OT. Worst job you've had.

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OT. Worst job you've had.

#1

Post by kellyblues »

My worst job was carrying human waste by shovel at a waste water treatment facility during a hot Texas summer for $3.35 an hour.

Second worst was pressure washing the bottoms of garbage trucks while lying on my back for the city of Indianapolis two evenings a week for $5.00 an hour. I was a single parent with 2 small kids and happy to get the extra $$$.

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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#2

Post by Pancholoco1911 »

This was the worst for me, when I did they paid 0.7¢ per piece and you have to make at least 1,000 vines to make your day worth. I don’t do this anymore but my brother still does.

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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#3

Post by REJ2 »

I have only had two jobs in my life, working in a grocery store for 5 1/2 years and working 40 years and 4 months in the glass and glazing industry. Retired now. Didn't mind either of them, but I shoulda went the military route like dad tried to convince me of.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#4

Post by Hot_Diggity »

Worst was for a concrete coating company. They lifted me up to a platform with a forklift in the morning and I had recipes of so many bags of this colored additive, plus a few scoops of some rock salt looking stuff that burned your skin. I was stuck up there on a narrow platform all day with pallet after pallet of bags being hoisted up for me to slice open in the mixers.

I went home looking about the same color as whatever I'd been mixing that day. The only good thing that ever came from that job was a Buck knife that I found encrusted with the salt stuff. I think I was there for a week, and understood the reason they hired temporary workers. There was nothing safe or healthy about the work, and I was making more money from my paper route.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#5

Post by Northman49 »

I was 16yrs old and got my first job @.50cents/hr unloading 100 lb bags of fruit,potatoes and other veggies from rail cars. It was mid summer and the rail cars were cooled with ice which was blown in the top of the rail car in overhead compartments. Quite often the "ice man" didn't show up and the potatoes rotted into a putrid liquid. My buddy was made to separate the good ones from the bad ones...what a stink.
In the morning I cried because my fingers were so stiff I could hardly get dressed. Worked from 6am to 6pm. All the other students who were hired with me quit after a few days so I was promoted to foreman for .75 cents/hour. This was 1966. Stayed for a few weeks then got another job which was slightly better.
OTH a guy I knew spent his summer at a meat packing plant. His job was to split pigs heads open and scoop out the brains for some product I don't want to know about.
Last edited by Northman49 on Mon May 03, 2021 7:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#6

Post by Leviticus_Tomethreus »

This post doesn’t apply to me. 😁
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#7

Post by Gunhippie »

I was on unemployment one spring. It happens out here. One of the unfortunate things about being on unemployment is that you're required to take any job offered (after you've been on for a while). I was offered the job of painting the towers on the Wallowa Lake Tramway for $7/hr. I had to take the job or lose my puny unemployment, so I did. I'm an experienced rock climber, so I could actually handle the high work. Myself and one other guy spent the entire summer hauling a large generator and a backpack HVLP spray rig up an 8,400' mountainside, then climbing the towers and painting them en rappel while the tramway was running. My assistant was supposed to keep and eye and ear open to warn me if a tram car was coming--but he, the owner's son, was DEAF!

A few years later, the owner of the tramway called me asking to do it again. I said sure, no problem, at $140/hr--a reasonable rate for very dangerous high work. AFIK, the towers have never been painted since.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#8

Post by Vintageish »

Cleaning public toilets in an international facility comes to mind as one.
Patching roofs in mid Michigans Jan.-Feb got cold at times..

One job was a small part of some moonlighting but one I didn't care to consider a repeat of... Digging a trench around a homes foundation while hunched over in a crawl space digging wet clay , while constantly sinking into the wet clay.

Pumping acid at another job despite wearing protective equipment didn't keep the odd trace getting on me.
Confined spaces power washing tanks. Dust collector towers.

Too many years working around small house sized ovens pulling parts , changing paint supports ,carts ect. where you touch metal and it burns. Obviously working in the heat. Unplugging nozzles in washer systems and coming out with a sweat soaked tee-shirt hanging knee length..
To eventually work in a foundry where I got crushed. Lost a leg. Still reminded of that every day without thinking..
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#9

Post by Gavercronos »

Truck driving. The pay was OK, but not worth it. Everyone I ever met hated me. Dispatcher hated me for refusing to do things like fudge my time or ignore the bulging tires on the trailers I was hooking up. Truck stop employees hated me for wanting to eat at 2 in the morning. Terminal employees hated me for asking for the wrong trailer (# gotten from Dispatch, who naturally hated me for calling them to sort the issue out). Car drivers hated me for going too slow; I was making out the governor on the truck. Other truck drivers hated me for being a rookie asking advice, none of them ever were I guess. I got censured once for being a couple hours late with a "high value" load. I had stopped the truck because of tornadoes in Oklahoma (I was less than ten miles from the one that killed the famous storm chasers). I got a good look at the load as it was being taken off the truck. What was so valuable they wanted me to risk my life and the $100000 truck? Shampoo. Ten tons of shampoo for Dollar General. I stuck it out nearly a year, gave it up when other people's stupidity put my life in danger multiple times and the company responded with indifference. And they wonder why it's so hard to retain good drivers. I drive a school bus now, the difference is like night and day.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#10

Post by A Seabee »

I was 18 and sanding the inside of (empty) swimming pools in the summer in Phoenix. It paid $8 an hour, but a week was all I could take. The finish in the pools had fiberglass in the grout, so the dust got into my clothes and pretty much wrecked them. That and the subsurface 120 degree temps were unbearable.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#11

Post by Gunhippie »

Thanks for the reminder, Vint.

Cleaning the bathrooms at a state park. You would never believe what the public is like on vacation. Adults decorating the walls with feces? Crapping in the showers? plugging sinks up intentionally? I know that some of these were adults, as I caught some in the act. Did that bother them? Not at all.

Oh, yeah, and dealing with the park admin. I was in my early thirties then and came down with a case of shingles from the stress. Iwas once censored for saving two kids from being swept away with a falling bank by a river in full spring flood. I scared the kids. I went back to heavy construction and never looked back. It cost me the cozy benefits from the state job, but I never had shingles again and hope I never do. Unbelievably painful!
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#12

Post by Vintageish »

Hah , G.H.!

There are some good people around. Indeed.
But by golly there are some that are so inconsiderate of others....They would not want to be seated next to me in a life boat.

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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#13

Post by TSPORT »

Tough choice. 1st contender for worst: Worked at a car wash in high school mid-70s. There was a covered area around back, the boss would have employees sand blasting Asplundh tree service trucks there to prep for paint elsewhere. Would give whoever would do it an extra $1 and hour to do the sandblasting. I did it a few times. The protective equipment was a welding helmet and canvas jacket. No respirator, not even a dust mask. Thank God I did not do it much.
Same considerate boss would take our pooled tip money to pay for drying towels for the car wash and somehow justified it to us. I was only 16 and just happy to be earning some coin. Working the car wash portion was OK.

2nd contender fort worst: Summer job during college. Had job offer driving tractor cutting grass for an entire school district (minimum wage). Decided to take job at girlfriend's father's machine shop instead as it paid a dollar an hour more. Ugghhhh. Had me packing freshly machined parts in wooden crates all day. Oily parts covered with metal shavings. My hands were a mess and there was no A/C in there. Solvent could not have been good for me, either. Man it was a tough choice (since girlfriend's father nice enough to give me job) but I quit in about a week or so and was able to get the grass cutting job. Best job ever. Did it for 4 summers. Me and one other guy. Outside every day (unless rain), great tans. We each had our own tractor. They had flashing warning lights and street tires and license plates. We drove from school to school, did the whole district (about 8 or 9 schools). No trimming (the custodians were responsible for that part). Here's an example of the same tractor. Jacobsen F10 turf tractor. Mainly used by golf courses back then. 4 cylinder engine, 7 hydraulically raised reel mowers, dual front wheels, rear wheel steering. Turning radius was incredible (small) with that rear wheel steering. Could get up in the 30's on the road. One small problem was if moving down the road at a good clip and jam on the brakes, all the weight up front and no brakes on the rear wheels. Entire back end would go up in the air a few feet or more and you'd be staring straight down holding that steering wheel with a death grip. Time to check your shorts. To be young again!
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#14

Post by stoves1234 »

I don't want to ruin my day by reminiscing about my worst job. It actually wasn't too long ago. Fortunately it seems we're all talking about the past.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#15

Post by TwoCanoes »

Spraying parathion. Parathion is one of the most toxic pesticides in agriculture, now banned in the US due to its extreme toxicity. Rain hat, rain slicker, chemical resistant rubber gloves, rubber overalls, rubber boots, respirator, goggles. Drive orchard alleys at about 1.5 mph in 85 to 100 F. Weather has to be calm to avoid drift. Sitting just behind the tractor’s engine and in front of the sprayer’s engine. No air-conditioned cab in those days! Soaking wet from sweat under all the protective gear. For spraying, I got a raise from $1.75 for ordinary orchard work to $2.15 per hour. Fifty hour work week. By the way, best job for which I got paid? – truck driving.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#16

Post by 25_502s »

Probably the current one with the RR. I’m fortunate to have a great paying job but the schedule is brutal. Being on call all the time and going to work at 2PM or 2Am or any time in between is getting old. The non-normal sleep schedule is turning me into an old man fast. Of course it could be time itself is helping lol.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#17

Post by Ridge Runner »

Not a real ‘job’ since it was unpaid working for my Dad...

Back when I was in my mid-teens my brother, grandmother, a couple friends and myself had to repair a bunch of windows across the top (fourth) floor of an old paper mill building that my family owned. Dad was trying to give the place some ‘curb appeal’.

The fourth floor of the building was basically abandoned and full of junk. Pigeons would fly into the single-pane windows and break them because they could see clear through to the back of the building. We had to remove the giant wood sashes, clean the old glazing putty out then replace the missing panes, re-glaze, paint and reinstall the sashes. It took most of the summer to get through all those.

But that wasn’t really the worst part of it. Since the windows were broken, pigeons had been living in the fourth floor of the building for over 20 years. They had roosted and crapped all over the place. We used snow shovels to clean up all the nests and pigeon manure, put it in trash barrels and then haul it down to the dumpster. The stench was something awful. We also had to dodge the angry pigeons flying around that were still living up there while breaking up nests and chasing them out.

It was a total lost cause. I’ll never get that summer back.
Last edited by Ridge Runner on Mon May 03, 2021 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#18

Post by arizonacamper »

I've done what I'm doing now most of my life not the worst job but the worst company I ever worked for was Lithia out of the northwest. they owned a dealer in Reno talk about micromanagement by non-thinking personnel and not knowing what they're talking about. It was funny to watch them pull up to the dealer in there black Lincoln's. I would always comment that the Medford Mafia had shown up.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#19

Post by Taco912 »

1st. Decommissioning smudge pots. Smudge pots were used until the 60’s to stave off freezing in the citrus orchards of SoCal. They were fueled with nasty used oil of all kinds that sat in a base tank. There were thousands of them. When outlawed due to air quality, about the same time as open-air rubbish burning in your backyard, they had to be emptied, dissembled and stacked for removal. By the end of the first hour every day you were covered in the nasty oil/sludge head to toe, pressing on in the SoCal summer 90+ degree heat and terrible smog of the 60’s. Summer work between Jr. and Sr. high school.

2nd. Production spray painting in a factory 3-sided (one side open) waterfall booth with oil-based paint, no mask, goggles, respirator, nothing. The real fun was clean-up at the end of the day, just a rag and a 55-gallon drum of MEK or toluene to wipe off your face and arms. I could never explain the raging headaches I use to get. Luckily no cancer 50 years later.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#20

Post by 1hpycmpr »

I’ve been fortunate to have pretty decent jobs in my life. I would have to say the worst job I had to do was cleaning out cooling towers at a mine in southwest Wyoming. I had just hired on and was working in the yard doing whatever crappy job had to be done. The process in the the plant used hydrogen sulfide and the smell was quite strong in the mud at the bottom of the towers. If you were up top spraying water down through the tower it wasn’t so bad. If you were at the bottom in the mud trying to keep the drain open, that was bad.
The other thing at the mine that was very unpleasant was frozen mud lines. Anyone familiar with the Wyoming prairie during winter and wind, will understand that it’s not the place to be at 4am trying to thaw a frozen line.
I eventually bid on better jobs and soon I was in warm control rooms sending out other folks to check on equipment!
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#21

Post by Loganeffecto »

I have cleared out several homeless encampments on the bosses properties before. I’m not talking about just a tent or two, I mean camps....if I had a biohazard suit available I would have worn it 😂
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#22

Post by outlawmws »

I got nothing here... I've had bosses/management I disliked to hated, but the worst filthiest jobs were me "working for myself" on MY jobs...

My hats off to all of you that had to do those nasty jobs. Mostly I've liked the work I've done (if not the managers; but most managers left me alone as I knew my job -

My current "boss" LIKES that he doesn't have to worry about me or what I'm doing, and rarely brings something for me to "take care of" (I think its happened once in 2-1/2 years) Mostly, I assign myself the work I need to do.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#23

Post by Willy »

I grew up on a farm. Cleaning the chicken coop in the spring was the job I hated most. Think 6 months of chicken poop matted into semi hard layers with straw. Fortunately your nose will die after 15 minutes. Mom made us (me and my brother) wash outside before we were allowed into the house.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#24

Post by nostang »

25_502s wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:34 pm Probably the current one with the RR. I’m fortunate to have a great paying job but the schedule is brutal. Being on call all the time and going to work at 2PM or 2Am or any time in between is getting old. The non-normal sleep schedule is turning me into an old man fast. Of course it could be time itself is helping lol.
I second the RR job. 15 years with the Union Pacific. Pay is great and so is the retirement (if I make it another 16 years) but I'll always regret the missed recitals and ballgames. Not to mention the way management treats us. Running a 12,000 ft manifest train on 2 hours sleep ain't much fun either.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#25

Post by 25_502s »

nostang wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:47 am
25_502s wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:34 pm Probably the current one with the RR. I’m fortunate to have a great paying job but the schedule is brutal. Being on call all the time and going to work at 2PM or 2Am or any time in between is getting old. The non-normal sleep schedule is turning me into an old man fast. Of course it could be time itself is helping lol.
I second the RR job. 15 years with the Union Pacific. Pay is great and so is the retirement (if I make it another 16 years) but I'll always regret the missed recitals and ballgames. Not to mention the way management treats us. Running a 12,000 ft manifest train on 2 hours sleep ain't much fun either.
We sound like we’re in the same boat. I have 15 years in and tad more than that to go. However I can beat you on the length of the train. I’ve had a few that were over 15,000 feet. That’s about 3 miles long for those that aren’t good in math lol.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#26

Post by nostang »

25_502s wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 6:08 am
nostang wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 4:47 am
25_502s wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:34 pm Probably the current one with the RR. I’m fortunate to have a great paying job but the schedule is brutal. Being on call all the time and going to work at 2PM or 2Am or any time in between is getting old. The non-normal sleep schedule is turning me into an old man fast. Of course it could be time itself is helping lol.
I second the RR job. 15 years with the Union Pacific. Pay is great and so is the retirement (if I make it another 16 years) but I'll always regret the missed recitals and ballgames. Not to mention the way management treats us. Running a 12,000 ft manifest train on 2 hours sleep ain't much fun either.
We sound like we’re in the same boat. I have 15 years in and tad more than that to go. However I can beat you on the length of the train. I’ve had a few that were over 15,000 feet. That’s about 3 miles long for those that aren’t good in math lol.
I've had some 15,000 footers. 10-12k is about the average length though.The UP likes to combine loaded coal trains out in Wyoming. Those end up being about 16k and around 40k tons. It gets a bit interesting taking those across the bridge from st louis.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#27

Post by austin65uri »

Two come to mind, both part-time summer jobs as a young guy, thankfully. One was working for a state mosquito control crew, digging drainage ditches in a tidal marsh to allow for daily tide flushing to eliminate stagnant water. I actually became somewhat immune to mosquito bites at the time.
The other was working the salvage "shed" for a large grocery chain store. This was where the delivery trucks would return from the retail stores with discarded salvageable items, usually smelly, often maggoty, or worse. I got to empty the trailers and sort out what got burned or bailed and saved.
I guess at the time I really didn't think they were bad jobs, however.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#28

Post by azmike »

I was a medic in the Army--HHC 3/325th INF 82nd Airborne Division. We had to have ALL of our shots current at all times to be ready to deploy anywhere on the planet.
On paydays the line would form to get your cash from the Company Commander (Captain). I would set-up with two other medics giving sometimes 100 shots to the Joes. I have never seen a bigger bunch of cry babies!
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#29

Post by brucesheehe »

Being a janitor in an adult bookstore in Pittsburgh. I cleaned out the viewing booths.

After that, it was being a short order cook at The Original Hot Dog Shop in Pittsburgh - on Pitt's campus. I regularly was threatened with death by violent drunks not happy with their order in the wee hours after the morning (after the bars closed). There was always a policeman outside the front door with a german shepard partner. Occasionally we got to feed the dog a human morning snack.
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#30

Post by Dmacp »

To eventually work in a foundry where I got crushed. Lost a leg. Still reminded of that every day without thinking..
That quote refers to a foundry but it might as well refer to the steel forge where I was the night engineer (ME) in charge of anything that went wrong. We did open and closed die forging, hammer forging and aluminum ring expansion. Our presses (squeezers) were monstrous 4 post presses with three stories (underground) of hydraulics. They put down 40,000 Tons which is about what it takes to squeeze out an airbus main landing gear leg. The blanks, phone pole sized pieces of steel and titanium, were loaded into and out of giant rotary furnaces by huge forklifts called manipulators. These blanks were at about 2000°F. and were dropped into the die by the nipper. The press cycled and then the nipper (manipulator) would pull it out and an 18 year old kid would stamp a number on the end of the forging. Traceability. One time he hit the forging with the punch and the entire red hot half ton forging popped out of the nipper and fell on his leg, taking him down and then just sitting on his leg burning into the bone. Memories of him squirming and almost pulling his foot out of the socket trying to get out from under that forging haunt me to this day. Nothing we could do with our bare hands. Someone got a bar and pried the heavy forging off the poor guy. As an engineer I requested an emergency bar to be placed near the furnace within reach, and that request was denied. It was truly the most miserable job I've ever had. Almost ten years ago but I still close my eyes and see the inside of the place. Many maimings and at least one death. They fixed one guy's thumb with one from a cadaver. I developed tinnitus there and that was with ear protection 12 hours a day. Glad to put that one behind me.
Dan
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A Seabee
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#31

Post by A Seabee »

Dmacp wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:45 am
Someone got a bar and pried the heavy forging off the poor guy. As an engineer I requested an emergency bar to be placed near the furnace within reach, and that request was denied. It was truly the most miserable job I
My worst job seems like a walk in the park compared to this :cry:
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Jeepstircrazy
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Re: OT. Worst job you've had.

#32

Post by Jeepstircrazy »

A Seabee wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 11:06 am
Dmacp wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 6:45 am
Someone got a bar and pried the heavy forging off the poor guy. As an engineer I requested an emergency bar to be placed near the furnace within reach, and that request was denied. It was truly the most miserable job I
My worst job seems like a walk in the park compared to this :cry:
I was thinking the same thing... I was a correction officer though and was thinking of the "Nuts and Butts" part of making sure inmates weren't smuggling anything in or out of a facility or from a visit was the worst. Then after reading the Dmcap and Seabee comments I remembered I had to accompany an inmate that had been stabbed in the temple with a small shank to the hospital. There I watched him die and the medical staff bring him back. They brought him back to "brain dead". He could breathe and his heart was thumping but not much else was going on. I spent the better part of 12 hours with him before I got relieved cause we were transported to Albany NY via ambulance nearly 4 hours from the facility. He lived 4 more hours after I left him. That brought to mind that I was stabbed in the neck and hand by an inmate and lost my job. That happened in 1993 and I am still suffering pain in the body and PTSD , not to mention that the state screwed me compensation wise. I guess being alive to think and or forget about it or suffer is better than having that big artery that he just missed , sliced! I'm still here !!! :D
Wayne signing off...

What's the lowest you'll take for this lantern?                                                

          Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.

"I'm not sure if I actually have freetime or if I just keep forgetting stuff!"
( Thanks for that one Uncle Sidney!) :D

And oh... I don't flip GPA's... I have gifted several though. :D
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