Friday, January 27, 2023

I Was Thinking . . . What A Job!

No matter what job you held during your career, there were times you may have felt your job was a lot harder than most people knew. People just didn’t understand all the ins and outs of what you were expected to do. But as difficult we sometimes seem to think our jobs were, there are probably some that we would not trade for.       

For the last several weeks, Hurricane Ian has been front and center in the news. Since this was a major story, all the networks wanted to cover it. This required teams of reporters and camera people to head into the storm.   

As the storm intensified and moved closer to landfall, residents were warned to evacuate. But not everyone was gone. As the rains increased and the winds ramped up, some poor reporter was struggling to keep from being blown over as he was pelted with wind swept rain so he could report on how bad it was. 

Debris was blowing past him, street signs were bent over, and water rushed down the sidewalk, but the reporter continued to speak into his mic while wearing goggles to protect his eyes. Despite having some tough days in my job, I don’t think I’d trade with him.

There are plenty of jobs that may appear easier than the one you had, but there are probably an equal number that you might not want. Mike Rowe once had a TV series called “Dirty Jobs.” He highlighted and participated in some unpleasant jobs. 

But the underlying theme was, no matter how dirty the job, somebody had to do it. Without saying it directly, he stressed that no matter how difficult or dirty, people need to be respected for whatever job they do. Collecting trash, cleaning out portable toilets, or pumping a manure pit may not be the most desirable jobs but they need to be done. 

Hazardous waste disposal and crime scene cleaners aren’t usually recommended by career counselors. But having a variety of work experiences can actually help you to clarify what kind of things you would like to do.   

Your first job may have been baling hay, picking rocks, or walking a bean field. Many kids earned money by babysitting, mowing lawns, or delivering papers. A job with an actual paycheck may have been for bagging groceries, working at a fast-food restaurant, or waiting tables. 

I worked for a canning factory, a paper mill, and as a bus boy in a large restaurant. They all helped me with work experience and helped me focus on what I did or did not want to do. I don’t like confined spaces so being a toll booth collector, a bridge tender, or being high in the air operating a construction crane wasn’t going to be for me.  

In past history, some jobs were just totally disgusting. Since leeches were used in medical treatment, they needed to be collected.  The acceptable method was for people to wade in leech infested streams and let them attach to you.  Another less than desirable job was that of the “wool fuller.” In order to remove the grease and oils from the wool, they would tromp around in a vat of wool and urine with their bare feet.  Of course, an associated job was the person whose job it was to collect the urine.  

But there are still modern jobs I will pass on. Researcher for insect borne diseases have mosquito testers. They allow themselves to be bitten for science. Those that do bird research have owl vomit collectors that go through what an owl regurgitates to study what they eat. 

A business in Oklahoma called “Skulls Unlimited” provides a wide range of animal skulls for science. One of their employees have the job of boiling carcasses to remove some of the flesh and they use beetles to strip the rest of it. Of course, you realize there is also somebody out there cleaning up roadkill to provide the carcasses in the first place. 

So maybe your job isn’t so bad after all.  


Did You Ever Wonder? -  If doctors and lawyers are professionals, why do they call what they do “practice?”

Photo:  I was thinking Ron Albright



Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
Dodge County ADvantage
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944