Many of the jobs people have to take are thankless and invisible - but they're there. Hotel housekeeping, fish-gutting, chicken-farm-attending workers trying to make a living have to endure some nasty conditions.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
I did this in college too. I got fired for not backing down.
Working at my uni's call centre to collect donations for the uni from the alumni.
Most. Degrading. Job. Ever.
We had to call alumni and manipulate them into donating to the university, and we weren't allowed to take no for an answer.
We were required to make AT LEAST three asks or we'd be scolded by the management.
People are just unpleasant on the phone, and it doesn't help that we'd ask for money and practically beg them for it. Jeez.
Seriously a sh*tty job.
As long as the pay is good...
I cleaned kitchen hoods/fans and grease pits at restaurants. The hours were awful, it was dirty, and we dealt with some nasty chemicals. The pay was pretty awesome though.
County Health Dept. If an animal attacked someone (dog, possum, cat, raccoon) and it was suspect of having rabies and no longer alive - I had to take it to a university in the capitol for testing. Not so bad, but our county had lots of bites, so the uni said stop bringing the whole animal, we just need the head (brain). Lo and behold I became the counties dead animal headsman.
This is why regulation is a good thing.
Not me but my dad used to work for a company called Electro-Optical Systems (EOS). Their big claim to fame was building night vision goggles for the US Military, and that contract was basically the last thread the company had that was keeping it afloat. My dad entered the company as the new head of Environmental/Worker Safety protocols, so the OSHA guy in layman's terms.
First sign that he was getting more than he bargained for: Walks into his office and the lady sitting at his desk looks at him and goes "Who are you, what do you want?" he says "I'm the new head of E/WS..." turns out she was the current Environmental/Worker Safety head and they hadn't told her they'd fired her yet. A couple of minutes after screaming at the Site manager, she storms into the office, sweeps her stuff into a box and leaves him with just "Good F*cking Luck."
So the big boss comes in and basically explains that " due to budget and quarterly blah blah, we like to do safety a little different here..." Never a good thing to hear at a factory working with high volumes of super hazardous industrial chemicals.
Within the first 5 days of work, there's a chemical spill on one of the lines. As the alarm sounds, my old man shuts off the work valve and starts evacuating the contaminated floor, and the floor manager stops him, saying "we can't close down just for this, trust me, I've dealt with this 1000 times" etc...then starts ordering people to get big tubs of water and mop the mess up. For my chemists out there, this was almost 55 gallons of Lithium that spilled. For those less chemically inclined, that shit will EXPLODE when in contact with water.
My old man demands that the floor be cleared and if this manager (whos started swearing at him for shutting down the line) really wants to try, he can demonstrate his cleaning technique with a small bucket of Li. Guy drops a tiny amount of water into the bucket, whole thing bangs and jumps 5 feet in the air, the manager is on his back scrambling away. Keep in mind this guy's plan was to pour gallons of water all over the chemical soaked floor and have people just mop it up.
And after the incident, my dad STILL gets reprimanded from higher up for 'unnecessary halting of production'. Unfortunately he was poor and needed this job...so he stayed just a little bit longer.
Now, I'm no OSHA expert but I understand that for manufacturing, there are 2 types of hazardous waste, aptly named "Hazardous Waste", and...wait for it..."VERY Hazardous Waste." I know, creative. If I remember correctly, under regulation Hazardous Waste can wait (in proper containment) until the container is full before being disposed of, max. 90 days. VERY hazardous waste however MUST be disposed of every 30 days regardless of how full the container is. This became a problem after 30 days when my Golden Oldie was in his office, and a worker leans in and says "Hey [Dad], it's been about 30 days so...want me to do the label change?"
My dad looks up, "What do you mean the label change?"
Turns out they hadn't disposed of their VERY hazardous waste in almost 4 months because it cost too much to do very often and the container wasn't full...and as a result there were a few small leaks, which was why the containment room was now sealed up extra tight (this being cheaper than paying for cleaning). My dad walks into the containment chamber and can obviously see at least 4 stickers that have been just covered up each time the waste gets past due...and then notices a couple of sealed buckets and a cardboard box.
The buckets were holding all the waste they couldn't fit anywhere else,
The cardboard box opened up to show 50 feet of Thorium foil. Just sitting there. In a fucking CARDBOARD BOX. That was the ONLY CONTAINMENT it had.
When he told me this, he described it as "...I honestly believe I flew out of that room I moved so fast." He ordered an expensive lead-lined container immediately, and had that thing locked up, but he had been sitting not 50 feet away from it for almost 3 weeks by this point.
A few days later there was some sort of accident that got filed (which was also a very rare practice) and his boss came in fuming. He got chewed out for wasting money on a lead box, and then told if he wanted to keep his job, he had to hold off the OSHA inspector for as long as possible. He had no reason he could legitimately do this, and it didn't take a lawyer to tell him he would be on the chopping block if this was the state they found the factory in. So he did the only logical thing to do:
He jumped ship, whistle-blew, showed both the OSHA inspector and later an Army inspector everything he had, and got amnesty from the event.
He said he drove by a decade later to see if they were still there. The entire building was gone, and all that remained was parking lot.
TLDR: The company my dad was working for was comically corrupt with its disregard for safety, they almost blew up the building in his first week, and he ended up having to whistleblow.
Don't think about it.
Hotel housekeeping. Humans are revolting.
Canvassing takes incredible patience.
Door to door, non profit collecting names and donations for environmental causes. All cold calling. Just showing up! The rejection was constant. I lasted a few days.
There are worse things than easy pay.
I was the admin at a financial company, but there was literally no work for me to do. Ever.
I just sat and watched the hours go by everyday. I came in late, took long lunches, and left early and it was still torture.
Does the smell ever lget washed off?
I worked in a Fish House at a cannery in Ketchikan AK. Nastiest. Job. Ever. Processing salmon as they came in off the boats. Hard work and disgusting.
Stay in school.
Fresh out of high school, I took a full-time warehouse job that paid $8/hour. The warehouse was a re-packaging plant, and I was on the assembly line literally moving toilet paper from one box to another.
It was a soul-less job, utterly void of any human interaction or mental stimuli. It was quite the eye opener for my 18 year-old self. I met the mother of a girl I went to high school with there. She told me to stay in school, and that's exactly what I did two days later.
F*ck that place.
Factory farms are living nightmares.
I used to work in chicken houses. The smell would literally kill you if the fans weren't running 24/7.
I tried going in an empty house one time without the fans on and it was like being pepper sprayed with ammonia.
Edit: It appears this post. (and my reply) have begun to gain some traction with everyone in the US beginning to wake up. In response to a couple impolite PM's I received overnight I'll add this note.
I had the job when I was 16, and like most 16 year-olds I would have done just about anything for a good paycheck, and $10/hr was a lot of money back in the day when minimum wage was $5.85. I don't regret working there as I consider it a formative experience. It changed my views on meat and factory farming and has strongly affected my eating habits as well.
Please remember that the best way to curb factory farming practices is by reducing or eliminating your consumption. In the end we are all culpable and the best thing any individual can do is to speak with your wallet.