Defining Crappy Jobs

I think the majority of us, at some time in their lives, have had to deal with crappy jobs.

Let me make something clear first. It isn’t necessarily the job that is crappy.

There are some snobby, arrogant, elitist people who think anyone working certain jobs are dumb, lazy, and have no drive to succeed. Of course, these people are assholes and totally wrong, probably trying to forget the crappy jobs they had by making other people look like losers for still doing those crappy jobs.

To clarify, people doing that version of a “crappy job” are there for a reason. They may have kids to support, dependents that need any kind of cash flow to pay their bills, some are retired and need a little extra cash, to others it’s just a job, nothing more. Judging these people by what they do is unfair and stupid. Everyone has reasons for what they do. If we don’t know these people, then how can we judge them? You can’t.

Besides, life is funny. Maybe one day, something changes and those judgmental people may end up in one of those crappy job they mocked. Does that make them dumb, lazy or without a drive to succeed? Guess that depends on them.

Now, my version of the term “crappy job” refers to any job where you begin to realize the longer you are there, the less you like how things are done. The nice thing about this version of “crappy jobs” is that it can range from packer at a grocery store to a real estate agent to an assembly plant worker, and so on. In this case, it isn’t the job they do, it’s how things are done, how the company presents itself, and how it affects you.

Clear as mud? Ok.

Our employment experience usually starts as kids, in high school. We get the kind of job no one else wants, or requires the least amount of experience to do. In short, you are a warm body filling a need. The company needs someone to do certain jobs, and you, as a kid or teen, need money for whatever. It usually sucks, but occasionally, we can luck-out and get a job that you actually enjoy. It can be because you like the people around you, or the management treats you kindly, acknowledging the fact that you are not a mindless dolt. That you actually have a work ethic and can do whatever job that is given to you well, without complaining, or bitching.

My first job was as a packer at a grocery store near where I went to high school. A few friends worked there, and the work was simple, so while some may have called it crappy, it was pretty easy. I also worked at a moving company in the warehouse. It was hard work, and there were days that were crappy, but it wasn’t a crappy job. I even cleaned bathrooms! You’d think that was a crappy job, but it wasn’t!

The first “crappy job” I had (as in “my” version of a crappy job) was also the highest paying I have had up to this point. The work itself wasn’t hard, once it was learned, and some of the people were ok. But many of the employees there had long-standing grudges against management, who, in turn, weren’t keen on many of the workers. At the time, I needed a full-time job to pay house bills, loans, etc. So I stayed on and endured. I was there from 2001 to 2007.

The second “crappy job” I had lasted three years and didn’t start out crappy, but got that way over time, with changes in management and procedure. Before I was laid-off, the company was hemorrhaging people who could see the cliff that they were speeding towards.

Recently, I finished training as a Pharmacy Technician, with the hopes of landing a job in the pharmacy, or other related fields. I lucked out (or so I thought) by finding a job close to home. Unlike packing groceries, people employed in a pharmacy have some serious responsibilities. They must work as a team, ensure accuracy, follow guidelines set out by provincial and federal governments, and most importantly “Do no harm” to the patient. In the few weeks I was there, I realized there was no “team” and accuracy wasn’t important. I wasn’t there to ensure guidelines were followed, I was there to churn out drugs. After a year of being told how important all these things were, I found myself employed in a place that didn’t find such things all that important. Before my probationary period was over, I was out. If that was how they ran things, I didn’t want any part of it.

Having endured six years of “my” version of a crappy job, and a few years of “arrogant people’s” version of crappy jobs, I think I’ve reached a point were I can cut my losses and seek out something better.

Will I find something better? I’m hoping so, especially in the field I have studied for. But honestly, I am willing to take the “arrogant people’s” version of a crappy job. If it pays enough, and I can do it, I will.

So what defines a “crappy job”? We do.

If your crappy job involves stocking shelves, that isn’t a big deal. We can usually endure simple stuff like that. If your crappy job involves serious responsibility and accuracy that could potentially affect those that you are supposed to help, and you’re not comfortable with that, then you should not be there. It’s the same as finding out the company you work for discriminates against minorities, or women, or the handicapped. If you are not comfortable representing that company, move on.

So, the next time someone in a nice car, wearing decent clothes, thinking they are better than everyone else, mocks your so-called crappy job, just remember that they are only revealing their own short-comings. Besides, they are probably the reason why their co-workers consider their job crappy.


3 thoughts on “Defining Crappy Jobs”

  1. Amazing how people — often people we don’t even know — can affect our own enjoyment of our own lives so much. All the more reason for us all to go out of our way to ensure we are NOT one of “those” people!

    1. Agreed.
      I’ve also come to a point in my life where I can put up with a lot, but I also know when to just keep silent or walk away because I know the person/ situation isn’t going to change, no matter what I say. Why have their negativity ruin my on-going search for peace and contentment?
      I still may speak my mind, but I’ve known a few people, and been in a few situations, where no matter of reasonable conversation is going to change or improve things.
      I have my own burdens to carry. I don’t need anyone else’s burdens to carry.

      1. A wise move, I have ended up with similar conclusions. I have rarely seen someone’s mind changed through a convincing argument — sadly, most of us have to change through experience rather than through words.

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