Certain jobs have such a significant impact on our society that no amount of pay can truly match their value.

A user asked the forum, “What’s the most thankless job?”. Here are the common responses. 


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“Sanitation, namely janitors or garbage disposal.”


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“Referee. Call the game well, and you just did your job. Make a mistake, and you’re nothing short of a villain.”


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“Hospital housekeepers, janitorial staff, etc. Without them, every hospital everywhere would halt. A sterile environment is mandatory for every hospital.

I spent so much time talking with the staff at the hospital where my sister recently died, and they were surprised to be thanked. Such hard workers do the behind-the-scenes work that ensures the hospitals stay clean and sterile.”


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“From personal experience, funeral work is one of the most thankless jobs.”


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“Person who retrieves lost luggage. They might work for 30 years without even seeing a happy person.”


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“Emergency Room Staff. You can push yourself to exhaustion, forgoing meals, breaks, or even a chance to pee. But patients (and their families) will curse you up one side and down the other because they have to wait for the most minor problems.”


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“Veterinary Medicine. The highest suicide rate of any industry, poverty wages, and people screaming at you constantly for not working for free.”


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“I work with special needs people. Luckily, most people appreciate our job, but the pay is horrible.

I made 1800 euros with almost ten years of experience. Most bank-type jobs start at 2000 euro + company car, laptop, etc.”


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“School bus driver. They only get paid a little, work minimal and weird hours (which inhibits their ability to get a full-time job elsewhere), and simultaneously deal with kids, their parents, and school administration. Where’s Bus Driver Appreciation Day?

Note: I’m not a bus driver, have never been a bus driver, and don’t know any bus drivers personally. However, I feel it’s a very underappreciated job critical to the education system in the United States.”


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“Warehouse. Bust yourself all day to reach ridiculous body-destroying numbers. I get talked down to my management all day. Get taken advantage of if you’re a hard worker. Never receive tips or extra pay. Then go pick up some food on the way home after a 12-hour shift and get dirty looks from servers because you don’t tip for takeout.”


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“Cashiers. Your average person suffers at self-checkout. There is some skill involved in fast scanning.”


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“The people that pick up dead animals on the roadside.”


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“Anyone working in psychiatric or behavioral health care facilities. We get injured, spit on, cursed at & deal with unstable and often violent people daily. We are grossly underpaid & expected to magically (and quickly) fix everything while trying to provide care for people who cannot care for themselves.”


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“Any customer service job. The customer can be wrong; in fact, my experience is that they are usually totally wrong or just being a jerk because they know they won’t be called out on it.

I used to work in customer service at a fast food place. I was screamed at regularly if something was out of stock, if the ice cream machine was broken, if we didn’t accept your expired bus ticket coupon, if I asked you to leave because you were drunk and shouting random abuse at people, and if we had to close because of a power outage in the area. I, the minimum wage employee, am responsible for all these things, apparently.”


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“Nursing at any level. People say nurses are so awesome, but that’s where it ends. There is no action put behind it. It’s just words. I’m a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). I started in 2005 at $17 per hour. Now I make $20. It’s insulting.”


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“Uber/Lyft drivers. Taxi drivers. Truck drivers. Bus drivers. Train drivers. Pilots. Food delivery drivers. Sanitation workers/women. The list goes on. As someone who does not drive, I greatly appreciate anyone who has a job transporting people and goods.”


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“Custodians. I work as a teacher and help them by making my room spotless before the last bell rings for the day. What’s great is that the students also volunteer to help clean up.”


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“Street cleaners, I tell them what a wonderful job they do keeping the roads clean, and most of them comment it’s the first time they have ever been thanked.”


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“Repoman/debt collector. No one is thanking those folks.”


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“Farmers. No one ever praises them, but they clothe and feed us.”


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“Everyone who works with cancer patients. I have been fighting a deadly, aggressive cancer for two years. The oncologist treating me is the same one who saved my mom’s life 18 years ago when she was told she had weeks to live. He is part of a group in New Jersey called Astera Cancer Care. Every single person that works there is amazing. 

I have my doctors, palliative care nurses, and one of my treatment nurse’s cell phone numbers with an open invitation to call whenever I need them. These folks are amazing. They deal with justifiably angry and upset people daily, yet they always smile and look out for anyone who needs it. 

A simple thank you goes a long way with them, as they are not used to that. Without any of them, I can not imagine making it as far as I have. They are the most amazing people I have ever met!”


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“Teaching. We are either the villains or the ones who will ‘fix the kid’ or the ones causing society to fall apart.”


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“It can depend on the job, but we do many things for which we get no credit. We take abuse constantly and aren’t valued by our employers. For example, we can get injured in the line of duty and get nothing. No income for however long it takes to heal. We work long hours and rarely make more than minimum wage.”


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“Executioners. The people they execute never thank them.”


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“Information and Technology (IT). The phrase ‘Why do we even have IT?’ can carry drastically different meanings, especially depending on whether or not you’ve had a ticket in for all of a zeptosecond.”


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“Mechanic. Service advisors only care about pushing sales. All take no give.”


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“Corrections officer. It has to be one of the worst jobs you can get.”


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“Store clerks. We have to bag your stuff, sweep the floors, wash the toilets, help people outside, bring in the carts because the general public is too dumb to do it themselves, and deal with hundreds of people’s behavior five days a week.”


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“Addiction counselor. Everyone is selfish, cranky, and not willing to put in the work to define triggers, work on stopping use, habits, or a good relapse prevention plan. It’s a high burnout field.”


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“Pizza chef. You make the pizza. The customer eats it. Then you make another one. Rinse + repeat.”

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