We all like to get credit for our work, but there are some professions that are just downright underappreciated. You complain that your boss didn’t give you a pat on the back, but some people soldier on day in and day in jobs more horrible than most of us can imagine. Check out some of the most thankless jobs in the world that will make you want to thank your neighborhood garbage man next time you see him.
If you’re lucky, they’re the ones who pick up your trash, who clean the sewers, who sweep up the streets, and make sure that you don’t live in a garbage dump. Sanitation workers have literally the dirtiest job on the planet, but often hardly see a paycheck above minimum wage. Unless you’re prepared to haul all your nasty trash to the local dump every week, these guys make sure that cities and towns continue to operate, scent-free.
Even though some countries treat their teachers better than others, they are still among the most underappreciated workers. Since they are responsible for molding the minds of the next generation, you’d think teachers would receive more respect. Given that your 7-year-old probably isn’t going to be doing the thanking, it’s up to us to make sure it happens anyway.
Without farmers, we’d all go hungry. Farmers wake up at the crack of dawn or earlier, and do back-breaking manual labor all day long. They tend to their crops and animals to make sure the world has enough to eat, but often get screwed out of profits to which they are entitled by big agricultural corporations.
Whether you’re a temporary worker filling a critical role for a short period, or an (often unpaid) intern working for “experience,” your work is incredibly valuable, and incredibly undervalued. Often, temps and interns are the employees nobody can name who do critical, sometimes tedious work that keeps companies running. And it’s more than just getting coffee, you know.
Necessary to every sporting match there is, referees are some of the most abused people in the professional world. Given that there are two sides to every match, referees are almost guaranteed to take abuse from somewhere depending on the call. Ask any referee out there, and I guarantee they will recall being asked at some point in their career if they needed glasses, if they were paid off, or if they were just stupid.
Flight attendants are responsible for your health and safety at 20,000 feet, and are trained to be responsible for emergency procedures should anything go wrong. While 99 percent of the time, everything is fine, it’s the other 1 percent that we need to appreciate them for. Give them a bit more respect and recognize their qualifications beyond passing out peanuts and soda.
“Oh, so you’re not a doctor?” No, nurses are not doctors, but they are just as crucial to the medical world. Responsible for the bulk of patient care, nurses make sure patients are fed, hydrated, given their meds, kept comfortable, and much more. They are also trained to do medical procedures that doctors don’t have the time or patience to do. So the next time you mock a male nurse for his job, remember that he’s more than the guy with the Jell-O – he’ll also be the one administering your morphine drip.
Waiters, bartenders, chefs, hosts — all are some of the most overlooked people in the professional world. Occasionally, diners forget that their servers are people too, and treat them more as a servant. While tips are nice, they don’t excuse horrendous behavior, so remember to be nice to your wait staff next time you hit a restaurant. It’s my opinion that people shouldn’t be allowed to eat in a restaurant until they’ve worked in one. It would save us all a lot of headaches.
The most classic case of thankless work has to be parenthood. You’re up all hours night and day, spending all your time and energy to raise children who probably won’t realize the sacrifices you’ve made for at least another 18 to 20 years. They’ll probably hate you during their teenage years. Got savings in the bank? Not anymore. You’ll be buying diapers, food, and college tuition for the next two decades. Do yourself a favor and get mom and dad something nicer than a card for the next Mother’s/Father’s Day, will you?
Think about it – they put their lives on the line every day to tackle monsters, extraterrestrial villains, and just plain evil to keep society safe. And they usually do it in spandex. What thanks to they get? Most of of the time, society attempts to expose and villify them, or lock them up in jail. How is it that we’re never able to see that Spiderman is actually trying to save the city, not destroy it? We force these brave heroes to live double lives to keep their secrets safe, and never give them the thanks they truly deserve. Batman, Iron Man, Superman, Captain America, et al – thank you for your service.