Thursday 20th January 2022

My Worst Job. 26/51. #LifeThisWeek. 73/2019.

My Worst Job. 26/51. #LifeThisWeek. 73/2019.

There has not been a worst job for me. However, there have been aspects of some jobs that have not been great. Here they are:


When the parents promise to pay you a great amount (I’m a teen, it’s most welcome) and then that does not quite add up to the amount I thought.

Shop Assistant.

In the jewellery’s shop where I worked during school holidays (post here) the worst part was cleaning the Wedgewood. I cannot stand the feel of it. It was rough but not nice. I hated being asked ‘to clean the Wedgewood, please Denyse.’ Shudder.


When a  child vomits. The end.  OK. I could be compassionate and I was but OMG I do not deal with the voms at all. Even with myself.


Being responsible to everyone and for everyone and everything…

100% hard yards at times…

because “you’re the principal” as I was told once..

YOU know what to do. Umm. Human being too.


It is not a fair job nor one with endless rewards.

It is, in fact, one where you (me) sacrifice your interests, time, love, energy, sleep and more for someone who has become your child.

For a very long time…depending on when he/she leaves home of course!

However, I mindful that not everyone who wants to be a mother gets to be, so I will add my gratitude that I did get to be a mum.


Retired people are encouraged to put their work life skills and experience towards helping others and organisations as a volunteer.

I did this on a number of occasions over 10 years : helping a lady, in her house,  who had very little English to speak and understand basic English, answering telephones for a big Australian charity organising home deliveries of Christmas hampers, helping with Ethics programs as they were introduced into schools and teaching mandala classes at the local library.

The worst part of all of these was the bureaucracy:

  • the need for me to PAY for my own training in one instance
  • the ‘bossiness’ of at least one organisation that did not bode well for my continuation
  • the need for me to pay for liability insurance should I decide to be a solo volunteer  teacher

And so, I am no longer a volunteer. Nor is my husband who has a list that starts with: expecting a person to work (driving people to appointments) from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with no real breaks as where we live there are some distance issues.

*Exception to being a Volunteer.

Ambassador for Head and Neck Cancer Awareness for Beyond Five.

This is one role I enjoy very much. I am still learning it as I go but I am respected and treated well. In fact, I am given guidance but also able to suggest how I can add to ‘getting the head and neck cancer stories out there.’ 


I have this fund raiser for Soup for The Soul, from Beyond Five, which assists in raising awareness of head and neck cancers, including the need for HPV vaccinations for males. Do consider a small donation here:

For Head and Neck cancer patients, family and friends. This is a website and offers lots to help. It continues to grow and change but with no government funding, some donations by companies in related fields and one part-time business manager, a fund-raiser was initiated in 2018 called Soup for the Soul. Soup is often a food that patients with head and neck cancer can manage and it is comforting.

Soup for the Soul is already live and I have a Virtual Soup for the Soul page here.  World Head and Neck Cancer Day is on 27 July.

My Soup for the Soul


The advantages of being old(er) and retired:

With my blogging, head and neck cancer treatments and check ups it is good to be able to enjoy a wide range of activities which do not come with a timetable!!

So, have you had a dream run with your jobs or is there a story to tell too?


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  1. I have so many posts I want to write this week!! Would love to write about my worst jobs. Will try to combine a couple of things and join you. Won’t link up anything else til I see if I can get this post written.

    Teaching is such a tough job. Barfy babies are terrible but so are abused kids, hungry kids, kids whose parents don’t care anything about them. My heart broke daily for some of my babies. The little girl whose father (of grandfather age) shaved part of her head because she had lice. Part of her head. Hmm. The babies whose mother who disappeared because she was jailed for drugs and the kids had no idea what had happened to her. Eight children, the oldest 10 years old, home alone wondering where there mom went. Teaching is a tough gig.

    And being a principal has to be tougher, although I don’t know on a personal basis. Bless your heart for doing both!

    • My worst job was a kids vacation care. 10 hour shifts with no formal break (technically we could take breaks when we needed them but the reality was often different), all in scorching summer holiday weather.

      • I imagine this is where you “can’t complain” because you “need the job” but it was ‘exploitation’ all the same…

        Denyse x

    • Yes teaching is a tough gig and when the schools are located in lower socio-economic areas even moreso as at times teachers need to do some roles that parents may not have. In one school where I was a deputy principal some children had never seen a book or been exposed to any written words. I then began a “pre-school” type program to help get those kids, already IN school, be ready for learning.

      I do still love the role and whilst I am retired, I look to support people who are still in school education.

      Thanks for sharing your memories too Leslie.

      Denyse x

  2. I like that you added in mother. Of course it is wonderful but it is (or can be) hard, and exhausting and the stakes are so high…Good post. I was a market researcher in high school and as a result, I always do those surveys if I can, because I know the person on the other end of the phone is probably under paid and 15….

    • Thanks Lydia. I couldn’t not include mother..if you know what I mean.

      I don’t mind doing market research at all but I don’t like any phone calls from charities, because I have little money to donate and have my charity to support.

      Denyse x

  3. Looking forward to the fluid time and scheduling of retirement!

    SSG xxx

    • Yes it is good. I can highly recommend part time into retirement. It is very hard to do ‘cold turkey’ because our profession is ‘who we are.’

      So, take your time and be flexible and it will come!

      Thanks SSG

      Denyse x

  4. I think my worst job was in McDonalds when I was at university. I got stuck on the fries station for the whole of my Mickey D’s career, the salt kept getting into the cuts on my hands from the metal fries baskets and I could never get the smell of chip fat off my clothes no matter how often I washed them! I actually worked in McDonalds in the US for a summer – it was marginally better, I made some great friends, partied way harder than I worked (which is saying something) and on the plus side, it’s the only place I’ve ever been where people have gone mad for my accent and I learned to make killer scramble eggs. I had McDonalds for breakfast, lunch, dinner (and sometimes midnight snack) for the best part of 3 months and since then I’ve barely stepped foot in a McDonalds restaurant, let alone eaten their food!

    I must say I will agree with you on the teaching and vomit, although I’d like to extend that to any bodily fluids! Even though I’m not a mum, I still think it’s one of the most challenging jobs in the world and you don’t even get paid for it!

    • Thanks Sam, I think I would be that way after working in Maccas too. Nice to know though how you were appreciated for your ‘accent’!

      Our son did Maccas close shift in year 11 and as his Dad had to go wait for him in a carpark till almost midnight, it really was not ideal for school work. He left that role…left school too and became a tree lopper…well not actually lopping but on the ground feeding the branches. He has had many jobs…not sure which one he would say was worst.

      Kids and their bodily fluids. Yep. I hear you.

      Glad you could see my point about being mum.

      Thank you
      Denyse x

  5. My worst job was the one I resigned from mid 2016. Just impossible – I’m sure I would have ended up having a heart attack if I’d kept going. My hubby volunteers with Neighbour’s Aid up here – he drives a truck for the Mooloolaba store’s pick-ups & deliveries & loves it. For him it’s rewarding, but it could easily be the opposite.

    • Well I am glad you did resign and now LIVE life as well as you can.

      The volunteering needs to suit the person. That is good news about your husband.

      I know my husband worked for a well known charity for years as a volunteer but he left when my health became the priority and he is glad to have done so. It is pretty wearing especially when you are not appreciated. Saying no more!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Denyse x

  6. The repetitive and non-challenging tasks of any job would not work well for me.

    • Yes, that is so true. Brains need stimulation for continuing to be happy about work.

      I was never cut out to be a filing clerk. Forgot to mention that short-term job!

      Denyse x

  7. I get bored with any work once it becomes a routine. Familiarity does breed contempt!

  8. I liked that you never really had a “worst” job Denyse. I could say that up until my last one! I’ve worked for bosses who thought they were gods (dentists are so full of themselves!) and I’ve worked with bits and pieces of politics, I’ve been bored, I’ve been over-worked, and lots more – but that’s all small parts of an overall good whole. This last one though (as you know) was a nightmare – a gradual descent into Hell – and such a relief when I finally pulled the pin!

    • Thanks so much Leanne and I get that in some organisations there is a strict hierarchy! Medical and dental is like that. I already am aware of it through being a patient.

      In schools it can be like that too.

      I am glad you made your choice when you did because that last job was doing nothing for your wellbeing.

      Denyse x

  9. Hi Denyse I could tell you about my favourite job and that was teaching ballet it was always my passion. I’m with you on the vomit and motherhood though. My poor children whenever they were vomiting would have to put up with a Mum who was heaving all the time LOL:) I’ve left two jobs I enjoyed because of bullying – I’m not cut out for that. You are at a great time of life now Denyse where you are totally in control of how you spend your time. Enjoy your week. xx

    • Oh yes, it is great for you to recall with great clarity and love the role of ballet teaching for you.

      I would call for the kids’ dad when they were vomiting. I was better at getting stuff washed than the kids…so hated those times. Poor kids..not a sympathetic mum at all.

      Bullying is awful Sue and I am saddened that you had to leave jobs because of others’ behaviours.
      Thank you for sharing.

      Denyse x

  10. I couldn’t deal with children’s vomit either. I can hardly bear my own sons!

  11. I’m with you Denyse and don’t really have a worst job, although parts of some of my jobs had awful bits in them. I enjoyed reading your selections of each job. I’ve shared a post from my gaol life, it was full of interesting stories!

  12. I have had sooo many jobs in my life, but I don’t think I can pick any that are the worst. The ones I didn’t like so much were because of the people I had to work with!

  13. I agree in that it’s hard to pick the ‘worst’ job but there are definitely aspects in jobs that are not likeable! I’ll confess for me, worst jobs have to do more with the environment as opposed to the work itself and sadly there have been some that I’d consider ‘worst’ or toxic.

    • You’ve made me think more. Yes there have been a few ‘toxic’ or for me, ‘unwelcome’ work places and more to do with hierarchy…not schools actually! I will say no more. But I did leave these. No-one needs money when the work ( paid or voluntary) makes you sick.

      Denyse x