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The Ultimate Crappy Job? Bangladeshis Pan Gold in Sewers

While we all might get "a case of the Mondays," the story of the job these Bangladeshis do is so intense, it makes most job complaints pale in comparison. A new market has opened in the sewers of Dhaka, Bangladesh and for those who have the entrepreneurial spirit, they’re literally finding gold. The catch? You have to pan it from human waste in an open sewer. That’s right, people are now digging through sewage in an effort to make money.

With gold reaching a high of $1,000 an ounce, many who endeavor to such extremes find it rewarding. One such “miner” was quite matter of fact about his work: “I used to think that this work was really nasty, but I’m used to it now, it’s just my job and it brings me money.” And it does. The sewer which runs alongside nearly 350 gold shops into which gold specks and occasionally the odd piece of jewelry fall. These shops belong to a centuries-old bazaar run that employs nearly 20,000 people. When the shops are swept clean gold and other bits of precious metals are swept into the drain along with urine, feces, and any other garbage you can imagine.

To see how much these workers make,


Sometimes a team of three can find as much as $50 a day in gold. On average it is estimated that someone in this line of work will make about $12 a day, but that may soon change as the price of gold begins to rise and fewer customers visit this historic gold market. It's estimated that nearly two-thirds of all the workers in this market will be let go by the end of the year which, in turn, means that the sewer miners will be up the proverbial creek when it comes to their livelihood.


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