Any of you could wind up in one of these jobs, at any moment, without realizing it. The shitty jobs I’m about to describe aren’t specific positions or industries — they’re situations. Some of you — hell, maybe even most of you — are already in one of them.
The thing is, when people try to think up the worst job possible, most of them go right to shit. As in, “It could be worse, you could be shoveling shit somewhere!” or “At least we’re not working in a sewer! In shit!” But that type of job isn’t as bad as you think — you actually get used to the smell of poop, the same as you acclimate to a job where you work in brutal heat or bitter cold.
But these jobs below? They’re the ones you never get used to, where the longer you do it, the more it eats away at you. So let’s take a moment to say a prayer for …
#9. The Walking Dead
Also Known As:
The job that requires sleep deprivation. Long, irregular hours of tedium that your sleep patterns are physically incapable of adjusting to.
I’m not talking about jobs that won’t let you take a nap after you were up all night with the baby or a Dr. Who marathon. That’s every job. No, I’m talking about the jobs where torture-level sleep deprivation is a requirement (and it is literally a form of torture, used by everyone from the KGB to the CIA).
And Windows Updates.
I’m talking about real exhaustion here, the kind that makes you feel sick. Your brain is trying desperately to shut down. A thick sludge of sleepiness is clogging up your thought pipes. And you have to push through it, night after night. You can’t get up and walk around, or get fresh air or entertain yourself. You just have to sit there, often in dead silence, and force yourself to stay awake for hours and hours and hours. It’s hell. It is a fucking living hell.
For Example …
Jobs like security guards who do night watch, sitting in a chair in a closed shopping mall and staring at non-moving images on security cameras for eight straight hours. No action, no book, no music, and if you get caught going to sleep, you’re fired.
If one of those channels gets porn, it means you have to arrest someone.
Which is still a better outcome than long-haul truckers (who studies show get less than five hours sleep before driving for 10), since falling asleep at the wheel means somebody’s probably gonna die. But at least they can turn on the radio.
And make no mistake — your body never adjusts to an irregular sleep schedule (the recommended treatment for sleep problems caused by odd work hours is to get “a normal work and sleep schedule.” Thanks for the advice, fucker!).
But the worst part is what sleep deprivation does to you even when you’re not feeling sleepy. You can feel your IQ dropping. It’s like Edward Norton at the beginning of Fight Club — you walk around in a haze, you forget shit, you leave your keys in the lock. You start having conversations you don’t remember. And when you’re driving home, you are as dangerous as a drunk.
Fatigued driver accident (yes, they survived, somehow).
And good luck getting sympathy when you complain to a friend that your job is so boring, you can fall asleep while doing it. That just sounds like you’re complaining about how easy your job is. At least, to anyone who’s never had to actually do it.