Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tough Jobs

The other day I noticed that one of the ‘educational’ channels was launching a new show called ‘Hard Hats.’ It is yet another reality show that follows the lives of a bunch of steel workers in (I think) LA.

This new show joins Deadliest Catch, Axe-Men, Ice-Road Truckers, and probably some show I’m forgetting in celebrating the lives of guys with dangerous and often horrible jobs.

Now, before you leave a comment complaining that these jobs are not ‘horrible’ and that I, being a limp-wristed computer jockey, know nothing about them, let me point out that my dad was a contractor and I grew up on job sites. I even cut my finger off in a table saw once, so there.

NOTE: When I say ‘off’ I mean ‘off,’ as in ‘dangling by a strip of skin.’ The surgeons put it back on, though.

So, let me just say that I fully empathize with these guys. I do know what it’s like to be very high in the air, utilizing power tools, and hoping a sudden shift in the wind doesn’t pitch you off the side. That sort of experience is what led me to pursue a life of relative safety with computers. Well, that and my dad’s favorite game: ‘Yes, the Power’s Off’ (it never was).

However, I can’t shake the feeling that the people that make these shows are going to run out of ideas sooner or later. After all, there are only so many dangerous, physical jobs out there to be filmed. Pretty soon, there’re going to be shows like ‘Crossing Guard: Life Between the Lines’ or ‘Fry Cook: Life and Death in a Fast Food Kitchen.’

So, let me suggest the most horrible job I can think of for a new reality show:

Public High-School Janitor

This might not sound too bad to you, but my high school bathrooms were some of the most horrible, fetid, nasty places I have ever seen. I literally never used a toilet for the four years I was there. If I really had to go, I ran across the street to the Jack in the Box.

We used to literally dare people to go use the bathrooms. Freshman would throw themselves in garbage cans rather than face the possibility of being tossed into a stall. The bathrooms were a no-man’s land, where only the insane or desperate would venture.

Forget driving across a frozen lake. Forget welding steel 20 stories up. Try cleaning a 1920’s toilet that has been regularly used by a couple hundred teenage boys with the hygiene of Uruk-Hai.

That, my friends, takes a real man.



Anonymous said...

you forgot Dirty Jobs.

Oh and I believe that the whole bathroom situation across the country has not improved since you graduated highschool. At my school my friends believe that the newest strain of AIDs would evolve inside our stalls.

Michael said...

The whole mystery is, that if nobody ever willingly goes into Junior High bathrooms, how do they get so filthy in the first place?

I had to work as the janitor at my dorm for two weeks before my junior year at college. I still have nightmares doing my morning rounds of the bathrooms *shudders*

Jason Janicki said...

Oh yeah, Dirty Jobs. I do actually like that show. I vacillate between 'that would be so cool' and 'oh my god, that is so gross.'

Elder Gods. The bathrooms are portals to the planes of beings so hideous and perverse, they cannot help but be filthy.