Contest! Win a copy of The Toilet Business

Good morning! The Toilet Business is published.  If you’re a fan of David Sedaris, Laurie Notaro or Rachel Thompson, this book is for you.

The blurb:

Stacey Wallace Benefiel has been a butcher, a baker and would totally entertain the idea of being a candlestick maker.

Over the past eighteen years she’s worked nearly fifty jobs, ninety percent of which were crappy. Along the way, she’s racked up several degrees in professions people don’t actually need degrees for and has filled out so much FAFSA paperwork that she can do it with her eyes closed.

From motel housekeeper, to fry cook, to Tower Records salesperson, Stacey has weathered her employment adventures with a smile on her face, uncomfortable shoes on her feet, and a double Jack and Coke in hand.

Her employment history gives new meaning to the phrase retail therapy.

You can purchase TTB at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

Or…

You can tell me about the crappiest job you’ve ever had and enter to win a copy!

Jot down your workplace trials and tribulations in the comments.  Make sure to include an e-mail address so that I can send you the book if your story is chosen.  I’m giving away 5 e-books.  The winners will be chosen by me.  The contest ends at 9am PST on Monday the 23rd.

I can’t wait to hear everyone’s stories.  The world overfloweth with crappy jobs and the people who have to do them.

36 thoughts

  1. Through most of my college life, I worked at an adult bookstore, eventually becoming Assistant Manager. For the most part, it was a dream retail job. Great pay (for the industry), endless entertainment from the strange clientele and I could immediately kick out anyone that was inappropriate.

    However, my tenure there started working overnights, which included cleaning the video rooms in the back, was quite the experience. Those familiar with the movie clerks know the term “Jizzmopper” which is pretty is a pretty accurate description of what I did that first summer. I kept telling myself, “At least it isn’t blood or poop.”

  2. Ugh, my worst job has to be this temp stint I did at a law firm. I was the front-line receptionist for about 7 lawyers. One would actually yell at me for mispronouncing her name and I was constantly being snapped at by one person or another. Once I started having nightmares about ringing phones, I called my agency and told them that I refused to go back. I lasted one week.

  3. I’m still amazed that you left out mention of the dry cleaner?! Was that not considered a crappy job? 😉

    Of course, it was a great weight-loss program in the summers, what with the constant sweating…

  4. The crappiest job I ever had to do… Amazingly, it wasn’t in food service; I actually enjoyed that. And it wasn’t that travel agency I worked for that was the job from hell, either…although that job gave wonderful fodder for my office setting in two of my novels.

    No, the crappiest job would have to be selling maintenance agreements (you know, extended warranties) for Sears. I couldn’t sell food to a starving man, and oh, let’s add in the telephone, for which I have this strange phobia–I hate talking on the phone. Yeah, that was a season in hell–people hang up on you, call you names, ask to speak to your supervisor about you calling & bugging them & trying to sell them stuff–forgetting that it’s your job! Ahhhhh, glad those days are long behind me!

  5. i’m looking forward to reading of your employment antics. i’m sure i’ve got you beat in horrible jobs 😉 but it will be fun to compare.
    good luck with the sales… hopping over to amazon to support you right now 🙂

  6. At a girls camp, as a leader, one girl lost her retainer. So much fun digging through piles of garbage (old food, etc.) trying to find a tiny piece of plastic with a thin sliver of metal on it! Ugh.

  7. I was a security guard at the spam plant for a few months. I had to stand at the exit and have people open up their lunch buckets for me, to make sure they weren’t stealing Spam. And I had to wear a suit with a badge while I was doing it. Pretty humiliating.

  8. dang… close guess. lol. my worst was working at a chicken plant. the stench was beyond overwhelming. my mom would make me strip in the garage and head straight for the shower. the job itself, taking 6 adorably cute little chicks and putting them in cages with a little door about 4″x4″ wasn’t so bad.
    Ahh… the naivety of youth. foreman: “come back in about 6wks for the second half of this project– another $400”. me: “sweet, thanks!” sadly, i only lasted a day on the second half of that project. those little chicks were pretty big and getting them out of the holes was torture and…. then i found out where they were going. haha. mortifying!

  9. sorry to poke fun eric but really, that’s pretty funny. did you actually catch anyone? i couldn’t eat chicken for years after my chicken job so i can’t imagine that spam would be popular after processing. lol

  10. Ugh. Yeah, one of my grandpa’s was a chicken farmer and I’m surprised my granny ever let him in the house. P U! But $400! That’s a lot for putting chickens in a box. I suppose I would be haunted by their little chicken faces in my sleep, though. lol

  11. Yes! I was hoping someone had worked at an adult bookstore. Whenever my husband is out of work I always tell him to apply at the one about a mile from where we live. I thought it can’t be that bad and would be entertaining. Did not consider the “Jizzmopper” aspect of the job. Ick, but it makes for a great story!

  12. That would be the time I was an accounts payable clerk for a construction firm nearing completion on two major projects, with the consequent huge cash flow problems. I got yelled at and cussed at by frustrated vendors every day, and I had to decide which of them was the squeakiest wheels that had to be oiled in that week’s paltry payments.

    The two people who preceded me and followed me in that position lasted a combined total of seven weeks. I lasted seven months. Masochistic much? 😀

  13. I caught one person, but I let him take it with him anyway. Protecting myself from getting hit in the face was more important to me than protecting the Spam. That job never made sense to me. Before I worked there, they must have hired a ton of people who just loved stealing Spam, to me I would think they would save more money letting people occasionally sneak out with a can of Spam, than they would hiring someone to prevent it. But, oh well…I don’t work there anymore 🙂

    Stacey- I just downloaded the book! It sounds like fun, I’m gonna start reading it tonight.

  14. $200 for a week of putting the lil chicks in. the $400 would have been for taking them all out and cleaning in preparation for the next delivery. think i got about $10 cuz i only made it 2hrs. haha. tossed my cookies during demonstration of how to pull them out and not killing them in the process. was all downhill from there.

  15. As a twenty-something I worked at fish cannery on a small island in the Aleutian chain. My first season I picked worms out of cod fish for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t eat cod now as I know what all those dark spots in the fish. Either worms that didn’t get picked out, or spots where worms were. Yuck!

  16. Best of luck with this new book, Stacey!

    Okay, I’m never going to win this. Crappiest job: Chuck E. Cheese

    My first job.

    For those of you not in the know, it’s a thrilling arcade-type business / pizza parlor, big with the preschool set.

    The crappiest part of that job was not stinking like pizza sauce afterward, or getting my shoes accidentally soaked with dishwater, or mopping the floor at closing. And I actually liked making cotton candy and pizza. That was fun. The crappiest part was the parents (customers), who were stressed out maniacs looking for someone to take it out on.

  17. That sounds like the job my husband just quit! Did it make you sick to your stomach every time you walked in the door? More power to you for sticking around so long, I would’ve bailed early on.

  18. That totally makes sense. How much can an at cost can of Spam be? Although, for me, the allure of stealing the Spam would be all about the packaging. 🙂
    Thanks for getting the book. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

  19. I worked for a pooper-scooper company. We would go into people’s backyards and scoop their dog’s poop. I did this during the winter, in Chicago. I had to use a spade to chip away ice to get to poop. We also scooped in the rain… Wet poop. Sometimes, to pass the time, and to not go crazy from the insane amount of poop people let collect in their backyards, my best friend/fellow scooper and I would come up with funny poop songs. “My girl likes to poopy all the time, poopy all the time” to the tune of Eddie Murphy’s “Party all The Time”. There were countless others. We had to make ourselves laugh, or else we’d probably have cried.

  20. God bless you. As the parent of young children, I’ve spent a fair amount of time at Chuck’s and I think working there would drive me insane! Surely you had to clean up barf on a daily basis. lol

  21. A sense of humor is definitely required for a job like that. The people that hired you must have been rich, or maybe it’s a Chicago thing, because in Missouri we just let the snow cover it all up in the winter and deal in the spring. 🙂 I’m very familiar with the wet poop scoop soup. You’d think it would, um, melt faster in the rain.

  22. It was for a company that is all over the country. And we were paid on commission. The guy who owns the Chicago franchise was incredibly lame and gave people discounts without telling us, so we really didn’t get paid much at all.

    Some of the people looked well off, but most just looked lazy. A lot of people complained, because they knew if they did they’d get a free scooping.

    The only good part was sometimes the dogs were outside and we got to play around with them. Love the animals.

  23. ha That reminds me of an HVAC company I worked for. Was supposed to be the manager’s personal assistant, but ended up having to man the switchboard–WITH NO EXPERIENCE and a revulsion for talking on the phone–when the switchboard operator unexpectedly quit. Then they canned one of the dispatchers (the WRONG one, IMHO), and the one left wouldn’t take the calls I sent back her way. Oh, it was baaaaad!! I lasted only a few weeks & then just walked out, no notice. I had the same kind of thing–people yelling at me and such. Gawd, it was bad. Can’t believe you lasted 7 months!

  24. Me me me! I want a copy! I’ve been looking forward to this ever since you started posting about it.
    I haven’t had that many jobs though. My job at the ice cream store was a blast until a brief instance of sexual harassment, and I quit the next day. But that’s not funny. Hmm, funny crappy… There was the time I had to be part of a fashion show at school where we had to design and model our own 60s inspired dresses – I can’t design, sew or model! But that wasn’t really a job…

  25. OK! Everyone else can stop now because the winner is right here 😛

    Correctional Officer for a state prison – From working the food line and getting called every name in the book because inmates thought I wasn’t giving them enough eggs to ‘sausage patrol’ (strip searching about 200 inmates as they went to and from the rec yard), to wondering if today is the day that you’d get pee or poop flung at you, the CO job has to be the #1 crappy job out there.

  26. The crappiest job I’ve ever (and still have)is being a nurse. When I worked in the hospital, my work day tasks sounded like a symptoms list on a pepto commercial.

  27. When I moved to be with my then fiance, I took a job as an office assistant at a flight school. I thought it would be for a short time Nd once I found something better, I’d be put of there. But, as luck would have it, I ended up pregnant, so I stayed. Just to mention a few things, we worked out of a small trailer with holes in the floor. I was an assistant to nobody. I was the only one who worked in that office and I took care of everything, but barely got paid more than minimum wage. My boss, who I rarely saw, would not even let me take a week off work to get married. We eventually had to go to the justice of the peace. Her reason was because she might be going on her honeymoon around that time. (she knew we were engaged when she hired me, her wedding was several months before and she never went on a damn honeymoon) Oh, and the day we went to the J.P. to get married, she kept calling, so I had to lie and say I had a flat and we’d be getting back a bit later than expected. Several of the international students had roach infestations in their apartment and so eventually we did at the school too. I could go on forever about that place but the real kicker is, my husband had gotten me an interview there bc he was a student pilot working on his commercial license. It was the only flight school around and ridiculously expensive, and we’re still trying to pay off the huge flight loan he took and still never finished that rating.

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