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5 Jobs That Require You to Be a Jerk

Topics: Work Culture

Treat people as you’d like to be treated. It’s the Golden Rule in life, but it also applies to business. Most of us believe that if we’re nice to our coworkers and customers, good things will happen in return. Right? At the very least, it can’t make things worse to be nice. But according to Reddit, not all jobs are created equal, and sometimes you have to be a jerk in order to get your job done.

In no particular order, here are Reddit’s picks for the jobs that require you to be a jerk.

jobs for jerks
Image Credit: Heidi/Flickr


For those working in sales, it’s all about making quotas and quarterly sales targets. It’s just the nature of the job. One Redditor explains that it’s not just that salespeople are jerks to potential customers; they’re also jerks to each other.

“They’ll fight other salesmen for a stupid f****** deal. Any little s***** thing they can do to get ahead. Whether it’s at the expense of a salesmen or a customer, they don’t care.” This perspective comes to you from an actual salesperson who agrees that most salespeople are jerks.

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Call Center Operator for Charity or University

The main focus of this kind of call center operator is to get the client to donate the most amount of money, regardless of whether they can actually afford it or not. And although people working these jobs have the best of intentions, the pressure to clinch a donation can make not only the call operator feel like a jerk, but can also make the person on the phone feel bad because they can’t afford the requested donation.

Drill Sergeant

No surprises here. It’s literally a drill sergeant’s job to be a jerk — at least, in a way that motivates you to get into top physical form. Just thinking about a drill sergeant brings images of a screaming, angry man standing over lines of recruits doing pushups.

One Redditor, who was a drill sergeant for three years, shares his perspective: “Truth is, even though there were times when you were legitimately pissed, most of the time it was an act. So much of the s*** privates would do was just out of sheer ignorance and stupidity that you had to stifle a laugh and act super pissed even though you weren’t. We knew it was usually not intentional, but you had to put the scunion on them anyways. Just the way it is.”

Property Manager

Collecting rent from people pays the bills, but apparently it also makes you look like a huge jerk. Think about it: property managers always end up being the bad guy at the beginning of the month when rent is due. That isn’t to say that every single property manager is a jerk. It’s just that it kind of comes with the job territory.

University Parking Enforcement

Ah, parking enforcement. The Ticket Fairy. Lovely Rita. Whatever you might call them, if you’ve found yourself with a big fat parking ticket from one before, you probably think they are all jerks. Thinking about letting your car run while you quickly turn in a paper? There is a ticket for that. Park a little outside of the lines? There is a ticket for that, too. Of course, if we all just followed the parking rules, nobody would have to be a jerk.

Tell Us What You Think!

Do you think you have to be a jerk to have these jobs? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!

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JOrionFouresterLukeShoal CreekEarle Lerner Recent comment authors
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Earle Lerner
Earle Lerner

Totally agree (sometimes) on the Sales people. I’ve tried very hard to foster a work culture (among 25-30 sales people) that nurtures teamwork, a very high degree of ethics, core values, etc. To a large extent, we’ve been very successful in that regard. However.. there are a few individuals who very much embody those qualities highlighted in your article. The bottom line though.. is that it all comes down to how to deal with a high producer who may be… Read more »

Jeff Stubing
Jeff Stubing

How about suburban policeman? 90% of your time is spent trying to make your fellow citizens pay hundreds of dollars for breaking the same laws that you break every day both on and off the job.


How about journalist? I say this for 2 reasons: 1. you are presumably a journalist and your crass generalisation about sales people annoyed me (you are a jerk). If you walk into a shop and you want to know about the products you are thinking of buying you need someone there who is well informed and can tell you what items work well, are on discount etc. Further up the food chain – when big companies make purchasing decisions they… Read more »

Shoal Creek
Shoal Creek

The best sales people, fund raisers, and property managers are always friendly, personable, and honest. The worst have a reputation, like used car salesmen and door-to-door vacuum salesmen. Those who use hardball tactics lose sales in the long run (few repeat customers). Those who use personable, caring, and honest techniques often get the same repeat business over and over again. Sure, honest, caring sales people’s short term sales may be lower, but over a course of years, they’ll create a… Read more »


People are paying an arm and a leg to go to college in the first place, and then on top of that they are forced to pay parking?!?! That should literally be covered in your tuition!!!


Lame list. Attorneys, particularly plaintiff’s attorneys, should be at the top of the list. Not only are they professional a**holes, they are con artists too as they must constantly tell themselves that by being in utter a**hole, they are doing right by their clients. No wonder there is so much depression, anxiety, and burnout amongst lawyers.

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