Number 1? Mathematician. Which is partly me. Number 2 is actuary, which is barely different than number 3, statistician, which is me all over. But we also have 12 (philosopher), 13 (physicist), and 15 (meteorologist), which are various flavors of me.
Six out of the top fifteen ought to see me skipping down the street each day (if I didn’t worry about slipping on the ice), smelling the flowers (if there were any in this deep freeze), smiling at children (who dangerously crowd the sidewalk), and whistling happy tunes (I worry my lips would freeze together).
Yet I am less than sanguine.
Maybe it is because I don’t completely trust the “study.” After all, job number 14 is “parole officer”, which, if Career Cast is right, is better than being a weatherman. Sitting on your wallet hoping your “client” doesn’t find out where you live is better than explaining vorticity to somebody?
How did they come up with these numbers anyway? Well, being in the top three is supposed to guarantee a job “indoors and in places free of toxic fumes or noise.” Obviously, these people have never been to a hospital before, where I work. The scents emanating from the public toilet outside our ED are so obnoxious they are actually visible.
The last job in the list, number 200, is Lumberjack. What boy, or man remembering being a boy, doesn’t want to be a lumberjack? Career Cast cares about safety. They worry you might stub your toe tripping over a log. I’d care about dropping enormous trees with pinpoint precision with just a chainsaw and then heading to the bar for a cold one. Or two.
Number 199 is Dairy Farmer. True, you’re going to see a lot of cow shit, but it’s beats the stuff they continuously shovel at job number 10, Accountant.
Some others in the bottom twenty: Seaman, Roofer, Welder, Auto Mechanic, Butcher, Fireman, Garbage Collector.
For the last eleven years I have seen the same two guys drive their garbage truck down my street. They are always chatting and appear happy. They are outside and not hunched in front of a computer. There’s very little stress. They get good pay and benefits and first dibs at any choice garbage1. They don’t need to shell out cash for a gym membership to “exercise”, which is better defined as work that you pay for. In every parade I’ve ever been to, it’s the garbage men following after the horses that get the biggest applause.
Butcher? Free meat and access to sausage of every type, being covered with blood in a manly way, and flirting with housewives. Auto Mechanic? The satisfaction of fixing something with your hands, the chance of custom jobs, the relish of being needed. Fireman? The benefits are too plain to mention.
All the jobs at the bottom are those that scored low on Career Cast’s “Physical demands (crawling, stooping bending, etc.)” index. Somehow, these keyboard punchers decided that these were negatives instead of the positives they truly are. It’s easy to imagine the folks over there have never gotten their hands dirty and view the prospect with horror.
For me, I’d rather be a Construction Worker like my dad (number 190) than a Medical Lab Technician (number 16) any day.
1I think I stole this line from Mike Royko.