In just a few short hours, Model Employee will bring us eight beautiful and ambitious ladies vying for a chance to be the face of a luxury Las Vegas hotel. How they go about getting to the top of the ladder will vary, and is largely dependent on dirty dishes, hungry sharks, and–we’re going out on a limb here–lots (and lots) of tears.
In honor of tonight’s premiere, we thought was only fair to ask our VH1 friends about the most unappealing job they’ve ever had, long before the television cameras started rolling. Brace yourselves for unappetizing tales from the world of food service and retail, where not everyone is potty trained.
Unlike Major Harris, we can’t all be reality TV-famous from birth. Check out the unusual tasks your favorite stars once did for money, below.
JENNY McCARTHY, The Jenny McCarthy Show
“In college, I needed money, so I offered myself as a cleaning lady and was hired by fraternities. I cleaned fraternity bathrooms with just bleach and a brush and was dying of fumes. I scrubbed so hard and only made like 15 dollars.”
TRACI STEELE, Love And Hip Hop Atlanta
“I was a loan officer at a bank. I’m just not a 9 to 5 person, I’m an entrepreneur by heart and soul. I’m not supposed to have a boss, I’m supposed to be a boss. When I was confined and stuck I felt like I was being strangled. Some people can do a 9 to 5 all day every day and they love it. Me? I thought I was dying. I did it when I first moved to Atlanta for a couple months just to bring in some income. Once I got into the radio and starting doing clubs I didn’t need the bank anymore. And I ran. Do you hear me? I ran.”
CARRIE KEAGAN, Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan
“I loved working with the animals at the store in college, but cleaning those ammonia-smelling, brown piss-stained bunny cages bright and early on Sunday morning… all by myself… after a long night partying at the bar… was just too much! I would empty the urine-soaked pine shavings into the trash can and dry heave until I threw up. Then on to the next cage, empty, puke, repeat. It’s a good thing those little fuzzy jerks were cute!”
SHARON CARPENTER, The Gossip Game
“My first job ever was as a sales assistant in a shoe store back in England. I was 13 and already eager to make the big bucks! If you don’t count the plethora of demanding customers requesting to try 10 pairs of shoes at a time (almost always in sizes stocked on the most unreachable shelves) before leaving empty handed, and if you minus the stinky feet, it wasn’t so bad at all. Okay, I’m lying. I hated every minute of it.”
JIM SHEARER, VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown
“In college and grad school I worked at Subway, which wasn’t my worst job, but put me in the worst situations. One night a little after closing a customer tapped on the door and asked for a sandwich. My co-worker–an older woman with a spark-plug personality–pulled a gun out of her purse and said, ’If he tries anything, shoot him.’ She then proceeded to make him a sandwich, and fortunately, I didn’t have to shoot him.
Note: My worst job was making wire transfers at a bank (a job I hated so much I quit after one day).”
PETE LEE, Best Week Ever
“This was my worst job ever (see above), because I had to water ski with girls on my shoulders…while wearing spandex and sequence outfits. I used to have a job as the Best Buy Geek Squad Model. When I say that I ’used to,’ I mean that I still am. Worst job ever, because I got paid pennies back in 2004, and and my face is still on every mouse pad and brochure in their store.”
JEN “THE PEN” BAYER, Love And Hip Hop
“In between me working as an assistant to songwriter Adonis Shropshire and taking wardrobe stylist jobs, I had a dry spell in the entertainment industry and decided maybe I should just take a regular assistant job. I was in my mid-twenties at the time, and the job was to assist a psychiatrist who lived in Staten Island. I thought, ’This should be easy. I can run errands for her and never have to leave the island.’ I didn’t last for more then a day. She ended up being a crazy cat lady who was a hoarder and lived in filth and cat hair. I ran one errand for her, which happened to be to get cat litter, dropped it off and never returned.”
TIM RORTVEDT, Off Pitch
“Growing up in Waunakee, WI there was one job that almost every teenager did: detasseling corn. I was 16 and we would walk in the rain or extreme heat to pull that damn tassel off the corn–you would have to be careful not to get your eye caught by a corn stalk leaf or the day was over. Also, you would walk out of a mile-long row of corn to see all the corn leaf scratches and cuts you received, and knew you had to go back down the other row to endure the same thing all over again from 7 am until 3pm! I was always the first out, and I remember watching the others come out of the field; it was like a scene out of The Children of the Corn. It was horrible, but the pay was good for a teenager. I did it for a week and a half and that was it.”
JASON DUNDAS, Big Morning Buzz Live
“My worst job was collecting golf balls at a golf driving range. I had to wear hockey mask and I had to walk around at the 100-feet line and pick up the balls while people were still hitting them… AT ME! I got paid $6, I worked for one hour, and I quit. With the $6 I made I went next door and brought myself some McDonald’s.”
PO JOHNSON, La La’s Full Court Life
“My worst job ever was at Kroger in First Colony Mall [in Sugar Land, TX]. It was horrible. I was a ’grocery bagger,’ because I couldn’t pass the cashiers test. Part of my job was to go gather up all the baskets outside, and I would always accidentally make the baskets run into the customers cars. To top it off, my manager was obsessed with Dr. Pepper, so his breath was gross and smelled like corn syrup. I eventually got fired for messing up people’s cars.”
MICHELLE BUTEAU, Best Week Ever
“I was a telemarketer for credit consolidation, but everybody would hang up on me. Why would you hang up on me? I’m cute, I have no lazy eye, and all my teeth. So I used to have a little fun with the housewives who would answer when I would call during the day–put on a sexy voice and whisper, ’Hey, is Bob there?’ I got fired. Real fired.”
KIM OSORIO, The Gossip Game
“The worst job I ever had was working at a clothing store in the Bronx during the Easter season. In actuality, it wasn’t that bad of a job. Other than never truly figuring out how to fold the shirts correctly and standing on my feet all day, I enjoyed having a job that paid me when I was 14 years old. The problem was that after getting the job on Monday, I was let go on Friday. Apparently, we were hired as ’seasonal’ employees, and the season was over that same week.”
LIV MERCER, Off Pitch
“I currently work with Tim, Jon, and Greg at the local hotel. While Greg is an excellent employee (you’re welcome, Greg), he thinks that every time we work together is the most perfect and appropriate time to work on all things Grand River; he finds it necessary to practice lifts right behind the desk–just scoops me up and I hang there. He’ll ask choreography questions and we will go over choreography behind the front desk and the kid sings, in full voice, every day at work. People awkwardly walk by wondering why the front desk man in a bow tie finds it necessary to sing louder than the radio. Working with Greg is constantly entertaining. Never a dull moment.”
JANELLE SNOWDEN, Big Morning Buzz Live With Carrie Keagan
“My worst job ever was the summer of 9th grade. I was 14 and worked as a camp counselor to a group of four-year-olds. Seven simple words for why it was the worst job ever: NOT ALL OF THEM WERE POTTY TRAINED!”
ROB JONES, Off Pitch
“I own an Estate Sale Business which I liquidate the contents of homes after death or relocation. I was contracted to liquidate the contents of a condemned home in La Crosse. Two spinster sisters lived in their family home from the day they were born, so my crew and I emptied 11 full dumpster loads of of pure trash out of this little three bedroom farm house and when we finally got the trash removed, family photos revealed that every single item in the home was in the exact spot since the mother died in the early 1900’s. Trash was not the only things we removed—yes, we found the remains of ALL their pets. The mice had taken over the house as well as the roaches. Not a dish had been washed since the mid 1900’s and the food in the refrigerator was labeled from the ’70s It was the worst stench you can imagine and we wore gloves and face masks.”
DAN ST. GERMAIN, Best Week Ever
“When I was 20 years old I was a busboy for four hours at a diner. I ran away when it took me a hour to make somebody soup. Then I became a janitor at a high school, which was the best job ever.”
MARCIA BRENDUM, Off Pitch
“The worst job I ever had was at a local amusement park. The staff would always make me work the go karts, which sounds thrilling, but it’s not. When you have people laughing and yelling at you because you can’t get the go kart started, or they crash and get it stuck and weak Marcia does not have the muscles to move it, you can expect tears and embarrassment. Don’t even get me started about the day the rodeo came to town… Recap: lines for days, crashes and broken go karts, and more tears. I will never touch or ride a go kart again. Why couldn’t I just sit and sell candy at the concession stand?!”
Model Employee premieres Wednesday, May 8 at 10:30/9:30 C after an all-new Off Pitch.
[Photo Credit: Jim Shearer]