Fuller. You stomp on wool. What's that? How is this bad? Oh, all the women pulling the wool to be spun later are pissing on it. And your feet get to work it in. It separates the lanolin, you see.
Leech collector! Insert image of Wil Wheaton in "Stand By Me" here.
Lime burner. You get a load of oyster shells, crush them, hop into the kiln with them and monitor the fire until they turn into chalk, to be later turned into mortar. You... may not survive the fumes. You have 48 hours to live.
From the Victorian era:
Tanner. Day spent in animal...bits. Defleshing and dehairing hides. Standing in muck of excrement (it softens the skins) and LIME. Which means your feet are being eaten away, so by the time you're in your late twenties, you may not have any.
Rat catcher. If you're lucky, your boss might let you take some home for supper.
Chimney Sweep. It's not all dancing on rooftops with artful soot on your nose and a poor British accent. *has a claustrophobic panic attack just THINKING about this job*
Hurrier. This is a child from 6-8 years old with a strap and chain around their waist. They'd go down a mile or so into a coal mine with a sled, get it loaded, then crawl back up on their hands and knees to the surface.
And the best job ever in the history of jobs, and by that I mean the worst:
Pure collector. Your job is literally shit. You collect, separate, and identify the various shits from the streets. Make sure you cup your bare hand all around the cobble stones so you get it all!
Slaughterhouse cleaner. You get to scale the top of the five story roof of the slaughter house and hose off the blood/sinew/fat that collects in the air vents. Even in ice storms/blizzards/rain/90+ degree heat.
Taxi driver for the Bronx. Do these guys even exist? Or are they like May Flies, and only live a day?
Poultry processor. One of the highest turnover rates for any job in manufacturing, period. Crapped on, scratched by incredibly sharp feet (before you cut them off), hand pulling guts from a still warm body. Yeah, that's just like dealing with that rude bitch who wants a no-fat soy cappuccino half-caff with nutmeg and no foam. Just. Like. It.
Sewing machinist. Hunched over some of the loudest equipment today for up to 18 hours a day. Most of these women get severely injured by the needles. What's fun is how you have to BACK OUT THE NEEDLE the length of the stitches sewn INTO YOUR BODY, because of the curved needles used. Sure. This is on the same level as making green tea chai with foam four times in a row, you guys.
Road builder in America's Southwest. Nothing like laying tar in 110+ weather for 12 hours a day. Unless you get to be the person standing for 10 hours a day with the "slow/stop" sign. In the 110+ degree weather.
Migrant worker, anywhere. No settled home, no benefits (you can't even have the produce you're picking), forced to live in camps that aren't for your comfort, they're to keep the owner from paying a fine.
Garbage sorter. Gleh. How often do YOU rinse out your milk jugs before tossing them? Yogurt cups? Feh.
Sewage plant worker. Nothing like keeping an eye on a literal river of shit and tampons. I bet that smell doesn't come out. Like, ever.
So if you're thinking your job is a piece of shit, or you think food service is low-class, just remember the motto of the Victorians: There's always someone you can look down on. (Low class doesn't mean low income.)
Be glad for what you have. And that today is FRIDAY! I am off to Pier 1, as some sweet someone sent me a gift card, whooooo!