The term “shitty job” gets thrown around quite often. Everyone remotely dissatisfied with their working environment utters those words to describe their situation on a daily basis and very rarely is there any actual shit involved. Sure the pay could be better and so could the people but at the risk of sounding cliché, things could always be worse. If you’re feeling undervalued or shit on at work these days, it may make you feel better to know the grass isn’t always greener or less smelly on the other side.
One could easily jump to the conclusion that a plunger would have to be involved in order for a job to be truly shitty, however, the worlds of science, mechanical engineering, maintenance, even the food and trade industries contain some seriously shit filled positions, literally. Unless you are spending your waking hours performing one of these six job titles below, there may be little room for complaint.
1. Flatus Odor Judge
Gastroenterologist Michael Levitt firmly believes that the various odors emitted by the human body can detect possible gastrointestinal health issues. In efforts to gain deeper intestinal insight, he brought 18 people into a laboratory setting to create what essentially amounted to a human fart factory. Two of the participants were designated as judges and the other 16 were given cans of pinto beans to fuel up with.
After their feast, Levitt inserted plastic collection tubes into their anuses to assist in the transfer of each “episode of flatulence” into small canisters, keeping each sample as fresh as the moment it was produced.
Once 100 samples were collected, the two assigned judges took their seats, braced themselves, and uncapped each container, inhaling deeply, gasping on each sample one-by-one, so no fragrance could interfere with the true musk of the next. They rated each one based on scent alone before Levitt moved on to the chemical analysis of his bounty. It was then definitively determined that the most putrid component of the human flatus is hydrogen sulfide.
2. Portable Toilet Cleaner
Ah yes, the portable toilet. These cramped, hot, poorly ventilated boxes litter the locations of every concert, construction site, and public event held outdoors to accommodate the spicy street-food eating masses. By the time you’ve reached the end of the waiting line and entered one of these bad boys, it probably hasn’t looked as though it’s been cleaned in years, but rest assured it eventually gets a good scrub down and while it’s a shitty job, someone’s got to do it.
The tools of the trade consist of a massive hose, a large vacuum wand and a tank to suck up and store all of the waste for transport and proper disposal. After removing the bulk of the muck and wads of toilet paper, the cleaners break out the high-pressure hose to blast off any residue inside. Take a moment to envision the spray-back situation here. Despite the gross factor, on average they take home around $50,000 a year.
3. Manure Inspector
Animal manure is known to be an excellent plant fertilizer. Unfortunately, it can also carry contaminants like E.coli, salmonella, and diarrhea causing bacteria, which wouldn’t be wise to grow crops in. Thus the need for manure inspectors was born. These EPA authorized scientists suit up and spend their days wading through tons of manure, examining it for potentially dangerous materials and removing threats to our vegetation and livestock. While it sounds like a gross way to spend your days, this is an important job. These food safety superheroes take the preemptive strikes needed to keep the food supply clean and they deserve many thanks.
4. Kopi Luwak Coffee Farmer
One of the most expensive coffees in the world also involves one of the world’s shittiest jobs. Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee starts around $160 per pound. Why so pricy? It’s smooth body and rich aroma of course. Oh and its two-part farming process, the first of which involves being eaten and then pooped out by Indonesian cats.
Kopi Luwak coffee farmers wait for the Civet cat to consume the ripe coffee cherries (or coffee beans) and various other nuts and berries, which add to its flavor along the way through the digestive track ride. The beans don’t break down because the cats can’t digest them properly. Once they relieve themselves of the dingle berry coffee bean droppings, the farmers can then sift through it all by hand to separate the good beans from the bad ones. Then they carefully wash and dry the harvest, moving it along to the roasting process and sales across the globe.
5. Ape Urine Collector
For years Scientists have been studying the fertility of endangered primates because the best way to get a species flourishing again, is to get it reproducing.
Armed with giant plastic sheets and bags attached to poles, these researchers follow under the animals as they swing through the treetops letting their urine and feces flow. The bags are used to collect the falling samples and it’s not unheard of to miscalculate the flow of the stream and end up with a sample or two on the face instead.
While the whole thing sounds like some horrible carnival game run by the Three Stooges, once adequate samples are collected, the real studying can begin. They can analyze the animal’s body chemistry, their levels of estrogen and progesterone as well as their stress levels in an attempt to understand their reproduction rate and capabilities.
6. Sewer/Hazmat Diver
This job is just as disgusting as it sounds. Tradesmen that go on to get certified as professional divers have what it takes to plunge into sewage pits in need of repair. After careful diagnostics and planning, sewer divers suit up from head-to-toe in protective gear, with processed air, and the appropriate tools for the job, before slowly sinking down into the thick, black depths of human feces.
Drills, hammers, and giant suction heads, the divers are equipped with everything they need to remove blockages or fix leaks. Once completely submerged they have to feel around for the damaged areas in pure darkness before executing the repair work. They can spend four hours under several meters of sewage and have to return to complete another session if the situation warrants it. Working with tools in zero visibility is scary enough, add in the fact that the darkness surrounding you is a big poop salad and that’s enough to make anyone want to puke in their helmet.
Sewage isn’t the only disgusting thing these divers swim through. There are Hazmat teams who brave toxic chemical spills and contaminates of all kinds. It’s an incredibly dangerous job and receiving a slew of vaccinations are as common an occurrence as mundane morning meetings.
Once they successfully complete their mission and exit the pit, another team in protective gear swoops in to scrub them down and hose them off before removing their suits for the day.
See Also: 15 Weird and Crazy Job Titles
The amount of shitty jobs that exist out there is astounding. The next time you’re sitting in your office or cubical dreading that presentation or a looming deadline, stop. Inhale that cheap air freshener and stale coffee scented air and be grateful you’re not elbows deep, or worse, completely submerged in the excrements of countless of strangers.
Do you or have you ever had a truly shitty job? Let us know in the comments below.