5 Survival Gigs That Took Survival Too Seriously

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Most of us are all too familiar with the idea of survival gigs. We can commiserate over awful customer service gigs, and eccentric boomers that didn’t want to pay us our worth. Raise your hand if have been underpaid but overworked before! I’m not the only one with a resume that looks like a bingo card of jobs straight from hell. This is why when I watch horror movies with people battling ghost demons on the clock I get stressed. I have quit jobs for less and don’t understand this dedication our characters seem to have for their survival gigs. This could never be me but I find it fascinating to watch these characters stick it out. Which is how we got to this week’s streaming guide.

I present to the Midnight Society, 5 Survival Gigs That Took Survival Too Seriously!

Alien (1979)

Where You Can Watch: Showtime

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A ship investigates a distress call and ends up being invaded by murderous aliens. We all like to use this as an example of what happens when you don’t listen to women. To be fair, Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) told these dummies to follow protocols that would have saved them a lot of aliens and violence. However, Parker (played by the late Yaphet Kotto) was the only member of the team to say no when they decided to make this deadly sidequest. Had they listened to him, Ripley never would’ve gotten her moment. This would’ve been a twelve-minute movie where we assume everyone gets home safely. He says, “It’s not in my contract to do this kind of duty” and asks about a bonus if they want to start negotiations. This is the only character on this list that understood the severity of the situation. Unfortunately, he would become the first in a long line of Black characters that would die in this franchise.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Where You Can Watch: Shudder

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A father and son working as coroners receive a murder victim with no apparent cause of death. First off, morgues are not my ministry. I don’t go looking for the dead and hope they don’t come looking for me. Secondly, when things start going sideways in a morgue you should leave work immediately. Jane Doe gave them both so many reasons to leave before they remembered that was an option after it was too late. I would’ve personally switched careers the first time something supernatural happened and I would’ve left Jane Doe for the next stooge. As the surprise battle turns deadly, I couldn’t help but think how they ignored the signs and kept trying to treat Jane like a normal day in the office. 

The Innkeepers (2011)

Where You Can Watch: Amazon Prime, Peacock, The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Vudu

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Two employees decide to investigate their hotel’s haunted past as it’s closing its doors for good. I assume most of the awful places I have worked at are haunted. I never felt the need to risk my life and limb to prove it though. Claire (played by Sara Paxton) is also the worst co-worker because she’s doing too much in this haunted place right before it closes for good. We should be doing less work when our place of business is shuttering up. Not more, Claire! Not only is she making the last days of this job extra stressful, but she’s also having a hard time listening to common sense. When a medium tells you to stay out of the basement, you stay out of the basement!

Mayhem (2017)

Where You Can Watch: Shudder 

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A virus spreads through an office building causing the toxic work environment to turn violent. I’m obsessed with Steven Yeun (who plays Derek Cho), but I wouldn’t have been here when this chaos went down. That’s because I would’ve quit the first time someone yelled at me in this shitty company. Even before the virus pushed people to start fist fighting in break rooms, this was a tense environment. It’s overrun with selfish, self-important jackasses that get off on belittling each other and their assistants. Because I’m paid less than my male counterparts, I know I would not be making enough to stick it out with these corporate mind games and backstabbers. Shudder also offers a version of the film with commentary by Steven Yeun and director Joe Lynch. 

Slaxx (2020)

Where You Can Watch: Shudder

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A possessed pair of jeans begins to kill off the staff of a clothing store leaving the new girl to figure out how to stop the carnage. Customer-facing jobs are awful without the merchandise trying to strangle you. The fact that the new girl, Libby (Romane Denis), is starting on an already hectic day was already a red flag. What if I don’t want to be locked inside the store for an overnight on my first shift? Does this store not believe in training employees? Why are they asking for so much when the paperwork is still being signed? This is a lot of suspicious behavior coming from management that would already have me looking into new jobs before the jeans started killing my co-workers. I also don’t like that they make employees pay out of pocket for their new clothing lines to wear on the floor. This is another hard pass for me. 

If your favorite’s not on this list then, check out Dread Central’s own Girl, That’s Scary episode on this very topic. Let me know if you’d also quit these survival gigs with me at @misssharai.

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