Working while most people are sleeping is a nocturnal mind game. In addition to a regular pattern of sleep, normalizing one’s relationships, food schedules and a healthy state of mind are just a few things night shift workers can relate to.
When night shifters were asked to share their scariest stories on Reddit, one person’s response in particular sounded like it was straight from a horror film.
Reddit user Zensandwitch’s story gives us a new respect for all the zoo employee out there.
I work nights as a zookeeper. Sometimes we have to check on the Gorillas in their indoor holding. You walk down a dark hallway, maybe six feet from their enclosure. All you have is a flashlight and it’s sometime after midnight. Your goal is to check on each gorilla to make sure they are okay. The gorilla’s goal is to scare the ever loving shit out of you. It’s a game for them to get you to scream. They love hiding behind walls, sneaking up on you, and then bellowing as loud as they can right next to you. It’s a fun game for them.
Haunted houses have nothing on gorilla jump scares.
Cool. A gorilla’s “fun game” to play at night is to terrify any human they encounter. Here’s what people had to say about it.
Shit I can only imagine how scary that shit must be. – Frogmire1
Aw it’s like the scare game I play with my son. Thankfully my son doesn’t weight 500 lbs and could smash me into the ground. – Chronjen
Okay, seriously, there needs to be a video of this. – WithADashOfPepper
I’d rather be in a room with a hungry tiger than a bored gorilla. That story is literally my worst nightmare. – 3p141592653589793238
But the big surprise was when someone asked Zensandwitch to tell them more about working nights at a zoo. After reading this living horror story, one would think the response would have some sort of negative spin but we were mistaken.
Honestly, it took me six years of hard work to get my entry level job. Luckily nights is one of the easiest teams to get on (most people aren’t willing to do the hours).
Zookeeping can be easy or hard depending on the day. It takes physical strength and is challenging mentally. You need to be good with talking to the public, because education is a major factor in the job. You also need a scientific background, and many keepers turn into researchers as they move up the ladder. You will work for free (sometimes for years) to get your first job that pays almost nothing.
You might have opportunities to travel and do conservation work in the field. Your coworkers will be brilliant, passionate, and probably stubborn. You don’t have to like them but you will have to literally trust them with your life. You will fall in love with the animals you work with, but you have to know that they don’t love you back.
You need to be freakishly observant. You will get messy in ways you didn’t know possible. You will smell bad. Work will make you bleed, sweat, laugh, and cry. You will feel alive in ways that office jobs can’t compete with.
It’s the best job in the world.
So there you have it. Even with the continuous gorilla game encounters, it can still be “the best job in the world.”