4 Jobs To Take If You Hate Humanity

Do you need money, but absolutely hate people? Do you dislike having to fulfill the most basic requirements of your position, and feel that you’ve earned the world’s biggest, most delicious cookie every time you do so? Well, do I have some job options for you! Any one of these would satisfy your undying need to be cruel and/or hopelessly indifferent to the people you encounter, but I recommend trying all of them within a year for maximum soul-crushing effect.

1. Salesperson In An Upscale Boutique — It should be stated, right off the bat, that retail is no fun. For the most part, it’s a lot of dealing with customers who aren’t always incredibly nice, but are always incredibly demanding. But then, that’s about 95 percent of the service/hospitality/retail industry in general. So, you know, that comes with the territory. And I’ve worked in an upscale boutique, a place where I could afford absolutely nothing that was for sale (until I convinced myself that two paychecks’ worth of income was a fair price for shoes, as you do) so I know exactly what it’s like. But what is it, precisely, that drives the women and gay men that work in these stores, stand behind these counters, and glare from next to the jewelry cases to treat customers with such incredible disdain? What teaches these people that they are better than anyone who walks through the door and that anyone who crosses their paths should be met with the kind of stink eye that could kill a child? I hate to break it to you, but there is absolutely no difference between someone who works at Old Navy and someone who works at Cusp, Dior, or whatever other store that manages to convince cashiers they are doing humanity a favor by standing around. Pro tips:

  • Don’t look at customers with judgmental eyes. It makes them feel uncomfortable/ugly, and beyond losing a potential customer, you’re making the world just a little bit sadder.
  • You work at a clothing store, probably making between 9 and 12 dollars an hour, stop buying the clothes your store sells. I know you get a discount, but that’s how they lure you in. IT’S A TRAP
  • Do not be mean to women, even ones you think are too fat/unattractive to be wearing your clothes. I know that some of you actively decide what people should and should not wear the products you sell (I’ve seen it) and you are what is wrong with society.
  • There is nothing more awesome than a retail worker who is actually nice and helpful without being pushy–you could all afford to be like that. Stop lingering next to the leather jackets with that lemon-sucking stare and join in. Life is too short to be terrible to customers.

2. Barista – Three hundred years from now, when one looks up the word “Barista” in the dictionary, one will find “n. Entitled, pretentious 20-something with minimal employable skill and maximal disdain for his fellow man.” Again, I was a barista myself. Twice. I actually enjoyed the job, and would gladly do it again. There’s no shame in pouring coffee, but there’s also no glory in it. It is what it is–pouring a cup of coffee. Yes, you can convince yourself that you’re remaking the wheel every time someone asks for an extra dollop of foam, but you are performing a basic set of tasks and the vast majority of your job is to be nice and accommodating to the people who come into your establishment–which is where so very many baristas fail. Here are a few things you should never let a barista convince you of, no matter how self-righteous their diatribe:

  • Tips should be mandatory: No, sorry. They don’t make a waiter’s wage, they make usually between 7 and 10 dollars an hour. No, that’s not a lot of money, but no, it’s also not intended to be supplemented by tips. They are not performing the kind of task that would regularly deserve one, as pouring a drink and cleaning up after it are the most basic points of their job description. Sure, it’s nice when a customer tips, and I like doing it if I order something particularly difficult or get to know my baristas really well. But it’s just icing on the cake. Nice when it happens, not something to guilt trip people over if they fail to comply.
  • Coffee is hard: No, it’s not. You learn the procedures, you become familiar with how the different coffee tastes and what it mixes well with. It’s not some magical set of spells and incantations that you learn over high-moon ceremonies as you sacrifice a chicken with your shift manager–it’s making god damn espresso. For the record, every food-industry employee in Europe (and many other places around the world) are required to learn everything about making coffee drinks on top of their other duties, and no one thinks they have earned an Olympic medal for doing so.
  • Coffee is the new wine: Ehh, fine. If you are into coffee, sure. If you are really, overly, egregiously into coffee…whatever. Everyone is entitled to like whatever they like. But don’t let people push you into “tastings” and talk to you about the “jams” they did over the weekend and expect you to do anything more than nod along detachedly. You are more than entitled to like your super sugary, milky coffee-based drink with ice and whipped cream or whatever you like, and that doesn’t make you any less cool than they are. If people want to be pretentious and elitist about their hot cup of flavored water, let them, but don’t feel stupid for ordering your hazelnut latte. Those things are delicious.

3. Lifeguard – You know, perhaps we should start paying our lifeguards more–or just get rid of the position altogether. Either way, this whole “entrusting the safety of swimmers to tanned sixteen-year-olds who spend the afternoon playing grab ass and twirling the whistle around” is not really working out for us. Think about it, have you ever seen a lifeguard doing anything besides practically falling asleep in their chair or talking to the other lifeguards as they blast incredibly inappropriate music at the family pool? I don’t know, I feel like most communities would think it important to entrust someone with this position who seemed at least marginally invested in whether or not the people swimming lived or died. A few questions I have for lifeguards:

  • Why do you want to be a lifeguard? Because you get really, really tan? It’s 2011, that tan is bad for you, you are going to look like a California Raisin when you grow up, little white girls.
  • Do you actually know emergency procedures? I am willing to bet a significant amount of money that the answer is no, even if you say yes.
  • Why do you insist on playing uncensored Lil Wayne albums at the pool? I don’t want my little cousin to hear about his universal willingness to perform oral sex.

4. IT Person – Let me just say, right off the bat, that these people don’t hate humanity so much as they must hate themselves to choose such a masochistic profession. Sure, they will quickly come to hate humanity in all its ineptitude, but they probably started out with relatively good intentions. But how many times can they save the day for people who’ve ruined their computers with Limewire-downloaded porn, are unable to use anything other than Internet Explorer, or can’t open up Outlook before they lay their heads down on a battered Dell laptop and blow their brains out? I would probably last three days, and that’s being generous. Don’t get me wrong, I am not very computer-savvy. But having to help my mother alone when she can’t figure out how to edit a Power Point presentation or unzip a file has made me fear for her entire generation. The idea that my job would be to help homes or even offices full of people who don’t know what a driver is wakes me up in cold sweats. Just a few reasons I feel people go into IT:

  • They committed some terrible sin in their youth that they feel they must repent for before they meet their creator.
  • They enjoy explaining to the same secretary on a bi-weekly basis not to eat her muffins directly over her keyboard.
  • They need a daily dose of hatred for humanity to fuel their all-night sessions on /b/ and The Forum.
  • They really enjoy installing McAfee/Norton over and over again.

And if none of these career paths work out, and you still want to exercise your disdain/indifference for your fellow man, you can always just get it over with and become a really sketchy, unreliable drug dealer. Better hours, honestly. TC mark

image – iStockphoto.com, Evgeniy Meyke

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • Jason

    A DMV employee should be in this as well!

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      I’ve never seen anyone have problems at the DMV that they didn’t create for themselves. Examples: not having the correct paperwork, out of date ID, only cash/no cash/only checks instead of whatever their required form of payment was, being a dickhead first, etc.

  • mashka

    you’re spot on with the first one.  I walk into upscale places always in fear that I’ll be treated the way Julia Roberts was in Pretty Woman. Not that I’m a hooker, nor do I dress like one- but I always feel like if I’m not waltzing in with some perfect outfit, holding a Louis Vuitton and flashing my black Amex, I’m going to be treated like shit.

    You should add bouncers to that list though, f’real.

    • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

      Oooh a very necessary addition. 

  • lifeguard

    as a lifeguard who has worked in gym pools, waterparks and other places, i will answer your questions:
    why do i want to be a lifeguard? i get paid $9 and hour to sit in a chair and stare at a pool, and occasionally clean it. 
    do you actually know the emergency procedures? yes, ok lets bet. we go through a 24 hour course where we watch videos for hours doing a simple task, then we get to repeat it for hours. and we repeat that every year. and on top of that we do in services where we practice the skills some more. maybe you may not be able to wrap your head around the simple concepts of victim extraction and possible CPR, but i know many dumb 16 years who can, and i’ved seen them do it. 
    why do we insist on playing uncensored lil’wayne albums at the pool? to motivate the guests to not come to the pool so we don’t have to watch you swim

  • macgyver51

    I don’t know about the lifeguard one. Maybe when it comes to community pools and such, but I’d say that most professional lifeguards on both coasts at least take their job somewhat seriously.  There rest are very much so.

  • goldglass

    One of my old friends is now a barista in Chicago and she. hates. everyone. Then she humblebrags about her stuffy cafe: “I don’t understand why my stupid customers come all the way to Hyde Park from Logan Square for our coffee.” “It’s so stupid that we got written up in the tribune.” While reading #2, I could faintly hear her sighs of exasperation. Well done!

    • No that one!

      #humblebragging    I like it

      • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

        Me too. Swag-jackin’ that.

      • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

        Me too. Swag-jackin’ that.

      • Nic

        it’s a twitter feed.

  • Duarte Joanna

    First off, I have worked retail and the customers are the problem. I have tried to be the nice retail associate and people feel like they have the right to treat me with disrespect, and like a piece of crap just because I’m supposed to be there to attend every one of their whims. So after all this horrible treatment yes I began to hate people. Because people become horrible human beings when out shopping from the parking lot to the checkout line. So shoppers need to understand that retail associates are people too and not their servants.

  • Matt

    Hating humanity is something that is developed from lifeguarding, not a prerequisite in the hiring process. It’s like being a teacher, but, you know, without all of the respect and appreciation.

    • http://twitter.com/iamthepuddles irreverent puddles


    • Nico

      ha ha ha, because teachers get SO MUCH respect and appreciation.

  • Catt

    Having worked under the director of technology for middle schools, I feel justified in saying that it makes you want to shoot everyone and then yourself.

  • Kelso

    I’ve seen a lifeguard save someone.
    The reason they don’t do anything very often is because people normally aren’t drowning.
    But when they are, lifeguard’s have the training + certification to do something about it.

    Also, all my baristas are normally very polite, and I enjoy chatting with em.  Maybe you go to the wrong coffeehouses?

    I thought this would be a more serious article, and was gonna add my own job to the list, which is conservation work with the Forest Service- I spend upwards of 3 weeks at a time in the mountains and rarely have to speak to any real humans other than my coworkers.  Perfect for a misanthrope!

  • lolastrawbunny

    i always thought there was mor eto scooping ice cream until i read this. and it is what it is…scooping ice cream, dammit. my life has no meaning :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Carter/1376610723 Elizabeth Carter

    I am a lifeguard at a community pool and I performed six rescues on active drowning victims this summer alone. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/iamahmad Ahmad Radheyyan

      I’m so proud of you.

    • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

      Active drowning victims, as opposed to passive ones.

      *edit – I just learned that this is a real thing. I find this very amusing.

      • http://twitter.com/iamthepuddles irreverent puddles

        YEAH, J. KY MARSH, EAT THAT. but yayyyyyy Elizabeth saved them before they went unconscious!

  • http://www.facebook.com/iamahmad Ahmad Radheyyan

    Not sure why I would work directly with the public if I hated  humanity so much, but okay.

  • tracy

    hhaaaaa baristas!  that was so accurate (and funny).  i used to be one, too, and now when i get ‘tude, i just have to laugh at them (and myself).

    also, i try and be really nice to the IT people at work.  their jobs suck.

  • http://twitter.com/jkymarsh J. Ky Marsh

    IT description was completely accurate. However, you forgot another key motivation for getting into the career:


    • mmk

      An IT person here and some of it’s true. Hopefully you work to get to a much higher position than you start out with as base IT support sucks. The steady and good paycheck is a plus. Outside of that, it lets you get toys or enough alcohol to drown out your stress.

  • Kodi

    I wasn’t half as bitter and jaded till I got a retail job. It is Toys R Us though, jesus so many screaming  mothers. 

  • http://twitter.com/galette_rois Julian Galette

    Having worked in both IT and at a movie theatre – movie theatre would be the better choice. Movie goers are the scum of the earth.

  • Newport

    Funniest writer on tc. Get it guuuurl

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    You forgot copyeditors. Makes you wonder where authors’ minds have gone while writing

    • Muertecaramelo

      I must have been some daga-carrying-bad-as-fuck-lets-get-that-heart-out aztec priest on another life because I’m a copyeditor and can’t think of anything as soul degrading. 
      Karma is a bitch.

      • diana

        copywriters, too.

  • http://twitter.com/iamthepuddles irreverent puddles

    oh fucking gahd, my first job was a lifeguard. worst, worst, worst summer of my life. being a lifeguard isn’t a job you take if you already hate humanity, but it IS a job that will make you hate it. our lifeguard certification wasn’t your standard red-cross thing though, it was some ridiculous “technique” “developed” after a child drowned in a pool in florida, and we were required to “scan” the pool (whether it was a big pool or a fucking slide drop pool) every 45 seconds. we had to actually use our arm to sweep the water and follow it with our eyes – not like “actually use our arm” in an “omg how dare you make me move” way, but  in a “do you know how fucking ridiculous you look waving your magician arm every 45 seconds across a 12x10ft, 2ft deep pool” kind of way. and like, realistically, a lifeguard is there to enforce the rules of the water park, so it is really fucking infuriating having to tell people over and over and over and over again to stop breaking rules. it;s like, i’m sorry but there’s a sign on every level of the staircase coming up this slide saying “no tandem” tubes, like sorry i’m not going to get fired so that you can be an asshat. fuck water parks

    • Anonymous

      That would be the Ellis and Associates Lifegaurding Certification, and the scanning time is 10/20. That would be ten seconds to spot anything abnormal, and twenty seconds to get to it. Perhaps you would have lasted longer than a summer if you had known that,  rather than forty five seconds, which is grossly over the limit, by that point in time, the GID (guest in distress) would be into the third stage of drowning, which is of course if you had studied…unconciousness… Also, that “Using your hand” thing, only applies to when you’re scanning into your zone. It shows clearly to the exiting lifegaurd where you have scanned, so that you can take over and they can leave, knowing that the water has been scanned properly. And yes…People tend to break the rules…Its part of life, and its part of our paycheck to deal with guests, and their concerns. Water Parks, and more specifically, resorts can be the only source of income in many areas, so trust me, some people actually take it serious, like us two year veterans.  To OP, 1. I like to help people, and ensure that they are safe and happy. A Resort is the perfect place to do all three. 2. I am an Ellis and Assoc trained lifegaurd certified in CPR, Basic First Aid, and the use of an AED on infants, children, and adults, and yes, I am always at a test, and audit ready level. 3. Little Wayne is awful. Plus our facility doesn’t allow music.

      • http://twitter.com/iamsubmerged Jordana Bevan

        Yeah, yeah, yeah I know all that. 10/20 blah blah. But we were required to scan the pool with the hand thing every 45 seconds, not just when we were switching posts, which is what I was referring to there. I mean, at a real pool, okey dokey, sounds good. But at the bottom of a water slide in 3 ft of water, not much is gonna get by you. ya know? blarrrrrghhh

        ps I can still run through every prompt from the training/weekly in-service (whistle whistle whistle code red lifeguard needs assistance, i need a backboard and a trauma bag *YOU* call 911! I’m clearing the area, checking for any dangerous or harmful objects, blah sifbsldjhbfljsbfjdbfjhbsdjhbfdsf)

  • http://twitter.com/caaalebbb Caleb Reidy

    whats with all these TC articles pretentiously degrading pretension. seems self-refuting.

  • Courtneypickard

    question #1: i want to be a lifeguard because i get paid good money.
    question #2: i know all of the emergency procedures taught to me that the YMCA of Las Vegas has to offer.
    question #3: What are you talking about?  Lil Wayne is perfect swimming music.  It goes great with the sexual tension in the swimming pool.  Women are in tiny ass bikinis and guys think there gonna get some cause lil wayne is playing and theres babes in the pool.
    There is also a correction of the age of the lifeguards.  Were all older then 18 years old and we do a great job saving people when the opportunity rises.  Thank you.

    Above is the response my 19yo brother emailed to me when I sent this to him. He is in college and works at Treasure Island as a lifeguard and I love him to pieces.

    • C.

      Hahaha that is too funny!! :)

    • http://twitter.com/no_cazador hunter ray


  • Kelsey

    Lighten up salespeople/baristas/lifeguards/IT people!!! It’s an OPINION piece….and fucking hilarious.

  • RH

    You’ve described an IT position that could be filled by anyone born after 1985 with a pulse, no IT experience required.

  • Amnesiacsiblings

    I hate humanity without having ever held a job. Terrified of the future.

  • http://twitter.com/vickstahs Vicky Nguyen

    I kind of get the structure, but it kind of seems as though the writer changed her mind halfway through and just went, “to hell with it if the readers don’t understand what the hell I’m saying, I’m funny damn it!”.

    I dunno. It’s alright. I guess.

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