Learning from dirty jobs | Mike Rowe

Learning from dirty jobs | Mike Rowe


The “Dirty Jobs” crew and I were called to a little town
in Colorado, called Craig. It’s only a couple dozen square miles. It’s in the Rockies. And the job in question was sheep rancher. My role on the show, for those of you
who haven’t seen it — it’s pretty simple. I’m an apprentice, and I work with the people
who do the jobs in question. And my responsibilities
are to simply try and keep up, and give an honest account
of what it’s like to be these people for one day in their life. The job in question: herding sheep. Great. We go to Craig and we check into a hotel, and I realize the next day that castration is going to be
an absolute part of this work. Normally, I never do any research at all. But this is a touchy subject,
and I work for the Discovery Channel, and we want to portray accurately
whatever it is we do. And we certainly want to do it
with a lot of respect for the animals. So I call the Humane Society and I say, “Look, I’m going to be castrating
some lambs. Can you tell me the deal?” And they’re like, “Yeah,
it’s pretty straightforward.” They use a band, basically, a rubber band,
like this, only a little smaller. This one was actually
around the playing cards I got yesterday — (Laughter) But it had a certain familiarity to it. And I said, “Well, what exactly
is the process?” And they said, “The band
is applied to the tail, tightly. And then another band is applied
to the scrotum, tightly. Blood flow is slowly retarded; a week later the parts
in question fall off. “Great — got it.” OK, I call the SPCA to confirm this. They confirm it. I also call PETA just for fun, and they don’t like it,
but they confirm it. OK, that’s basically how you do it. So the next day I go out. And I’m given a horse
and we go get the lambs and we take them to a pen that we built, and we go about the business
of animal husbandry. Melanie is the wife of Albert. Albert is the shepherd in question. Melanie picks up the lamb,
one hand on both legs on the right, likewise on the left. Lamb goes on the post, she opens it up. Alright. Great. Albert goes in, I follow Albert,
the crew is around. I always watch the process done
the first time before I try it. Being an apprentice,
you know, you do that. Albert reaches in his pocket to pull out,
you know, this black rubber band, but what comes out instead is a knife. And I’m like, “Hmm, that’s not
rubber at all,” you know? (Laughter) And he kind of flicked it open
in a way that caught the sun that was just coming
over the Rockies, it was very — (Laughter) It was … it was impressive. In the space of about two seconds, Albert had the knife
between the cartilage of the tail, right next to the butt of the lamb, and very quickly, the tail was gone
and in the bucket that I was holding. A second later, with a big thumb
and a well-calloused forefinger, he had the scrotum firmly in his grasp. And he pulled it toward him, like so, and he took the knife
and he put it on the tip. “Now, you think you know
what’s coming, Michael, You don’t, OK?” (Laughter) He snips it, throws the tip
over his shoulder, and then grabs the scrotum
and pushes it upward, and then his head dips down,
obscuring my view. But what I hear is a slurping sound, and a noise that sounds like Velcro
being yanked off a sticky wall, and I am not even kidding. Can we roll the video? No, I’m kidding, we don’t — (Laughter) I thought it best to talk in pictures. I do something now I’ve never, ever done
on a “Dirty Jobs” shoot, ever. I say, “Time out. Stop.” You guys know the show, we use take one;
we don’t do take two. There’s no writing, there’s no scripting,
there’s no nonsense. We don’t fool around, we don’t rehearse — we shoot what we get! I said, “Stop. This is nuts.” I mean — (Laughter) “This is crazy. We can’t do this.” And Albert’s like, “What?” And I’m like, “I don’t know
what just happened, but there are testicles in this bucket, and that’s not how we do it.” He said “Well, that’s how we do it.” I said, “Why would you do it this way?” And before I even let him explain, I said, “I want to do it the right way,
with the rubber bands.” And he says, “Like the Humane Society?” I said, “Yes, like the Humane Society. Let’s do something that doesn’t make
the lamb squeal and bleed. We’re on in five continents, dude! We’re on twice a day
on the Discovery — we can’t do this.” He says, “OK.” He goes to his box and pulls out
a bag of these little rubber bands. Melanie picks up another lamb,
puts it on the post, band goes on the tail,
band goes on the scrotum. Lamb goes on the ground,
lamb takes two steps, falls down, gets up, shakes a little, takes another couple steps, falls down. I’m like, this is not a good sign
for this lamb, at all. Gets up, walks to the corner. It’s quivering, and it lies
down and it’s in obvious distress. And I’m looking at the lamb
and I say, “Albert, how long? When does he get up?” He’s like, “A day?” I said, “A day! How long does
it take them to fall off?” “A week.” Meanwhile, the lamb that he had just done
his little procedure on is, you know, he’s just prancing
around, bleeding stopped. He’s, you know, nibbling
on some grass, frolicking. And I was just so blown away
at how completely wrong I was, in that second. And I was reminded how utterly wrong
I am, so much of the time. (Laughter) And I was especially reminded of what a ridiculously
short straw I had that day, because now I had to do
what Albert had just done, and there are like 100
of these lambs in the pen. And suddenly, this whole thing’s starting
to feel like a German porno, and I’m like — (Laughter) Melanie picks up the lamb,
puts it on the post, opens it up. Albert hands me the knife. I go in, tail comes off. I go in, I grab the scrotum,
tip comes off. Albert instructs, “Push it way up there.” I do. “Push it further.” I do. The testicles emerge. They look
like thumbs, coming right at you. And he says, “Bite ’em. Just bite ’em off.” (Laughter) And I heard him, I heard all the words — (Laughter) Like, how did I get here? How did — I mean — how did I get here? It’s just — it’s one of those moments
where the brain goes off on its own, and suddenly, I’m standing
there in the Rockies, and all I can think of is the Aristotelian
definition of a tragedy. You know, Aristotle says
a tragedy is that moment when the hero comes face to face
with his true identity. (Laughter) And I’m like, “What is this
jacked-up metaphor? I don’t like what I’m thinking right now.” And I can’t get this thought
out of my head, and I can’t get that vision
out of my sight, so I did what I had to do. I went in and I took them. I took them like this, and I yanked my head back. And I’m standing there
with two testicles on my chin. (Laughter) And now I can’t get —
I can’t shake the metaphor. I’m still in “Poetics,” in Aristotle,
and I’m thinking — out of nowhere, two terms come crashing
into my head, that I hadn’t heard since my classics professor in college
drilled them there. And they are “anagnorisis”
and “peripeteia.” Anagnorisis and peripeteia. Anagnorisis is the Greek
word for discovery. Literally, the transition from ignorance
to knowledge is anagnorisis. It’s what our network does;
it’s what “Dirty Jobs” is. And I’m up to my neck
in anagnorises every single day. Great. The other word, peripeteia, that’s the moment
in the great tragedies — Euripides and Sophocles. That’s the moment where Oedipus has
his moment, where he suddenly realizes that hot chick he’s been sleeping with
and having babies with is his mother. That’s peripety, or peripeteia. And this metaphor in my head — I’ve got anagnorisis
and peripeteia on my chin — (Laughter) I’ve got to tell you,
it’s such a great device, though. When you start to look for peripeteia, you find it everywhere. I mean, Bruce Willis
in “The Sixth Sense,” right? Spends the whole movie trying to help
the little kid who sees dead people, and then — boom! — “Oh, I’m dead.” Peripeteia. You know? It’s crushing when the audience
sees it the right way. Neo in “The Matrix,” you know? “Oh, I’m living in a computer program. That’s weird.” These discoveries
that lead to sudden realizations. And I’ve been having them,
over 200 dirty jobs, I have them all the time, but that one — that one drilled something home
in a way that I just wasn’t prepared for. And, as I stood there, looking at the happy lamb
that I had just defiled — but it looked OK; looking at that poor other little thing
that I’d done it the right way on, and I just was struck by — if I’m wrong about that, and if I’m wrong so often,
in a literal way, what other peripatetic misconceptions
might I be able to comment upon? Because, look —
I’m not a social anthropologist, but I have a friend who is. And I talk to him. (Laughter) And he says, “Hey Mike, look. I don’t know if your brain is interested
in this sort of thing or not, but do you realize
you’ve shot in every state? You’ve worked in mining,
you’ve worked in fishing, you’ve worked in steel,
you’ve worked in every major industry. You’ve had your back
shoulder to shoulder with these guys that our politicians are desperate
to relate to every four years, right?” I can still see Hillary
doing the shots of rye, dribbling down her chin,
with the steel workers. I mean, these are the people
that I work with every single day. “And if you have something to say
about their thoughts, collectively, it might be time to think about it. Because, dude, you know, four years.” So, that’s in my head,
testicles are on my chin, thoughts are bouncing around. And, after that shoot,
“Dirty Jobs” really didn’t change, in terms of what the show is,
but it changed for me, personally. And now, when I talk about the show, I no longer just tell the story
you heard and 190 like it. I do, but I also start to talk
about some of the other things I got wrong; some of the other notions of work that I’ve just been assuming
are sacrosanct, and they’re not. People with dirty jobs
are happier than you think. As a group, they’re
the happiest people I know. And I don’t want to start whistling
“Look for the Union Label,” and all that happy-worker crap. I’m just telling you
that these are balanced people who do unthinkable work. Roadkill picker-uppers whistle
while they work, I swear to God — I did it with them. They’ve got this amazing
sort of symmetry to their life. And I see it over and over and over again. So I started to wonder what would happen if we challenged
some of these sacred cows? Follow your passion — we’ve been talking about it
here for the last 36 hours. Follow your passion — what could
possibly be wrong with that? It’s probably the worst advice I ever got. (Laughter) Follow your dreams and go broke, right? I mean, that’s all I heard growing up. I didn’t know what to do with my life, but I was told if you follow your passion,
it’s going to work out. I can give you 30 examples right now. Bob Combs, the pig farmer in Las Vegas who collects the uneaten scraps
of food from the casinos and feeds them to his swine. Why? Because there’s so much protein
in the stuff we don’t eat, his pigs grow at twice the normal speed,
and he’s one rich pig farmer. He’s good for the environment, he spends his days
doing this incredible service, and he smells like hell,
but God bless him. He’s making a great living. You ask him, “Did you follow
your passion here?” and he’d laugh at you. The guy’s worth — he just got offered
like 60 million dollars for his farm and turned it down, outside of Vegas. He didn’t follow his passion. He stepped back and he watched
where everybody was going, and he went the other way. And I hear that story over and over. Matt Freund, a dairy farmer
in New Canaan, Connecticut, who woke up one day and realized the crap from his cows
was worth more than their milk, if he could use it to make
these biodegradable flowerpots. Now he’s selling them to Walmart, right? Follow his passion? The guy’s — come on. So I started to look at passion, I started to look
at efficiency vs. effectiveness. As Tim talked about earlier,
that’s a huge distinction. I started to look at teamwork
and determination. And basically, all those platitudes
they call “successories” that hang with that schmaltzy art
in boardrooms around the world right now, that stuff — it’s suddenly
all been turned on its head. Safety. Safety first is … Going back to OSHA and PETA
and the Humane Society: What if OSHA got it wrong? I mean — this is heresy,
what I’m about to say — but what if it’s really safety third? Right? (Laughter) No, I mean, really. What I mean to say is: I value my safety on these crazy jobs as much as the people
that I’m working with, but the ones who really get it done — they’re not out there
talking about safety first. They know that other things come first — the business of doing
the work comes first, the business of getting it done. And I’ll never forget,
up in the Bering Sea, I was on a crab boat
with the “Deadliest Catch” guys — which I also work on in the first season. We were about 100 miles
off the coast of Russia: 50-foot seas, big waves, green water
coming over the wheelhouse, right? Most hazardous environment I’d ever seen, and I was back with a guy,
lashing the pots down. So I’m 40 feet off the deck, which is like looking down
at the top of your shoe, you know, and it’s doing this in the ocean. Unspeakably dangerous. I scamper down, I go into the wheelhouse and I say, with some level of incredulity, “Captain — OSHA?” And he says, “OSHA? Ocean.” And he points out there. (Laughter) But in that moment, what he said next
can’t be repeated in the Lower 48. It can’t be repeated on any factory floor
or any construction site. But he looked at me and said, “Son,” — he’s my age, by the way,
he calls me “son,” I love that — he says, “Son, I’m the captain
of a crab boat. My responsibility
is not to get you home alive. My responsibility
is to get you home rich.” (Laughter) You want to get home alive,
that’s on you.” And for the rest
of that day — safety first. I mean, I was like — So, the idea that we create
this sense of complacency when all we do is talk
about somebody else’s responsibility as though it’s our own, and vice versa. Anyhow, a whole lot of things. I could talk at length
about the many little distinctions we made and the endless list of ways
that I got it wrong. But what it all comes down to is this: I’ve formed a theory, and I’m going to share it now
in my remaining 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It goes like this: we’ve declared war on work,
as a society — all of us. It’s a civil war. It’s a cold war, really. We didn’t set out to do it and we didn’t twist our mustache
in some Machiavellian way, but we’ve done it. And we’ve waged this war
on at least four fronts, certainly in Hollywood. The way we portray working people on TV — it’s laughable. If there’s a plumber, he’s 300 pounds and he’s got a giant butt crack, admit it. You see him all the time. That’s what plumbers look like, right? We turn them into heroes,
or we turn them into punch lines. That’s what TV does. We try hard on “Dirty Jobs”
not to do that, which is why I do the work
and I don’t cheat. But, we’ve waged this war
on Madison Avenue. So many of the commercials that come out
there in the way of a message — what’s really being said? “Your life would be better
if you could work a little less, didn’t have to work so hard,
got home a little earlier, could retire a little faster,
punch out a little sooner.” It’s all in there,
over and over, again and again. Washington? I can’t even begin to talk
about the deals and policies in place that affect the bottom-line reality
of the available jobs, because I don’t really know; I just know
that that’s a front in this war. And right here, guys — Silicon Valley. I mean — how many people have
an iPhone on them right now? How many people have their BlackBerry? We’re plugged in; we’re connected. I would never suggest for a second that something bad
has come out of the tech revolution. Good grief, not to this crowd. (Laughter) But I would suggest that innovation without imitation
is a complete waste of time. And nobody celebrates imitation the way “Dirty Jobs” guys
know it has to be done. Your iPhone without those people
making the same interface, the same circuitry,
the same board, over and over — all of that — that’s what makes
it equally as possible as the genius that goes inside of it. So, we’ve got this new toolbox. You know? Our tools today don’t look
like shovels and picks. They look like the stuff
we walk around with. And so the collective
effect of all of that has been this marginalization
of lots and lots of jobs. And I realized, probably
too late in this game — I hope not, because I don’t know
if I can do 200 more of these things — but we’re going to do as many as we can. And to me, the most
important thing to know and to really come face to face with, is that fact that I got it wrong
about a lot of things, not just the testicles on my chin. I got a lot wrong. So, we’re thinking —
by “we,” I mean me — (Laughter) that the thing to do is to talk
about a PR campaign for work — manual labor, skilled labor. Somebody needs to be out there,
talking about the forgotten benefits. I’m talking about grandfather stuff, the stuff a lot us probably grew up with but we’ve kind of —
you know, kind of lost a little. Barack wants to create
two and a half million jobs. The infrastructure is a huge deal. This war on work that I suppose exists,
has casualties like any other war. The infrastructure is the first one, declining trade school enrollments
are the second one. Every single year, fewer electricians,
fewer carpenters, fewer plumbers, fewer welders, fewer pipe fitters,
fewer steam fitters. The infrastructure jobs that everybody
is talking about creating are those guys — the ones
that have been in decline, over and over. Meanwhile, we’ve got
two trillion dollars, at a minimum, according to the American Society
of Civil Engineers, that we need to expend
to even make a dent in the infrastructure, which is currently rated at a D minus. So, if I were running
for anything — and I’m not — I would simply say
that the jobs we hope to make and the jobs we hope to create aren’t going to stick unless
they’re jobs that people want. And I know the point of this conference is to celebrate things
that are near and dear to us, but I also know that clean
and dirty aren’t opposites. They’re two sides of the same coin,
just like innovation and imitation, like risk and responsibility,
like peripeteia and anagnorisis, like that poor little lamb,
who I hope isn’t quivering anymore, and like my time that’s gone. It’s been great talking to you. And get back to work, will you? (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Learning from dirty jobs | Mike Rowe

  • Bit the nuts off! You bit them off… they bite them… like… chomped em off. They just chew off a lambs chops… why wouldn't a cigar cutter work! Go to staples get some fiskers scissors!

  • I know this is old, but trades isn't always what it's cracked up to be. I graduated high school in 1979, and yes you could go down to the carpenters union, or the plumbers union or as in the case of my friend, the bricklayers and get an apprenticeship. We had kids who graduated with AC&R certificates and journeyman's papers. The union would send you on jobs. The problem today is that those unions are all gone, and so are the chances. My friend Kenny was a bricklayer for 11 years, he made good money, but there were always off cycles. So he may have no jobs lined up. He began to work more as a subcontractor, who would bid on a job against others. If another person put in a lower bid then they got the job. After 11 years he went to school to become an RN. So yes trades are important, but it is the highly skilled that make the money.

  • Yes, Mike, you are a norma, compassionate person. I feel it's not humane, and their needs to be another way. I can assure you, both animals were hurting, the ones body was just in shock
    K, so he didn't hurt as much, YET.
    How about NOT castrating them, just keep the males and females separate when necessary! I lived on a farm and we didn't castrate animals. Farmers are to lazy AND greedy nowadays to do it the humane way! They just think this is the only way cuz that's how they were taught!
    l

  • Mike Rowe is a Big TRUMPER kind of guy!!! I believe he doesn't like Unions which brought folks quite a bit of laws that benefit the working man.Makes a lot of Dollars pretending he supports the working man !!!!

  • As a retired union Ironworker, good talk Mike, and all of it rings true- no shame in getting yer hands dirty to get the job done. Also a good point you made- why has the narrative in the U.S. gone after blue collar trades like we're a bunch of ne'er-do-wells? Nevermind, we'll just keep on getting it done. Thanks Mike!

  • Until this guy has worked as a nursing ASSISTANT Cleaning out old peoples assholes he has not done the dirtiest job in this country .

  • Used to think he was a good guy, till he started bad mouthing unions even though he made his money off of working men and women many of whom were union members!
    He's a fake and a phony just milking the "working man shtick " for all the money he can get out of it.

  • People really do not celebrate the difficult, dirty jobs as much as they should. I do a mostly clean job where I work, but I never turn down the chance to get dirty hands and a sweaty brow while I am there. The product of your work is something always worth the hard effort. Those people who remain only to do the clean work seem to be less happy in their working time aswell. It's time to give it your all and see what you can accomplish if you just try.

  • 2.1 plus ppl never had their hands or knuckles cut before 8 o’clock in the morning. We are your infrastructure. We built your toys, we built your bathrooms , your houses and your roads. We are the backbone of this country.heres to the blue collars.

  • I remember when i was in 5th grade the teacher asked us what we wanted as a career or job when we grew up. I said construction, because i think i would like building things. The other kids laughed, thought it was a poor mans job. The teacher had to correct them, saying that it was a good job. I became an electrician at 18, foreman at 23. And now living very comfortably at 29.

    I lost my job.

  • It's not a question of dirty jobs or hard work. What people need to understand is that there are times when violence is warranted and you must get violent to achieve the desired results. It's not gratuitous or senseless violence. The sea is not always calm. Feminists won't understand because they're always babbling on about feeling safe and they vilify the lion heart, the fighting spirit of the spiritual knight, peaceful warrior.

  • Amazing speaker. His vocabulary is masterful and the way he talks just really captures your attention. It's been a long time since I had seen such a well-articulated speaker.

  • Man mike is such an amazing speaker. This is probably the only TED talk that i actually sat through and listened. I dont have ADHD but the majority of the TED people that speak are extremely boring which makes me click off within 5 minutes.

  • I’m not sure I buy the whole thing about banding not being the best way to do castration? I was curious because I may want to own livestock in the future, so I looked up a couple examples.

    https://youtu.be/5UrCHbxTJbA

    https://youtu.be/5k6qrj4DSQ8

  • 10 years later, still nobody cares about skilled trades. The modern world runs on skilled trades, many of which are way underpaid. Mike Rowe is a hero to the working man. Thank you, sir.

  • You are all liars. Monetizing as for your 90 about your search history public record show it. You know what I know now. Do you know Nino is coming in their fire on the Dino Nino Nino Nino is free now don’t drop that meat do you know you know Tina. Tina lived in Fossett cleaner and ONE of your team was in college in there and they do recall the heavy it was Eddie who is on that steady with Bettie.

  • oh wow this is the first time ive heard people talk about craig! i lived there for a few years and i want to move back there someday :')

  • that makes me think of people talking about "OSHA" and I was working in a decent restaurant I was changing out the fryer. We had this guy that was an OSHA rep and he said "oh did you know that when you clean out the fryer you are supposed to wait till the oil is cold so it doesn't burn you?" Me: Did you know if you are wearing proper clothing that isn't an issue plus if I waited for it to be cold it's actually MORE dangerous because of all the thick sludge it doesn't pour back as easily causing more spills and cold oil does clean as easily as hot so that means more slips. On top of that it's scrape out the excess flour which then means health-code violation because of all the build up of rotten flour in the fryer fiters." My issue with OSHA, ServSafe, and other organizations like that is it feels like a bunch of white collar bureaucrats that have never worked in a trade in their life. And 90% of their policies just screws the tradesmen over. Granted there's things I understand like avoid cross contamination, clean nails, having a dishwasher that has really hot water to kill bacteria. BUT when you dock a person down for not using gloves while plating a dessert when THAT'S ALL they are plating it's like c'mon it's a freakin cookie.

  • For anyone who was interested in seeing the footage of this. You're welcome 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U15GjrHRLxo

  • Mike rowe is a fuckin legend. I went to college, and I'm a financial analyst (but more an accountant) and I really love my job. However, I'd be so proud if my future children went into a skilled trade. It's so important, and it's one of the most rewarding jobs you could have.

  • I grew up watching dirty jobs as a child. Easily one of my favorite shows. One of my favorite things to do was draw and create art. I almost wound up going to college for graphic design and a lot of graduates from my school did. I went the other direction. I went to trade school and became an electrician. I’m stress free and love the work I do. I get to help people solve their problems and create their dream homes. With this job I could afford the things I wanted on my own without help. A new car and be financially independent. I’ve recently started my own family and I am only 22 years old. Mike Rowe in my opinion is one of the most intelligent people alive and I thank him for opening my eyes to another career path. If it wasn’t for the show dirty jobs I may still be struggling with depression anxiety and worrying about how I can afford to live. Keep up the good work mike!

  • Awesome talk Mike, thanks to all the work you do to make sure the little man is not forgotten. Side note. During the great depression when Henry Ford was having to lay off 70,000 employees he started that today it is impossible to get an honest days work out of a man unless he is cought and can not get out of it. There is plenty of work to be done, but few honest men to do it. If only he could see us now.

  • I work at pizza hut and I'm the beat dough slinger, and my work area is pristine clean… because I'm a pharmacy tech intern 🙂

  • In college my biggest anxiety was going broke from student loans. Before I could ruin my life, I halted my classes, turned down credit card offers, and I finally have a pharm tech job, debt free, and I'm even planning on buying a car straight off the lot.

  • Kids used to make fun of me for suspending college to obtain financial stability via trade school. Those same kids are drowning in student loans and working menial tasks in minimum wage jobs.

  • I grew up on welfare and my first job (at 13) was to crawl inside of boilers and scrap off the sludge. But, I was brought up with the concept that if I wanted something I had to earn it.

  • Mike Rowe, if you don’t want to do another 200 episodes, take me on the show as your apprentice lmao. I’m serious though. This show needs to keep going to bring light to the industries that are being overshadowed and getting less workers year after year.

    Loved the speech and love the show. So if discovery and you are interested in an apprentice for a apprentice lol(me working for Mike) reply to me ✌️

    100% serious. No lying.

  • Abraham Lincoln once said, ‘character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing’.

  • I dropped out of school when I was 14 years old and started Roofing. These days I'm the director of operations for a roofing company and make a six-figure income. My wonderful wife was blessed with a good education and finished seven years of college. She makes half the income I do and has about $100,000 in student debt. She has repeatedly said that I made much better choices than she did. Food for thought.

  • This is one Ted talk worth sharing. Especially with the kids who see failure in NOT being destined for a college degree.

  • 10 years ago, Mike Rowe is crushing it! Still learning and providing education. Still jovial and intelligent…. one of the best storytellers I've ever been privileged to experience.

  • As a cleaner at a huge produce market and distribution centre in a major Australian city, I do more for the environment than any given 100 university students protesting….. Just saying.

  • My Pa told me to get a tech license and then jr college and university because like him I couldn't go straight to university.

    Like him I tried straight to university and had to leave for medical issues.

    Now it's onto welding and back to jr college 100% in my Pa's footsteps.

    Hopefully my children will be smarter than I and go to tech first.

  • Funny thing, I actually bit the nuts off of a lamb as a dare. I was working as a farm hand at Arkansas State University. The professor teaching the class said if you’ve never done this you have to bite them off. We weren’t in the class but I said, “I’ll do it if you do!” So we both bit some off. Mmm salty. Mike also came to our college to film our cow with the hole in her belly so you can take the rubber plug out and look inside of her. He also came and shot an episode with graduate student who was researching dung beetles.

  • I'm not at ALL Gay…. but i could totally see how Women and some men would want this guy to take them to Pound Town lol. he is SO fuckin Masculine and COOL AS ICE!

  • This is the first time I truly heard Mike Rowe do public speaking. He is not a blue collar worker, he is a well educated person who makes his living educating the public on what a blue collar worker is and how he lives. I applaud Mike for what he has done in bringing some of the most disgusting jobs people could possibly do to the limelight.

  • And here we are 10 years after this was aired, and we are still lacking and losing trade schools and jobs. College is great, but not for all, let's get back to the professions that carried this country on their backs.

  • Mike Rowe is a genius and so prophetic. Where are we now? The jobs he talks about are now the most highly paid in the country. I went to college 45 years ago, got a good paying administrative job and retired. If I were to do it all again now, I would save the four years of college, take on a trade, teach others, likely be a millionaire and have skipped the comparitvely tiny loan I had to take in 1977!

    He’s a “National Treasure”, indeed. “Somebody has to do it”

  • Hairdresser here, I spent my first few years after highschool in college for Accounting. Absolutely despised it, I hated going to college. I decided to do something I thought would be interesting for myself, hairdressing. It was a big risk as I grew up in an Asian family who valued education over most things. Ten years later, one of the best decisions of my life, I'm making more money than if I stuck with accounting with no debts to pay. It's very reassuring to know that my skills and knowledge will always be wanted no matter where I go. Point is, don't let social pressure force you into college or university. It is not worth it; the only thing I regret is not having someone tell me this when I was younger.

  • Mike Rowe is; educated, intelligent, articulate, committed to the jobs most people won't do, a phenomenal speaker and a legend. Love this guy.

  • No, we waged war on working for other people that are massively profiting at our expense, but we did what we always do with injustice: we overcompensated and said work is bullshit period. When you work for yourself, or with a community for mutual benefit, and you work as hard as you can, it is immensely satisfying.

  • I work at as a School Cleaner. I get to exercise a lot just by working, gets to chat with the student and getting complimented by the other employees.
    Not bad.

  • Mike I have so much respect for you. When I was in FFA in high school the worst thing I saw was dehorning cattle . Have you ever seen that ? Most farmers now just breed polled livestock rather than do that.

  • And in a fascinating epilogue, Mike did try in that moment of clarity to describe for the sheep farmers his newly-found insights into anagnorisis and peripeteia. But all they were able to make out was , "Mumble mumble mumble, mumble mumble!"

  • I am an engineer. I have done, and do, things that most people find horrifying. I loved the old Dirty Job show, as I did so many of them. He nails it here.

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