The Beauty Of “Useless” Jobs… Or How To Stop Complaining All The Time

Hola, everyone! I was talking to one of my best friends yesterday and we got to discussing jobs and specifically – the ones called “survival” jobs, or those we work only when we’re desperate for money and we learn nothing from. Or, so we think. No, I’m not talking prostitution – more like cleaning, restaurant work, newspaper delivery, factory work… the list goes on.

As usual, let me start with myself.

How My Horrible Job Made It Ok To Complain All The Time… Or Not

Up until 8 months ago I worked in a restaurant in Odense. Why? Because I came to Denmark with no money, no job and no connections which made it only a little bit tough to find something  to support myself with. For those who don’t know how it is here – if you don’t speak the language and don’t live in Copenhagen (and also if you do), there’s literally nothing for you. Even cleaning agencies look for people who speak Danish most of the time. And if they don’t – well, 150 people already applied for that job 1 minute after it was posted online. Better luck next time!

Anyway, after being completely broke for 6 months (not fun) a friend of mine got me a job in a restaurant. I worked in the kitchen, where I was helping out with whatever they needed help with. Now… let me paint a picture for you:

  1. No one there spoke English.
  2. I didn’t speak Danish. (takes people years to start)
  3. There were 5-6 kids constantly running in the kitchen while I was going around with knives, forks, etc.
  4. There were ALWAYS people visiting one of the women, getting in the way, as if a disgusting and smelly place is the most suitable for that.
  5. They obviously didn’t like me very much, and it showed.
  6. My “boss” lied to me about my salary and cheated me out of a lot of money + didn’t pay my taxes. Yes, he scammed me.
  7. My clothes and hair smelled so much, a single shower didn’t help.

I barely spent any time there and still, every time I got home from work (late in the evenings) I couldn’t stop complaining. This is a great example of how something can totally depress you if you let it. I made myself miserable by only looking at the bad side of this experience (which wasn’t very difficult) and it was horrible. I knew I was basically being exploited and underpaid and I couldn’t do shit, because I needed the money. Happens to a lot of people, don’t you think?

How I Got Over It… Finally

What helped me in the beginning was the money, because yes, I was underpaid, but here if you work part-time, you receive money from the government, and you receive 3 months worth of it all at once. It wasn’t enough for me to not get depressed every time I set foot at that kitchen, but it helped book plane tickets and plan part of my summer abroad. From someone who could barely afford to eat normally to someone planning trips abroad, you can imagine how much my life changed. That actually made me see the other benefits of this job I hated so much.

  1. Many foreigners come to Denmark and leave in a few months because they couldn’t afford to stay. I could.
  2. I started speaking Danish after just SIX MONTHS here!
  3. I stopped thinking about money and focused more on my school work and outside of school work 🙂
  4. I perfected my “I don’t understand what you’re saying” face and listened to a looooOot of mean comments about me at work, which was quite fun 😀
  5. I learned how to work under huge pressure – and I mean physically, not mentally. With people yelling at you in a language you don’t know and pointing at stuff all the time, you have not choice but to start learning, because getting fired is not really a choice.

Another benefit you can get from working such a job is respect. Yes, for real – you should never be ashamed of working a job like that, because in intelligent people’s eyes (also employers) you’re setting  a great example by letting everyone know you won’t give up easily. Think of this job as the thing that’s keeping you going until something great comes along. It’s what I did and guess what – it worked out!

Also, you know what? When you do something that doesn’t really occupy your brain that much, you have time to think about more important things. Like how to get a better job 😀


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3 Comments on “The Beauty Of “Useless” Jobs… Or How To Stop Complaining All The Time

  1. Such a good and honest post. And I believe these are great lessons to be learned, and even if in the future you encounter them and have to endure with parts of them again and again, I find it that there is always something new you didn’t know about yourself. 🙂

    • Exactly! Thanks for your opinion, really glad you like it 🙂 Sometimes people need a little motivation and the best place to get it is reading someone else’s story!

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