Millions of Americans work outside, in agriculture and fishing, construction and shipping, and in the burgeoning outdoor hospitality industry. While it may seem dreamy to office workers the world over, people who work outside often face tougher conditions, from longer hours or seasonal work to how much their bodies can take. In this episode of Still Working, we talk with a minor league baseball player, a dairy farmer, and a City of Pittsburgh lifeguard. Each of their workplaces carries a whiff of nostalgia: the glory of a summer ballgame, the steadfastness of the small American farmer, the sweet relief of the pool on a scorcher of a summer day. But they’re also challenging places to work.
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Jonathan Schwind struggles with others’ questions of when he’ll reach the major leagues; Paige Friedline has woken up before dawn for most of her working life and worries about the future market for dairy products; and Alexxis Turner is responsible for the safety of hundreds of people.
In Long Hours, Sunburns, And Fly Balls: What It’s Like To Work Outside, they explain how they spend most of every day out in the elements for their jobs, vulnerable to the weather, dependent on their bodies, and surrounded by unpredictable colleagues—children learning to swim can be just as ornery as dairy cows.