Have you ever had the absolute worst day of work that makes you want to quit immediately?
On occasion I have those but I try to remember the real worst days I’ve ever had and usually it either makes me laugh or at least realize how ridiculous I am being because… it could be worse. In no particular order, here are some of my truly worst days in the working world. I hope they will help you laugh off a bad day as well.
- That day in July 2003 I guarded at least 20 Iraqis by myself as they paved a base dining facility (DFAC) parking lot and no one from my unit checked on me so I could use the bathroom, or brought me food or water. By the end of the day I had a colossal migraine from dehydration, lack of food and the sweet smell of tar that was never going to cool in the over 100 degree heat.
- Base cleanup day in Germany when I wasn’t in any kind of trouble but had to clean sidewalk cracks with my bare hands. I actually had a sergeant major come bring me a spoon in case that was super helpful. That same day I was told to mow grass (which I have never done) and when someone else broke the lawn mower I was given a pair of scissors to cut the grass with.
- When I was a teenager I worked in the children’s section of a department store and I too frequently had to cover a dinner break for someone who worked in lingerie. I was young and naïve and very unprepared to help a man who came in for a bra fitting and for very real advice on wearing women’s lingerie.
- The time I had to continue working in full mission oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear (you know gas mask, protective uniform over the uniform, plastic boots over the boots and gloves), while sirens blared and I had to pretend to continue working as normal. Have you ever had to jab at a keyboard with a pencil eraser (because the gloves were so bulky) wondering if something awful was going to happen, and wondering when it would be possible to take off the 18 layers of protective gear to cool off to eat and use the bathroom? At this same time I walked to work over two miles each way through an old minefield (but don’t tell my mom)!
- While guarding Iraqis who were police calling (picking up trash on) the base and they kept handing me unexploded rounds as if they couldn’t go off in my hand and as if the military is cutting coupons and recycling.
Maybe some of my crazy days can help cheer us both the next time we aren’t living the dream!