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Tech's 10 Worst Entry-Level Jobs 312

Nicholas Carlson writes "These employers (Amazon, Google, Yahoo, etc), and the others hiring for tech's 10 worst entry-level jobs will look good on a resume someday, but for now the only good these jobs promise the world is the pleasant feeling you and I can share knowing we're not the ones stuck in them." The story is really obnoxiously laid out, requiring many many clicks to read very little actual content. Perhaps Valleywag could afford to hire another of tech's worst jobs: the web designer.
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Tech's 10 Worst Entry-Level Jobs

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  • Chiming in (Score:5, Interesting)

    by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:42AM (#23493368) Journal
    Late 90s, my shift was midnight to 8AM.

    Using a 14400 baud modem, my job was uploading large Microsoft Access DB files to non-networked isolated computers located on the rooftops of large appartment complexes, one upload at a time, then restarting the server. Said computers controlled the cable TV for the building.

    The night was spent waiting for each individual upload to finish, then starting the next. Seriously, I was a human cron job that verified an upload. Most of the waiting was spent reading the web. It was my initiation to Slashdot. Also, Stileproject when it was some kid's f*cked up blog and not a porn empire. It was also my initiation to drinking bucket-loads of coffee.

    I would let out cries of injustice every time the connection would drop with no option to resume. This would happen often. The company had 2 phone lines, or something ridiculous, maximum two uploads at a time. However, if I did parallel uploading it would up the chance of lost connections. Furthermore, the servers on the buildings would crash, sometimes corrupting the file. I had to report those crashes to the day staff, who would eventually drive out to the site and restart the servers.

    The company went bankrupt a few months after I quit.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fruey ( 563914 )
      That job is so easy to automate. Even with dialout, upload, check script, etc. Man, what a bomb.
    • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:58AM (#23493602)

      I'd have to say that's not the worst entry-level job in tech by a long shot, ever since I started working in the wonderful area of, wait a minute some guy had to restart his DSL modem and needed me to hold his hand, tech support.

      Seriously, working in tech support is about as low as it gets, you're expected to have college-level skills while everyone assumes you're some high school dropout who is barely capable of reading and writing, the pay is horrible and very few people really appreciate the work you do (most of the time the first thing you hear after helping someone fix a problem is "...and how are you going to compensate me for this?").


      • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Insightful)

        by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:03PM (#23493672)
        Uhhh... Yeah, that's pretty much how it is.

        Imagine it the other way around, though; There have been many times where I have been on the phone to somebody like yourself, having already performed ALL of the troubleshooting tips you'll go through (having done them at least three times before on seperate calls), yet you still WILL NOT proceed with escalating a call until you've been through them ONE MORE TIME to make sure we've done it right.

        Too damn right you get a mouth full, you insensitive clod!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          That never made sense to me. Assuming what we've learned from running tech support (almost all my knowledge of this comes from /. as I've never called them), they keep notes on respective customers, like whether or not they're a douchebag idiot. How hard would it be to agree to a quick and easy ten point scale rating? That way, when a customer calls up, you can quickly see whether or not she's a senile and foul-mouthed octogenarian or a fairly bright kid who tried recommended practices first before calli
          • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:34PM (#23494134)
            A level 3 tech's time is much more costly to the company than a L1's or even a L2's. It's like a pyramid. Lots of L1 techs to screen out the reboot-will-fix-it-for-now callers, some L2 techs to gather the information for the L3 and possibly script monkey away the problem and avoid escalating to L3 and then just a handful of L3 techs that handle the few calls that get through to them.

            Toss in draconian call metric systems, skeleton crews and call volumes that burn out your L1 and L2 techs before they start getting raises and you've got a system that favors not promoting customers up the chain if at all possible.

            Another thing to remember: when you call in you are bothering the other person on the other end as well. They really don't want to talk to you. They will make you share in the suffering. If the L2 techs can find a way to keep you in L1 hell, they will. L3 does the same.

            I'm amazed that we haven't had enough incidents yet to coin the phrase "going tech support". Hitler and Stalin don't have anything on the average L2 tech when it comes to malevolence and a burning desire to rid the world of all life in the cruelest, most painful ways possible.
            • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Interesting)

              by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@NosPam.pitabred.dyndns.org> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:47PM (#23495112) Homepage
              That's why I utter the words "If you work with me, I can get you off this call faster. I don't need much help, just a little info.". If they aren't complete retards purely reading from a script with absolutely no understanding of what they're saying, it usually works pretty well for me. That, and just being nice but firm.

              It's amazing what being nice will get you in general, actually.
              • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Interesting)

                by bball99 ( 232214 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @02:52PM (#23495954)
                you are most correct... i'll never forget the time i found myself with a box from Bell Atlantic containing a DSL modem, filters, and a CD... of course, i only ran Linux in the house... and of course, the CD only contained Software For Satan(TM)...

                in fact, it readily became apparent that the only way to establish service (get a username and password) was through some sort of Windows extensions/js stuff for Internet Exploder...

                so i called Bell Atlantic and social-engineered my way past the first tier folks, and then got a good tech... i explained that i was using Linux... he understood, got a customer service (billing) rep on the line at the same time, who then gave me a username and password right over the phone - no going through any software install or Windoze browser crapola!

                i was pretty stoked when i got my first ping from an xterm on my new DSL connection...

                so whoever you are and wherever you are, thank you tech rep from the now-defunct Bell Atlantic DSL support line!
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by saintlupus ( 227599 )
                  You're welcome.

                  I worked for Bell Atlantic DSL support, later renamed Verizon DSL support. It was the worst job I've ever had, or ever will have. I wasn't even all that upset when they fired us all to move our jobs to Canada.

                  And I did help a lot of Linux users, since I was one of the few people there who used it at home.

            • Re:Chiming in (Score:4, Interesting)

              by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:51PM (#23495140) Journal

              If the L2 techs can find a way to keep you in L1 hell, they will. L3 does the same.
              I would think that this kind of support might be useful in screening which calls will need to be escalated anyway, and escalate them sooner. I realize it would be ludicrous to save an L1 tech's time at the expense of an L2 or L3's time, but again, these are the calls from competent people who know the script by heart and will be escalated anyway.

              The other frustrating thing I've found is, especially with ISPs, if you call on nights and weekends, you get an outsourced L1 tech, which is even worse. Best bet is to call someone you know who works there, if possible, because the tech support pyramid, in general, won't get you where you need.

              Example: We have to DHCP Release on the old router before switching to a new one (or, really, a new MAC address) -- one thing I've occasionally called in for is simply asking someone to nuke my lease. When we call the guy we know, he calls a guy he knows, and in maybe two minutes, we're back online. When we call tech support, especially on a weekend, if I'm lucky, I can explain the situation in less than five minutes and the tech is actually competent enough to understand me -- but I'll get no real help until it expires on its own, or until I can call the guy on Monday.

              Maybe I'm naive, but it just surprises me that tech support has never been tried with quality over quantity.
              • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Interesting)

                by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @02:30PM (#23495658)
                The biggest frustration I have is when a company does not seem to keep a ticket record of my previous problems and their attempts to fix it.

                Once my ISP had a switch or router or some of their equipment down the street go bad to where it started dropping packets - but only at peak load.

                So every time I called, by the time I had gone through level 1, level 2, and all the waiting on hold - by the time I got to level 3 (*if* I ever got there) the problem (which at this point, all I knew on my end was that I was losing packets, somehow) had stopped.

                The most frustrating thing is that every time I called to continue to resolve the issue - they started me at step one again. They actually sent a tech out to my house three times to say "huh, I don't know why they sent me out here" and for some time refused to escalate me to level 3 without sending the tech out again.

                If they would have just kept some record that I had already gone through all of their earlier steps, I could have talked to a level 3, explained the problem, and worked out a solution. Eventually I figured out the problem myself and called up to tell *them* what it was - their equipment, and exactly where even. I wanted to charge them a consulting fee.

                I have no problem having to go through the standard "unplug/replug" rigmarole once - sometimes it's even fixed it as I forgot one step. But when I call back, let me go straight to where I left off, please!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mikael_j ( 106439 )

          Yeah, see the thing is that even though I'm not just some script-monkey I still need to check certain things with the customer and I can honestly say that any customer who knows what he/she is doing shouldn't need more than a few minutes to go through all the things I need him/her to check.

          If I don't check these things before sending off a ticket then the 3rd line techs send it back to me with a note to contact the customer and get the necessary info (plus a comment about always getting all relevant info).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by compro01 ( 777531 )
          having also worked tech support, i would insist upon doing that as a lot of the time (60%+), the person is lying through their teeth and that one step (usually restarting the modem/computer/etc.) is what solves the problem.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by stewbacca ( 1033764 )
            Lying through their teeth, or simply not understanding or communicating the same things you were? I can't think of the first reason somebody who makes the effort to call a support center would need to lie about anything. Very curious indeed.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by quanticle ( 843097 )

              It not really either lying or understanding. Many times the customer calling in believes that they automatically know more than you, since you're just a "script reading monkey." Once armed with this belief, they ignore everything you say and insist that their diagnosis must be correct, even when its absolutely bollocks.

              • by Sponge Bath ( 413667 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:53PM (#23495164)

                insist that their diagnosis must be correct...

                Don't waste my time with scripts boy!
                I *know* the electrons have leaked out of my computer,
                and if you would just send me a fresh jar I could refill it myself.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by toleraen ( 831634 ) *

                they automatically know more than you
                Absolutely. I did tech support for the university I went to...the professors were the worst. They knew we were all students manning the phones and a lot of them would treat us like the undergrad scum we were. They'd never listen to what you were saying, they'd just demand that the building tech be sent out immediately, even if it was a minor issue.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Simply restarting anything never solves the problem. It only potentially provides a crude work-around.
        • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Nerdposeur ( 910128 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:35PM (#23494154) Journal

          There have been many times where I have been on the phone to somebody like yourself, having already performed ALL of the troubleshooting tips you'll go through

          I do technical support for cell phones and BlackBerrys. Although I try to get a feel for each person's competency and react accordingly, it does happen that a competent-sounding person has overlooked something obvious. Better safe than sorry, I say, if the basic troubleshooting is pretty quick to do. It's embarrassing to escalate something and find out that it was a no-brainer after all.

          I do get callers who are in charge of setting up other people's devices, and when I hear from them multiple times, I start trusting that they know what they're doing.

          One thing's for sure, though: I don't just talk like a robot through some script. I'm a human who likes helping humans.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) *

          yet you still WILL NOT proceed with escalating a call until you've been through them ONE MORE TIME to make sure we've done it right.

          That's because you really haven't called tech support.

          You're really dead and in Hell.

          "Now, sir, let's just check one more time, is the power switch on the back of the computer in the "ON" position?"
          GOTO 10

          • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:56PM (#23494456)
            You forgot: Is the power working in your city? In the building? In the room the computer is in.

            I wish I was kidding when I say that I had calls about about computers not working at all and the fact that there was no power in the room, building, or city (had all three cases) apparently didn't cross their minds at all.

            "Is the power light lit on the monitor?"
            "Is the monitor's switch turned on?"
            "Hold on, I'll have to get a flashlight, the power's out in the building."
            *eye twitch*
      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:46PM (#23495102) Homepage Journal
        "I'd have to say that's not the worst entry-level job in tech by a long shot..."

        I have to agree. I only skimmed the jobs, but none of them looked that bad...especially for a college grad coming out of school with no experience. I looked at 2 at random, and range was from $45K - $75K. That is fantastic....I know we have to take into account inflation, but, WOW....I started at about $20K or so....but, started quickly working my way up.

        I was expecting to hear that complaints on these would be working 32/7 hours....with no AC, etc. The google dba one, the largest complaint I could see was....it was a bad cubeland...and he got mistakenly put in the wrong group....OMG!! That is a complaint on a first job for $75K/yr??

        Geez, in my day, I had to wake up at 10 o'clock, half an hour before I went to bed, eat a lump of cold poison....go down the the mill and pay mill owner for permission to work...and well, you get the idea.

        YOu try to tell that to the kids of today.....and they won't believe you..


    • Re:Chiming in (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 14erCleaner ( 745600 ) <FourteenerCleaner@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:04PM (#23493694) Homepage Journal
      Back in the 70's I was a student operator working on a campus mainframe. One time all the other operators happened to be on vacation at the same time, so I wound up working for 19 hours straight. Most of this time was spent changing paper on a printer every 15 minutes. Halfway through the night, the printer cover stuck open, so I spent the next eight hours listening to it clack away at 110 decibels. At least it kept me awake. I got $1.95 an hour for this job.
      My sympathy for somebody doing phone support for Google is therefore quite limited. Boy, what a weak article...
    • If I were you, I would have scripted everything and brought a cot to work with me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mgblst ( 80109 )
        Yeah, my life was so much easier once I made those scripts to change the printer paper, and answer calls. Now I am working on a script to read slashdot, and I can just stay at home.
    • by jav1231 ( 539129 )
      If I could mod you up, I would if only for the "human cron job" comment!

  • Ghetto (Score:5, Funny)

    by norkakn ( 102380 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:45AM (#23493406)
    'Sysadmin work is the new "tech ghetto," we hear.'

    That makes me hope that their admins go BOFH on them.

    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:05PM (#23493712)
      I'm wondering if they'd be working in Seattle.

      Since when is $80K an "entry level job" in this industry?

      And when is being a SysAdmin an "entry level job"?

      Who writes that crap?
      • by antirelic ( 1030688 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:55PM (#23494440) Journal
        Yeah, no kidding. 80K is a very respectable salary, especially if your not living in the major tech hubs across the US. I know lots and lots of people that would do just about anything to make $80k a year.

        I know there are pretty crappy jobs in every business. Thats because there is just a lot of crap that needs to be done, period. The real question is "what do you get from it". If you work at Google or Amazon, there is probably a pretty good chance that your job is going to lead to "something else". Even if its just within the company for a few dollars more an hour. If you do things right, chances are you will have career advancement.

        Someone needs to define "worse". Mundane, boring jobs may not be what everyone is looking for, but truly 'terrible' jobs, in all industries, are ones with no advancement, no benefits, and expose the employees to all sorts of potential career/health hazards with practically no pay (and yes, there are LOTS AND LOTS of these jobs in every industry, even IT).
        • by icebones ( 707368 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:34PM (#23494960) Homepage
          Excellent point. people tend to forget about what really are the worse jobs in every industry. I personally would love a "boring" job paying $80k that i was alone in the office all night with lots of waiting in between. I could get so much more accomplished in that time than just surfing the net. A simple example is bring a laptop and spend half the time working on your own business/web pages and the other half playing games. your basically getting paid to do your own thing. even if there wasn't room for advancment, you would have plenty of time to create your own success. When people think of "worse jobs" they should really remember to includ everything you mentioned and also include overbearing bosses that monitor your every move and have a fit if you actually get on the web when you are supposed to be pretending to be busy because it looks bad. oh and while it wasn't an IT job. next time some here thinks about copmplainng about their job, just be glad your not working a twelve hour shift in a 20 below 0 warehouse making $8.50 an hour. i did that once, you never forget that kind of "worse" job.
  • Don't make me laugh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) * <.Satanicpuppy. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:48AM (#23493442) Journal
    Buncha pussies. This is the worst they've got? I had a tech job once cleaning up database applications for a "Department of Family and Childrens Services"...State social workers, basically.

    First, the apps were a nightmare. Kludgy vb, massive sourcecode duplication...If the guy needed new functionality he'd make an edit to his solitary library (more than a meg of code including huge chunks of hardcoded html) save it under a slightly different name, and include it in the application. Effectively the same code linked in a dozen times, but each piece very slightly different.

    Second, all the data was child abuse, spousal abuse, etc. Imagine working with that data for weeks on end, wallowing in that hell, and you really had to dig in the data because there were tons of inconsistencies.

    Third, the "server room" was a closet with one tiny window, and a floor air conditioner/dehumidifier that had to be emptied by hand. The only tech job I've ever had where toting a 5 gallon bucket of scummy water out of a server room was a daily job. The real icing was the location; the server closet was right off the "visitation room"...The only way into the rest of the building was to walk through a room where child abusers got to visit their abused kids. Yee haw! I could go on about the work environment, but you get the point.

    Fourth, the pay. Yea. I could have made more waiting tables. No benefits, and I was a subcontractor, and the contractor was so crooked he kept trying to pay me under the table, basically so he could pocket the chunk of my check that was supposed to go to the government.

    That is a shit job. Doing sales customer service for fucking Google does not compare.
    • by Corporate Troll ( 537873 ) * on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:59AM (#23493616) Homepage Journal

      I think the point here was that it's about "crap entry level jobs at well known big IT companies". Having Google on your resume is an asset. Your job, while absolutely sucky was not at a high-profile IT company.

    • by trybywrench ( 584843 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:07PM (#23493736)

      Second, all the data was child abuse, spousal abuse, etc. Imagine working with that data for weeks on end, wallowing in that hell, and you really had to dig in the data because there were tons of inconsistencies
      I once had to write an application for an oncologist group (cancer doctors) that helped them manage treatments. It was basically a cook book for various drug cocktails for treating cancer. The dataset was sooo depressing.

      Once my boss and I had to go see the doctors to get some questions answered. My boss had talked to one of the doctors on the phone beforehand and he was pretty irate. My boss said, in a thick chinese accent, in an elevator full of oncology patients "why he so pissed off? maybe all his patients die" i shit you not. I have never been so mortified in all my life. That was about 8 years ago and i still remember it like it was yesterday.
    • I used to do field service for Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. Shady, run down offices in the worst areas of L.A. where rats would chew through network drops and we had to put cable locks on everything so the employees wouldn't steal the computers.
    • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:22PM (#23493932)
      I got this paper cut once while playing frisbee in the park with my programming group, so I was sweating and it really stung bad. Of course, I couldn't let my coworkers down, so I kept playing and it just kept stinging. Not quite as bad as yours, but still, it was really bad.
  • The article sucks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:48AM (#23493452) Journal
    So, if it sucks so bad, why did he submit it and why did it make it to the front page?
  • by bpfinn ( 557273 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @11:56AM (#23493564)
    Tech's ten worst entry-level jobs
    • Online sales and operations account manager, Google
    • Support engineer, Washington-Seattle, Amazon.com
    • Content Acquisition Intern, IODA
    • Customer support specialist, Fox Interactive, MySpace division
    • Database administrator (temporary), Google, contracted through WorkforceLogic
    • Support professional, product: Windows, Microsoft
    • Executive admin to Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore
    • Analyst, user operations, Facebook
    • Operations finance, analyst intern, Yahoo
    • Part-time guide, Mahalo
  • Tech Ghetto? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hankapobe ( 1290722 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:03PM (#23493676)
    From the Amazon Support Engineer link Sysadmin work is the new "tech ghetto," we hear.

    Here's my take from back when I was in IT.

    Developing software can be really interesting, cool, challenging, stimulating, etc... but when the project it done, they really don't need you anymore - unless you work for a software firm. Even if it's a large company with a shitload of projects, eventually they'll be done. With the current trend of buying canned software and integrating (usually done by the canned software co.) there's less opportunity for he hard core developer.

    Support, DBA, and other admin type of jobs.

    Ghetto indeed! There' always something to be done and some of the scripts I've seen from you admins can rival much software I've seen. And if I could do it all over again, I would be going for an admin job/career. Why? Because there's a bigger demand for them and you're more likely to have a job. I learned the hard way that it's more important to have a steady job than to be chasing after the highest rate and the coolest project. Well, maybe in the beginning I would do that, but definitely later on, I'd switch to the steady stuff. And, invest my money a bit beter - save, save, save!

    Just this old fart's $0.5.

  • by SashaMan ( 263632 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:06PM (#23493730)
    Seriously, what a bunch of wimps. News flash to all youngsters: yes, you may dream of running your own mega-billion dollar tech company, or coding for websites from your beach house in St. Barts, or covering Hollywood celebrities in your hot-item-of-the-moment blog, but it most likely ain't gonna happen.

    What's so bad about most of these jobs? Sure, they all look kind of mundane and I wouldn't want to do them for 50 years, but when did we start thinking that every job was supposed to be so fun, fun, FUN! I realize this may sound a bit like a "get of my lawn" post, but the biggest fantasy we've hoisted onto young people is making them think that work is supposed to be glamorous and the be all/end all of life.

    I'm lucky enough to be in a job that I enjoy very much, but at the end of the day I realize that it's a JOB and that if for whatever reason I have to work on some projects that are a little mundane or boring it's no big deal.
    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:43PM (#23494262) Journal
      I remember cautioning students a long time ago to not expect to be working for a fat paycheck at Novell the minute he/she graduated (I was living in Utah at the time, hence "Novell"). You have to start small, but if you know what you're doing, you stand a good chance of moving up.

      Those who listened threw themselves at the entry-level help desk jobs, where they stayed just long enough to angle for a junior admin slot at a start-up or small biz, which in turn was a resume' boost for bigger and better things. It's just how one gets up in the world nowadays... I still get a kick out of hearing from a couple of them, and how they've been doing. The ones who didn't are working in some other field entirely after a ton of disappointment and rejection.

      The funniest thing is, I don't think it's us the pros who have foisted visions of joy and glory onto the kids: It's the images from Hollywood of "'leet hackers" (*snort*). It's the unholy size of Bill Gates' bank account. It's the image that all the non-tech-oriented folks project (as if we were keepers of some arcane dogma that only The Chosen Few can ever learn... Cripes, folks - it's just a frickin' BASH prompt!)

      That, I think in combination with typical youthful impatience, is what tends to delude the kids into thinking that it's all glory and no muck-hauling...


    • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:43PM (#23495058) Journal
      Do I ever agree! I read this article and thought it was some kind of joke, at first -- or maybe just an attempt to slam the big-name Inet companies.

      Just in my own city, I could find 10 "tech" type jobs that are all FAR worse gigs than anything they listed in this article.

      Like one guy said, have a Best Buy in your town? How about Geeksquad being on the list? There's a job where you'll never see anything remotely LIKE a $50K a year salary, yet your customers will all place demands and expectations on you like that's what you make (since that's the kind of money they pay Best Buy to get you out there in the first place!).

      Or try a call center for any of the telcos? I've had friends doing that job for Verizon and AT&T. You're looking at being packed in a building like sardines, with no windows and poor climate control. The whole place literally stinks of sweat and mildew, and their idea of "variety" is shuffling you around to different cubicles every few weeks. (Really, it just ensures you don't get too friendly with co-workers sitting nearby and actually make new friends!) The pay? $11/hr. if you're lucky.

      I know cost of living is different in different parts of the country, but geez! I'm past my mid 30's and I've been working in I.T. since I was 19 or 20. I've STILL never received a salary as high as $50K, much less the $70-80K some of these "worst 10" were offering! I have to work two jobs to get into the lower part of that range at all!
  • by BigJClark ( 1226554 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:10PM (#23493782)

    Entry level DBA for google? you've got to be sh*tting me, thats a stellar job out of univ. stop whining and get back to work.

    My first job was working as a C# programmer for a large Canadian freight company (Arrow Transportation), my boss had zero idea how to develop software, consequently it was basically all up in his head what he wanted to see, the program didn't follow any particular development model, and subsequently failed. What did I learn? Only work for people who do not suffer from the Peter Principle.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle [wikipedia.org]
    • by clam666 ( 1178429 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:03PM (#23494538)
      That sounds more like the "Dilbert Principle". The Peter Principle says that people rise to their level of incompetence. For example, you are a C# developer, if you do well you may be promoted to dev manager or similar, but no higher because, say, you don't have an MBA and would therefore be incompetent at that level. You WOULD know what developers below you were doing, but you couldn't rise higher than you are. The Dilbert Principle says that incompetent people will be promoted. For example, your dev manager knows nothing about code, so he was put in charge of code because he sucked (or most likely just politically transferred in, but I digress). In my case, I have a manager that doesn't understand crap about what I do, therefore he makes consistently stupid decisions and has stupid ideas, "Why do we HAVE to have a web server to run a website?", or "The web application is throwing database connection errors? It must be the website is down." or my favorite "I want to talk directly to the mainframe instead of the database to get the data, can we do that by the end of the week?"
  • Pfft! Please... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:11PM (#23493794) Journal
    Having to maintain a token-ring network in a poultry plant? THAT was the absolute worst (albeit the most interesting).

    Large parts of the network had been strung in the production area - where nightly, a gaggle of folks would hose the entire place down with hot water and caustic cleaners, all delivered at 1500 psi. Troubleshooting a busted wire or device in a non-beaconing token-ring network got to be real fun, especially when half the automated weigh-stations' operators knew maybe 5 words in English. At one point, I drilled holes in the NEMA 4x-rated junction boxes to let the water drain out faster than it got in - just to keep things from corroding as quickly.

    You had to fend off (and sometimes referee) 'manager wars', where area managers would slip into the control room and try to literally steal chickens from other managers off the pneumatic shackle lines (by twiddling the priorities and weights when they thought no one was looking).

    It was an interesting sysadmin slot though... one which taught me some (since forgotten) Spanish, how to weld stainless steel, how to deal with USDA inspectors who walked about with permanent anal cramps, how to remove chicken fat from a keyboard, and how to endure some brain-melting odors every time one of the pH meters at the water treatment building went down. It was the only computer job where the combination of rubber boots and a hair net were required.

    I think it was something like three years after I left before I would bring myself to eat chicken again...


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:11PM (#23493810)
    The worst job has to be the one you can't escape. You can't make nearly as much money elsewhere but you have no chance of advancement where you are.

    The guy who fixes our computers has been with us for about ten years. He got the idea that he should upgrade his education. He got a BComm. It cost a lot and it was hard work. The trouble is that he has no administrative experience so our mutual employer won't promote him to anything where he can use the degree. His only option is to quit and take an entry level position elsewhere. The trouble is that he can't afford to take a cut in pay.

    That has to be the worst job. Look up 'wage slave' in the dictionary and you see buddy's face.
  • Not even close (Score:5, Informative)

    by AdmiralAl ( 1136661 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:13PM (#23493822) Homepage
    All of these jobs are cush compared to the 7th level of hell that was my first IT job. I worked for a local school district doing "PC Tech" type work. This doesn't sound all that bad right? Wrong, the majority of my time was spent fixing problems that students purposly created. Rich little snobby bastards had nothing better to do then stick gum in floppy drives or shove pencils into power supply fans. Of course the students never had to pay for the damage they created, it came out of MY budget. And then there was the politics. I've never met a bigger group of scumbags then those who called themselves Principal. They always want the latest and greatest, but never want to fork over a dime. Additionaly for some reason it was always MY fault that the worthless software that they lobbied the Superintendent doesn't work right (of course they never consulted me on it before they began lobbying). Of course they had no problem what so ever throwing me under the bus for this. On top of all that the pay was horrid...$10 an hour. I could go on and on, but I tihnk you get the point.
  • All of them. But seriously, we all have to pay our dues.

    BTW, there are people working in box stores who would love to make those sort of salaries, not to mention folks in India. So stop hanging around on slashdot and get your ass back to work!
    • BTW, there are people working in box stores who would love to make those sort of salaries, not to mention folks in India.

      If people in box stores have a college degree and experience in a high paying field you have a point, otherwise it's not a valid comparison. I want to be George Clooney but I don't want to make the investment and pay my dues to get there. If people in box stores want to invest in going to college, learning a high demand skill, then claw their way to the top of their field, then they'

    • I would have loved to made $40k a year in 1992 dollars when I graduated college. Problem is, I had to join the Army because there WERE no jobs in 1992, and the Army doesn't quite pay $40k a year for entry-level positions.
  • Allstate Insurance, mid-90s, manually transferring policy information from their vast paper archives into an in-house database, that required a save after each entry, not just each policy, but each field. Someone decided it would be safer that way. SuperValu, late-90s, manually entering holiday candy orders from individual stores. I sat at a terminal in a dark warehouse, with a stack of faxes that were sometimes barely legible, and entered them into another in-house ordering database. The kicker was tha
  • Did you see their one about the worst 10 places to work? One was digg because they had spray paint graffiti on the walls and beer in the fridge, or there were people sleeping at their desks etc. Their pictures for Microsoft were of a conference and not even an actual Microsoft office.
  • by kellyb9 ( 954229 )
    This site was so poorly laid out that I decided not to read it, BUT these people have jobs with major companies - they should probably stop complaining. I'm sure they had both the grades and the ability to work anywhere else.
  • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:21PM (#23493926) Homepage
    Here's a list of the jobs. It's one click each to read the idiotic blurb/explanation -- it's really not worth it.

            * Online sales and operations account manager, Google
            * Support engineer, Washington-Seattle, Amazon.com
            * Content Acquisition Intern, IODA
            * Customer support specialist, Fox Interactive, MySpace division
            * Database administrator (temporary), Google, contracted through WorkforceLogic
            * Support professional, product: Windows, Microsoft
            * Executive admin to Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore
            * Analyst, user operations, Facebook
            * Operations finance, analyst intern, Yahoo
            * Part-time guide, Mahalo

  • Worst Jobs (Score:3, Funny)

    by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:23PM (#23493942)

    Executive admin to Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore
    Wow, is it just me... or did Pete Cashmore just get owned.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:27PM (#23494024)
    The quality of the job is really how you approach it.
    Often Tech Support jobs are hated by college grads because they feel the work is really below them, in many ways it is. But if you put that asside and focus on making peoples lives a bit easier then the job would be less of a pain, and letting the angry insults roll off your back.
    Or you can be a software developer on actually a very exciting project but you tend to focus on the mononoty and your ideas that got rejected, making working on the project just mizerable. Vs. exciting if you focus on the interesting bits and the ideas that you contributed and got approved.

    It is often the mindset of the job that makes it good or bad. Yes managers and corporate culture can effect your mindset as well. And just staying happy with your job isn't really an option. But it is not always the job itself but what you make of it.
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @12:29PM (#23494062)

    There is the widespread attitude that no matter how bad graduate work is, you've got to grin and bear it. Old IT hands will tell you every time "Thats where I started, and now I'm successful rich and happy." regardless of it thats true or not. It usually isn't because conditions in the IT industry change rapidly and most of that change is negative for people entering the industry.

    It is fine explaining to young people they have to work their way up, but this bottom rung is getting fucking ridiculous. McDonalds workers have been known to get more money, respect and job satisfaction than recent IT graduates. I was advised by a career centre that it I was better off claiming benefits (reasonably generous in the UK; you won't be homeless but you won't be partying either) than taking most entry level jobs.

    It is fine making people work for respect, but entry-level work these days feels more like unusually vindictive hazing rather than a job. The upper echelons seem to take a delight in torturing the fresh-faced graduates, and then moan and whinge when they can't get good people with experience. Its because most of the good people fuck off and find a more rewarding career before they get experience you idiots!

  • missed one (Score:4, Funny)

    by Al Al Cool J ( 234559 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @01:06PM (#23494586)
    The person who has to do user studies on a urinal-based video game.
  • Oh please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SomeGuyFromCA ( 197979 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @02:36PM (#23495746) Journal
    I have mod points, but I have to reply here. Worst jobs my ARSE. What do people expect, a corner office, pajama dress code and regular sexual favors?

    My first tech job was in the backroom of a grimy computer repair shop. I was working up to four computers at once. One or two would be some home user who had covered their system in spyware and expected it to be fixed for $100. ("Fix! Fix in two hours or we lose money! Or format system and say couldn't save it!") One or two would be testing and writing up specs for some abandoned/old system the owner has kicking around so she could try to resell them. (p2/233, with 32 megs ram. price: $200. in 2003.) The rest would be warm-bodying Windows installs and updates. For $8.00 an hour. When they expected me to get all excited about a raise to $8.25, I quit.

    The second, working for an "IT Consultant" company that still showed all the signs of the garage it started in crossed with the worst of Dilbert: clueless management, sales promising the world for pocket change, and techs required to travel all over the place in their own cars, using their own cell phones, without travel compensation. We were being billed out at $100/hr while being paid $10/hr. The managers kept ranting at the techs for not doing the amount of work required to keep the doors open, while the techs ranted at the managers for not assigning it, and the whole place was owned by a completely clueless martinet. I left after six months when they fired the best tech they had and announced intentions to continue operations with a mix of unpaid college interns and foreign outsourcing. ("Indians?" "... Actually, cheaper than.")

    In that light, let's go over this article:

    1. Online sales and operations account manager, Google
    $45k - $60k a year plus google on your resume? sign me up!

    2. Support engineer, Amazon.com
    $80k/yr plus amazon on your resume? SEE ABOVE.

    3. Content acquisition intern, IODA
    Unpaid sucks, true, but there's many more unpleasant/dangerous things to do than rip CDs all day.

    4. Customer support specialist, Fox Interactive, MySpace division
    Customer support sucks, no matter where you do it. 33k/year is better than $16k.

    5. Database administrator (temporary), Google
    70k/year. See item 1.

    6. Support professional, product: Windows, Microsoft
    Listening to people's Windows problems for $40k a year, plus actually having access to resources that might help you fix them? Beats the shit out of spyware fixing for 16k. Plus: Microsoft on the resume.

    7. Executive admin to Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore
    This isn't even a tech job, this is personal assistant territory. With commensurate pay.

    8. Analyst, user operations, Facebook
    Support again. Decent pay again. (Well, maybe not for Palo Alto.)

    9. Operations finance, analyst intern, Yahoo
    Okay, this one *might* be bad. Intern, company possibly going down in flames, $12/hr.

    10. Part-time guide, Mahalo
    They admit this one themselves. "Why so bad? It's not, really."

    Article rated (-1, Sensational)

  • yikes! (Score:3, Funny)

    by cashman73 ( 855518 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2008 @05:44PM (#23497996) Journal
    I think I would rather gouge my eyeballs out with a spoon and feed them to a pack of wild dogs rather than being a product support specialist for Windows Vista,...

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