Poll

If you could keep getting paid the sam amount, would you keep your current job or do something more menial like being a janitor, grocery store clerk, fast food worker, etc?

Keep my current job
89 (48.1%)
Janitor, etc
66 (35.7%)
Bacon
30 (16.2%)

Total Members Voted: 182

Author Topic: If paid the same, would you rather be a janitor or keep your current job?  (Read 22421 times)

forummm

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I'm kind of burned out with my work. I was thinking that if I could keep getting paid the same, I would prefer to just do something like being a janitor until I hit my FIRE number. I used to be a janitor and it wasn't great. But it also wasn't terrible (except the pay). At the end of the day, and at the end of each hour, I had accomplished something. I didn't take my work home with me. I got some decent exercise. I didn't feel stressed or have trouble getting my work done. And I could think about whatever I wanted to.

At my current job I currently have enormous difficulty overcoming my procrastination. It's so hard to get myself to do certain projects. And it's really hard to see tangible progress on anything I do. And anytime I have a good idea I have to fight like hell for years to see it through to implementation. And I always have those unfinished projects hanging over my head, 24/7. And every day where I don't get much done I spend the entire time feeling bad about it. I do have the ability to sit in a comfortable chair and browse the internet, etc. So I recognize there are luxuries that would go away. But I am just dying to not have to do it anymore.

What about you?

VaCPA

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Maybe not janitor. But there are definitely some menial jobs I'd prefer to mine if pay was the same. The not taking work home or even thinking about it after hours would be huge. There's times I feel like I'd prefer a more mundane low stress job but then boredom would probably set in and I'd get tired of that.

Rural

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Do I have to go in at 4:00 am like the janitors at my place? If so, current job. If not, well, some days it's tempting, but they never get to work from home.


Could I choose janito somewhere closer to home for the same pay as my long-commute professor gig? Then it's the best of both worlds, since the commute is my primary reason for working from home some days,

ender

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I currently am blessed with loving my job.

Zikoris

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Current job, for sure. The janitors at my workplace work way harder than me, and much shittier hours.

muckety_muck

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Current job all the way. Not labor intensive, no dirty toilets or icky mop water to deal with. No dead bugs to pickup. ha

I would however love to work a shaved ice stand on the beach for the same pay. I mean, would you ever have unhappy customers?! Everybody loves shaved ice!

Zamboni

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I hate to clean . . . so this is a no brainer.

forummm

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4am isn't so terrible. You have no traffic and get done really early. You'd have the rest of the day to do whatever, including run errands during business hours (or take a nap).

I cleaned a hundred toilets in an afternoon, emptied diaper pails, cleaned carpets, arranged tables and chairs, vacuumed, etc. Trash and bugs are fine too. It's really not so bad. I wouldn't do it for fun. But maybe I just really am burned out on my job.

And I guess that even though my job is more intellectual, it's also very boring. At least to me.

I hate to clean . . . so this is a no brainer.

You could be a clerk at a grocery store or whatever. Not necessarily cleaning. Just something more menial that's normally minimum wageish.

startingsmall

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Not a janitor, but I'd trade veterinarian for cashier any day. No life or death situations. No angry clients screaming at me. No managers trying to push me to sell more and do more ethically-icky things. No staying hours past closing without any predictability. Scheduled breaks. Mental energy to engage in more meaningful work outside of work. Total no-brainer.

Full Beard

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I have a friend at work that has sort of done this exact thing, although he retired from his previous job to become a janitor.  He was a corrections officer for some time and retired from the state government and is collecting that pension.  Now he's a janitor for the federal government so he'll be collecting a pension from that as well.  So his salary now as a janitor is close to what he was making as a corrections officer with the addition of the state pension.

JLee

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Current job. I think my future income potential would be lost if I were to change into janitorial work.

tobitonic

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Current job, but I think you'd get different responses if you'd made the thread about being a barista or (insert preferred retail job). If I didn't love teaching and could get paid as much as I do to, say, sell pianos or guitars, I'd be a happy camper.

sol

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I've been a janitor.  It wasn't so bad.

But I did have to get up really early, to clean before the place opened, and I didn't have nearly as much scheduling flexibility as I have in my current job.  I also didn't enjoy grease traps or women's restrooms.  Seriously ladies, wtf are you doing in there?

bobechs

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Looks like those who have never janitored are the ones most sure they would dislike it.

I've done it and it wasn't bad at all.  That was even in the days when most everyone in the offices smoked, and that made cleaning up about half again more work. Pay wasn't actually bad, at that time and place compared to any other available job.




Dollar Slice

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I have too many physical/medical issues at the moment to say yes to janitor, but there are other menial jobs I'd take in a heartbeat. I've been fantasizing lately about having a job where I just do one job that I'm good at and that doesn't require constantly planning a million things for the weeks and months ahead. Just something I could go in, do something I'm totally competent at, and go home, and be done. A job where I could take a sick day, or a vacation, and there is another person who can do my job, instead of me coming back and having to work twice as hard to catch up. A job I'm thoroughly qualified for.

My current job includes HR and payroll, proofreading/editing, magazine production, magazine circulation, graphic design, finance (including bookkeeping, accounting, a little bit of tax stuff, invoicing, and bill pay), IT help desk, data entry, minor database design/maintenance, office manager, doing random math problems (because no one else in the office can math), ad trafficking... I could keep going and going. I have had zero training in most of those roles. My job description is basically "just figure out how to do everything and then do it."  It's completely insane. Yes, please, I will take a simple job...

sparkytheop

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My last job, where I was severely sexually harassed and had a micromanager boss, I daydreamed of being a garbage man.  I loved the work (programming, wiring, troubleshooting a wide variety of equipment, etc), but the job and work environment were horrible. 

I changed locations and fields, and I love the job I do now.  I work a rotating shift, 12 hour days/nights, but I'm four miles from my house (instead of 45), nights are pretty quiet so I can read, watch movies, try cooking new recipes, etc.  I work with a good group of people.  I have to know my stuff, and when an emergency happens it can get pretty stressful, and the busy days run me ragged, but, it's great.   Bonus: about every two months I can take two weeks off work only using 16 hours of my vacation time, and, I don't come back to a pile of work!  I also don't have to work with the public, just my coworkers (although that was the same at my old job as well).

So, old job, I would have traded, but I'm pretty happy with the new job.

driftwood

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Conceptually, yes.  I'd have to stay away from jobs involving customers or being rushed though, so fast food is out.  If I need to made a certain number of quality widgets in a day or move heavy stuff from here to there I'd be pretty happy doing that, esp at the pay I make now.

I would love to get paid what I get paid now but be in a job that I don't take home.  I'm in the military now so it encroaches on every aspect of my life. 

mohawkbrah

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I've been a janitor.  It wasn't so bad.

But I did have to get up really early, to clean before the place opened, and I didn't have nearly as much scheduling flexibility as I have in my current job.  I also didn't enjoy grease traps or women's restrooms.  Seriously ladies, wtf are you doing in there?

i work as a janitor/caretaker in a school and i can attest to womens bathrooms. i don't want to have to pickup used tampons because you thought you could somehow flush them down a loo :(

forummm

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Current job. I think my future income potential would be lost if I were to change into janitorial work.

But, in my scenario, you don't need future income. You're just doing this until FIRE.

Current job, but I think you'd get different responses if you'd made the thread about being a barista or (insert preferred retail job). If I didn't love teaching and could get paid as much as I do to, say, sell pianos or guitars, I'd be a happy camper.

Barista or retail were implied as part of the menial labor description.

Bergal

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I don't love to clean so much but I'd love to work in a bookstore if it paid the same!

mies

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I would totally do janitorial or other menial labor if I could make the wage I make now and for pretty much all the reason state by forummm. I was never a janitor, but when I worked in retail and warehousing, I could see a truck get emptied, a truck get filled,  shelves stocked, and aisles cleared. You actually felt like you did something. Office work, not so much.

icemodeled

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Probably janitor.. or similar. My current job pays well, good boss, lacks benefits/rasies, is very easy but each day is a struggle to get through because it is very mundane with little challenge. Time ticks by so slow and its hard to concentrate. Its low stress though, which is great and hours are good. Its not bad overall but I bet a janitors day would go by quicker.

Fishindude

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I much prefer manual labor over all of the BS and people issues in management. 

JLee

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Current job. I think my future income potential would be lost if I were to change into janitorial work.

But, in my scenario, you don't need future income. You're just doing this until FIRE.

That probably depends on how far out I am in this scenario. With 7-10 years left to go, scaling income is still important to reducing the time I have left.

Rezdent

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Leave behind the stress, deadlines, meetings, politics, neutral-colored-cubicle-with-no-window-and-horrific-fluorescent-lights but keep the same income in a job that involves physical movement?
Yes.

Johnez

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I once worked at 7-11, loved that job. Had a fantasy about being the owner while pretending to only be the cashier. Dealing with customers and keeping a neat store was almost relaxing. Also loved my warehouse job. In, 10 hours hard work, out-done! Pay was actually pretty good ($70,000 anually), just hours sucked.

iknowiyam

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This is the only time I have ever selected "bacon" when given an option. I took it to mean: N/A, this question does not apply to my current situation.

forummm

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I once worked at 7-11, loved that job. Had a fantasy about being the owner while pretending to only be the cashier. Dealing with customers and keeping a neat store was almost relaxing. Also loved my warehouse job. In, 10 hours hard work, out-done! Pay was actually pretty good ($70,000 anually), just hours sucked.

Wait, 7-11 cashiers make $70k? I'd work bad hours for that. What did you do at the warehouse job?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 12:59:31 PM by forummm »

wordnerd

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I once worked at 7-11, loved that job. Had a fantasy about being the owner while pretending to only be the cashier. Dealing with customers and keeping a neat store was almost relaxing. Also loved my warehouse job. In, 10 hours hard work, out-done! Pay was actually pretty good ($70,000 anually), just hours sucked.

Wait, 7-11 cashiers make $70k? I'd work bad hours for that.

I believe he was referring to his warehouse job, but still good pay.

Dollar Slice

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i work as a janitor/caretaker in a school and i can attest to womens bathrooms. i don't want to have to pickup used tampons because you thought you could somehow flush them down a loo :(

I don't know if they still make these claims (I don't bother to read the box any more) but a lot of tampons were, and maybe still are, advertised as "flushable." Only when I got old enough to unclog my own toilets did I realize this was a lie! In my office building they don't put any waste receptacles in the stalls so people flush them all the time for lack of any other disposal method...

FIRE me

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I'm kind of burned out with my work. I was thinking that if I could keep getting paid the same, I would prefer to just do something like being a janitor until I hit my FIRE number. I used to be a janitor and it wasn't great. But it also wasn't terrible (except the pay). At the end of the day, and at the end of each hour, I had accomplished something. I didn't take my work home with me. I got some decent exercise. I didn't feel stressed or have trouble getting my work done. And I could think about whatever I wanted to.

At my current job I currently have enormous difficulty overcoming my procrastination. It's so hard to get myself to do certain projects. And it's really hard to see tangible progress on anything I do. And anytime I have a good idea I have to fight like hell for years to see it through to implementation. And I always have those unfinished projects hanging over my head, 24/7. And every day where I don't get much done I spend the entire time feeling bad about it. I do have the ability to sit in a comfortable chair and browse the internet, etc. So I recognize there are luxuries that would go away. But I am just dying to not have to do it anymore.

What about you?

So weird that you ask. Although my job is a blue collar position substantially more humble than yours, I recently had that exact opportunity.

Like you I am burned out and for many reasons I am not very happy. Counting down my last 8 months until FIRE is not helping, I am too eager to get the hell out!

For what it is, my job is sometimes relatively high pressure. Production numbers had better be good, despite machines that often malfunction, and despite some lazy coworkers on the same production line.

Loosely speaking, I am a machine operator. I run a PLC that runs the machines that makes the products. I don't just push buttons, I also do physical labor to make product. Depending on which product I'm making, some days the labor is very light, some days it is moderate, and some days it is almost brutal. 

I run the production line, and for that I get at least $2 more per hour ($10 more hourly than their starting pay) than the others who work the same line, but I am no one's boss. There is a lot of worker turnover. And you'd better not ever make a mistake that ruins product. I'm subject to 7 day weeks, and 12 hour days of mandatory overtime.

It is a union shop, and the cleaning crew gets the same pay as production workers.

A 40 hour, four days a week, day shift cleaning crew job was posted, and it had many advantages over my current job. Almost no forced overtime. Three day weekends. Flexible hours, even (work your 40 when you want, with supervisor approval and within reason). Voluntary overtime is often available. Much slower pace. Same pay as I currently enjoy.

There was just one opening, and dozens of people wanted it. I expressed an interest. It was mine for the taking.

I decided against it. I had a few reasons. Partly, as they say, better the devil that I know.

Although we had always got along fine, my potential new supervisor might best be described as “mercurial in mood”.

And maybe, some self image was involved that I didn't want to finish up my working days as a janitor.
 

LouLou

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My job (lawyer) is intellectually stimulating, and is getting more interesting the more skilled I become.  Plus I hate moving, so menial labor does not appeal to me.

gliderpilot567

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Leave behind the stress, deadlines, meetings, politics, neutral-colored-cubicle-with-no-window-and-horrific-fluorescent-lights but keep the same income in a job that involves physical movement?
Yes.

Yep.

I work in defense acquisitions. On my route to work there is a place where they are doing construction, digging ditches and laying cable. As I pass by, I look sadly at the guy digging the ditch and I envy him.

mohawkbrah

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i work as a janitor/caretaker in a school and i can attest to womens bathrooms. i don't want to have to pickup used tampons because you thought you could somehow flush them down a loo :(

I don't know if they still make these claims (I don't bother to read the box any more) but a lot of tampons were, and maybe still are, advertised as "flushable." Only when I got old enough to unclog my own toilets did I realize this was a lie! In my office building they don't put any waste receptacles in the stalls so people flush them all the time for lack of any other disposal method...


pretty sure it's a health and safety violation if you're not supplied with tampon bins. maybe lodge a query to the facilities manager of your office building?

Mmm_Donuts

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My menial job of choice would be dishwasher. Not too much heavy lifting, no dealing with customers, and I find washing dishes to be pretty peaceful.

FrugalFan

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And it's really hard to see tangible progress on anything I do. And anytime I have a good idea I have to fight like hell for years to see it through to implementation. And I always have those unfinished projects hanging over my head, 24/7.

I can really relate to this. But the positives still outweigh the negatives for now. If I could get paid the same doing something else, I would do it in a heartbeat. It could be the parts of my current job that I love, or a job that doesn't have that 24/7 scenario. A job I could just forget about the when I leave at the end of the day, and not have to work evenings, weekends, etc.

TravelJunkyQC

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Short answer: No

Long answer: I've had many jobs that were more physical than intellectual (cashier, dishwasher, waitress - the highest paying of the bunch). And although I worked them each for good reasons (I was a student, hours were easy to work my schedule around), and they were simple enough, THAT was the problem. I'd actually rather the opposite - I would take a lower paying more mentally stimulating job, rather than a higher paying mentally easy job. People think I'm weird, I know. My old job (which is in my field of content and communications) lost its stimulation about a year ago, and I used to cry at the office because I was bored and felt intellectually stunted.

Killerbrandt

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I would love to do janitorial work at a school if I got paid the same and small raises each year until FIRE. I use to clean at hotels and it was very interesting and not too stressful, I also did a free internship at a warehouse and THAT!!! was the best freaking job ever!! You could just get lost all day in the rows and rows of stuff and never get tired of seeing all the neat stuff. Also, I think Ben E. Keith is a good employer and took care of its people, so all the workers in the warehouses were really nice and did their jobs very efficiently.

2Birds1Stone

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I would stick to my current job.

I really enjoy the work I do and the things I get to learn about. Ask me in a couple of years =)

flyingaway

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I would like to keep my job. But I have noticed that the janitors are the happiest persons in our building. The one working around my office seems always happy, sings songs while working, and keeps cleaning the windows, desks, and bathrooms many times more than required. I do not know if he would be happier if he got my salary to do his job.

gaja

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DH looked for a janitor job before he got too sick to work, but those gigs are difficult to get here. You need at least one certificate (plumber, electrician, builder, etc) to get the job. Maybe because the janitors are not the ones cleaning the buildings, they only take care of the structural stuff.

I have started thinking about changing gigs, as the stress has gotten to me lately. But honestly, it is my own fault. Unlike forummm, noone says no to my ideas. But they expect me to get funding or do the new projects within my normal hours. If I could learn to say no, getting to a normal work load would be no problem. I don't to well with menial labour or getting bored. But a simple teaching gig, like going back to teaching basic Norwegian to immigrants or basic math to spec-ed students, could be relaxing. Those are part of my FIRE plans, anyway.

Retire-Canada

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I like the autonomy of the work I do and the relatively large impact I have on what happens day to day at the company. My work is not crazy stressful. If it was I might easily be lured into a high paying janitorial or bacon related job.

MickeyMoustache

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I love my job as a plant manager.  It's incredibly rewarding seeing the impact you can make on hundreds of other people just by working on making things better with them.  I'm not sure I want to move up anymore!

Drifterrider

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I am an accountant and work sitting down.  I've been a janitor.  I'll stick with what I have.

ZiziPB

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I've always wanted to be a bagger at a grocery store :-)  If paid the same, I would totally be a bagger.

Jack

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I voted "keep my current job" (as a software engineer), but the "bacon" option was really tempting!

Also, I hate cleaning stuff. My preferred "menial labor" job would be something more like construction (note: I realize most construction jobs are skilled) or truck-driving.

Actually, better yet, bike messenger! I would actually consider getting a Jimmy John's side gig, if I had the time...

mm1970

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I'm kind of burned out with my work. I was thinking that if I could keep getting paid the same, I would prefer to just do something like being a janitor until I hit my FIRE number. I used to be a janitor and it wasn't great. But it also wasn't terrible (except the pay). At the end of the day, and at the end of each hour, I had accomplished something. I didn't take my work home with me. I got some decent exercise. I didn't feel stressed or have trouble getting my work done. And I could think about whatever I wanted to.

At my current job I currently have enormous difficulty overcoming my procrastination. It's so hard to get myself to do certain projects. And it's really hard to see tangible progress on anything I do. And anytime I have a good idea I have to fight like hell for years to see it through to implementation. And I always have those unfinished projects hanging over my head, 24/7. And every day where I don't get much done I spend the entire time feeling bad about it. I do have the ability to sit in a comfortable chair and browse the internet, etc. So I recognize there are luxuries that would go away. But I am just dying to not have to do it anymore.

What about you?
Janitorial work would be too gross for me.

But I could do maybe some other labor.  In HS and college, I worked doing labor - bagging groceries, digging ditches, mowing lawns, gassing up trucks, loading/unloading pipe, painting dorms, making pizza, working as a cashier in the pizza place.

I'd probably pick something food related.  Working at a grocery store or something.

Tris Prior

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Hmm, maybe not janitor as I am terrible at cleaning. But menial work, sure - as long as it does not involve dealing with the public. Been there - people can be entitled assholes sometimes!

I used to work in a warehouse and I really enjoyed it - no corporate BS, few meetings, no sitting around pushing paper and trying to look useful. I could physically see what I'd accomplished at the end of a day and that felt great. And I liked moving around the warehouse and being on my feet.

That being said, the pay was crap. When I found out the company was closing, I looked around for similar jobs that might pay a living wage, but they all had a lifting requirement that I couldn't meet. (not an issue in my previous job; our products were small and I actually didn't need to haul around that much stuff; mostly I was filling orders, quality controlling and packaging up product.)

My current job pays well but I have had a really hard time adjusting to all of the SITTING that is involved. I get up and walk around as often as I can but no one else seems to do that here. And I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to look busy and producing things that are kind of nebulous where in my warehouse job I could clearly see what I'd done all day.

irishbear99

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Just want to point out that your poll results are probably skewed. When bacon is a choice, always choose bacon.

forummm

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Just want to point out that your poll results are probably skewed. When bacon is a choice, always choose bacon.

Yeah, my research article based on this poll is going to have a complicated methods section and a hard time getting published.