Brace yourselves!

Today we got talking about the jobs you did when you were younger after I saw on Twitter that Buzz Aldrin was a dishwasher, then he became a camp leader, a fighter pilot and then an astronaut!

Mine was waitress, retail staff in Dunnes, holiday rep, tomato picker, antiques seller (LOL), runner, broadcaster…

However, this quickly descended into who had the worst job ever. I thought tomato picking was bad – nothing as scaldy as stepping on a hot tomato under the boiling Aussie sun.

Having read what some of the listeners had to do to earn a living in the past, tomato picking is actually a walk in the park.




  • “Morning Paula, calf feeder, muck scraper, cow milker, forklift driver/wool packer, barman, cow milker, dairy farmer advisor, construction worker, dishwasher/lifter of heavy things, shelf stacker and currently dairy farm owner!” - Joe in Wicklow


  • “Hi again!  I started my working life as a carriage cleaner on the railway and I'll tell you what! I'd rather stand on a tomato rather than clean what some people do and leave behind!” - Mike


  • “Paula try cuttin turnips out of field in middle winter before machines. Now work as truck driver!” - Fran in Wexford


  • “Wash out and clean and disinfect portaloos!” - Brian in Tipperary


  • “Hi Paula, dog walker, kitchen porter, carpenter, then went to new Zealand and worked at strimming grass on the side of the road for the council. Worst job ever, let's just say I have a new found hate for people who don't pick up after their dog #coveredinit!” – Tom in Sandyford


  • “Morning Paula.  I carried cows heads for 3 months solid in an abattoir years ago. Wasn't long out of school at the time. Some of them were half the size of me. Eyeballs and all still in!” - Robbie


  • “Hi Paula. Years ago I worked for a security company who decided to use their monitoring station to branch into prisoner tagging. So 1 day a month I would visit a prison and tag prisoners due for early release. Not my nicest job. Embarrassing story about a visit to Limerick but I'll save that for another day!” - Stephen.


  • “Summer job I worked in chicken factory... hanging chicken onto the processing line, then in the afternoon working in the eviscerating area (gutting them) to this day I LOVE chicken esp wings!” - KB BETTYSTOWN


  • “Morning sweetpea,  I worked 10 years In a meat factory not too far from your home town. Nothing like cutting the bellies out of a cow to start your Monday morning off with a bad hangover. On the plus side, they were still warm so no cold hands for me! Just had to be careful not to cut them open too deep then it got a bit messy!” - Jayo


  • “Hi Paula. I've done waitressing bar work c cleaning and babysitting. The worst was my first job out of college testing cow and sheep brain samples. In the summer the samples might be decomposing and absolutely rotten! Put me off beef for years!”


  • “Hi Paula. I started working in the local chicken factory when I was 13 for every holiday I had from school. At lunch times the lorry would come and empty the tanks just as we sat down to eat.... or else you'd be just cycling home and it'd pass. Rank, absolutely rank. I still love chicken.... just not chicken nuggets!”


  • Morning Paula, hope you're having a good one, Paula,  job I had was cleaning on plans. 12 hours of fast cleaning sick (tip, pour coke on it leave it 5,10 min) and stale bear and other unmanageable bits!”


  • “Morning Paula i worked in a waste water treatment plant on the upgrade and daily maintenance of plant equipment or replacement of pipelines full of human excrement, repair work was disgusting to say the least I can still remember the smell of burning excrement when we had to do a welding job!” - Colin in Wicklow


  • Well Paula, having to pear an infected sheep foot isn’t too nice, never get used to the stink. Also before bringing lambs to sales or meat factory you have to chop the shite from around their back sides that has all stuck to their wool and sometimes, it sets like cement. This practice is called dagging!” - Darcy


  • Hey Paula hope you’re well? I once worked in a 4*hotel and nothing surprises me after that. We hosted a number of weddings and one in particular stays with me 5 years on I was approached at reception by a wedding guest saying the women’s toilet was dirty so I went to have a look, low and behold someone had pooed on the floor. I was then called by housekeeping the next morning for advice. People had pooed in the bedsheets and on the face cloths!”