**NOTE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Mikael Chresten Meyer! To choose the winner, we narrowed the field down to a Top 4, then chose the winner at random from that list. Thank you to everyone who entered, and stay tuned for more contests from NoDepression.com!

Drive-By Truckers Big To-DoNow that the Drive-By Truckers have released their 11th album, The Big To-Do, we're teaming with the fine folks at ATO Records to hold a special contest.

One lucky No Depression community member will win a prize package, which includes an autographed copy of The Big To-Do on CD, an autographed copy of No Depression issue 46 (which featured DBT on the cover), and lunch for up to 15 people at your office.

Since the first single from the album is titled "Working This Job," we'd like you to tell us about the worst part of your job and/or what a bad day at work looks like for you.

NOTE: All entries must be submitted as comments to this post. Entries submitted as separate blog posts, comments on Facebook or Twitter, posted to the ND forum, or posted anywhere else on this site will not be counted. To post a comment to this post, simply scroll to the bottom and click where it says "Add a comment." This is so that all the entries are in one place, which makes it far easier for us to count the entries and choose a winner.

All entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. PST on April 19, with the winner being announced the next day.

ATO Records is also holding a second part of this contest, encouraging folks to submit a video about their job. For more information about the video contest, check out the contest's website.

Good luck!

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Tags: americana, ato records, contest, drive-by truckers, nodepression, rootsmusic, the big to-do, working this job

Comment by Matt Sobczyk on March 23, 2010 at 1:14pm
Seeing as I'm laid-off from my carpentry gig, I've been helping my wife at her office. There really are no bad days as long as we can keep the business afloat, both of us out of work would be bad.
Comment by Jeff Williams on March 23, 2010 at 1:39pm
I own a small newspaper and my worst day is most days in this economy. With many of our advertisers hurting for money, they don't pay very quickly so it's like waiting to hit the lotto when we go check the post office box. Most days we get bills but every once in a while we get paid.
Small businesses have it tough now but all our employees have gotten used to Twang Tuesday and they can pretty much sing along to all the Uncle Tupelo songs, which is nice.
Comment by ben curnett on March 23, 2010 at 2:32pm
I'm a career whitewater raft guide. And I know what you're thinking: That job's cake.

Think again.


(BTW, all good raft guide stories start with the phrase "no shit, there I was...")

So no shit there I was... waiting at the river, and the other guide was this skinny guy (who was a terrible guide) that we nicknamed Dances With Rocks. And the bus pulled up. The guests got off. Right away, I knew one thing: I would be earning my money that day.

There was a group of 16 people. Eight of them were wearing the XXXX-L life jackets. Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to be the fattest people in history to ever raft the New River Gorge.

They took one look at me, and one look at A Man Called Floats, and said, “Hey, y’all! Let’s go with Big Ben over there. He kinda looks like he can pull us in!”

Now, this actually used to happen to me quite a bit, because I’m a pretty big guy. But you would expect to see maybe one or two of the XXXX-Ls on a whole trip. Not eight in one boat.

And it wasn’t like the life jackets were comfortably buckled, either. The straps were twitching under so much tension- I expected at any moment to hear a PWAINNNG! and look over to see Dances with a broken piece of life jacket lodged in his skull.

I took one look at my group and smiled. At the time, I was up for any kind of adventure, no matter how large. I swept my arm out to invite them into the boat, and exclaimed in the most confident voice I could muster, “Y’all, let’s go rafting!”

Were were in trouble before we pushed off the bank. You know how on whitewater rafts, you can see the company name printed on the side? Not that day. We were takin' on water, cap'n.

Getting that much mass into a floating raft without immediately capsizing is a delicate task. Several times, I thought we were over before we started- the long, heavy-duty tubes of the boat dipping dangerously close to waterline at weights shifted and rubber squeaked. Still, I was scared shitless I knew I could guide the boat.

As soon as we hit the current, our problems were immediately apparent to everyone on the river that day. We were either going to be a laughing stock, a case study, or both.

Here's what happened: We had become prisoners of inertia, wildly out of control, bouncing from rock to rock like an overweight go cart stuffed full of fat clowns. We pinballed our way through the rapids, hitting pretty much everything there was to hit on our way down the river. None of the rocks were hurt.

I don’t know if the people in my boat had ever enjoyed something that much that didn’t have BBQ involved, but we beat fun over the head that day. It was awesome, except my body ached from trying to guide a 17 ton raft and belly laughing simultaneously. It sucked in a way that was so ridiculous, there was no choice but to take notes in my head for a future story. If I ever made it to the future.

That last rapid happened to be called Flea Flicker. Now, at lower water levels, Flea Flicker is pretty tame. But when there’s been a little rain and the river comes up just a touch, Flea Flicker starts to fold up on top of itself, with a wave in the middle that just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Until it gets even bigger. That's the level we were looking at.

There’s also an easy way to go around that wave. Which is what I had planned on doing since we had first pushed off, hours and hours before.

But as we got closer, I began to think: "I'm here for the goddam experience! I'm not doing this just to mess around. This’ll be like a physics experiment. I'm gonna create West Virginia’s first and only super collider."

So I asked. “Hey, y’all feel like going big up here on this next one?”

“Hell yes,” they answered. “We are big. Let's go big!”

“You sure?”

“Do it! Do it! Dammit, Big Ben, hit it!”

We were committed.

I lined up the supertanker and called for full speed a head. The momentum started to builld. We were bouncing along, a head full of steam, straight toward a wave that was crashing back like a brick house falling on a Mack truck. We were a freight train of unstoppable pork-itude, headed into the gut of destiny.

Or so I thought.

When our raft hit that enormous wall of water, here’s what happened: We made a taco.

The front of the raft stopped. The back of the raft kept going. And in a split second, the boat folded up like a hide-away bed with the entire Beluga Family stuffed inside it.

In about a quarter of a second, we made a reverse taco. The boat sprang open, and all of the contents, except for me, flew straight up into the air.

It looked like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I tried to scream. But everything was happening too fast. People were flying around like smashed atoms. Newton’s laws were being broken right and left. The sheer immensity of my raft crew took over all available airspace.

I ducked, but there was no way to avoid the newly-winged tonnage. It was all happening too fast. I looked around wildly, trying to find some safety in between the chaos.

And that’s when I saw her. Miss Teen Beluga was launched and locked on my trajectory, sailing toward me at the speed of huge. She was coming rear-end-first, but I could see the look of terror on her face, like she was riding an invisible Harley Davidson right at my head, full speed and backwards. All I saw was the spandex getting bigger, and then black.

She took me out like a linebacker- WHAM! We went underwater, and it seemed like time slowed way down. I could see the bubbles, and the sky, and the waves and it was beautiful. And, y’know… I had this large woman sitting on me.

And I thought to myself: I should have gone to law school.

When I came up, I had the ridiculous task of pulling everyone back into the boat. It was one of those things that's so damn impossibly hard, you just start cracking up. And I was. I was standing in the boat, laughing out loud, herniating myself trying to wrestle all that slick tonnage back into the boat. I’m sure I looked like an absolute maniac.

And that’s when Big Daddy Beluga, spitting up water, and laughing right along with me despite himself, asked, “So now, what’d you say the name of that rapid was?”

My sides hurt. I was crying I was laughing so hard. I could hardly breathe. I fell onto the floor of the raft, and almost shouted, “It’s called ‘Flea Flicker’!”

“Well,” said Big Daddy, “I guess we’re gonna hafta start callin’ it ‘Hog Toss!’”


Here's some video of what a bad day at work looks like for me. I'm the next to last crash (only made the video once!) at about 4:35. Oh, and sorry in advance for the music, which is both NSFW and Not No Depression Whatever That Is (NNDWTI) .

But neither is DBT :-)
Comment by ben curnett on March 23, 2010 at 4:11pm
actually the last crash, not next-to-last
Comment by john anderson on March 23, 2010 at 4:46pm
right now i am an stna heading to nursing school in the fall. we are the grunts,we get all the shit, literally. that's the worst,cleaning up poop. a bad day is when the rn gives most of your section suppositories and forgets to tell you. talk about a shitty day !
Comment by Norman Weatherly on March 23, 2010 at 6:05pm
A bad day at my job? I'm not sure there is such a thing, I love my job. At bad day at work is one when I'm not able to be there. I am a chaplain/pastor in an inner city homeless shelter and work with the addictions treatment program and I love every day at work and everyone that I work with.
Comment by SH on March 23, 2010 at 6:15pm
After working 26 years in the prison system, I have realized that I am going to need major psychotherapy. I review files on every single inmate that comes in the jail. Some of the details of their crimes and family histories are horrific. I am naturally an optimistic and creative person but this job has taken it's toll on me. Being a female, it hasn't been easy working in a facility for male inmates and dealing with some of the male officers and their bullshit comments. Music gets me through so many things in my life and that is why I am commenting in hopes that I win.
Comment by Jody M Smith on March 24, 2010 at 8:33am
I get to wake up every morning at 4 a.m. and head to a college dormitory where I clean the bathrooms for a bunch of lazy spoiled disrespectful college punks. They piss and puke everywhere and sometimes even shit in the showers. It pays my rent and it feeds and clothes my 7 year old so I guess I'll keep doing it until something better comes along.
Comment by Beth Dickson on March 24, 2010 at 2:00pm
I work for the American Cancer Society as a Health Systems Director. This is the best job I have ever had. My specialty is prevention and early detection. I get to teach healthcare providers about our latest guidelines for cancer screening and I work with large employers to educate their employees on how to live healthier lifestyles to prevent cancer. The hardest part of my job is hearing how many people have lost loved ones to cancer. It is also devastating to hear about the vast numbers of cancer patients who have been denied insurance coverage or who have had to declare bankruptcy due to their medical bills. There are so many people in American who don't get the life-saving treatment they need due to a lack of resources. We help cancer patients who can't get rides to treatment and need a place to stay while getting their treatments. One of my favorite DBT songs is "Puttin' People on the Moon." I lovingly refer to it as my "access to healthcare themesong..." I'm working hard to change things so that no one's life "gets destroyed" because the didn't have "no insurance" and can't get chemo. The Truckers inspire me to keep fighting.
Comment by Ted Jones on March 26, 2010 at 5:38am
Here's and example of the things I have to put up with at my job. I started my job on Friday Oct 2, 2009. Friday is an odd day of the week to start a job. Usually you start a job on the first day of the month, or the first day of the week, but unbeknownst to me at the time, my start date was well thought out. I didn’t start on Monday insurance reasons. My new boss Al created a complex formula based on your first day of employment to determine the official start of your insurance coverage:

** EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK 7.2: Insurance starts on the first day of the month following 31 days of employment.

So you see, if I had started on Monday September 28th, my company sponsored health insurance plan would have kicked in on November 1st, similarly because there are 31 days in October, if I had started on October 1st, insurance would have kicked in on November 1st; however, since I started on October 2, I had not reached 31 days of employment until November 2nd, therefore I had to wait until December 1st for insurance to begin; hence the genius of starting on October 2nd: Al saved himself 1 full month of insurance premiums (which the company only pays 50%).

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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.