Updated: Feb 19, 2019
It's hard to top a job where you get paid to evaluate strains, so we thought we'd take it the other direction: Here's our team's Worst Day On A Job stories
By Josh Brasse
Two weeks into a job at a t-shirt screen printing shop, I broke. That Wednesday started at 4:45 am with a 45-minute drive to an industrial park. Concrete floors and industrial windows. FM96 echoing the same pop-rock playlist. Standing in front of an automatic 8-colour carousel screen printer, pulling t-shirts off as they rotate past the last screen, checking the print, then throwing them on a pile - while dude beside me loads up another tee. Repeat endlessly. There's a reason they give jobs like this to robots. It took me about two hours to figure out that I was not going to like this, and two weeks to know if I have to come back in tomorrow, I'm actually gonna snap. Like, real life snap. Like I'm-about-to-go-Rowdy-Roddy-Piper snap. I had spent 99% of my two weeks there telling myself it’ll get better, I’ll get used to it, it’s just a temporary job til something better comes along. But each passing day was a rapid panic-inducing descent into the hell I imagined the rest of my life to be. Fuck. This. Shit. Walking into the boss' carpeted office, I took a defeated seat across from him at his desk. "What's going on?" he asked. "It's not for me," I stated conclusively. His eyes rolled, and he had half a smile like he knew it was coming. He was cool about it. After chatting about reasons, he told me to finish up the week and all’s good.
In that moment, I exceeded my limit. As cool as he was being, I could tell he wasn’t seeing the extent of my broken state. I sat there quietly, imagining the next two days of my life. Every fiber of my being was sending the same self-preservation message – get out now or risk madness.
After too much silence, I resorted to begging. I’m not proud about it, it wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Freedom.
As painful as the experience was, I learned two incredibly valuable lessons that I’ve referenced hundreds of times in my life:
One, fill my career with my passions. Two, pay attention to my emotional limits.