I am a teacher. Most days, I can’t imagine doing anything else. However, human nature being what it is, my curiosity occasionally gets the better of me. I begin to ask myself, “If I had to choose a different career, what would it be?” The answer almost always comes in the form of a statement beginning with a phrase such as “Well, I’m really glad I am not” or “At least I don’t have to be a”. I have realized, over time, that there are many ways I could end those thoughts, and I genuinely pity the people who earn their bread and butter doing jobs that would make me distraught. Below are a few of the jobs I consider to be the most undesirable. I’m fairly certain they all, at one point in time, were real jobs.
Indian Rat Catcher: I will admit up front that I have a phobia of rodents. So, when I saw a documentary about the existence and necessity of professional rat catchers in India on the History Channel (or Discovery or the Travel Channel or TLC or whatever), I was simultaneously disgusted and intrigued. The special focused on a family whose business was currently, had always been, and will, assumedly, forever be catching and killing rats. Their unfortunate career pays much less than a living wage and earns them a place in the “untouchable” class in the social caste system. The family earns so little money, in fact, that they are forced to survive by eating the rats they have killed. Yes. You read that correctly. They can barely afford food, so THEY EAT GIANT FIELD RATS EVERY DAY. The documentary went on to discuss potential dangers of eating rodents, most notably the possibility of dying from a disease the unsanitary rats may have had. According to further research I have done, the Mumbai pest control department hires over forty employees as rat catchers, who must each kill at least thirty rats per night or they don’t get paid. This is a job created from my worst nightmare. I just can’t even.
Plumber for Sports Stadiums: Admittedly, I would not enjoy being a plumber in any capacity, but I feel true pity for the unfortunate soul hired to snake the toilets after the Superbowl. Whatever that professional is getting paid, it is nowhere near enough to compensate for the unfathomable hideousness that fills his evening.
Executioner: “Hey, Ma — I got the job! I start killing people on Monday!” I literally cannot imagine how anyone who gets paid to end people’s lives are able to sleep at night. I hit a pheasant with my car on the way to work one morning, and I was inconsolable. I called my husband crying. I couldn’t even pull the feathers off the bumper myself — I asked my coworker to do it (he seemed understanding but also a little annoyed). So, how does someone hired to be a professional murderer handle it? My gut instinct is that anyone who applies for this job is a sociopath, though I obviously have no credible knowledge or expertise backing that statement up. So, is there some sort of training involved (perhaps a good deal of brainwashing or hypnosis)? What are the qualifications on someone’s resume that make him or her a stand-out candidate for the position? What skill set makes one employable in this career field? What questions do they ask your previous employer? And, before you assume I “don’t support the death penalty,” let me be clear that I am not taking a position for or against it. I’m only saying I’m really, really glad that I’m not the one who pulls the lever. I clearly could not handle it.
That concludes this edition of “World’s Worst Jobs.” There are many more to come. Check out Part 2. Also, if you have some suggestions of awful jobs, I’d love to hear them!
Peace and love.