30 Juli 2009

not that worthless

My friends tell me that everyone can get a job in China these days. They say that even the beggars with one arm or one leg can find work. That got me thinking. There are alot of jobs in China but many of them are ‘lines of work’ that I would not wish upon my worst enemy. Here is my Top 10 list of the worst jobs in China:

1. The people who have to stand on the sidewalks for hours trying to shove advertisements into the hands of weary passersby. According to my friends, they get little money and work long hours.
2. The workers who sift through mountains of garbage all day looking for ‘treasures’ that they can sell to recycling factories. While I do not envy their ’stinky’ job, I do appreciate what they do. I can only imagine what the streets would be like without their services.
3. China’s construction workers who work through the night in dangerous conditions to make a building shoot up like a ‘magic beanstalk.’ I was watching a worker yesterday standing on a rather shaky bamboo scaffolding. I admire their work but do not envy their profession.
4. Salespeople who work in malls, shops, and on the streets across China. These jobs are exhausting and thankless yet most of these hard working people seem always to be able to muster a smile for their customers and clients.
5. Security guards in China who spend hours every day standing and staring at people as they walk in and out of buildings. This has go to be one of those jobs where the time drags by endlessly. I’ve never seen a security guard using an MP3 player. Have you?
6. Bus drivers who circle around the city all day for relatively low pay and even lower appreciation. These drivers have to maneuver their way in and out of traffic and constantly watch out for the little guy (idiot bikers and motorcyclists who cut in front of them near bus stops).

7. Underground church ministers who risk their freedom and reputation to spread the Gospel to millions of Chinese people. These brave men and women may not consider their jobs as “bad”, but I mention them here because their jobs are low pay and fraught with danger.
8. The thousands of traffic police in China who have to physically hold pedestrians back from crossing streets when cars are zooming by. The same police officers often have to also put themselves in front of cars when there are pedestrians crossing the street. No one seems to listen to them.
9. The China ‘delivery men’ who carry heavy items such as containers of water, construction materials, and all sorts of other ‘odds and ends’ on their bikes for dirt cheap pay. They will dash up 7 flights of stairs with 50 pounds on their back or in their arms just to get it there a little quicker.
10. And for good measure, I have to mention the thousands of young men and women who serve as assistants to foreigners in English schools and training centers across China. Time and time again, I have seen these assistants being berated by foreigners who think that they own the school if not the country. It takes guts to work with foreigners in China.

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