Feet on the Street

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Archive for January 29th, 2010

50 Jobs Worse Than Yours

Posted by Lori on January 29, 2010

Fix yourself a hot fudge sundae and crack open a can of diet Coke. It’s finally Friday, and time to take our tired ol’ feet off the street, throw them up in the Lay-Z-Boy, and just relax. Our topic of discussion for the next couple Fridays is a look at Jason Racz’ book, 50 Jobs Worse Than Yours (2004). Where, o where, do we start with this one?

Of all of the jobs I have worked, probably the worst was at a large meat packing plant in Dodge City, Kansas. I started my brief, 3 month-long, career weighing beef carcasses in the cooler. Then, I transferred out to the yard moving the live cattle closer to a grocery store near you. Probably the most important thing I learned about the industry was that I didn’t ever want to do it again.

Perhaps it depends on your perspective as to which job, or jobs are worse than yours. I decided to throw caution to the wind and select 5 jobs from the list that I think wouldn’t even light the board on being dreadful. Here’s my list for the day (in no particular order):

  • Garbage Barge Skipper – Standing amid the rubbish, transporting it from Point A to Point B, there would be no escaping the odor. The good news is that the dress code is casual; a skipper hat, sunblock, and deodorant are all that is needed. In addition to that, to an olfactory system made of steel would be beneficial! However, the drawback, according to Duffy Saint Pierre, Garbage Barge Skipper is, “Starboard side, port side, everywhere you look, crap’s ahoy.”
  • Domino Setter-Upper – I think this job would require nerves of steel, as well as a mighty steady hand. Tools of the trade include: a yardstick, domino stoppers, Scotch Tape and knee pads. There is tremendous satisfaction when the plan comes together and the dominoes fall, but big time disappointment when they don’t.
  • Stevie Starr: Regurgitator -This one is just plain weird. According to Racz, the job is to, “Swallow foreign objects, such as goldfish, needle and thread, a Rubik’s Cube, and then bring them up whole, threaded and solved.” Believe it or not, this is a skill that cannot be taught!
  • Sherpa – If you were at the USA Conference in Wichita this week, you heard Keynote Speaker, Skip Yowell from JanSport, use this term a couple of times when he talked about his mountain climbing expeditions. Sherpas assist hikers at Mount Everest by toting crates, assisting with camp building, and cooking. Their base pay is the equivalent of about $7.00/day. The book states an amazing factoid – people freeze to death at 28,000 feet and one out of 20 Sherpas do not make it to the next hike.
  • Chick Sexer – As you might suspect, these folks sort the girl chickens from the boy chickens. It may not be a glamorous occupation, but it pays fairly well with Sexers earning $400-$700/day plus expenses. Probably not a bad living in the grand scheme of things. I just think it takes lots of chick looking to garner the big bucks.

That’s it for today. We’ll get back to business on Monday and end the week looking at 5 more jobs that are still worse than yours. Have a great weekend!

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