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Eric Church Recalls the Worst Job He Ever Had

Eric Church
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Who hasn’t had a job they hated? Eric Church now has a job he loves (and is very successful at, having topped the Billboard Top 200 earlier this summer), but he wasn’t always so lucky. He was a working stiff like the rest of us at one point.

According to a rep at EMI, Church’s label, the singer revealed his dirty job in an interview. Turns out, when he first got to Nashville, he took a job at the Shop at Home Network and the schedule was utterly grueling. “I worked graveyard, midnight to 8,” Church said.

He tried to juggle the pays-the-rent gig while forging the dream to make music for a living. “I would work all night, go home, shower and then I had writing appointments all day because I was trying to get a career started,” he remembers. “I’d go write songs and get meetings just trying to get signed. And end up getting done at 3 or 4 [in the afternoon] with all of that and I’d go home, take a shower or sleep for a little bit and then I had to be at work again at midnight. So the schedule was bad enough.”

Besides clocking in for the brutal night shift, the actual labor part of the job wasn’t something that Church was over the moon about, either. “I sold knives from midnight to 7 or 8 AM,” he said. “And, anytime somebody calls you at 3 or 4 AM and needs 200 knives for $19.95, it’s automatically an alarming situation. And I was young and I’d been in a lot of these people’s shoes, I had done this. I knew they were drunk. I knew what they had done. They’d just come home from the bar, flipped on Shop at Home and said, ‘You know what? I need that.’ So the reason the job didn’t last long for me is that I was maybe the worst salesmen in history because I ended up talking a lot of these people out of it.”

Church was sort of like an ad hoc psychologist, who would give the drunk would-be knife owners a chance to call back the next day if they really wanted the weapons. He was doing the thinking for them, since he was sober. “I’d say, ‘I’ll tell you what man, go to bed, call me, I’ll be here in the morning. If you get up in the morning and want these knives you call me back.’ Because I knew what was going to happen, you know. They bought 200 knives for $19.95. First of all, some of these people you didn’t know whether you should call the cops. What do you need 200 knives for? Even though I’m selling them,what do you need them for? So, it was awful doing that job.”

Even Church’s bosses noticed how bad he was at selling. “They got rid of me because they were like, ‘You’re the worst. I can’t believe you’re talking people out of it.’ I was like, ‘I know…I’ve been there.’ [laughs] I’d want some to talk me out of buying some of the stuff I’ve bought at 2 AM,” he explained.

Some people aren’t meant to be salesmen — and hey, at least those drunk customers weren’t calling phone sex operators!

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