Hard Jobs

Mike Roe has become famous for his willingness to experience the dirtiest jobs in the world, and be filmed while doing them. Thank goodness I’ve never been in the places he’s been, but of course, the minute he leaves, the regular workers keep doing what they were doing, whether it’s cleaning out a sewer line or artificially inseminating a hippo.

Dirty jobs aren’t always the hardest jobs. In fact, some really hard jobs aren’t physically challenging at all. Here’s an example: every network has a sideline reporter for football games, and most of them are women. Their presence shows how open to diversity the NFL and NCAA are, I guess, but the poor women are put in an impossible position.

They interview coaches as they leave the field at halftime, while they are either angry or really wanting to get with their team. Typical question: “Coach, your team had three interceptions: what are you going to do to stop that in the second half?” The coach then answers, “Not through the ball to their guys.” He runs off to the locker room, and she looks dumb, which she isn’t.

Presidential press secretary is another tough job. All presidents have ups and downs, but during the downs, the press secretary is put in the position of explaining things that are inexplicable, putting a good spin on things that are horrible, and pretending to be “open,” while sharing almost no actual information. And sometimes, perish the thought, flat-out lying.

Also, imagine being the airline pilot who must tell the passengers the flight must be cancelled, due to circumstances he or she can’t control. And, of course, oncologists, with the ultimate bad news to deliver must grow weary.

And, I guess it’s hard to be a husband or a wife sometimes. Not at my house, of course, but, well, I’ve heard stories…

There are thousands of professions and relationships that can be very difficult from time to time. EMT’s, police, firefighters and military are right up there, but so are the kind souls who take care of severely disabled children and adults. And, spouses who take care of each other to the end.

Some people do difficult jobs to pay their dues on the way to a better job. Some people do tough jobs because they know that someone needs to. And some people do hard jobs out of love or a sense of duty.

It’s funny, but I would think being a hospice nurse would be a really difficult job, but from what I’ve seen, they sure don’t act like it.

Maybe the secret is that many of these hard jobs bring the doer the satisfaction of knowing they’re up to the task. Crawling under houses to catch snakes, or dealing with a classroom full of behavior problems masquerading as children of your neighbors – the difference being that you are allowed to grab the snake by the throat – are jobs most people couldn’t do.

Thanks to the people who do the hard jobs, and the dirty jobs, and the seemingly thankless jobs. I hope they know they’re appreciated.

 

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