Gainfully employed denizens of the modern world: happy Labor Day. While you’re celebrating the American labor movement by taking a day off of whatever job you complain about most of the time, why not indulge in a little literature — particularly literature that reminds you just how good you have it when you are in the office? After the jump, you’ll find ten of the absolute worst jobs ever committed to fiction. Check them out, and go back to work tomorrow with a happy heart.
Upton Sinclair — The Jungle: Slaughterhouse worker
But of course — Sinclair wrote the book in large part to expose what he called “the inferno of exploitation” facing American factory workers at the start of the 20th century. On Jurgis’s first day at the slaughterhouse, his job was to “follow down the line the man who drew out the smoking entrails from the carcass of the steer; this mass was to be swept into a trap, which was then closed, so that no one might slip into it… It was a sweltering day in July, and the place ran with steaming hot blood — one waded in it on the floor.” And to think, the man is totally psyched to even have this job — at least at first.