Television personality Mike Rowe, probably most recognisable in his trademark rugged baseball cap, has traveled the US trying his hand at the least enjoyable blue-collar occupations.
In eight seasons of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel and now in his new CNN show “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” Rowe has spent time as an owl vomit collector, a coal miner, and a cloth diaper cleaner. But there’s one job that he’s certain took the most out of him.
Rowe revealed in a new Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) that of all these jobs, the hardest was being a concrete chipper. He explains:
In general, any day that begins with a man handing you a sledgehammer and concludes with the same man taking the sledgehammer away 12 hours later is going to be a difficult day.
Toward that end, I could tell you stories about railroad workers, gandy-dancers, marble miners, or a variety of specialised construction jobs.
However, the absolute worst in terms of physical discomfort combined with soul-deadening ennui involves the cleaning of the drum on a cement mixer.
No one really thinks about it, but these trucks are in constant use.
And every time the drum spins, a thin layer of cement hardens in the interior. So by the end of the day, the inside of the drum on a cement mixer is essentially solid.
So the job in question requires a man to wedge himself inside with a pneumatic jackhammer.
The sound is indescribable. And the claustrophobia is off the charts.
Essentially, you lay there on your back directing the jackhammer over your head and all around you. You wear ear protection, a respirator, and goggles.
But NONE of it makes a damn bit of difference.
Because that job hurts on every level.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupation, the job is — surprise — incredibly dangerous. For example, airborne silica inside the mixer can cause fatal lung disease, and sound reverberating from the jackhammer can cause permanent hearing loss.
Here’s Rowe in “Dirty Jobs” jumping into a concrete mixer:
And here he is chipping away:
Rowe discusses other terrible jobs, his new CNN show, and how he sees his shows as a way to impart more appreciation for skilled professions in the AMA over on Reddit.
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