When I was in high school, the local Harry Harman and Steve Caughman hired guys to work the night shift at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home in Lexington.
Since we had no ambulance service in those days, the responsibility of transferring the injured and sick fell to the night shift guys at Caughman-Harman. Of course none of us had any medical experience.
Those weren’t the worst jobs a person could have. You could be in charge of removal of road kill from the side of the highway. I believe I’d just shovel it off to the side and let the buzzards have a decent meal.
How about having to do quality control on cat food? The first step is to bury you mug into a huge barrel of cat food and to sniff it to make sure it’s fresh. Right… I really want to do that. Next, you plunge your arms in it up to your elbows grope for bonny bits that need to be
removed. Finally, you have to scoop up a huge dollop and smear it on a flat surface to find the gristle content. And you thought your job was a lousy one.
That’s not the worst odor job you could have. Gastroenterologist Michael Levitt recently took it to a whole new level. How would you like to sit next to the rear end of 16 people who voluntarily ate plates of pinto beans? Your job is to rank the odor of the emissions. To borrow an expression… that job really stinks!
A similar testing of garbage is still another distasteful version of the same “odor job” analysis. A worst job would be the guy who has to clean the port-o-john.
As bad as that career is, you could do worse. You could be in charge of cleaning the sewer in places like Calcutta. You get to sit in a low crouch at the bottom of a seven-foot-deep manhole, sloshing away in a swirl of human waste and sediment. How low does your life have to be to suffer that humiliation?
Another disgraceful endeavor would be to measure the quality of sperm in animals utilizing artificial equipment to bring the sperm to fruition. How much do you love animals or how badly do you need work to earn a living to do this?
All miserable jobs don’t necessarily involve distasteful odors. Think about being a guard at Buckingham Palace; that one isn’t exactly a walk in the park. They endure cursing, humor, laughter and even nude people that attempt to distract them. These poor guys spend several
hours a day just pressing their uniforms.
Beyond the realm of the obvious “worst jobs” one could have are some you might not think are so bad. Take newspaper reporting for example. ABC News ranked it as one of the worst jobs you could have.
Another job with low pay and high risk is that of a lumberjack. They make an average income of $32,870 per year, $3,000 less than the median income of a reporter.
If you ranked the quality of a job by the income earned, one would have to conclude that serving in the military is one of the worst jobs one could have, earning a median income of just over $41,000 per year.
The hardest jobs I ever had was my first and last acting assignment. I dedicated a week of my life to appearing in the made-for-Broadway production of Lizzie, about Lizzie Borden who took an axe to her parents. I earned $100.00 for the entire week, an average of $1.19 per hour. So-called serious actors only earn about $17 an hour for their work. You can keep acting.
You could volunteer to be a mosquito tester studying the biting habits of various kinds of mosquitoes to determine the most severe breed.
Before you bellyache about that one, how would you like to be the guy who tests snake bites?
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.