@janie-janie: Yes. When I first returned to the US, I was desperate to find a job after several months with no luck. Finally, I found an unpaid internship with a publishing company. I decided I would do it even though it was unpaid because it would look great on my resume and would supposedly take only fifteen hours per month.
…At the interview, my boss brought up religion, sexual orientation, and politics. He asked me my marital status and if I had kids because – and I quote – “women with children may make good editors, but they just don’t have their priorities straight.” The guy was just a total jerk. I began anyway, though, because I was dumb.
The job went downhill from there. I soon discovered that despite the fact that I was an unpaid intern with no experience in the publishing industry, I was the most senior editor in the entire company. I cannot stress the ridiculousness of that statement enough. You could tell, too, since the website was riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.
After working there for a week, my boss/owner and founder of the company/most published author in the company/CEO/Douchebag in Charge contacted me to let me know that the previous editor had quit, and he needed me to edit a 284-page-long manuscript before its printing date… five days away. I said okay and got the manuscript.
This manuscript was by far the most awful thing that has ever been written in the history of the written word. The plot was completely predictable, the characters were more two-dimensional than most pieces of paper, and the dialogue was laughable. Most importantly, the author had obviously never learned to speak the English language. I say that because there was not a single sentence anywhere within those 284 pages that did not have any spelling or grammar errors. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. It took thirty hours for me to just make the thing readable, though it remained the most awful thing ever written in the history of the written word.
The real kicker was when my boss told me that he thought the book was really great and would be wonderful addition to the true crime genre.
The book was about a psychic. A PSYCHIC!
I finished the thing on time, but it was a terrible experience, and I was able to feel my poor brain cells screaming and dying in pain with every single word I read.
A day or two later, I got an email from Idiot Boss that he needed me to edit another manuscript within the next few days.
At that point, I had already put in about fifty hours of work in three weeks. Please remember that the job description said fifteen hours per month, which is why I signed up in the first place. I needed time to look for an actual paying job. I quit right then and there. It was the worst job in existence.
I got engaged two months later. A couple days afterward, I had dinner with a friend of mine in the publishing industry who was in town to visit her parents. I read her an excerpt from the book to give her a laugh. She still jokes with me that the only reason I got married was so that I could change my name and distance myself from that godawful piece of language mutilation.