Hardest job you ever had

sniffer66

Distinguished Member
"Thirty years, Man and Boy. 'ardest game in the world that is....." :D

Reading the post about the job at Amazon got me thinking about some of the jobs I've had. What was your worst ?

Mine was about 20 years ago when I was travelling in Oz. I'd hitched on my own from Sydney to Cairns (North-East tip) and was staying at a Backpackers there. A van turned up one morning asking for guys to work on an old container ship in the estuary. Turns out this ship was about 50 years old and they were pumping out the ballast tanks to be used for fuel storage after its refit. They gave 10 of us overalls, a chipping hammer and a miners light and sent us down into the bulkheads. Each space was about the size of 2 coffins with a smal hole through to the next space and pitch dark.

The seawater used for the ballast had formed sludge and rust pockets on the walls and floor and it was our job to clean all these off with the chipping ammer. Every time you hit one it would explode in your face ! You were also lying in about 6 inches of sludge as they hadnt been able to pump it all out.
We did this for 10 hours a day and because we were out on the lash every night we often went to sleep for an hour or so in the sludge, trying to recover

Once a week we took it in turns to go up on deck and shovel oil drums of sand into a rolling furnace to dry it our for sandblasting. I also spent one lovely day slung over the side in a bosuns chair 50 feet above the croc infested water (no safety line !) with a huge angle grinder cutting away lines of paint so the welders could get cutting.

All of the above was in 40 degree c heat and for $10 an hour. We did get a free meat pie for lunch though !

Kids these days don't know they are born :D
 
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loz

Distinguished Member
That sounds hard.

But still preferable to collecting Winston Churchill's bogeys.
 

mrapbp

Well-known Member
Worked on a Moshav in Israel for 3 months. about 15 years ago. Was working around 18 hrs a day and 7 days a week of THE hardest, most constant manual labour I have ever done in my life. All of this in blistering heat and all for 1 pound per hour............

Would probably kill me now :(
 

SyStemDeMoN

Distinguished Member
I was a furnace man for 7 years.

That for me was hard graft.

We used to make car parts, usually engines and heads for mercedes, viper, lotus, mclaren and allsorts.

We even mass produced all the Triumph motorbike heads and crankcases.

It was all aluminium, so we were required to fill furnaces, melt the metal, transfer, sample and modify, degass and cast.

None of the ladels were on cranes until we started doing the Dodge Viper V12, which took a lot of ally, so we were carry around these pots of molten ally between 2 people.

To complete one melt could take 10minutes to an hour, depending on how little the particular parts were. So triumph heads were taking an hour to cast, and in that time your sweating salt out onto your clothes.

And all for 7 quid an hour, with 60hr weeks :smashin:

It did keep me mega fit though, and I was very strong. Often beating the 'carpet carriers' (our word for musculer prats on steroids) at arm wrestling, pushing and lifting.

Now my job as a HGV driver feels like a retirement job.
 

Bill Hicks

Banned
I used to wrap elastic bands together that go into Golf balls.
Used to get plenty of sore fingers and it used to make your hands smelly!
 

Iccz

Distinguished Member
Often beating the 'carpet carriers' (our word for musculer prats on steroids) at arm wrestling, pushing and lifting.

Aren't they just as much technique based as they are strength based challenges though?
Either way doesn't sound like a fun job, nor do the others, makes me realise how lucky I've been with my jobs :D
 
D

Deleted member 30535

Guest
Maintaining/refurbing a steam engine on a gold mine in South Africa. 40 degree heat, ash, steamed ash, dry ash, fine ash, coarse ash.

Not many people can lay claim to having changed the piston rings on a steam locomotive! They were huge!
 

Urien Rheged

Distinguished Member
Worked in a mental hospital whilst I was a student. Sometimes cleaning human excrement off the ceiling, or toilets so blocked the faeces was piled higher than the toilet seat.:lesson:
 

Iccz

Distinguished Member
Maintaining/refurbing a steam engine on a gold mine in South Africa. 40 degree heat, ash, steamed ash, dry ash, fine ash, coarse ash.

Not many people can lay claim to having changed the piston rings on a steam locomotive! They were huge!

But it was no problem for you because you're a superhero right?
All in a days work and such :smashin:
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
Grabbing straw bales as they came off the elevator and stacking them neatly in a barn. It was hot, heavy, painful on the hands and you could not slack because by the time you had stacked one bale another one was practically dropping off the elevator! School Summer holiday job, £2.25 an hour from 8AM until 7PM.
 

Urien Rheged

Distinguished Member

7ofnine

Well-known Member
Grabbing straw bales as they came off the elevator and stacking them neatly in a barn. It was hot, heavy, painful on the hands and you could not slack because by the time you had stacked one bale another one was practically dropping off the elevator! School Summer holiday job, £2.25 an hour from 8AM until 7PM.

Sounds like a job I had stacking bottles on to a conveyor belt in a soft drink factory. Do that all day and you learn the meaning of 'mind numbing tedious job'.
 

rickinyorkshire

Distinguished Member
One tedious job i had was when i left school, i straight into a factory where i spent 9 hours a day at the same machine bending 6" pieces of metal in half. used to do thousands...nightmare.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
Started work in this country as a fish monger to pay for my studies. The worst part was the train ride home on a hot summers night, I always used to try hide in a corner of the train so no one could smell me, it always seemed that on summer, no amount of soap and deoderent could take the smell away. Needless to say I'm glad I dont do that job anymore
 

rockmonkey1973

Well-known Member
I used to help a mate doing furniture removals at the weekend. That was by far and away the hardest most physically demanding work i have ever done. Had quite a lot of really mental days when we would be carrying heavy stuff up and down loads of flights of stairs for 12-14 hours. Everyday i did it i would reach a point where i had to find a little bit more mental strength just so i could will my legs to keep moving. Thankfully the two lads who i worked with were tall and pretty strong so they mostly used to manage the really big, mad, heavy kit.

Even though i was often cursing and sweating like a dog i really liked it. I really enjoyed the challenge. I used to look at it like i was getting paid for doing a full days workout at the gym. At the end of the day when i would flop into bed i always felt like i had done an honest days work. I do look back now though and wonder how the hell i ever coped.
 

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