If you think you've got a rotten job, wait till you read this book

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The Independent Culture

His CV lists weed-sprayer, bank clerk, box-stacker, washer-upper, hay-baler, kitchen porter, pallet-maker and, most depressingly, turkey-beheader.

His CV lists weed-sprayer, bank clerk, box-stacker, washer-upper, hay-baler, kitchen porter, pallet-maker and, most depressingly, turkey-beheader.

So Dan Kieran, 29, is in a better position than most to declare that answering phone sex lines, cleaning cabins on North Sea ferries and managing disastrous IT networks are the worst jobs in Britain.

Mr Kieran is the author of the Idler Book of Crap Jobs, a no-holds-barred look at 100 awful occupations, from pea-checker to battery-breaker and journalist to geriatric nurse, complete with commentary from those with experience.

A geriatic nurse earning £5 an hour said: "I am emotionally scarred for ever and cannot look at old people without wincing."

Some of the entries seem surprising. Models, civil servants and coach-drivers rarely enjoy the sympathy that grave-diggers, kitchen porters and night office cleaners more obviously deserve.

One feature film animator recalled endless hours working with apparently autistic colleagues. "Very few were married," he said.

Other entries in the book, published next month, will confirm the worst fears of those at the receiving end of their services.

Nicholas Cooke, who earned £6.50 an hour during a stint as a credit card salesman, said it involved "little more than upsetting the exploited customers, to whom the company had maliciously issued credit cards. I had moral problems with this and eventually took it upon myself to tell as many customers as possible to cut up their cards if they couldn't afford them."

A man who gave his name only as Christian tried his hand as a maggot-farmer. "I spent my first day in the 'worm pit', which was like an Olympic swimming pool filled with the rotting carcasses of animals and fish pieces. I ... was instructed to walk in and turn the flesh over."

Little, though, competes with working as a phone sex-line operator. Sarah Janes earned £9 an hour. "Before you know it, you are silencing entire restaurants and Tube carriages with your hilarious work-related anecdotes while friends and family look on open-mouthed."

The 'Idler Book of Crap Jobs' is published on 7 October by Bantam, price £9.99

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