<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>


By Frank Thomas Croisdale

Yesterday was Labor Day. If you chose a job in the right profession, you more than likely spent the day doing nothing more laborious than swinging in a backyard hammock while occasionally lifting a cool glass of lemonade to your lips. On the other hand, if your vocation involves serving the public you probably found yourself living out a very literal definition of Labor Day. Maybe someone should slip a resolution into one of those heavy-laden pork-barrel bills to officially rename the holiday Labor-free Day. For the second year in a row, I found myself thinking of the hardworking men and women of the American workforce on Labor Day. My thoughts did not center on typical professions like factory workers, mechanics or nurses, but to the more bizarre ways in which people earn a paycheck.

City Council Candidates
Hanchette: Mt. Views
Staba: Citycide

Here then is the first listing of Croisdale's Worst Jobs For Americans.

Horse Masseuse

There are people who actually get paid to give thoroughbred horses a rubdown. I know a guy who has a friend who makes her living getting charley horses out of Charley the horse. According to my buddy, she makes a lot more hay than she would rubbing down people.

That's all fine and well, but I can't get past the fact that racehorses are just highly paid, pampered professional athletes. I can't help but wonder what this girl is going to do when she shows up one morning and her client, anxious for retirement and golden days spent servicing mares in the breeding barn, throws down an extra twenty and requests a "happy ending"?

Road-kill Removal Specialist

We've all seen it as we drive by going 65 -- honest, officer! -- on the side of the highway. A dead animal, or what's left of one. Sometimes there's a body with no head or a head with no body.

Occasionally the poor jaywalker has been run over so many times that what species it once was is no longer easily identifiable.

Worst of all are the lumps of matter that are easily identified by their odor -- skunk! The good news is that we pass them by at near-warp speed -- just kidding, officer! -- and think to ourselves, I sure do pity the poor slob who has to scrape that off the ground.

But someone has to clean up the remains of our slow-of-foot, four-legged friends and here's a big tip of the hat to you, sir. Just do us all a favor, don't open up an all-you-can-eat diner as a side venture.

CN Tower Window Washer

At 1,815 feet 5 inches tall, the CN Tower in downtown Toronto is the world's tallest building. One of its most popular features is the glass floor that allows visitors to look straight down 113 stories at the busy streets of Toronto below.

Even though a sign tells you that the glass floor is perfectly safe, a very human instinct for survival makes your heart pound as you walk out onto the glass floor as delicately as you would tiptoe across eggshells.

Anyone that has tested his or her bravery by traversing out onto the glass floor must have tremendous respect for the guy on the outside looking in while washing the windows. Talk about taking your career to new heights.

Imagine being suspended in a window washing trolley up so high that you actually look down on seagulls. No thank you.

That's one glass ceiling that I'm quite happy never to break through.

Flatus Odor Judge

This job comes to us courtesy of the good people at "Popular Science" magazine, whose editors put together a listing of the worst jobs in science.

When the mom and dad of a newborn look down upon their little bundle of joy, here are some words that are never spoken.

Wife: Isn't he darling?

Husband: He's an angel sent from heaven.

Wife: What do you think he'll be when he grows up? Husband: Oh, I don't know. It'll be something important, though. Something regal, like an ass-gas


What does a flatus odor judge do, you might ask? He, or more aptly she, as women have a much keener sense of smell than do men, is paid by a Minneapolis gastroenterologist to smell people's nether-region emissions to determine potentially critical medical symptoms.

And you thought your job stank.

Dead Body Diver

There's massive flooding along a river with muddy banks. Hundreds of people are feared lost. The river water has zero visibility due to thick mud. How will the bodies of the dead be recovered? Imagine, just for a moment, that you run a scuba diving clinic and you're on the line with the local sheriff's department.

You: So let me get this straight, deputy. You want me to put on my gear and swim around in the river, hoping to bump into dead people?

Deputy: Yup.

You: Where's Bruce "I see dead people" Willis when you really need him?

Copy Writer For Local Tourism Magazine

Imagine it's your 15th year on the job and it's time to write the copy for another edition of the official magazine for visitors to our fair city. The discussion between you and your editor might go something like this.

You: So what new attractions are we featuring this year?

Editor: Same junk as last year.

You: Nothing? No new attractions, theaters, theme parks? Anything?

Editor: Don't get loopy on me now. I told you when you took this job that it was a "mother bird" position -- nothing but a lot of regurgitation.

You: All right, all right. How's this for a lead sentence: "Niagara Falls, New York, offers an exciting array of activities for the world traveler with 20 minutes to kill before crossing the Rainbow Bridge into Canada"?

There you have it, the First Listing of Croisdale's Worst Jobs for Americans. Consider yourself fortunate if your job isn't on this list.

If it is, you might want to sniff your way down to the nearest headhunter's office and get a new job.

Frank Thomas Croisdale is a Contributing Editor at the Niagara Falls Reporter. You can write him at NFReporter@aol.com.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Sept. 7 2004