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.Giphy
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 whistle blow.
Don't think about it.
Hotel housekeeping. Humans are revolting.
Canvassing takes incredible patience.Giphy
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 get 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.Giphy
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.
Society places a lot of expectations on us based on our perceived gender, and those expectations can be a major burden. Guys who like pink or want to be nurturing fathers, women who like sports, gaming, or working out, all are often ridiculed or deemed suspicious by society. Nonbinary folks are often not acknowledged at all, and are expected to rigidly adhere to the role predetermined by their sex assigned at birth.
Reddit user Zealousideal-Way3105 asked:
Kids Are Great
Showing enthusiasm towards random children.
Why do I have to pretend like they don't exist?
I had a daycare when my kids were growing up so they were used to giving littles attention. Later my son worked in a grocery store and realized that parents get offended if a man shows a reaction to their cute little kid. Even if that kid is waving at him, he waves back and mama bear gets angry. So dumb. He's not gonna jump in the cart with your kid. Geez
Ironically, being a woman that doesn't really enjoy being around kids and doesn't want them myself, I wish it was normalized for me to not show enthusiasm towards kids.
Anyone Can Struggle With Mental Illness
Mental illness, but that should be for everyone. Being a 6'5 250 pound dude with anxiety? Yeah I don't get taken serious in the slightest bit.
Unfortunately I think women aren't taken seriously either. It's just society deems women to be "weaker" and this falls in line with societal expectations/perceptions as "fragile" beings. There is hardly true support or understanding.
I feel you. I'm a 6'6" 280 lb man who's dealt with depression and anxiety since my early teens. Despite having what should have been very obvious symptoms that were readily visible to my parents, teachers, and school counselor, I didn't get any help as a kid. And having that attitude projected towards me made it take me a long time to realize that it was okay for me to get myself help as an adult.
Tradespeople Can Be Any Gender
I really wish women were more common in the trades.
Additionally, it shouldn’t be shocking when a woman knows how to use power tools or understands how a house is put together. It’s a valuable life skill.
Agreed. My mom is the handy one of the house and she’s teaching me. I think it’s vital for all genders to learn all aspects of running a home (cooking, using tools, cleaning properly) because it’s all equally important and it’s stupid that you’re supposed to be exempt from half of it if you’re a certain gender smh
It Doesn't Matter What Time Of The Month It Is
Having a bad day because you're having a bad day, not because you have PMS
Or when you aren't feeling good people's first question is if you're pregnant
"I said I have a sinus infection, Cathy, not a baby infection."
Nobody Has To Wear Makeup
Not wearing makeup or having to look pretty all the time.
I would settle with just not being asked if I'm sick if I go without.
On the flip side I wish I could conceal my adult acne without being judged for makeup… lol
Pink Is For Everyone
Not for me but my son. He loves pink. He's always been drawn to it. He picked out a pair of pink glasses at the eye doctor and I immediately said yes because he loved them. I'm so afraid he is going to get bullied but he is so proud of his new glasses. He wanted his hair pink this summer and I let him do it. Why can't little boys like pink too? He also loves monster trucks and dinosaurs. We live in the American south in a small town so you can probably imagine what the people in this town are like.
Being a stay at home dad. Mom does it and she's a hero. Dad does it and he's a failure. It's not cool.
Have a friend that is a SAHD. It has been a struggle for him over the years. Between the lack of support structures online (ie: good online communities for talking about different things or venting stress/concerns) and just how family and in-laws act about it.
He at least hasn't had to deal with societal issues at large for a number of reasons. One of the things that triggered the f**k out of him though was when he went in with his kid for regular checkups, the doctors/nurses would ask his wife questions about the kid even though the staff knows he is the main care taker. At one point his wife had to snap at the staff and tell them they need to ask him those questions because he knows more.
For as progressive as the West has moved in some ways on these kinds of things, it's still stuck in certain mindsets.
I'm a woman who is into watching certain sports. Some guys don't think that's normal.
So many guys have to quiz me on my fandom. It's crazy. They don't do that to their guy friends.
Oh boy, as a woman who's been playing video games and reading comics for over 20 years...I know all about the quizzing.
Boys Like Flowers Too
Getting flowers. Ain't no one ever get flowers for men. Flowers are great.
Told my partner I think it's bullsh*t that men don't get flowers and the next day she surprised me with a bunch of chrysanthemums. Needless to say I was over the moon.
Kitties For Everybody!
Being cat dad. I mean seriously, what is weird about a guy having a cat?
Years ago my roommate and I were picking up a cat from a farm, and they legit asked ‘what do 2 guys want with a cat anyways’ same thing as everyone else.
Arbitrary gender-based societal expectations hurt everybody. It doesn't hurt anyone for folks to have a mixture of likes and dislikes that are considered mascilune or feminine.
It's not every day that we hear about people actually enjoying their jobs.
Right now, in the U.S. there are record numbers of people quitting their jobs. Restaurant workers, hotel workers, retail store workers and healthcare providers have left in droves.
We're also seeing strikes across the nation calling for better working conditions and higher wages. So much so that they're calling it "striketober."
So it's interesting and almost novel to hear someone say they actually enjoy their job. Everyone right now probably wants to know what those jobs are and why they love them so much.
Redditor LordFlick asked:
"People who actually enjoy their job, what do you do for a living?"
Whatever it may be, we want to get a piece of that enjoyment.
Please, please mister postman.
"Royal mail postman in a small rural UK village."
"I love it and have absolutely no fear of doing it for the rest of my life."
"Walking 8 miles a day means I can eat basically what I want and stay lean, and my fitness level is always high. Also no managers breathing down my neck, and I make friends with lots of nice elderly people."
"This sounds so wholesome! I'm so jealous."
"I am impressed at how well you sell the job."
"I'm a residential window washer, and I think we love our jobs for the same reasons."
Cemetery grounds keeper.
"I take care of a cemetery. Every day is different and it's pretty much a nature preserve (we treat it like that anyways). You end up sorta taking ownership of it so you sort of 'want' it to look good. It's nice choosing what you do for the most part, and seeing lasting results."
"Also the residents rarely complain, great low maintenance tenants."
"Eh they only come out once a year."
"It's quite lovely when you go to visit a loved ones' grave and the gardens and surroundings are beautiful and well kept. To me, it's a real show of respect for the people resting there. Thank you."
"Did this for 7 years before moving over to another department with the city that was in need of management. I loved working at the cemetery. And you're right, it was my cemetery, I was responsible for everything there, and I wanted it to look the best it could. The best part was the compliments from the towns people for taking care of it properly."
Getting paid to think.
"Physician scientist. Sometimes I see patients. Most of the time I do science. I get paid to think about stuff. It's great."
"Oil exploration geophysicist. Most of the time I get paid to use science and my imagination to map the geometry of rock formations beneath the Earth's surface. I get paid to have an imagination. Companies trust me enough to drill million dollar wells to test my ideas. It's great."
Truck driver turned gardener.
"Gardener. I was a truck driver for a decade. 15 hour days, sleeping on the side of the road, the whole week away from home and all for sh*tty pay.
Decided I needed a change so I started a gardening business. I earn 2-3x more money than I did driving trucks, I get to work in nature all day every day, I get to pick what work I do. Don't get good vibes from a customer....turn the job down. Don't like a garden.....turn it down. I don't have to take sh*t from anyone. I get to do work I enjoy."
"I pick my own schedule. Get to wake up with the kids everyday, come home for lunch and get to read a bedtime story to the kids every night. When I was trucking I'd go all week without seeing the kids. Gone from working 15 hour days to 7-8 hour days and lost 100lbs in the process."
"Same here! (except instead of truck driving, I was working sh*tty office jobs) but man, you summed it up perfectly! becoming a self-employed gardener is the best decision I've ever made. At first I was nervous to make the complete career change and start a new business, but I'm so happy I did and I've never looked back."
"Its great isn't it. You get stuck in a career path and think this is what I'll have to do forever. Glad I decided to force a change."
Gelato taste tester.
"I'm a manager at a gelato/coffee shop! Though customers can be a lot and rushes can be stressful, I work with a great crew and get to sample the new flavors my boss tests and makes each week. He will bust out from the back with a spoon full of a new flavor of gelato and say, 'Try this.' So I guess I'm also a taste tester!"
"The best job I had before getting into my career was a server at a little mom & pop gelato shop in my city's Little Italy. I still reminisce sometimes about that summer!"
A positive perspective on education.
"High school teacher. 10 years. Despite many criticisms for the profession, I love my job. I get paid decent. I have great interactions with students every day. On my feet learning, feeling, engaged, and get goosebumps when a kid makes a cool connection (us history/American government teacher)."
"Doing my student teaching next year. Happy to hear a positive perspective for a change. Thanks!"
"Accountant. I know it's the epitome of a boring office job, but it works for my aptitudes and interests. Lucrative, stable, predictable, engaging but I don't take it home with me."
"Do you work like 60 hours a week? I am in a big4 and know personally that accountants can make big bucks. But they don't have the time to enjoy their earned money."
"I work at a big4 and within the year I work on average 40h/week - slightly more during q1, less during q3. Work/life balance is great, salary is above my country's average and I really like my job."
Maybe you'd be happier with more stability. Maybe you'd be happy with more freedom.
Everyone has different reasons for loving or hating their jobs, but it might take a few tries before you find the right fit. Don't be afraid to make the change. It may be scary, but your happiness is worth it.
Nobody is better than anybody else. Why is that such a difficult concept for so many people? One person doesn't get a pass for certain things that another person would be scolded for "just because."
Even in family dynamics, double standards are at play. Why should sons get a later curfew than daughters? Why can't a man vacuum? HOW are we still having these conversations?
It's time to break down the constructed hierarchies that have been imposed upon society. Let's get it all out there, so that we're all aware, so we can do better.
Redditor u/WistfulNightSky wanted to discuss the most unfair issues we all face on the daily, by asking:
What double standard are you tired of?
One of the worst places where double standards are constant is in the hospitality industry.
Take my time...email GIFGiphy
"My principal taking days to read and reply to my emails, if ever, VS me being told at 8 in the morning that I should have known something because he sent me an email at 10 in the evening the night before."
"Politicians who come up with dumb to asinine laws, and vigorously enforce them upon all of the regular citizens, but somehow find ways to exempt themselves from being subject to the same obligations to keep and follow them, as we are."
"Easy. Big corporations and the rich, using legal bribing through lobbying to "bend" the rules in their favor more and more as time passes."
"Defending yourself. The fact that someone can punished for defending themselves when no one else would, in my experience worse, is bullsh*t to me. Example a former bullied kid that punched back and got screwed."
"In my case, I got beaten up, didn't retaliate at all. Bully had rich parents who supported the school. So I was the one who got in trouble as I allegedly swore and instigated it, meaning him beating the crap out of me was apparently self-defense."
"Speed limit laws bother me the most on this. You're telling me, on a road on which there are no cyclists or pedestrians, that I have to drive 25mph, but the mayor can drive 40mph to a press conference that he's late to and abuse the privilege of a police escort. See: NYC Vision Zero.
"They also use this law to increase red light cameras. For further context: in NYC a yellow light means "slam your brakes now"/"stop now" more than it does "slow down"/prepare to stop as it does in other parts of the country. Meanwhile a counter study (I will try to find he source later) showed that increasing the length of a yellow light by something absurd like one or two seconds would decrease the amount of red light violations significantly more effectively because people would have adequate time to stop while still allowing for a flow of traffic."
"Obviously, it's all a money grab. Meanwhile the mayor regularly is caught on camera flaunting this traffic regulation when he finds it inconvenient. It's infuriating. NYC has enough congestion as it is, so knee-capping people when they can finally move is just insulting."
Finding the BestJob GIFGiphy
"Entry level jobs" that require experience."
"They think it weeds out the ones with no experience, but it just gives them candidates who are prepared to exaggerate or lie."
How does one acquire experience without being given a chance to earn it? Quite the conundrum.
Check the ClockSeth Meyers Time GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"Your boss getting angry if you're a couple minutes late but then expects you to have no problem regularly staying on 2+ hours after your shift is meant to end."
"To borrow from Matt Haig: people being ok with mental illness until someone shows symptoms of one."
"100%. People like to talk about being cool with it, act all understanding, and then get super hostile if someone with untreated mental illness shows up. They don't mind it when they can't see it, but can't handle it when they actually see it in action."
All out Assault
"Customers being able to verbally and sometimes physically assault workers while the worker just has to stand there and take it or they'll be fired."
Nurse here. Almost every single one of my colleagues has been physically assaulted at some point in their career. We are often discouraged by upper management not to press charges or contact the police. We're also often asked what we could have done differently."
In my Mouth
"Why is dental insurance different from "health insurance" aren't teeth part of my overall health wth!!"
"The dentist lobby game is strong. They've pushed for decades to not be considered part of the health industry and they've banked because of it. Sure I understand it's a specialty, but my teeth are attached to my skull."
The Bad Dipper
"My boss dipping out on a Thursday afternoon to go get messed up at the golf course, but i ask for one Friday off every few months and he's like AAHHH CMON MAN I NEED YOU TO BE A TEAM PLAYER!!"
Nows we know better. I hope. Be a better boss and a better person. So we can be a better society.
I'm going to say something sad but true. Love is not destined for everybody. Read that back a few times. Take a deep breath and embrace it. There are other things in life besides falling in love and staying in love forever.
For starters, acknowledge other kinds of love in family, friends, or self. There isn't one definitive answer that puts you in the single category.
We have to stop seeing being single as a death sentence or a punishment. A lot of people embrace the freedom and solitude. We should be seeking advice from them more often.
Let's talk about the current state of being single in this dysfunctional world of relationships.
Redditor u/One_Sherbert_2797 wanted to hear from the lovelorn and relationship searching, or happily alone, by asking:
Why are you single?
I am single. I am out of shape, so I'm uncomfortable and I trust no one in this Covid world. There are other reasons but those are the big two.
I'm LostYeah I Guess Season 2 GIF by ScreamQueensGiphy
"Because I'm clueless when it comes to dating or even asking someone out."
I just can't...
"Yeah, I like the idea of being in a relationship, but the thought of how much effort and potential pain I'd have to go through to find someone and maintain a relationship just makes me not want to even try. I don't want to be alone forever but being alone is so much safer and easier, you know?"
"I don't understand people very well so I don't try to find anyone. It often feels like everyone else had a few extra days in school to learn a new language and I just missed it all. I'm not sure if one day I'll figure it out but at this point it doesn't seem likely I'll spontaneously develop and understanding of human emotion and communication."
"Because I am totally in love with someone who will probably never feel the same way about me. I have actually told him already and he says he has feelings for me too, but he is not ready for a relationship and I don't think he ever will be. We have a history even though we were never together and I just think that we would have ended up together by now if it was in the cards."
"Damn same. Moving on is a pain. If you've already told them and gotten rejected, then I wish you the best with the process. If you've not, take the leap friend. If you don't it'll be a constant what-if for you for as long as you know them."
The ZoneLonely Lamorne Morris GIF by New GirlGiphy
"I'm in the zone where the women I'm attracted to aren't attracted to me and I'm not attracted to the women who are attracted to me. T'is a painful existence."
Get in a different zone. That is lesson one. Try it all from a different angle, it'll bring a fresh perspective.
Just CuzSeason 5 Happy Dance GIF by FriendsGiphy
"Because why not. Person reading this, why do we place a lot more value on romantic relationships than with platonic friendships?"
The Bonds that Break
"Just never happened tbh. (24, never have had a girlfriend) I don't have problems forming a connection and a bond with women, but I do think I may spend too much time just enjoying the feeling of a genuine friendship that I kinda forget to make a move and they end up either finding someone else or assuming I'm not interested. That and everyone just wants to blast through everything so quickly nowadays, like at times it feels like if you aren't DTF or have made a proper "move" by the end of the week then it's over, even when you have just met the person. It's obnoxious."
"I was intoxicated by love, chose the wrong person, ignored the warning signs and checked all the relationship boxes - marriage, child, house. Unfortunately, marriage didn't mean as much to the person I chose as it does to me. A family was all I ever wanted. My only goal, man."
we all do this...
"...you can't swing the sword without letting your shield down. When you make to grab your chance you always open yourself up to failure. It's okay. everyone gets rejected... and in the end no one cares... we all do this... ask her out or the regret will kill you. Do it enough times and you got a gf."
I need a Map
"I have no idea how dating works."
"I believe there's different ways of going about it. One is the slow way which is start off purely as friends and see if something more develops. The other is to directly ask the person out. In both cases the goal is to talk and do meaningful things together."
"Go to dinner, hang out and watch a movie, play sports or video games together. The goal is to find common ground or areas of interest and see if being together is better than not being together. Get to know the other person and along the way get to know yourself."
"If you like what you see, keep doing things together. My wife would try new things with me or for me and that is one of the things I love about her; I dated a girl before her that wouldn't and I chose to end that relationship in large part because of that. Even if you don't want to pursue the person romantically, hopefully you've ended up with a good friend."
Alone not LonelySaturday Night Live Nbc GIF by HULUGiphy
"I like being single."
"Same. Love. It."
Why is it all so complicated? Or do we just make it that way? Maybe cheers to being single.