Ayr Racecourse

February 4, 2008
I have 2 separate shifts to recall and moan about here, so let’s begin.First up, my first shift at Ayr. When I was still at the tender age of 17 I was sent to Ayr Racecourse to a plate waiting shift. Upon arrival I was given an apron to wear for the duration of my shift. We were sent to work in an area which appeared to be set up for a lunch buffet. We were told that, as it was a buffet meal, we would only be clearing plates. We then discovered that there were already staff to do that job, so we went into the back room and busied ourselves ploshing random bits of junk (plates, cutlery, tea/coffee pots) and eating pretty much everything that came through the door! Once we’d cleaned enough junk to drive any normal person insane, we set about tidying up.

It was then that I discovered it… the source of the slightly fousty smell gone dry. Behind one of the urns there was a bucket, and in that bucket lay about 20 or so teabags, covered in green, blue and white crusty mould. I showed it to my workmate and the both of us felt our stomachs churning. This was disgusting! We tried to find some latex gloves or something that could be thrown in the bin after using it to remove the teabags from the bucket, with no success. I plucked up my courage and picked those teabags, one by one, out of the bucket and dropped them into the bin. I then soaked and rinsed the bucket with boiling water, before attempting to scrub at it. We hunted around and eventually found some form of dishsoap, and set about scrubbing the bucket clean. Once we’d removed the worst of the black marks and brown stains, we rinsed the bucket a few times and put it in a hidden corner somewhere, to reduce the chances if it being used for ice or anything that might poison someone…

That was about the worst part of that shift. Also, we weren’t given any breaks. We weren’t working much, but no-one told us to go on a break, so we effectively worked a 10-hour shift non-stop, without a break, or any food.


Glasgow Hilton

February 4, 2008

First up, the Glasgow Hilton on Bishop Street. One of my first shifts ever working in Glasgow, I was sent to the Hilton Hotel on Bishop Street to do a plate waiting shift in a large function hall ( a big room with 30-odd tables seating about 1000 people). Fine… I arrived there, and was told to find my way round to the back to sign in. I was then led into the back door (the code for which I’ve forgotten…shame) round a maze of corridors, into the lift, up the the 3rd floor, and then round another maze of corridors, to where I was given an ill-fitting shirt with buttons missing that looked more like a very small jacket… I was then expected to find my way to the kitchen. I eventually caught up with someone that I recognised and she led the way there.

The kitchen was horrible. It was dirty, smelly, cramped, and far too hot. No wonder the Chefs have a reputation for being grumpy, moaning b*****ds! We were then asked to circle the room and check the table settings. That would have been fine if there was more than 4″ space between the chairs! I dreaded to think what it would be like when the guests came in and sat down.

About 15 minutes later, once they’d established exactly who hadn’t bothered to turn up, we were called over to the corner of the room an put into groups of 4, and given our tables, which were in the opposite corner of the room! We were then given our briefing and told that we were to be serving the conservative party for some big meeting, and we would be asked to leave the room and collect ourselves well out of earshot at some point during the meal. I didn’t like the sound of this… Anyway, we got to setting up our work stations (where we serve from and clear to for each course), and deciding who would do what.

When the guests came in and seated themselves, we set about placing their napkins on their laps (I hated this) and asking them for dietary requirements. Then we served the meals. With each course we served, we became further and further behind. The tables were far too close together, and I have no idea how many times I nearly tripped on wires and things littering the edges of the room. Not to mention the weight of the trays before they were loaded up with a minimum of 6 heavily laden plates.

One woman in particular got very annoyed because we had to ask her to pull her chair in every time we passed, and she decided to stand up instead… She eventually complained to our manageress and we were told not to ask her to move again, but to ask the man behind her, who was already sitting quite close to the table. Did I mention that she was sitting one the very edge of her seat, with the edge of the table level with her kneecaps?!

When we finally got round to serving tea & coffee at the end of the meal, we were alreay 1/2 an hour over the 4 hours we were supposed to be working. We then discovered that one of our workmates had disappeared because she was too stressed to bother anymore, then we found out that all the tea and coffee was gone, so we had to try and serve 60 people with 2 teapots and 3 coffee pots. The milk machine was empty, the milk jugs were gone, as was all the sugar, and when we asked one of the managers where to find more, he didn’t answer us, but instead asked us why we hadn’t finished already.

After an hour of this rubbish, my 2 remaining workmates and I decided to leave it. Most people didn’t get tea or coffee, some didn’t get desserts, and we definitely didn’t get paid for 5 1/2 hours! I made a point of being stubborn thereafter, for every shift I worked at that horrible place! I eventually got barred from the place after working 3 shifts with flame red hair! I have to say that was a relief. I can never work there again, I never want to, and I advise every living soul against it!

Have you had a hard time working at the Hilton? Post a comment and let us know what happened to you.

MORI pollsters = 100% shitey job

February 3, 2008

My worst job so far (I don’t doubt there could yet be worse to come) was in a call centre near Leith in Edinburgh.  It wasn’t even a “bad” call centre, in the sense that the company I was working for (Ipsos MORI) is actually a market researcher – so we were just conducting surveys, not trying to get people to switch their gas provider or tricking OAPs into spending their life savings on some home improvement or whatever. Unfortunately companies like that have adopted the tactic of pretending to be market researchers to keep people on the phone longer – meaning most calls we made were answered with the same suspicion (or, a few times a day, genuine hatred) reserved  for people trying to sell them shit they don’t want.


Like most call centres the work was *totally* casualised – shifts had to be booked on the Thursday morning for the coming week, when interviewers had to call in early and often to get through and try  get enough shifts to make enough  money to live off for the next 7 days.  The company were in the habit of constantly recruiting new people (it wasn’t difficult for anyone to get a job there), so there were never enough shifts to go round.  If you were new, or only tended to work part-time, then you were only ever left with long weekend shifts, or occasionally an evening or two (4-hour shifts from 5-9 that feel almost completely worthless when you spend  half as long traveling to get there and back).


Often calls would be made by computers performing “random digit dialing”, meaning you could be left waiting between calls for 2 or 3 minutes at a time, as the computer got through to a number (and most of the times it did get through it was only to an answering machine).  Some times folk took in newspapers and crosswords to do in the time between calls, and it didn’t affect the work they were doing.  I decided to bring in the book I was reading (“Down and Out in Paris and London” I think) and got told off – the guy             (a bottom-end supervisor on a power trip) mistook me for someone else he had already told off for reading and sent me home one hour into the shift, unpaid.  I complained about his behaviour to the management the next day, but they just backed him up – like pretty much all call centres there is no union so there was nothing else I could do.  I didn’t get any shifts when I called up for the next couple of weeks.


A few times I tried putting up some posters trying to see if anyone would be up for getting a union started there – despite a little interest at first, after a few days the posters had been removed, or else covered in (justifiably?) paranoid graffiti saying that it was just a management ploy to get rid of trouble-makers.


Not a good experience overall.


Anon. Midlothian

Welcome to Crap Jobs in Glasgow

November 7, 2007

This blog is dedicated to those who have had bad experiences working in Glasgow. We’ll start off with a few of our horror stories. Feel free to add your own by posting a comment here, or if you’ve had a hard time working at one of the places featured then let us know. If you don’t want to post on here you can email us privately at crapjobs@hotmail.co.uk

Our aim is to find the worst places to work in Glasgow and sort them out! Feel free to bitch and moan, but we want to do more than just blow off some steam. If you have any questions regarding your rights, or any problems, we’ll try and get some helpful information to give you a hand, as well as getting some revenge on the worst of the worst. We work with the living wage campaign at Glasgow University, and Scottish Socialist Youth’s campaign to end low pay (www.ssy.org.uk) to get people who’ve been messed about at work together and let the bosses know we won’t take their shit!