A few weeks ago I saw a group of teachers going on strike in front of a local public school. They were holding signs up about being overworked and underpaid, like the rest of us. They also felt that they weren’t getting enough respect from parents and students. This in a way made me laugh as we all think we have the most stressful, underpaid jobs in the world.
The reality is, work sucks for everybody. No matter what profession you work in, there’s always different levels of stress. Not only that, many clients are whiny and ungrateful – that’s simply the nature of the beast. In the academic field, your job is to feed information into dense students’ minds in an attractive manner, and negotiate with parents and administrators. As a computer server administrator, in the event that a server is down, every second feels like a day. As a computer programmer, the same applies when a website is down for whatever reason – especially if it’s the company’s website. With politicians, whenever the slightest thing goes wrong, (s)he is held responsible.
The Case with Sports Players
Sports players that play a game for a living also undergo lots of stress. This applies to professional Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey. In baseball, there’s a need to win 20 games or hit safely every 3 out of 10 times. In Hockey, the more goals, assists and saves the merrier. In Basketball, points sell tickets. With Football, yards and touchdowns sell tickets. Sports players need to work very hard to stay competitive, and when one works out 24 hours a day to play a 2-4 hour game, it makes one question if what he’s doing is worth the millions of dollars. The added stress may even lead him to take performance enhancing drugs in order to quicken and ease the time it takes to work out to be in competitive shape. Better shape means more numbers means more money and more years playing.
Also, with sports players, most of the time performing means less time to make/spend with family. That’s why some players will retire early so that they don’t see what matters most to them pass them by. Yes, playing on such a level really can be hard work and this is something we don’t always see. They may make tons of money but how much do they appreciate it in the end of the day?
City Sanitation Workers
In both New York City (2005) and Toronto (2009), city workers went on strike for different reasons, and picked the right times to cause the most damage. A number of years back, in 2005, New York City MTA employees went on strike for three days due to low pay, etc. They chose the cold Winter as the opportune time to go on strike, thereby crippling much of the city’s population. In Toronto, the sanitation workers went on strike due to low pay, no increase in titles, etc. They chose the hot summer to leave garbage rotting for weeks!
Work is Stressful for Everybody
Also, in general, everyone has crazy deadlines. Any time 3 weeks of work has to be done in a day is a time of immense stress where half of ones hair turns gray, and the other half falls out in clumps. Combine that with other responsibilities such as family, earning an advanced degree, etc. and you get the idea.
Therefore, it’s easy for many people to think that “their job is the worst.” The reality is, that the nature of the work can be very rewarding. It’s moreso the work environment that determines ones job. And, this can be in any capacity. The trick is to be happy what you’re doing and seriously weigh the pros and cons to switching to what seems to be greener pastures.