We all have our dream jobs; the ones that we would sell our souls for. Some like to keep it simple and dream only of be able to work a piece of land that they call their own, while some want to be like Richard Branson and own the world. I’ve always wanted to be a hugely successful novelist like Iris Murdoch or Stephen King (personal heroes). But there are also jobs out there that we would rather die than have to do. Again, this is purely subjective, as they say; one man’s meat is another man’s poison.
Personally, I break out in a cold sweat at the thought of anything to do with sales. I would rather chew glass than work in insurance or as a toll both operator, and you can pull out my fingernails but please don’t make me teach at a nursery school.
Purplepineappletown.blogspot.com addressed the issue of nightmare jobs and came up with a fairly interesting list.
Being a US military soldier in Iraq came in second, tech support was first. I find it interesting that they deem handling telephonic complaints everyday worse than the daily danger of friendly fire, suicide bombers and the constant stress of combat. It makes me wonder which jobs they consider ideal (probably insurance sales).
Third on their list was working in a recycling plant. This I can agree with. Sifting through trash to sort out recyclable materials is not my idea of a day well spent, especially as I understand the pay is atrocious. Most of the worst jobs in the world pay badly. Someone on discourse.net had a job sucking the lungs out of decapitated chickens with a lung-gun, for minimum wage, of course. If you think tech support is thankless, try being a lung-gun operator.
Hazmat driver came in at number four on purplepineappletown’s list. Hazmat is short for hazardous materials so right away you know that the job is not a sanitary one. Hazmat teams have to go in and clean up everyone else’s mess, usually on a grand scale. These are the guys who deal with toxic spills, oil spills, and polluted waterways. A day spent in the sewers under a city is just TCB baby, TCB.
Last on the list was being Mike Rowe, the host of the TV show Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. And here I have to disagree, again. Yes, Mike Rowe takes on dirty, thankless jobs, but he only does one job a day, and then he moves on. He has the advantage of experience without tenure. His life is filled with novelty, dirt, excitement and more dirt. I think that his job is actually quite cool, not my dream job, but cool nonetheless.
Lastly I would like to give an honourable mention to waitressing (or waiterering or waitronning or whatever it’s called these days). I’ve done it, along with a fair junk of the world’s population, and on a badness scale of 1 – 10, I would give it a 3. The hours are long, customers can be difficult and your manager can be the very spawn of Satan, but with the gift of hindsight, it’s not that bad. I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t consider my time as a waitress as the worst days of my life either.
I think that all things considered, I would still choose a slow and agonising death over sales. If I were a soldier in Iraq, that’s probably what I’d get.