If you are living in the Middle Ages, you are experiencing the period between AD 1000 and 1500. This is a time of castle building and cathedral construction, honour, chivalry and the development of the law. However there are also horrible wars and such significant hiccups as outbreaks of the Black Death and rebellions.
While noblemen and their ladies flounce around in sumptuous clothes and are entertained at court and tournament, an army of unlucky souls toils away in some spectacularly hideous employment. In this time of thanes and barons, the lowly peasant is in for a rough time. The worst jobs in the Middle Ages are pretty grim.