I’ve been fortunate to enjoy almost every job I’ve had over the past half-century. But in the beginning I paid my dues in the world of crappy work with two employment gigs that were hazardous to my mental and physical health.
Injection molder at a rubber plant: I’d done this type of work before while in college but now. I was out of college and the Army and had no money in a bad economy. The rubber plant was an all men operation in a windowless concrete room that was hotter than hell. I had trouble breathing, but the trade-off was high pay. My co-workers were men who looked like labor camp prisoners and I wondered how soon before I became one of them.
Debt collector: I couldn’t find work because my draft status was 1-A and no one wanted to touch me save for this well-known finance company that charged as much as 33 percent interest on its loans to people strapped for cash. On one occasion I was directed to park a small moving truck in front of the debtor’s residence to reinforce the threat that if he didn’t make a payment today, we were going to repossess his furniture. My “partner” was a moron who couldn’t complete a sentence without the F-word. I quit in disgust and many years later would work on a state law that cracked down on the tactics employed by finance companies.