of a fancy French bakery. (There, I picked up two habits — one which I still have, the other which I've rid myself of: the desire for strong coffee, and the ability to smoke an unfiltered Gitane cigarette. Ouch!)

The worst Summer job I ever had? Grocery bagger. I accidentally smashed children's fingers, forgot people's food in their shopping carts (trust me, I still remember the unhappy woman who returned to retrieve her forgotten watermelon), and worst of all, I endured the hot sun on my delicate skin. I lasted a day. What was your worst summer job?


Join The Conversation
xxstardust xxstardust 8 years
I've been a camp counselor for a few years at 2 different camps, and I love it, don't get me wrong. The worst "job" I guess would be my second summer at my first camp. I was hired to be a kindercamp (3-4 yr old) counselor, which is what I wanted. I asked my boss about buying archery equipment from the camp, because they had discontinued their program (no one to teach it) and I shoot recreationally. Well, somehow that turned into her wanting me to teach archery. As much as I wanted to be with kindercamp, I said yes because they were overstaffed this year and had already let one girl from the kindercamp division go. I told I wasn't certified and would need to be to teach, though. When I found out I couldn't get certified that summer (there's not a ton of clinics for it, lol), they let me go - for "refusing to do my job." Um, yeah. I should totally have taught kids a shooting sport without a license, right?? That sounds safe. The whole camp was run like that, though - a lot of shenanigans, and as such they had a lot of new staff each summer because no one wanted to come back. I loved the kids, I liked the counselors I worked with - but the people in charge were AWFUL.
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
ive never had a summer job since ive been an intern at a pharmacy, but that can be downright cruel a lot. customers/patients yelling for their meds, needing refills when they dont have any.. gosh. i cant even type anymore.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I worked as a sales associate in a fashion store. For 8 bucks an hour. Nuff Said.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
Amanda-La! I AGREE!
RobyTose RobyTose 8 years
I was "Unit Support" at a hospital in the Family Birthing Center... I didn't mind standing with the dads in the operating room making sure they didn't pass out while they watched the C-Section birth of their child... but cleaning that operating room from floor to ceiling afterward made it the worst job I ever had.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Sales Associate at Mervyn's California. I don't even want to talk about it. I had to do that for about 2 summers in a row.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
No job was the worse summer job.
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
I was once a perfume/cologne sniper at a fancy department store. Enough said.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 8 years
Bath and Body works is like a slave shop. You can't sit down, you can't talk. The "managers" treat you like sh** because you aren't one of them. One day my back was killing me and they wouldn't let me leave and they wouldn't let me call my husband because I was "on the clock". I have never worked for such a place and I have worked at plenty of places. Hated it hated it hated it. But I loved Starbucks!
merie33 merie33 8 years
Lake Compounce Amusement Park. A family oriented (for all but the employees families) place that catered to guests every whim. Screaming kids, stressed parents, and management that thought they owned your life. They seriously counted down the days until you were 18 so they didn't have to abide by child labor laws anymore. Awful. I stopped showing up by the beginning of August. Not professional, I know, but I couldn't handle two more weeks of that place.
ikimashokie ikimashokie 8 years
I've enjoyed all of my summer jobs. I guess the most negative one was when I was in high school getting my volunteer hours done while the policies were being written for hours needed to graduate. I'd asked if it was alright that I got them done before the policy was finalized, got a verbal okay, and then two or three years later was told that it did not count. Oh did I raise a stink.
AmandaKrups AmandaKrups 8 years
What? Why would Bath & Body Works be hell? I LOVE that store. Did they mistreat you? Maybe it was just that particular store.
PontNeuf PontNeuf 8 years
Rock picker. I needed something to do for two weeks before I worked as a counsellor at a summer camp. Essentially, it was eight hours a day of walking behind a tractor in a blistering hot field with a co-worker who did nothing but ogle my tits and talk about the size of the doobies he smoked. Plus the actual rock-picking. By the end of the day, you were coated with sweat and dirt and your arms hurt from tossing rocks into a trailer all day.
karlorene karlorene 8 years
ringing up barbie at toys 'r us. and wearing that horrible red shirt.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I had to dress up during a tourist festival. As a life-sized blueberry. Humiliating.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
There are so so many. Waitress with the world's most evil general manager probably takes the cake though.
Amanda-La Amanda-La 8 years
Bath and Body works. The den of Satan himself.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
I worked at a dry cleaner in a retirement community 6 days a week and only had Sundays off for 4 grueling years. The customers were mostly old and grumpy and clearly remembered what dry cleaning USED to cost. I had to have so many conversations about how expensive things are these days and omg if the spot wasn't out my day went straight to hell. Try explaining to someone that there is such a thing as a stain. I don't miss those days at all. God bless my grown up Mon-Fri 9-5 job.
kaylasix kaylasix 8 years
Ice cream scooper at Cold Stone Creamery... certainly tasty but the singing and stickiness were a little too much for me, however I'm a camp counselor this summer and after two and a half weeks with my terrible third graders this one is rising on the horribleness scale
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I don't think I've ever had a job that made me truly happy. However, I've never had a truly miserable job, either.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
Dishwasher in a small Japanese restaurant. I lasted 2 days. It was friggin' horrible.
How to Get Paid to Exercise
Selena Gomez's Sexiest Moment of 2016 Poll
Do Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan Hate Tom Holland?
Summer Jobs For Teens on the Decline
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds