Over the years, I've had the opportunity to do a variety of different jobs. From making fishing lures with molten lead to lifting heavy objects while unloading shipments in retail and climbing on ladders and roofs with hammers and sharp objects in the construction world, I can appreciate real job hazards.

Even less active jobs have their hazards. Being at a desk all day can lead to health problems due to inactivity. Eye strain from staring at monitors all day or repetitive movements with your hands and wrists while typing and using a computer mouse have their own negative effects.

Since starting in radio here in Duluth well over 10 years ago now, I've noticed another interesting job hazard that I can't say I've ever seen or heard from anyone before. Making it worse is the fact that I work in Northern Minnesota, where the weather amplifies this bizarre job hazard.

What is this odd job hazard? In short, static electricity. But it gets weirder than that.

As I mentioned, working in Northern Minnesota makes this issue worse all due to the fact it gets so dry during the winter months, helping static electricity get generated more easily when walking across the carpet, getting out of a chair, and doing other tasks that lead to you rubbing or brushing up against things.

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As anyone living in this part of the world knows, this can be a bit of an issue around any office or home. Grabbing a doorknob, brushing up against a metal corner in a sheetrock wall, or touching up against some other metal object can lead to one of those unexpected zaps that always seem to hurt way more when you don't expect them.

Specifically in my job here at the radio station, I have had multiple very odd run-ins with static electricity. Almost all of them are related to the microphone I use to capture my voice and send it out to the world.

TSM Duluth
TSM Duluth

On more than one occasion, I've gotten a static shock on my teeth or my lips after getting my face too close to a microphone. In case you're wondering, yes both of those really hurt! That's not the weirdest one, though.

On several different occasions, I've managed to glance my chest against my microphone as I stood up to greet a guest or to leave the studio for a moment. On nearly every occasion, the point of contact has been one of my nipples. YOWZA!

After once or twice, I thought it was just a very strange coincidence. It has happened several times over the years, happening twice in just the last couple of weeks! Knowing this is an issue, I consciously take preventative measures and try to keep a bit of distance from my microphone when standing up or walking around the studio, but it continues to happen.

I know I'm not the only one in the biz that has dealt with this issue either. While nobody I know is willing to admit to teeth or nipple shocks, I know a lot of broadcasters have dealt with this, particularly during the winter. Heck, our engineer is even suggesting our staff be aware of shocks, as it might be causing equipment issues from time to time.

While I am not by any means trying to compare this with work hazards like exposure to toxic fumes, dangerous heights, or sharp objects, the fact that it is a recurring thing in my life, despite efforts to mitigate it, has me marking it down as a quirky job hazard of working in the radio world.

20 Most Expensive Counties In Minnesota To Live In

According to 2022 data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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