Jeremiah Rogers

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Your job doesn't suck.

I spent some time the other day talking to men at the Ijen volcano in Indonesia, who get paid 900 Indonesian rupiah (just under 8 cents) per kilo of sulphur they pull from a volcano. This is arguably one of the worst and most dangerous jobs in the world, and 8 cents per kilo of rocks hauled 3 kilometers down a mountain is a rough way to make a living.

The fumes inside the Ijen volcano are so toxic that many tourists wear gas masks, but these workers just wrap a cloth or surgical mask over their face. One worker I talked to weighed 57 kilos and can carry up to 90 kilos at a time out of the volcano. He works every day that it’s not raining and earns, at my estimate, $400-450 in a good month. That’s actually an above average income for Indonesia, GDP per capita is $291/month, but I would not want his job.

Someone seems to be teaching these guys English. All the ones I talked to are very friendly, good at English, and smart.

So think about that. Your job probably doesn’t suck as much as his, and you probably get paid a lot more.