Under our noses there is the constant humming of a sprawling workforce that keeps everything tied together.
We rarely take notice, much less express gratitude for these countless workers, on the backs of whom we owe our daily comforts and all the necessities we take for granted.
Men and women are out there right now hauling cargo, providing the food we eat, and focusing on the granular level to maintain our safety and health.
A recent Reddit thread acknowledged all of those people we could not live without.
mrmoocow303 asked, "What job is commonly forgot about but is essential for society?"
Keeping the Crap Away
"Sewage workers, all of them. I wouldn't want to return to the days it's all dumped in water ways." -- alimagrog
"I used to have a job cleaning out the sewer. I was down in the tunnel with the shovel, passing the bucket to the next guy, but I was always at the front because I won't take sh** from anyone" -- 01kicka**ius10
"Truck drivers. Supply chains are the life blood of every industry from grocery stores to battle fields." -- Corin711
"This one is becoming more and more relevant to me."
"As someone in the service industry, it's stupid the number of times guests complain that we don't have something we used to."
"Sorry no oysters today, if you didn't know, there is a global pandemic going on and the supply train is disrupted. We literally can't get them. It's not because we don't like you."
"It's because the people that farm the oysters, that process and pack the oysters, and most importantly, the men and women who physically drag the oysters from Canada or New York Maryland can't get here."
"I don't know if it's because they're sick, or caring for someone who is sick, but the supply chain is broken. Forget about west coast oysters, we struggle to get them in from 2 states away. It's the supply chain."
"Never thought I would be aware of how important these people are." -- mmemarlie
This is the Person You Trust
"I test the strength of metals and other materials used in things like planes, rockets, ships and subs, and so on."
"The average person gets on a plane or in a car and just trusts that the engine won't explode and the body won't fly apart, which is how it should be. There are people whose job it is to worry about that, which I'm a small part of."
Keeping the Pile Low
"Waste maintenance. Trashmen. Holy hell watch that pile up if there's no one to take it away every week" -- BornInALighthouse
"Exact first thing I thought of."
"We leave a holiday card and a six pack out for our garbage man the last day they pick up before Christmas. He leaves us a card, too, but he gets the better end of the deal." -- Hardcore_EHS
"The world as we know it would fall apart in so many ways if all of the essential people who maintain the internet all vanished. So much of banking, security, entertainment, food, etc. revolves around a functioning internet."
"It wouldn't be an apocalypse, but it would be an insane disruption to the world. Millions would die. Millions more wouldn't be able to browse Reddit. Catastrophe."
Count Your Blessings
"People who create databases. My close friend created a very important database for a big hospital."
"He worked on it for years and it's really successful! He said he gets complements from other tech people, but not from 'regular' people."
"He mentioned he only hears about the bugs when something isn't working, and it's always along the lines of 'why isn't this working?! When can it work again?! This is ridiculous!!'"
"Like, chill the f*** out, HE BUILT THIS FROM NOTHING and it's helping save lives! Send him a f***ing gift card or something!"
"I test food at the factory to make sure it's safe for people to eat." -- RockyDify
"I have a friend who's a safety inspector for the dairy industry. I'm very grateful for you guys!" -- alimagrog
"Reading about pre-FDA practices and food adulteration, gives me queasiness and a high level of respect for you." -- GenericEschatologist
Think of All the Boxes
"Box manufacturing. Hidden in plain sight" -- 2tired2makeAname
"Not to mention box assembly, that's usually done elsewhere." -- gurnard
"Pallets too. My hometown has a giant pallet factory and they are busy." -- Kulladar
Acknowledged, and Still Mistreated
"Well, if this pandemic taught us anything grocery store employees are pretty essential." -- ZeD00m
"No, we are forgotten again. Our heroic days are over and Karen is back to yelling at us" -- goatf***69
"'Expendable,' not 'essential.' Almost mandatory if you like eating or wiping your ass, but people will still treat them like shit and straight cough on them...and then bi*** that the grocery store worker was 'rude' for backing away from them." -- stryph42
Upkeep the Teeth
"Lots of people fantasize about being a gun-toting bada** when the apocalypse hits, but unless you know a good dentist, your life will soon become unbearable" -- AdvocateSaint
"My dentist says you'll know if you like a dentist within five minutes, you'll know if they're a good one in five years. It's been close to 20 so I think I'm good." -- Nagiom
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Over-sharing is a thing. Sometimes, people really just cross the line in the information they've decided to volunteer to us.
It's hard to control who does this to us since it tends to take us by surprise, but hearing some of the things that people have suffered having to hear can easily act as cautionary tales to us.
Seriously, Who Asked<p>I used to work at an animal shelter and we had several people who would come volunteer to help out.</p><p>One of the women who came there on a regular basis went to lunch with me. She was such a sweet woman, a little older than I was at the time. She proceeded to tell me that she used to go to the park and hook up with old men because she felt sorry for them.</p><p>WTF?</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/moviesandcats/" target="_blank">moviesandcats</a></p>
Decent Bloke....<p>I (25f at the time) was at A&E in the UK. I got discharged and was waiting for my taxi outside. This buff shirtless dude, covered in tattoos (they were decent too, imo) comes over and asks for a light. I bought a zippo for novelty so I obliged.</p><p>We got to talking and he told me how he had just got out of prison after serving a life sentence for killing his father, after his father murdered his baby sister. Had his records on him and everything (he was at the hospital as he was diabetic and had experienced an issue of some sort after being released - I have no expertise here).</p><p>I have never feared and respected a man so much in my life.</p><p>I bought him a pint after my taxi decided it wouldn't be arriving. Decent bloke - we still speak 9 years later.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/heavenhelpyou/" target="_blank">heavenhelpyou</a></p>
Oh....Sounds Fun....<p>My sophomore year In college a girl who I had a group project with told me that her first sexual experience was getting tag teamed by a couple of guys while she was in high school. </p><p>I just told her "wow, that's pretty intense." She told me that she loved it and then I changed the subject. Until that point nothing sexual had come up in the conversation.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Nothing_/" target="_blank">Nothing_</a></p>
TW: Suicide<p>My manager at my job in high school decided to tell us about how she tried to end her life on my very first day. </p><p>She was like, "One day, I decided to take some pills and end it all. I grabbed a pill bottle out of my mom's cabinet and took a handful without even looking at what it was and then lay down to die. I was so surprised to wake up in the morning perfectly fine. Confused, I checked the bottle to see what I had taken."</p><p>Yeah, it was estrogen.</p>
Please Tell Me About Your Infidelity<p>My wife loves to tell this story.</p><p>Her first day at a new company she was to meet another employee who would show her around the office. She met her in the lobby and on the elevator ride up to the office she proceeded to tell my wife how her husband has gained some weight and she is considering starting an office affair with a co-worker who is really into fitness and 'has muscles' (apparently she made a gesture where she fanned herself while saying muscles)</p><p>Like literally my wife met this lady 5 minutes earlier for the first time in the lobby and she is already unloading all this stuff on her.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Boxman75/" target="_blank">Boxman75</a></p>
TW: Abuse<p>I was seated next to a quiet kid on a high school band bus to a football game. He'd been in my band class for years, but I had never really spoken to him. He was the type who didn't fit into anything at school that I ever saw. I resolved to get to know him a bit and open up a conversation since we were going to be sitting by each other for a few hours. It was like a dam burst; that dude talked for the whole trip.</p><p>At one point, he told me that his mom was really unhappy with his stepdad but couldn't afford to divorce him. And then he told me that his stepdad would get drunk and beat him with a stick, but he wasn't sure if his mom was also getting beaten and that scared him. There was a brief pause before he said "I never told anyone that before..." Then he changed the subject completely.</p><p>I must've been seventeen or so. It shook me. Like... Obviously I was old enough to know that sort of thing happens, but too sheltered to think it happened to anyone I knew. I told my parents about it-- seemed the right thing to do. I don't know what happened from there. He and I never really spoke of it again. I just looked him up on Facebook, though. Looks like he's done really well for himself.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/DietrichBuxtehude/" target="_blank">DietrichBuxtehude</a></p>
Not The Thing To Tell Your Nurse<p>I was doing my practice in a hospital. They brought a young man in the neuro clinic, he was my 1st patient. He was around 30 and he had fallen from a tree while working. </p><p>He turned out to have a complicated neurological condition that had nothing to do with his fall. He was also diagnosed with severe depression. He was in there for months and no one ever visited him, the only time he felt a bit better was when I visited him and did some tests to him. </p><p>He said "it's nice when you come and make me play with the coloured toys and make me draw things". One day he was looking out of the window, when I came in he looked me dead in the eye and told me "you know, if the windows didn't have protective bars, I'd jump right out". It was the 1st time I'd heard such thing and I remember it ever since.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/Shoddy_Natural4217/" target="_blank">Shoddy_Natural4217</a></p>
Ope Okay Guess We're Going There<p>Coworker took out a client for a business lunch at a small town restaurant. He asks the waitress "How are you?" to be polite. </p><p>She proceeds to go on a 5 minute spiel about how terrible her ex husband is and how he's ruining her life and how she feels like crap because of it. After she finishes, takes their order and leaves the customer says "So you must know her pretty well?" </p><p>"Only well enough to say hi in passing." </p><p>"Oh, so then that was just as awkward for you as it was for me then?" </p><p>"Yes, yes it was."</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/NowhereinSask/" target="_blank">NowhereinSask</a></p>
The Evidence Is The Burn<p>Some guy next to me on the bus once went into a long elaborate story about how he burned his house down for insurance money like three weeks prior.</p><p> I wouldn't have believed it if his hands didn't have massive burn scarring.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/STARCRUSHER99/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">STARCRUSHER99</a></p>
Who Are You Fooling?<p>Met this dude in college when he moved into the dorm. Goofy looking redneck kid from the San Antonio area. I'm getting to know him when I notice his Spice Girls cd (this was like 2003), and I commented on it. </p><p>He then goes into this long story of how he was at the Walmart in San Antonio, looking at the CDs in that store and just happened to have bumped into Ginger Spice who invited him into the tour bus that no one had noticed, and he lost his virginity to all the Spice Girls at once.</p><p>My thought was "Thank you for this story, I know instantly that I can never trust or believe anything you ever tell me again." It's been almost 20 years and I still can't believe that was something he said in the first five minutes of meeting me.</p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/user/GreatJanitor/" target="_blank">GreatJanitor</a></p>
We're never that surprised when we encounter people who are lackluster at their jobs. Bad waiters, rude customer service people, dishonest contractors, or inept colleagues abound throughout daily life.
But it's interesting that we expect to encounter that kind of ineptitude far less with certain professionals.
Salt in the Wound<p>"I was dealing with a lot of family issues at the time and my ex had just broken up with me that week so I was taking it fairly hard."</p><p>"My therapist said 'it's because they found someone better' and when I said no and tried to explain she just dug in deeper that my ex had dumped me because they found someone better than me."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goytctg?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">sgrmw</a></p>
Suddenly, a Brainstorm Session for Insults<p>"14, telling my shrink about how I was bullied in school."</p><p>" 'Do they make fun of your nose?' "</p><p>" '...nnnno....?' "</p><p>"And that's how I found out I have a big nose."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0jn7u?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KindlyOlPornographer</a></p>
The Exact Wrong Outlook<p>" 'You'll never do an important job like doctor, veterinarian, firefighter, lawyer, conselor...You'll probably end up in a Walmart for your whole life.' "</p><p>"I was 8 years old and still remember how mad my parents were lol."</p><p>-- -<a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyug8s?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SincerelyDontCare</a></p>
Mourning Snooze<p>"Nothing. She fell asleep in her chair while writing notes....I was talking about the death of my parents. I was 16. Never went to another therapist" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozuyga?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Papismurf101</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"After reading a few of these I'm convinced some therapists get there education on a milk box. Flipping heck. I'm so sorry that happened to you." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp2zydy?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">illthinkofonel8er</a></p>
When Word and Deed Do Not Align<p>"When they say things like 'okay I understand how you are feeling thank you for telling me' but proceeds to ignore most of the things I've said. -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyrsef?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PrestigeZyra</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Ugh I hate that. Sympathy is not Empathy."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Rephrased: 'Based on what you've shared, I think I'm starting to understand what you have been through. Thank you for telling me. Now you said X, would you like to explain that further so I can better understand?' "</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It's called motivational interviewing and that specific technique is 'reflecting' and 'clarification' to ensure the client is able to fully explain their meaning without the provider 'assuming' anything or ignoring the person's statements." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gozv732?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jhorry</a></p>
Proven Wrong Almost Immediately<p>"Go back to work, you'll be fine, you don't need different meds."</p><p><em>"3 times being sent home and psych ward visit later" -- </em><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BalancedJoker</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goygpxp?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank"></a>"let me guess, diagnosed with depression (unipolar). prescribed an SSRI type antidepressant. turns out you have biploar depression and without mood stabilizers the SSRIs sent you into a strong manic episode." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/gp0hdbz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SecTrono</a></p>
Doubling Down<p>"I had a psychiatrist who was convinced I was anorexic even though I wasn't."</p><p>"It really sucked because my therapist and my psychiatrist worked at the same company and they had a policy where they don't help people with eating disorders."</p><p>"So even though I went to a specialist and they confirmed I didn't have an eating disorder I was still banned from that facility and lost my long term therapist."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyzbxh?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">assainXD1</a></p>
Throwing Shade on a Healthy Habit<p>"I use my creativity with art and craft as both a coping skill and as something that gives me extra purpose in life."</p><p>"A psychologist told me that doing so is maladaptive. I didn't go back."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyloq7?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlackCaaaaat</a></p>
Wut<p>"Had a therapist tell me that my soul, long before I was born, chose my parents and subsequent childhood abuse so that I could learn from it."</p><p>"By this logic, of course, the abused person is always in control and the abuser is helpless. Argue with that logic. Needless to say I never saw her again."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/ltikks/people_of_reddit_what_is_the_worst_thing_a/goyszg6?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mercuryrising137</a></p>
On the internet, people tend to say things they likely would not in the real world. The anonymity of a forum or comment section--composed only of verbal contributions beneath made up names--compels us to socialize with less inhibition; we take more risks with the peers we can't see in the flesh.
THANK YOU<p>"Maybe not small. But my job is sort of essential. I support software that is used by many hospitals and medical facilities."</p><p>"I've pretty much worked every day and made sure our sh** didn't blow up whole covid wrecked shop. I get no mention. I get no praise but damnit I'm happy to keep helping fight the fight."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5ubry?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">shartnado3</a></p>
Making All the Right Moves<p>"Trimming 7 years (so far!) off our mortgage through minor payment tweaks and tax return lump sum payments."</p><p>"It takes planning and discipline, but means we'll both be able to retire without house-debt. Planning to surprise SO with this next year once I get it down a little further." </p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5w7mm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">flitterbug78</a></p>
The Leap<p>"I finally got the courage to apply to, interview for, and accept another job, and quit the job I've had for a decade." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp63t9k?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">whatisgoinghappen</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Good job. I change as well last September. After 14 years it was stressful. Especially with a wife, a mortgage and a kid depending on my income." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8x685?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Angio343</a></p>
33.83 Years of Training<p>"I successfully plunged a toilet today! For the first time in my 33.83 years of existence! I'm just relieved I don't have to call the guest house manager."</p><p>"That'll teach me not to flush toilet paper in India smh."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp69rfb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">fvckyes</a></p>
Keep It Going, Keep It Going<p>"Running 45 minutes to one hour most days for the last four weeks." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uufd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">InbhirNis</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"That's brilliant!! Geesh if you can keep that up, even if it becomes just a few times a week you are adding YEARS to you lifespan, as well as LIFE!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp6gjdv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">BlueLunarStar</a></p>
Pristine Extremities<p>"I been biting my nails all of my life and have finally stopped. I always feel a little silly to show my friends and be like, look, I have nails!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp64l2e?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">mobiuthuselah</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Hey that's awesome! I've been biting my nails for like 20 years, it is a HARD habit to break. 👏👏" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp8cu86?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">takethehiddenpaths</a></p>
1, 2, 3<p>"I did three loads of laundry today. Folded and put away too!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5tmtb?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">rockbiter81</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Is..is that humanly possible? I mean put away and everything?" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp71hfd?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">AtheneSchmidt</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Several years ago, when I was majorly depressed, laundry was the hardest thing to do. It felt never <a href="https://ending.to/" target="_blank">ending.</a> To this day, keeping on top of laundry is like saying 'I'm doing ok' for me."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Doing three loads, folding AND putting away is amazing from my perspective! Congrats! Good job!!" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7bebe?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Smartass_Narrator</a></p>
Step One, Check<p>"I've been making a point to try and shower every day."</p><p>"It doesn't seem like much, but when I'm going through a rough bout of depression - it's the biggest accomplishment I can muster and I'm very proud of myself and my current level of stinky-ness"</p><p>"(current stink level: not stinky!! Yay)"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp61um4?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">datCHEESElife</a></p>
Upswinging<p>"Drug addict for the last 10 years, tomorrow marks 2 months clean. May not sound like a long time but it's longest I've gone ever" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp601uu?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">yo_Slick</a></p><p>"Been an alcoholic for 9 years. 2 weeks sober tomorrow" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5v4ol?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">IscreamwhenIsh**</a></p>
Here's to You Making It<p>"today is my 26th birthday and I'm still around for it" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp5uq5b?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">b4byd0t</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"I've been depressed for decades. I just turned 49 four days ago and I never thought I'd get here. It's been rough for most of those years, but I'm still here and I think of all the people I've helped that wouldn't have happened and it gives me a purpose. Do the same."</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Think about anything you've done, even if it's just giving directions to a stranger. You helped that person get to where they needed to be. If you weren't there, they might still be lost now." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/luddci/whats_a_small_achievement_you_would_like_a_pat_on/gp7yyjw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">eddyathome</a></p>
Time and dedication is critical to learning new skills.