We in "civilized" society like to think of ourselves as being above the caste system, but stop and ask yourself, are we really?
We may not go so far as officially declaring certain people untouchable, but the levels of respect that we as a society treat people with is massively different.
Reddit user rsei2 asked:
It's worth noting that a lot of the people mentioned in these responses have jobs that most people don't want to do. Or maybe they're in positions that most people wouldn't want to be in.
If anything, those who have the strength and stamina (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc) to do these sorts of things day in and day out deserve more of our respect, not less.
So here's our shout-out to the unsung heroes out there. We see you and we appreciate you.
The School JanitorGiphy
Janitors. I work in a school, and, at least weekly, if not daily, I think to myself they cannot possibly be paid enough to deal with the sometimes literal sh*t they deal with.
I'm an elementary school custodian, and I used to be a high school custodian. To be honest the biohazards don't phase me at all. I like a job that keeps me mobile, solving puzzles, and working with my hands. Also I've got a pension, a union, a living wage, and great health insurance, which are pretty hard to come by these days.
I really love working around the kiddos, and it's totally ok if someone is sick and has an accident. That kind of stuff happens, and it's pretty easy to fix.
I'd say the non-literal sh*t that makes me question my sanity sometimes is the way that other staff sometimes treat me as "just a janitor" like I am their servant. We're all professionals and we all have the same end goal, we just work in different departments. And I'd say 99.99% of people are awesome, there's just the occasional person who gets off on trying to humiliate someone they believe is beneath them. But the other people in my school, the other custodians in the district, and my boss have all been unbelievably awesome, which I am so thankful for.
I am an elementary school janitor, and the kids are absolute pigs, leaving poop everywhere in the bathrooms, and having the clean snot and gum from the bottom of desks, it is absolutely awful.
Bus drivers or people who operate public transit in general.
Being responsible for getting people from point A to point B in a safe, cheap and timely manner each day seems like something pretty noble if I'm honest.
I feel bad for bus drivers in my city. There's supposed to be a bus every 10 minutes, yet you're lucky to get two in an hour, the timing of which is anyone's guess.
Obviously, bus drivers aren't just sitting in the depo with a pile of buses going unused. It's some level of management at fault, but it's the drivers that have the customer facing role, so they get the blame.
Sewage line workers, they go through a lot to make sure you're able to use a toilet instead of an outhouse.
That's me! Thanks, buddy! To the guy who flushed an entire, mostly functional collapsed pop-up tent last month: how'd you do that?
I bet most people would be surprised at what they actually do. In our town, every time the power goes off to a sewage station, someone has to go out there (doesn't matter the time of day) and manually get the waste to pump down, or it will back up into the houses in the neighborhood.
Garbage men. They spend most of their day around and handling waste that has been sitting in other waste allowing bacteria to thrive. They are at a much higher risk of getting a horrible disease than anyone else, and will have a much shorter life expectancy due to that. Any work that literally can take years of your life should be paid a significant amount, don't you think?
Mental health professionals that patiently help people deal with depression and anxiety.
I'm a volunteer at a suicide prevention hotline. We take calls from all kinds of people in distress. A lot of calls are people giving us abuse or acting out some weird fantasy. I can never understand how those people can be so selfish abusing resources that others desperately need.
But we do also speak to people who are at the worst moment of their life and have reached out. We listen and we offer empathy. Sometimes it's the first time in their life they've ever heard praise, or acknowledgement that their feelings are valid. Most feel better from just being able to share without being judged.
I've heard people's last words, and will never forget them.
Other People's Houses
People whose jobs require them to go to other people's houses. I have a number of friends who have told me about their horror stories / terrible experiences as home security system installers, HVAC installers etc. You have to go in with the mentality that literally anything could be in there. You have to conform to that person's lifestyle/attitudes etc. for the time that you're there.
My Dad does HVAC, can confirm. He told me once he walked into a house where the elderly lady was just walking around naked. Seemed perfectly sane, talked normally, but seemed to think nothing of being naked in front of a total stranger.
I worked for a cable and internet company and did a ride-along with a tech once to see the home installation process. We got sent to an actual hoarder trailer home with like 9 cats, shredded newspaper on the floor and just the bare plywood trailer flooring under that. We had to take turns going in and out of the house to breathe, taking turns checking on the progress of the setups for the various equipment inside the home. They were getting the home security package because they claimed they had been robbed a couple of times in the past month, but I'm 90% sure they were somehow into meth.
911 dispatchers. My dad is one.
Just the range of calls they have to handle every day is insane. They could be anything from asking when trick or treat is (don't call 911 for these things people) to traumatized victims of car accidents and assaults to suicidal people who call just to shoot themselves while on the line.
Now take multiple calls like that, send tones and accurate info to the right stations, actively listen to up to a dozen radio frequencies for requests and updates, call additional resources like medevac helicopters or mutual aid when requested and check in on everyone if they hadn't heard from them in a bit.
Oh and if you don't act quickly or make a mistake people can easily die.
Care givers for the disabled. We are over worked and under paid but we're usually doing the job because we care and see the lack of help this population has.
Also for the elderly.
My grandfather is 101 and thankfully can afford 24 hour in home care. The ladies who take care of him are saints. He'll yell at them, he's called them the n-word and other horrible things, and they brush it off like it's no big deal. If it wasn't for them, he'd be in a nursing home.
Being a person with severe rheumatoid arthritis and being a stroke victim, I have some pretty bad handicaps: a numb drop foot leg, I have to walk with a walker a lot, can't walk very far. I need help with basic stuff like showering, I'm a fall risk. But I'm being an engineer so I'm still able to have a career. Having nice nurses taking care of me is a blessing, and I thank anyone who cares enough about us handicap people and gives genuine compassion to us. So thank you, without people without you, we would suffer and die.
It's hard being disabled and have rude people around you who are able bodied and just don't care about you or your problems. I have someone in my family that does this and he is physically abusive and emotionally abusive towards me.
I know a small farmer. Dude works constantly, mornings he does farm work. Afternoons he works a "regular" job for health care and extra money. He takes vacation days to plant and harvest (which eats up damn near everything he's got.) He's got about 7 workers who help him but damn if he doesn't work 16 hour days constantly.
In my country they get nothing but hate and are blamed for everything. But at the same time nobody wants to pay extra for products that are more eco- or animal-friendly, while the local farmers are barely making ends meet.
Farming: the art of losing money while working 400 hours per month while feeding people who are convinced youre trying to kill them
Night shift workers. They keep the world running and fix up our daytime messes so that it's all ready to go again the next day. They are there for us during the night when no one else wants to be, whether we need something from the 24-hour store or medical care. They're rarely ever noticed by the managers and people in power, so they miss opportunities. And they're stigmatized. If they want to sleep, they're lazy for sleeping during the day. If they want a beer after work, they're scandalous drunks for drinking in the morning. But they're the ones keeping the world flowing smoothly for us.
The Real Economy Drivers
The poor. So many businesses and bylaws target poor people. Supermarkets, fast food payday loans are predatory. Super markets, convenience stores are all designed to strip more and more money away. Basically, the poor drive the economy. Then there's anything fine worthy, all fines are designed to be devastating to poor people but minor inconvenience for those better off
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
The Real MVP: Good Parents
Unbelievably underrated. Selfless parents who dedicate everything to ensure their children have the best possible upbringing are the best people around. Whether it's a single mum, a happy couple, two Dads, two Mums, whatever the dynamic. If you manage to raise a happy, kind and healthy kid, you've done an immeasurable service to society and I'd love to one day include myself in this category.
Truck drivers. Without them, you'd have absolutely nothing that wasn't made in your own area with materials exclusively native to your area.
Not Everyone Is Meant To Be Elon
Blue collar workers in general.
Everyone wants to view them as stupid nobodies, but really think about it.They build everything. They keep the world turning. And absolutely nothing keeps them from being smart. Where would we be without skilled laborers?
Like, before you talk crap about plumbers or garbage men or whatever, I want you to do what they do for yourself. I'm not a skilled tradesman, but I've lifted a finger a few times. Ever have to snake a houses plumbing? Ever have to put a wall frame together? Ever spent hours taking care of nasty ass garbage to walk away with a sore back and a nasty stink?
Not everybody is meant to be Elon Musk. Not you, and not the guy fixing your car because you are either too lazy or unskilled to do it yourself. Don't look down on them.
You know when you realize at some point during a group conversation (or whilst telling a story) that in fact not a single soul is paying you any attention so you decide to just stop talking? The person who looks you in the eye and with interest on their face replies "I'm listening"...yeah, them!
Surgeons. They go through years of medical school and hours of working on a patient only to have the patient say "thank god" after the surgery is done.
People seem to forget that we exist as real people and not the weird stereotypes in the media. Most of us are underpaid, we meet with grieving irrational people almost daily, and some of the things we have to deal with are downright disgusting.
The Smell Of Unholiness
People who work in meat rendering plants. I worked in a grocery store and the trash containers filled with grease, bones, and tallow smelled like the most unholiness ever and were filled with maggots. It was atrocious and the dude who came to pick it up was just so used to the smell. I cannot imagine how the plant smelled.
Unsung Kitchen Heroes
Dishwashers. Not only do they have to clean up other people's scraps, half the time the kitchen staff doesn't even treat them right.
Where I work, we have a cook who will use every utensil in the place and most of the pans and the dishwasher has to bust their tails to get them clean for the rest of us before we need them. Some cooks don't spray the pans either and the servers expect the dishwasher to scrap their plates for them, no matter what is left on them. Dishwashers are unsung heroes of every kitchen.
Sane Susan: The Anti-Karen
In every office, there is one person who seems to be sane while everyone else flutters around being neurotic and indulging in personal drama.
I call these people Susans after one that I knew years ago. The Susans of the world are all under-appreciated, and if they went away, this whole system would kiss pavement in thirty seconds.
Retail workers, as someone who's worked in retail for 5 odd years, it's incredibly stressful at the best of times and it shows you how nasty people really are. I've been threatened with assault, chased a robber down the street (against company policy but was told to do it by senior member of staff - got our stuff back though) and generally dealt with all kinds of rude, unpleasant and obnoxious people. It's phenomenal how quickly staff just breathe in and out, forget the previous customer and just move on to the next with a smile.