One of my favorite cable TV shows is the Discovery Chanel’s Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe. In case you haven’t seen the show, it is a documentary, of sorts, where the host explores the occupations of people who do the dirty work that makes our civilization possible. These are the brave souls that get dirty so the rest of us can remain clean. Some of these jobs are not so much dirty as unusual or odd. Like the guy that makes a living by changing the light bulb at the top of a large bridge. It’s not dirty, but it is not for the faint of heart. Or the people who are responsible for checking and replacing corrosion control anodes that are attached to a spillway. I didn’t even know spillways had anodes.
Anyway, I feel that I have a kinship of sorts with these people.
Before I get into a retrospective of odd and or dirty jobs of my own, I have to point out that there are really two categories of odd/dirty jobs.
The first category is for anyone in the military. Every service member has a lot of experience with dirty, dangerous, odd, or disgusting jobs. It is part of the mystique of being in the military. It doesn’t mater if you were a grunt or a geek everyone got to do strange shit in the name of duty.
The second category is for everyone who has worked fast food or construction when they were young, or anyone who chose a “Dirty Job” as a career.
I have been fortunate enough to fall under both of these categories. I have a many friends that followed a similar path, one in the Navy and one in the Army, and one in the Air Force. Ah the stories they must have….
So this is the first of a multi part series on Odd Jobs, particularly the odd jobs that I have held over the last thirty some odd years.
So please feel free to comment on any strangeness that you have experienced to demonstrate the width and breadth of oddities that people will do for a paycheck. All I ask is to hold off your comments until you reach a relevant part of this history.
Just about everyone at one time or another is called upon to do dooty.