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Seven Jobs That Make Yours Look Better

Okay, so you hate your job. You’re sick and tired of clocking in day after day just to rot away in a cubicle. Your measly paycheck just isn’t worth the daily drudgery and never-ending grind.

It’s called a “job” for a reason, and remember, it could always be worse—the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In fact, it could be quite smelly and dangerous

Remember all of those times you’ve said, “You couldn’t pay me to do that?” when confronted with a vomit-inducing task? Well, someone does do that for a living. So be thankful for your mundane job. You could be working in one of these fields.

Crime Scene Cleaner
No, cleaning up blood and guts is not as glamorous as CSI may have you believe. This job is grisly. Besides sweeping up rotting body parts and other biological waste, cleaners may be called in to mop up hazardous fluids, dangerous chemicals, and illegal drugs. If you’ve got an iron stomach and a strong will, this job is all yours.

Stool Sample Analyzer
Wondering who gets to the bottom of your bathroom dilemmas? Stool analyzers dive into patients’ samples to diagnose digestive conditions. The dissection tests check the color, weight, shape, and odor of the droppings. The techs also identify any blood and mucus present in the samples. All day long.

Deodorant Tester
Deodorants are made to reduce perspiration and mask unpleasant body odors. How do you test them? Easily—by taking whiffs of subjects’ underarms and rating their pungency on a scale of one to ten. And we’re not talking about the pits of the idle. To best test a deodorant’s strength, the subjects will have moved, shaken, and perspired their ways to evaluators’ noses. So if sniffing noxious BO all day is your cup of tea, Dove is awaiting your call!

Breath Smeller
How do you tell how well gum and mouthwash mask odors? You test them on garlicky mouths and unbrushed teeth, of course. The lucky odor analyzers sniff everything from nasty morning breath to mouths scrubbed with onion to evaluate an odor-reducer’s strength. And what about Fido? Dog-breath analyzers interested in the effect of diet on a dog’s teeth seek out the filthiest canine mouths. The categories they use to sort the stench? Sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying. Yum.

Test Subject
Sure it may suck to be a tester, but is being a human lab rat a better gig? Scientists need millions of people a year to test drugs and treatments. The pay is good—some studies pay as much as $10,000 per trial—but the risks are even greater. For example, eight volunteers for a rheumatoid arthritis and leukemia experiment suffered multiple organ failure and permanent damage to their immune systems. Are you willing to be poked and prodded without knowing the long-term side effects? Volunteer!

Sewage Treatment Workers
Sewage treatment workers spend their days wading in what you flush—with rats and other rodents in the mix. Workers dive down into murky, fecal waste to fix sewer leaks, bottle sewage samples, and make sure raw sewage is properly treated. Plus it’s pretty dangerous—workers can die from toxic fumes, contract hepatitis A, or get punctured by needles. Drowning and electrocution are also potential hazards.

Porta Potty Cleaner
When you gotta go, you gotta go. And unfortunately, someone has to clean up after you. Sanitizers, armed with a vacuum wand and nose plugs, first suck out all the waste into a tank. They then pick up wads of soiled toilet paper, power hose the walls with disinfectant, and scrub the walls down—all in less than three minutes. It may get to be a routine, but it’s surely not a cinch. Most workers clean up to sixty modern-day outhouses a day.

They’re dirty jobs, but someone’s got to do them. These careers require not only an iron stomach, but also a huge amount of dedication. The workers courageously test, handle, and clean the things we use every day. Let’s not take them for granted.

Next time you’re at wit’s end and are about to throw in the towel over an overtime request or a lengthy project, take a second to reconsider. You might be one of the lucky ones.

By Nealeigh Mitchell for Excelle