[Skip to Content]

Worst Ever Backpacker Jobs

In our experience, when it comes to working abroad, you need to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth. And sometimes, backpacker jobs can be dog rough. These are just a few of the worst ever backpacker job experiences that we have encountered in our 11 years of gap year backpacking:

  • "While jobhunting in a remote mining town in Western Australia, I wandered into a pub and asked if they needed any bar staff. The guy said yes and asked me to start work the following Friday. When I turned up to start work, it turned out it was "skimpies" night, which meant that I was expected to serve beer wearing only my underwear. Luckily I had some decent pants on, and luckily for the landlord, my need for the poxy hourly rate I was to be paid was greater than my self respect, so I worked there for a few weeks until I got really sick of being asked for the beers that were on the lowest shelf behind the bar."

  • "When I was in Melbourne, I got some work through an agency which was described as 'lettuce engineering'. it basically involved packing lettuces into boxes for 8 hours a day."

  • "One of number of fruitpicking jobs I had when in Australia was picking grapes. I managed to get a splinter in my eye, which swelled up so I couldn't see out of it. Then the next morning my other eye swelled up in sympathy and I was completely blind. We were in the middle of nowhere and had to hitch a lift for the 3 hour journey to the nearest hospital. The bloke who was in charge of the fruitpicking was drunk all the time and couldn't drive anywhere."

  • "Picking melons was the worst job I had on my year out. Melons are heavy".

Fruitpicking is hard work, that's why the Aussie government bribes backpackers to pick fruit in certain places in return for an extension to the working holiday visa, frankly, no-one else is desperate enough to do it. But it can also be a great way to meet new friends and have some bizarre work experience to add to your CV. They may be the worst ever jobs, but backpacker jobs on your gap year do at least give you some comedy stories to tell your mates when you get home...