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This Author’s Not Kidding; Disgusting Adventures Lie Ahead!

, , , , | Working | November 12, 2020

I’m the author of this story and some folks complained that even though I’d said it was gross, they thought it would be worse than it was. I’m fairly sure that this won’t be published, but fair warning, this is the worst job I ever did.

Many many years ago, during the summer holidays, I work for my father as a gopher because it gets me out of the house and away from his wife, as well as putting a few quid in my pocket.

One day, my father and I are called to a slaughterhouse because there is a problem with the drains. Not really expecting much, we pull up to find a virtual lake behind the sheds, and Dad is instantly torn between “Yay, big job!” face and “Ewww!” face. If you can make a plumber pull his “Ewww!” face, it’s bad.

We do a first inspection and Dad narrows down roughly where the problem is and goes off to talk to the slaughterhouse owners.

Dad: “I’m afraid you’ll have to shut down until the problem is fixed, and we can’t really do anything until the water drains.”

While we wait, Dad goes over the blueprints for the new drains that were put in under one of the concrete floors last spring and he finds two problems.

First, the people who put in the drains used the wrong size of grill in the tunnel, which means that the blockage was almost certainly a backlog of “bits” which had caught on the grill.

Second, Dad doesn’t fit into the drain and the inspection plate is also in the wrong place for access. There’s a reason the original contractors weren’t called back in; from the grumbling I heard, this was far from the only mistake.

That means that for two weeks, in August, I lower myself into a concrete drainage tunnel barely big enough for my shoulders and crawl forward to fill a bucket with rotting scraps, some of them weeks and months old. Then, I crawl backward until I got to the access again, haul myself and the bucket to the skip, pour in this stinking slop, and then do it all over again.

I can’t even tell you how awful that tunnel was. The smell was a foretaste of Hell and the heat was unbelievable, especially in what passed for PPE back then. I’m sure it’s where my claustrophobia and nightmares about small places started, but the family really needed the money and I was the only person who could do the job.

So I did it.

In his defence, my father felt awful and way overpaid me for my age, but even buying and insuring my first motorbike with the money from that job wasn’t worth the memories.

Praise To The Lamb(ing Sheds)!

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