#2. Bank Teller
Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images
Armed robbery is like the shark attack of the retail sector. Everyone knows it happens, but no one thinks it will ever happen to them. I expect this is not the case with bank tellers, though, who must show up to work every single day thinking, "Yep, this is the day I get shot in the face." There are people in this world who make a living doing nothing more than driving from bank to bank sticking guns in the faces of perfectly innocent college students and soccer moms who get paid next to nothing to stand guard over hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Adam Gault/Photodisc/Getty Images
Nobody uses this stuff anymore anyway.
More than any other profession, bank tellers perfectly demonstrate the salary disparity that always exists between executive types and the people who do the "real" work. Have a look at this chart that shows the salary potential that awaits those who seek a career in handling money:
This is where The Man works!
It's worth noting that among the people most likely to work in one of those often-robbed bank branches, the bank tellers, not a single one comes close to making even $40,000 per year. Yes, I understand that handling and counting money is low-impact work from all the standpoints, both physical and mental, but as that "shot in the face" bit from the beginning of this entry implied, it's still deceptively dangerous. Paying bank tellers poverty-level wages is borderline insane considering the responsibility they're saddled with. It's sort of like putting someone in charge of handing out freshly killed salmon to campers and paying them nothing for the work because fish aren't that hard to lift. As true as that may be, it completely ignores the fact that those woods are most likely infested with bears that want nothing more than to forcibly separate that poor employee from the fish they have no vested interest in protecting.
This bear wants you to not be a hero.
That's the kind of danger that should be taken into consideration when determining a fair salary, if you ask me.
All that considered, when shit goes down at a bank, there are usually witnesses around. Some robbery-riddled jobs don't come with that particular perk. Case in point ...
#1. Overnight Cashier
It takes a special kind of crazy to want to work overnight in general, even if you're doing it from the safety of a cubicle in a call center or some shit. Normal people work during the day. Nighttime is for drinking and sleeping.
Nevertheless, at convenience stores and rest stops all across this great land, unspeakably brave men and women stand in front of cash registers full of bills, all alone, waiting to fulfill the late-night shopping requests of nocturnal lunatics. The risks, when compared to working during the hustle and bustle of the sunlight hours, are exponentially higher. Meanwhile, the pay is usually like an extra dollar per hour or some similarly meaningless figure.
I actually worked the overnight shift at a gas station for about six months. While I was fortunate enough to have never been robbed, I was pretty sure I was going to be on at least a weekly basis. People aren't generally up at four in the morning because they're up to good stuff. Even the transactions that end uneventfully start out kind of terrifying because, you know, what the fuck is this person doing up at this hour?
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty
Hopefully not this.
That's the first thing that goes through your mind every single time a customer walks in, and until they've literally gotten back in their car and left, you're never really sure if you're going to have a weapon pulled on you. There's no such thing as a "safe"-looking customer. Anyone who thinks there is obviously isn't familiar with the Dana Plato story, the moral of which is something along the lines of "No one thinks they're going to be robbed at gunpoint by the girl from Diff'rent Strokes until they're actually being robbed at gunpoint by the girl from Diff'rent Strokes." And that shit happened in broad daylight.
Working as an overnight cashier means working under the ever-present threat of being the victim of a terrifying variety of crimes. That people do it at all, much less for shit money, is a testament to how goddamn desperate people are for jobs these days.
Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should listen to on Soundcloud and a live stand-up comedy show of the same name that you should come see sometime if you're in the Los Angeles area. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.