Photo: Associated Press
The 9-5 desk job can be boring. But at least it’s safe, dry, and generally non-hazardous. Not like many of these working condition horror stories that we came across in an eye-opening Reddit thread.
From sorting clothes covered in blood to picking corn from dawn until dusk for minimum wage, these occupations will make you appreciate the gig you have. Some stories were edited for clarity.
'I worked and lived in a minivan taxi with no air conditioning during the summer months. Try spending 24 hours a day, for months on end, in a small enclosed space surrounded by heat-amplifying glass.'
'I worked for goodwill in the 'processing' department (sorting clothes), its was actually surprising how many people donated clothes covered in feces or blood, all the while have a mentally handicapped person talking about their amazing weekend playing magic cards with their grandparents.'
'I used to work for corn farmers before I was old enough to legally work anywhere else. They could get away with paying less than minimum wage that way. My shift started 5 a.m. every morning. My job was to sort good corn from bad corn, then box it for delivery to grocery stores. Comfort levels were minimal, and the shed we sorted the corn in was infested with mice. Typical of a farming job, but by far my most hated means of income.'
'I spent a summer scuba diving in a muddy lake pulling weeds out of the bottom. The water was cold, it was completely black, and you would smell like rotting mud at the end of the day. Then I was working with probably the strangest assortment of people ever. We were constantly playing 'jokes' on each other underwater (usually along the lines of shutting of the other persons air). I still can't believe nobody died that summer.'
'When I was in high school, I worked at a supermarket as a stockboy for a year (coincidentally, the same year the guy who ran it was serving a house arrest sentence for some unspecified offence). It generally wasn't that terrible, but I do have a clear recollection of it being New Year's Day of 1999, when I was 16, and attempting to shovel garbage into a dumpster.
For some reason, the garbage that accrued was more 'thrown off of the loading dock in the direction of the dumpster' than actually deposited, with the result that a good amount of garbage wound up on the concrete below. So my job for that day mostly consisted of trying to pry the frozen, rotten chicken and assorted rotting produce from the ground with a snow shovel.
Then I got stung by something. Some manner of hornet. In Pennsylvania. When everything around me, except for the half-frozen decaying food, was covered in snow. On New Year's.'
'Working hours up to my ankles in ice-water covered with fish slime. The smell of rotting fish gets everywhere, especially under your finger-nails, follows you home and never goes away. But the standing in ice-water is way worse -- it saps your strength, gives you constant chills -- hypothermia is not the way I would want to die.'
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