Comfortable and Furious



A wise sage once said, “A job ain’t nuthin’ but work.” Okay, so it was Marlon Wayans, and I’ve been reduced to pulling quotes from Mo’ Money, but you catch my meaning. For the vast majority of us, the daily grind reflects not our inner passions or noble dreams, but simple efforts to raise enough cash each week to avoid wandering the streets hunting for scraps. And, like most people, I’ve had crappy, dehumanizing jobs; sub-mental exercises in futility that would fail to excite even the most devoted wage slave. I’ve washed dishes side by side with an abnormally large retard, patched through the collect calls of frantic drunks at 3 AM, slapped together toxic tacos that wouldn’t meet the codes of the Mexican health department (that is, if they even have one), and tried to talk disgruntled cowboys out of shooting up headquarters because we couldn’t get him a bull that “spun like a motherfucker.” In all, it’s been an exhausting run, but no different than most. And nothing like the poor souls of Spike TV’s The Worst Jobs in the World. These aren’t mere employment opportunities that teenagers take to pay for gas, or twenty-somethings reluctantly endure until those better interviews pan out, but actual ways to make a living. People choose to do this shit, or in the case of those jobs in India, take instead of committing suicide. So the next time you tire of slinging hash or telling another plump matron that she looks dynamite in that unfortunate dress, remember, at the very least, you are not one of these people. You may never complain again. The highlights:

  • Gut Room, Slaughterhouse — The kill floor might be the toughest area of a slaughterhouse to endure, but this immersion in bile, vomit, shit, and piss is a close second. This British version of the meat factory shows us a young woman, sans gloves, scoop up buckets of innards, slice open stomachs, and tear intestine with all the relish of a George Romero zombie. The sweet lady seems happy enough, but what haven’t the English endured with a stiff upper lip?
  • Cum Cleaner, Porno Joint — A brief entry in the program, but revolting enough to make an impression. This dude’s in Paris, but I imagine it’s a universal struggle to find someone willing and able to scrub jizz, spit, and yes, shit(!) from the walls of peep shows and porno booths. Holding his mop with all the pride of a young soldier in arms, the man in this segment tirelessly cleans what is the secular equivalent of a house of worship.
  • Rat Killer, Streets of IndiaAny work in the vilest country on Earth is fortunate indeed, even if it involves smashing plague-carrying vermin with a large stick. It’s pretty good money from what I understand, but it doesn’t include any form of health care for the numerous bites suffered by the half-naked nuts who chase the rats through the streets. Given that India’s rat population exceeds the human population by at least one billion, the war might seem hopeless, but it keeps the lepers busy and out of the tourist traps.
  • Body Puller, The River Ganges — India once again proves to be the hotbed of the least desirable means of paying the rent, but this one just might be the worst. For a decent wage, disease-ridden poor people pull other disease-ridden poor people from the filthiest river in the known universe, although these people are no longer living. They also haul out cows, horses, dogs, and anything that once skipped in lush fields, and is now stone fucking dead. Of course this is dangerous, unhealthy, and nauseating (you tell me whether or not workers get a pair of gloves), but it ensures that the Untouchables will live to see another day. Given that Indians will do this without complaint, is it any wonder they’ll work for pennies in American telemarketing firms?
  • Crime Scene Cleaner, the rooms of America — Now this job might be kinda cool. The dead bodies are already gone, so all you’re left with are blood-soaked walls and carpets, brain matter, and the occasional stray eyeball. Being America, these happy workers actually protect themselves with gloves and appropriate clothing, although I didn’t notice any masks or eye wear. No worries, luv, as these people own the very business they work for, and are more than willing to scrub away the last remnants of some fool’s bloody exit.
  • Anal Gland Expresser, your local vet — Pretty good work if you can get it; after all, you get to spend your day with happy dogs, although with your hand up their assholes. Blood and crap have been know to fly across the room during such exams, but for the most part, the worst you’ll get is a severe case of stinky pinky.
  • Shit Seller, The World Wide Web — If you’re in need of a large sample of dog shit, this chick is your source. Ranging from $5 to $25 (price depends on size and “softness” of the stool), these bags of shit — dressed up with a bit of grass to make it beautiful — are sold to clients who wish to take revenge on an ex-, send a message to a creep, or just have fun! As this is e-commerce rather than grunt work, I don’t exactly feel sorry for her, although she has shown unique ingenuity in tapping the “I-need-poop-in-a-hurry” market.
  • Autopsy Cleaner-Upper, Morgue — Have a loved one whose face is so distorted and unrecognizable at death that they need a little touch-up? This kindly old gentleman is just the ticket. Warm, fuzzy, and serious about his craft, he makes sure that if your husband blew his face off with a shotgun, he’ll be prepped and ready for that open casket funeral. Still, from what I can see, he does little but slab on the face paint to cover the burns, decay, and maggot-ridden tissue. But with an artist’s flair.

Posted: 11.13.04