toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

September 03, 2011

The jobs nobody wants to do

Juvena points out that there are some jobs that nobody wants to do in the workplace, but eventually somebody has to do them and if it is your turn to sit at the reception desk, do the mail run, put out the boxes, clean up the coffee-bar or whatever then it is something you would rather nobody saw you do.

"When it comes to these jobs, though, there is a limit to what I would do," says Juvena. "If I were ever asked by my boss - God forbid! - to clean up a mess in the office toilets I would consider that request to be degrading.”

“My boss would have no right to fling at me some ridiculous argument about my having a menial attitude in order to consider that type of work to be beneath my dignity."

"If the mess bothered my boss so much - and he truly believes that there is no such thing as a menial job, just menial attitudes," says Juvena, "then what's to stop him cleaning it up himself?"

"Why would he ask me to do it?"

"Quite simply, if my boss were ever to request such a task of me then it would be only with one design. That design would be to humiliate me and to demonstrate the importance of his power, position, rank and, yes, gender over me."

“Menial jobs are by definition the type of job that nobody in a position of power and rank or with high self-respect would condescend to do,” says Juvena. "That’s why they are called menial jobs!”

“Fortunately, most workplaces these days are fairly egalitarian and everyone pitches in - including management - when 'menial' work has to be done,” says Juvena, “but as a downtrodden single mom I still have an ‘attitude’ about anyone seeing me do these menial tasks.”

Read more by Juvena on this issue:

  • single moms and menial work
  • separation and child support woes

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