I mentioned in my post about the pediatrician that I’d been her son’s “teacher” at a daycare center. Teacher is in quotes because calling me that was a major stretch. I did daycare and it just wasn’t for me. I lasted all of 6 months, and I spent 5 months and 29 days of that time looking for a new job. Though it was close, that wasn’t my worst job ever.
When I was a freshman in college, I didn’t get a job right away while I settled into my new routine. By late that fall, however, I started looking and found a job that I thought would work for me, as it was only a 5-7 minute walk from my dorm, and the hours worked with my schedule because they were in the evening. Plus, a new friend on my floor had just gotten a job there, so we’d be able to walk home together at night (this became especially important when this happened a couple of blocks from my dorm).
What was this illustrious, minimum-wage paying job that seemed appealing, you ask?
Telemarketer. For the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
In my head, while I knew how much I hated receiving telemarketing calls, it seemed like it wouldn’t be so bad. Because I was calling alumni, and how could anyone NOT want to give back to this amazing school that I was falling in love with? So young. So naive.
I probably don’t have to go into much detail for you to realize how awful it was. And I was abysmal at it. Oh, I got donations, and sometimes they were amounts that my 18-year-old brain could not fathom giving away. But there were far more rejections, and while those didn’t really bother me that much, what did get under my skin was my script (read from a green-screen computer…how many of you are old enough to remember those?).
We’d suggest a giving amount and as the person declined, lower the amount. Which isn’t a huge deal, unless you’re dealing with someone who tells you that they’ve just lost their job, they can barely feed their kids, their kids’ tuition is eating up all of their money, they have a dying spouse, etc. And I was just supposed to keep on with the script, trying to solicit money from a jobless near-widow. It was horrible. And because my supervisors were listening in on occasion, I had to stick to the script. Because, darn it, I wasn’t going to be fired from this horrible job, I was going to quit!
I didn’t last long. I honestly have no recollection of how long I worked there. I know my friend stayed on a lot longer than I did. I got a job after that working in the mailroom of the Chem Sciences program. Which sounds horrible, and it was (you should have seen my 2 coworkers), but no where near as bad as my turn as a telemarketer.
My favorite EVER line from someone I called, though, came one Thursday night. As my VCR back in my dorm room faithfully recorded “Friends” for me, I called unsuspecting alum asking for cash. One answered that night, heard my spiel, and said, “Don’t you know ‘Friends’ is on? Call back at a better time.” For real.
So…play along. What was your worst job ever?