Muddy hell

“I worked at a golf club for a summer and one night we hired out the clubhouse to some lawyers. When the party finished, I locked up and got in my car to give the barmaids a lift home. Halfway down the drive, however, the club alarm started going off. Balls! Without thinking I swerved and tried to turn the car around on the grass verge, but the ground was waterlogged and the car got stuck. Double balls! In a panic, I got one of the girls in the driving seat and tried to push the car out. Bad idea. Ten minutes later the car was in deeper and I was plastered in mud. I left the girls and started jogging back to the clubhouse, where I found a drunk woman banging on the door. I struggled with the keys, then, just as I let the semi-naked girl out and she hugged me in delight, two cars arrived – one the police, the other my manager. Both had been summoned when the alarm went off, and neither believed my explanation as to how I got into this mess.”

Derek Wilson, Coventry

Fat chance

“‘What’s that smell?’ enquired quite possibly the most attractive woman I’ve ever been close to pulling after I’d ‘taken her outside’ one night during the summer of 1999. The answer? Sadly, me. I was working as a cleaner at the Golden Wonder factory, which meant entire days scrubbing down industrial-sized deep fat fryers. No matter how many showers I had, the stench would linger for a week afterwards. We never got it on, in case you hadn’t guessed.”

Paddy, Christchurch

Oh poo

“I got totally rat-arsed while working at a bar at a festival last summer. It was great, too. Or it was right up to the moment the urge to take a crap rushed upon me like a tsunami. I ran like the wind and used my ‘bar supervisor’ credentials to jump the queue. Heaven. Once inside, I let go of a bowel movement that was so disgusting it made me gag. It was absolutely horrible, but despite knowing there was a queue outside, I decided the best thing to do was front it out. After all, from memory, it was only a bunch of lads waiting. Bad memory. I opened the door and released the stench right into the face of a hot female colleague. She didn’t talk to me for the rest of the weekend.”

Mark, Leeds

Code red

“Working as a caravan cleaner at a low-rent South West holiday park, I’d frequently walk into scenes that were reminiscent of Bombay’s slums. It was vile – litter everywhere, bunged up chemical toilets, used condoms and, on one occasion, a trapped pigeon. Despite all this, my worst memory remains my first ‘code red’. As I was about to discover, these referred to the occasions where one of the park’s less salubrious guests had got in a fight and bled everywhere. And on this occasion the chap really had bled everywhere: the roof, floor, sink, windows, bed… but what was worse than the blood itself was the stench. I radioed the boss and demanded protective clothing. He laughed, so I demanded harder. He laughed again, so I threatened to walk out. He said he’d bring ‘the protective clothing’. And in fairness, he did, which is why 15 minutes later I was scrubbing the blood dressed in two bin bags, two pairs of marigolds and a balaclava he’d had in the boot of his car.”

Tom Ferguson, Newquay

Crap job

“One summer I worked at an animal park and got shat on by literally every living thing there, including the children. The worst-smelling poo? The ferrets, closely followed by the piglets.” Jim Jackson, Bedford Water skive “A couple of years ago I was working as one of those guys at Reading Festival who carries bottles of water around and tries to sell them to parched music lovers for £4 a pop. Unfortunately, the company I was working for didn’t have enough wristbands for the whole 12-man team to go and do this, leaving just me and my three mates with the wristbands needed to get in and out of the site. A few hours into the job, we skived off and started getting pissed. Meanwhile, the authorities got wind of how they didn’t have enough wristbands and chucked the lot of them out – leaving us with free access to the festival and a huge amount of free water, beer and snacks. I lived just up the road so we slept in beds every night, brought down a company, drank all their beer, and had a thoroughly good time.”

Jim Jackson, Bedford 

Weeded out

“My dad’s a huge fan of gardening and the other year he fixed me up with this sweet job at a garden centre that was attached to a Royal Horticultural Society garden. So far, so dull, except for one very important fact: the RHS are very, very into boozy social events and my position meant I was invited. My whole time there was fantastic, but the evening that stands out was my last – a particular heavy session that ended with me copping off with Natalie from the herbaceous plants section. A lovely girl who attacked my ‘hanging garden’ with gusto. So much gusto, in fact, that her vigorous movement set off the automatic floodlights and exposed our naked torsos to the late night revellers. Hence why my ‘whole time there’ consisted of a mere three weeks.”

Harry Thomas, Cirencester

Limp Employee

“My parents still think I got sacked from my first summer job for arguing with my boss. The truth? They couldn’t handle the truth. I, er, pulled a colleague but – for the first and only time ever, obviously – couldn’t get it up, so was too embarrassed to ever clock in again.”

Bri Jones, Birmingham

Water skive

“A couple of years ago I was working as one of those guys at Reading Festival who carries bottles of water around and tries to sell them to parched music lovers for £4 a pop. Unfortunately, the company I was working for didn’t have enough wristbands for the whole 12-man team to go and do this, leaving just me and my three mates with the wristbands needed to get in and out of the site. A few hours into the job, we skived off and started getting pissed. Meanwhile, the authorities got wind of how they didn’t have enough wristbands and chucked the lot of them out – leaving us with free access to the festival and a huge amount of free water, beer and snacks. I lived just up the road so we slept in beds every night, brought down a company, drank all their beer, and had a thoroughly good time.”

Ali, Reading


Gardeners world

“Back in 2000 I persuaded my dad to let my mate Fraser and I do some work for his landscape gardening business. Unfortunately, our first day was the morning after a rather large evening and Fraser isn’t very good with hangovers. Long story short, he was sick in the customer’s prize rockery, costing my dad £2,000 worth of business and us our jobs.”

Keir, Aberdeen 

Smashing Time

“Last year I offered to clean my dad’s shop for five weeks. He agreed and five weeks later I was knackered and worse off. Why? Simple. He owned a china shop and I managed to break more than my wages covered.” John Stocks, Mansfield Hail Mary(land) “In 1997 I spent three summer months selling aerial photographs door-to-door in Maryland, USA. It was good, but uneventful right up to the day Princess Diana died. Not because I was upset, you realise, but because every single homeowner I approached – presumably thinking all Brits were in some way related – both spontaneously embraced me, and gave me some money ‘to help in the healing process’. It really did too. Maker’s Mark does wonders for ‘grief’.”

John Stocks, Mansfield

Hello Belfast

“Working for my dad’s mate who owned a pharmaceutical distribution company got me an invite to the company’s summer party – a swanky dinner dance in Belfast for 400 people, with a free bar. A free bar I abused a little too much. Which is presumably why I decided the best way to seduce the lady at the next table was to storm the stage and ‘show the band how it was done’. I grabbed the mic and got exactly three lines into Don’t Stop Believin’ when the bouncers came for me. Cue a haphazard chase around the room and then into the kitchen. Here I fended off a bouncer with a plate of profiteroles, before doubling back into the hall and receiving the adulation of the crowd. That’s a lie. I was rounded tutted and booed, before being escorted off the property and removed from the company’s books.”

Stew M, Nottingham