The Green Study “Worst Job I Ever Had” Contest: Honorable Mention
She was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a cheesy postcard from Minneapolis and I made a $25 donation to the American Red Cross on her behalf to the International Red Cross organization (IFRC).
Paper Girl In A Dog’s World
by Rebecca at Living La Vida London
I’ve had a fair few jobs over the years. As a student, I haven’t had the option of being picky – and not all of them have been particularly fun. I suppose it depends.
I hated being a chugger – a ‘charity mugger’ for those not in the know. Standing on the street, in the rain, for 8 hours at a time. Wearing the most unflattering and uncomfortable anorak with the charity’s logo emblazoned on it for all to see, and chasing after unwilling victims whilst waving a picture of a snow leopard and burbling depressing figures of their demise. It felt dishonest and dirty, not true charity work. But at the heart of it, good intentions lay. And the money raised did go to charity. I just didn’t like the methods used to get it.
But my worst job? Well, honestly, it was as a paper girl when I was 14. The papers were huge and heavy; especially on Thursdays. Thursdays were the bane of my life, as this was magazine day – and I’d have what felt like 50 supplements added to my already uncomfortable load.
Some people talk fondly of being a paper boy/girl/alien. Not I. I did not enjoy hiking up streets that felt as if they had been built on Everest’s foothills. I was not a fan of being shouted at by oldie goldies who had been waiting at their front door for a newspaper that was 5 minutes late, as I had been kept back at school for a meeting. (No, not detention. Detention was at lunch time.)
The worst bit was the dreaded dog. I know, it’s a cliché, right? I thought so too. But there was this one house, and I swear that dog was evil. It knew when I was coming, and it would jump up and try to bite my fingers whenever I put the newspaper through the letter box. That wasn’t so bad. When it was outside though?
I’ve never run faster before or since. It was only halfway to my knee in height, but it made up for that in teeth and drooling and growling. Seriously. What a nightmare.
There were several other dogs I had to be wary off, but that one was by far the worst. I had bruises all over my calves in the summer from when the little monster was outside, but being an animal lover, I dug deep inside myself and resisted the urge to turn it into a hat.
Then it got to winter. My nemesis was generally confined to the hallway, but he’d still grab at my cold, overly sensitive hands and occasionally be too quick for me. I’d be drenched, and cold. I’d work in the snow, rain, hail and he’d add to my joy with bruised fingers. And God help me if the ink on the newspapers ever got a bit smudged or if they were at all damp. Not that the dog was mad about that, but the owner was.
This continued until Satan’s mutt tried to eat me when the owner opened the door to give me a Christmas tip (very kind of him, and one of the few job perks). I swear. He practically had the carving knife and baster out in his paws. His owner just laughed it off, but I saw the desire in his eyes. I quit very soon after that. Not entirely down to the dog but…well. My legs needed a break.
And for all of this? £8 (approx. $12) a week. At the time, it was enough. I was only 14 and I didn’t need that much money. I suppose it was a good lesson to learn: working to earn. But I did feel I deserved slightly more. Perhaps that was just the greed of a girl who wants a new pair of converses talking.
Either way, I don’t look back with happy memories of providing newspapers to the population of Newcastle. I don’t regret having had the job. But I’m relieved it’s over now.
Be sure to check her blog! Here are some more enjoyable treats from Living La Vida London :