Jobs That I Could Never Do
Let’s face it: we live on a blue-greenish pockmarked water-coated rock, floating in space.
Sometimes we choose to leave the safety of the surface to dive beneath the water, or jet across the lower atmosphere, skating upon clouds. Weirder still is the decision that some of us make to tunnel underground, deeper into the rock itself.
Oh, what a formidable daily effort it must be to cart people around beneath the earth, into the dregs, to retrieve the materials with which we make most of our important stuff. Mining for crystals and smart phone ingredients. Tunneling like a high-tech vole. No light, or air: it's got to basically be hell, right?
And what about those who choose to transport other humans around up in the sky? Their cargo is a bunch of egos, and bodily smells and sounds, and bags of people's consequential life junk.
Back on earth's surface.
I'm just sitting here, listing the most random, non-inclusive smattering of careers that I find humbling. For your entertainment.
Aside from nurses, who are impeccable, I've long considered postal delivery work to be amongst the highest order of everyday jobs: our stuff is everything to us. Those who bring our stuff to and from us then, must be cherished by proxy, no?
When was the last time you revered your mail lady?
Hasn't she done you, like, a thousand favours by delivering your Amazon purchases with relative consistency? Sure, she gets paid to do it. Honestly, that makes it all the more impressive. She's got a shifty boss and shitty customers to deal with day after day, maybe rolling her eyes, maybe patiently and sweetly ingesting their turmoil before turning around and hand-delivering your precious vitamins or laundry detergent or pants you'll never wear.
She, honestly, is a saint.
Up in the sky, there are the eerily synchronized safety rituals of the aircraft world. The exits, there and there. Don't worry, you probably won't need an oxygen mask, but if we do hurtle to our deaths today, make sure you breathe in some futile gas on the way down.
There's the collective terror of ascension (I wish I were talking about the spiritual kind) and the claustrophobia of an enclosed cabin space, both tumbling atop a big roiling pot of personal responsibility.
You, pilots - and your flight attendant cohorts - are in charge of hurling not only yourselves, but a hundred other fated souls through the atmosphere safely. Repeatedly. With a smile.
Sure, you must take all that gravity for granted after awhile, but there's no denying the fact that you're a slightly different caliber of human. Like soldiers, or biologists who get right into the thick of a viral culture: one wrong move, and a bunch of people are toast. Crispy, fried nuclear excrement on your hands, you might just have to wipe them on your pants and live to see another day.
Whatever sort of person is so comfortable with this lifestyle that you enter into it willingly and contractually, I want to meet you. The empath in me might be overwhelmed by your energetic baggage, but the mammal in me knows that you're an impressive beast.