Top 10 Most Unfortunate Jobs [Video]
No job is perfect, but there's no question that some are worse than others. The next time you're hating on yours because the boss sent you a snarky e-mail, or you didn't get the raise you asked for, take comfort in the fact that it doesn't involve cleaning out other people's earwax or handling animal dung with your hands (unless of course it does). Read through this list of the top 10 most unfortunate jobs and be grateful you don't have one (unless of course you do).
1. Shark Tank Cleaner
Working with sharks may sound glamorous and exciting, but being a shark tank cleaner is anything but. Responsibilities include removing shark excrement, inspecting/repairing the filtration system, and of course cleaning the aquarium glass (from the inside) to keep it clear of algae. Diver certification and knowledge of various shark species and behavior required -- so you don't become lunch.
2. Medical Research Patient
Participating in medical research as a patient often pays well but the risks are great. Experimental procedures, medications, and treatments can be time consuming, uncomfortable, ineffective, and have serious or even life-threatening side effects. You can hope for the placebo group, but even then the stress of wondering can be tiresome.
3. Police Dog Attack Dummy
There are many types of training that police dogs go through before being put into service, and at some point it inevitably includes attacking and taking down a real person. That person, called an attack dummy, wears a special protective suit and stands (or runs) while the trainer gives the command and the dog charges forward. Serious injuries are rare but bruises are not -- and yes, it hurts.
Used as bait for fishing around the world, the maggot trade can be a lucrative business. But as with any money making scheme, there a catch -- the stench! The smell comes not only from the rotten meat, which acts as the maggot's food source, but from the ammonia they secrete in order to fend off bacteria.
5. Dog Waste Researcher
The reasons for studying, analyzing, and researching dog waste are numerous -- from studying the health of pets to researching outdoor wildlife. The job includes manually collecting dog waste, either from a provided stool sample or directly from the animal itself, and then analyzing it using a variety of tests and examination techniques.
6. Ear Cleaner
It's exactly what it sounds like: an ear cleaner spends the day cleaning out other people's ears. In Japan women are employed in salons and trained to give ear and earlobe massages before using special ear cleaning tools to scoop all the gunk out of men's ears as they rest their heads in the woman's lap.
7. Crocodile Keeper
Keeping crocodiles isn't much different than hunting them -- except the fact that it's a lot less glamorous and all but guarantees close contact with one of the world's most powerful predators on a daily basis. Duties include cleaning crocodile waste, inspecting and repairing enclosures, feeding the crocodiles, and physically examining/treating them regularly to keep them healthy.
It's not all that uncommon for school children to pick up lice from their playmates at school. When they do, parents have several options for exterminating the critters, one of which is to use a lice technician. The tech may remove louse either by hand or with the use of an instrument which kills the lice via heated air.
9. Dung Vendor
Animal waste is a hot commodity the world over (most of us know it as manure), but in countries where the process is handled primarily with manual labor the job can get very dirty. Dung workers and vendors collect, sort, and transport animal dung by hand in baskets or by wagon-load, often in extremely hot and sunny conditions where running water and showers are scarce.
10. Skyscraper Window Cleaner
Skyscraper window cleaners spend their days fighting wind gusts while suspended hundreds of feet above the ground on thin platforms held by even thinner straps and cables. The pay is good and the views can be spectacular; but dizzying heights mean falls and other accidents are a very real possibility.
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Rigel Celeste is a freelance writer and artist living in a small city in the middle of Midwest farming country. In her free time she enjoys gardening, hiking and playing with her dog, and drinking coffee while staring out the window.