They’ve got 45 minutes to get it all done
In roughly the time it takes that lady to wedge her oversized roller bag into the overhead bin, these guys have to do ALL the things listed, absolutely perfectly. There is literally a ticking clock at the gate telling them how long they have to make sure a 75-ton piece of metal will safely float through the air. And major league pitchers complain about a pitch clock.
If they mess up, they go to prison
Not even kidding. Screw up in most jobs and at worst, you get fired. If a ramp agent messes up, an airplane could literally fall out of the sky and hundreds of people will be killed. And that ramp agent may find him or herself behind bars. So yeah, maybe that email you accidentally sent isn't quite the crisis you thought it was.
And for all that, they don’t make much money
What do you get for braving the elements, working under intense pressure (and under the threat of criminal charges), and protecting the lives of thousands every day? Depending on the airport, airline, and your level of experience, a whopping $14-$17 an hour. So, yes, clearly they do it for the love of illuminated orange sticks.
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