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So being a barista (coffee slinger) is a LOW CLASS JOB? (latest wank) No. It isn't. And since it's Friday, and many of you are looking forward to NO WORK for the weekend, this should make you feel better about your work this past week.

Medieval Times:

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!


( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
I adore you. <3

Screw being a barista. I would mop a Starbucks with my tongue before working in a chicken processing plant.

Dwiv worked in a poultry plant for one day. One day. He quit when the guy next to him in the line accidently cut his fingers off while decapitating chickens. O.O
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)

I spell gud. ::facepalm::
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Mar. 30th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
There's a play by Sarah Daniels called "Gut Girls" which is set in a fish-gutting plant - your post reminded me of that.

do me a small, free, sanity-saving favour?

you like Regulus/Sirius fic, right?
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
I knew you would be here with my mentions of the Victorian jobs! And how the human shit collectors were in a higher social strata than the animal shit collectors! O_O

I will! I can! I do!
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Mar. 30th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love that show!

And really, the thought that working in Starbucks being low class is just mind boggling to me. a) you're not outside. b) you're not covered in shit/toxic material. c) you don't have a high likelihood of dying.

Good hell, people.
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Mar. 30th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
I vote for today's worst job: Homeowner's Claims Adjuster in Florida.


::looks around and whispers:: I fantasize about being a barista.

People LIKE baristas. And if they're not happy, you give them a free coffee. No lawsuits, no depositions, no Examinations Under Oath, no state licenses to pull, no whackjobs finding out where you live and where your kids go to school (this has happened to me), no threatening letters written in mock Native American speak about how it has been 'many moons since claim reported. This Brave may have to come to your wigwam and scalp you soon if no wampum paid! (Yes, this has happened to me), no threats to break your kneecaps (Yes, this too has happened to me) and so forth.
Mar. 30th, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
Good lord. People are just filled with anger, I think. I'd say the person that has to clean up the euthanization room in a shelter has got one of the worst jobs around over a fucking barista.

It's that (in the wank) being a barista is apparently low class. Ask the guy that has to hand massage cattle in India who has the more low class job. (And the cow can go anywhere in the city! The masseur can't!)

I say you can start drinking now. I know I'm getting my drink on in five... four... three...
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(Deleted comment)
Mar. 30th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
I haven't! I mean, I've watched it once - the sewage workers - but this is about a wank wherein someone got pissed because a character in a fic was written in as a coffee barista, so clearly it's because he is black/brown and the writer is racist by putting that character in a low class job.

1) they're fucking crazy
2) they're fucking insane
3) it's not a low CLASS job. (Low income, perhaps. Low CLASS it ain't.)

COAL MINER. But would you be a coal miner's daughter?
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Mar. 30th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
How often do YOU rinse out your milk jugs before tossing them? Yogurt cups? Feh.

I actually do! And admittedly, it's so the garbage can in my kitchen doesn't stink, but I like that garbage sorters benefit from this too. Because I could NOT do that job.

And what crevette said. I used to work for an insurance agency, and we got threatening letters all the time. Bomb threat, once. Yargh!

I've been watching Dirty Jobs lately (and the British version, Worst Jobs in History) and omg. Yeah. Respect to those people.
Mar. 30th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I wash out my recyclables for both your reasons listed, but I know that we're in the minority on that one.

What's the DEAL with the threatening letters to insurance agents? Hay-soos. I've had a lady bitch me out when I worked at a hotel for not keeping her room AFTER she called and cancelled, and that was one of the first times I'd ever been called a "cunt" before. Her little child on her shoulder seemed to not care. O_O
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Mar. 30th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Fullers used stale piss - it's to do with the urea turning into ammonia.

To be fair, they did outlaw child chimney sweeps in the 1840s, and restricted child labour to a mere ten hours a day. They stopped women and children going down the mines in the late 1840s here too, not because they were so worried about the children but because the female miners WORE TROUSERS and that was so shocking it Must. Be. Stopped.

For modern jobs, children working twelve hour days making Nike shoes and footballs in South Asia is probably a good 'un. Or children knotting "Persian" carpets and rugs by hand, hundreds to the inch, hunched over looms all day.

Yes, there are many worse things than what I do. Even though at noon today my intestines were threatening to strangle me to make the boring lecture on Child Protection go away.
Mar. 30th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, right! And it's not like FRESH piss is bad enough, when you let the water evaporate to really get it concentrated... GAH.

Mostly, I wanted to list jobs (in the "Today" section) as ACTUAL JOBS here in the US. Because I think people here forget how fucking good we have it. They're such whiners. "I need individually sliced cheese! I need a dryer sheet I can grasp one handed, for using two hands wastes time!"

WHAT. Gah.
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Mar. 30th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Ewwww. Yes, I am suddenly VERY glad for my job, where all I have to worry about is falling asleep from boredom. This really gives perspective. And where are people claiming that being a barista is low class?
Mar. 30th, 2007 09:05 pm (UTC)
I know, right? A little perspective is great. I've never been in danger of being killed, or wanting to die from the SMELL. ACK!

(And this is the latest wank over in Journalfen's Fandom_Wank) <-- normally a source for joyous, delicious wank. Check the links in my journal for that site!
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Mar. 30th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, my RLBFF (who is private school teacher) has aspirations of being a barrista this summer. It is her dream job, crappy customers and all.

And I, too, am a trash washer. All recyclables get the hose down. Hmmm... part black, part Mexican, part Jew, part Native American and a trashe washer. No matter what, I'll always be a minority.

I sent you prezzies yesterday, did you get 'em ? (they're in comments from your post -THE post- yesterday)
Mar. 30th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Ack, I had that window open in tabs and just haven't gotten to it yet. YES! You're AWESOME!! BREAKDANCE, whuh whuh? *pop locks*
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 30th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
I was a barista back when I first got married (to #1) and I loved it, too! And... it wasn't a DIFFICULT job. Plus: access to free coffee!

This is over in journalfen's Fandom_wank. I have a link in my links list to their site on my lj page, if you don't have it.
Mar. 30th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
essene and I are going to see Blades of Glory tonight. I will think of you as I squee in delight!
Mar. 30th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
EEEEEEEEE! I was going to go today, but I ended up shopping instead. *clutches new towels*

I can't WAIT to see him! I mean, it! :D HAVE FUN!
Mar. 31st, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Taxi driver for the Bronx.

HEY! Do not diss my home town, I will take you down, beyotch!

People who piss and moan how hard they have it? I have a whole pile of books on the underclass in the country that maybe they should read.
Mar. 31st, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
You have to admit, the utter lack of proportion exhibited by certain persons in that wank is something rare and special.

What gets me is that Barista/coffee bar owner isn't even a job which is, in real life or in stereotype, overloaded with poor/uneducated/minority people. Hell, the barista I know best has an MFA in Theater Production and is working coffee only because she's managed to annoy every theater company in the US.

Julia, it may be that being sneered at by a Belgian mare started this week out weird well before noon on Sunday
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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