Ever look at someone working away and think to yourself, “There isn’t enough money in the world that you could pay me to do that job! That looks so depressing!” Well you aren’t alone, it turns out that there are plenty of jobs that are incredibly depressing to do.
Health care workers
If you work in medicine or in any healthcare role then there is a good chance that your emotions flick between loving your job and hating it. The pressure on doctors, nurses, and care workers is incredibly high to deliver care to the sick and the dying. Having to deal with life and death on a daily basis will take its toll on anyone’s mental health. Many healthcare workers are never thanked for the long hours that they put in to keep someone alive or improve their quality of life. These people work in thankless, messy jobs that can be horrifying and scary at times. But if you were to ask any of them what they thought of their line of work, they would tell you that they have the best job in the world.
Working with children is hard enough at the best of times. But when it is your job to deal with children who have been abused or are at risk from being hurt (or possibly killed) by a loved one, it takes it to a whole new level. Social workers are constantly being put under pressure to help children at risk. Recent scandals involving the deaths of children have put them under the spotlight. Social workers are expected to make decisions about a child’s welfare based on the evidence that they have. A lapse in judgement means that an abused child is left in an unsafe home, or a child being removed from loving parents who are just having a rough patch in life. Social workers who work with victims of domestic violence tend to be targeted by the spouse of the person they are trying to protect, making the job dangerous and stressful.
Imagine working a job that meant you had to clean up after other people all day. No, we aren’t talking about parents around the world, I mean maintenance workers. Every day someone is flushing something down the toilet that they shouldn’t and clogging the pipes of the sewers. And someone has to clean it up. If you throw litter on the street, a street cleaner has to pick it up. Stuff has a habit of needing repaired or replaced over time, which is what these guys are supposed to do. But when people are deliberately going out of their way to make a mess and break stuff, it makes the job a lot worse for these guys. How about we try a bit harder and treat public places like we would treat our own homes to make the maintenance workers of the world a bit happier? Unless you make a habit of wiping poop on your own bathroom walls, just keep that in your own house.
Anyone who chooses to work with a bunch of screaming children or moody teenagers deserves a medal. Most teachers start off with good intentions of filling the minds of children with knowledge and help shape the leaders of tomorrow. After a while the little brats wear them down to emotionless shells who just want to get through the day without throwing a chair at them. One of the biggest reasons that teachers feel like poking themselves in the eye with an HB pencil is the parents of the kids. “Little Jimmy failed English, why the (insert swear words of choice) did you not teach him right?!” With that sort of language and sentence structure being used at home, it’s no wonder that Little Jimmy failed English. Add an ever-increasing workload and the pressures of testing students all year round. Is it any wonder that they enjoy the end of term more than their pupils?
The general public are not the nicest group of people to work with at the best of times. But when your job is to sell them something and get them to part with their hard earned money? These things can make them even worse. Salespeople don’t just work in shops anymore. Some work in call centres selling insurance and double-glazing windows. They walk around the streets, knocking on doors to sell internet services. A few earn a commission when they sign you up with charity subscriptions. They work from home selling cosmetics and health products. The broad scope of sales work means that you are never far from a salesperson who wants to sell you something. Most salespeople work for minimum wage or on commission. Try not to be too hard on them if they try to flog you something that you don’t really need, they are only doing their job.
The financial sector
Nobody really likes dealing with their own money especially when it comes to making good investments and planning for the future. Enter the workers of the financial sector. These people get paid to help everyone make good decisions with their hard-earned pennies. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Every day the stock markets and banks gamble with people’s money. It comes as no surprise that when things take a turn for the worse, it’s the financial advisors and bank workers who are the first people to get screamed at. The other side of the finance coin is those workers who have to deal with people in mountains of debt and have to break the bad news that their car or home is being repossessed. It can’t be pleasant having to tell people that their world is falling to pieces because of bad money decisions.
The property sector has been up and down over the last few years so it’s no surprise that working as an estate agent is depressing. One week the property prices are high and you are making a fortune selling houses, the next week the bubble has burst and you consider renting out your spare room to pay the mortgage. If that isn’t depressing enough, looking at the inside of peoples houses all the time is bound to take its toll. Some homeowners take great pride in their house. But there are houses that require a gas mask and an exorcism before entering. And these people still expect you to sell their home with a flick of your magic wand. What could be worse than that? Going into beautiful houses with everything you have ever dreamed of inside? Then going home and seeing that the dog chewed the carpet in the living room and the dishes that you left haven’t washed themselves? Depressing.
Working in the food industry involves long hours, low pay and minimum thanks. Waiters and waitresses are on their feet for hours at a time and are always on the front line to take the abuse from an unhappy customer. Throw in the busy times of the day when they have to deal with more customers than they can shake a stick at, it makes for a stressful job. Most waiting staff hope that the service they gave was good enough to get a decent tip so that they don’t have to live on the kitchen leftovers for the rest of the week. But when the tip jar is empty at the end of a shift that has left their feet and facial muscles tired, it’s depressing.
Public transport workers
We could think of a million reasons why public transport workers are so depressed but some of the top reasons are enough to make us never want to set foot on a bus, train or taxi again. One of the big reasons is the suicide rate that these workers witness. Driving a big bus or speeding train makes them a prime target for suicidal people to throw themselves at. It has gotten so bad over the years that public transport companies now have therapy sessions for employees who have witnessed someone ending their life. And if that wasn’t depressing enough, many workers are victims of crime or have witnessed a crime at some point. Taxi drivers tend to work alone making them an easy target for criminals, many have been taken hostage or robbed at gunpoint.
They might have the pleasure of working indoors and wearing nice clothes instead of an itchy uniform in the rain, but it doesn’t mean that the job isn’t depressing. Administrative staff are often on the front line for customer complaints and abuse from those higher up the corporate ladder. Their job is to make sure that everything is organised to make other people’s jobs easier, and when something goes wrong they are the first in the firing line. Many admin workers find themselves having to do things that aren’t in their job description including running errands for the boss and covering up affairs. What could be more depressing than having to work late because your boss needs an alibi for seeing his mistress? It doesn’t matter if you had to miss your parents anniversary dinner, all of those extra duties are expected and rarely acknowledged.
Following your dreams and being creative might seem like the ultimate dream job but there is a flip-side to it that rarely gets thought about. Writers, artists, and entertainers may spread their creative wings and do what they love, but what they love does not always pay well. Getting paid peanuts for something that you have put your heart and soul into is depressing enough, but it also worth noting that many creative people suffer from some type of mental health problem. Depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety in artistic types are not always diagnosed or recognized as the disorders that they are, instead they are seen as part of the creative process. It’s difficult enough to deal mental health issues for someone in a normal job, but creative people put their emotions into their work so when they get a bad review it can make their mental state take a turn for the worst.