Number one on my Bucket List this week: to track down whoever it is that runs the U.S. website CareerCast.com. Purpose: to corner the doofus and give his/her head a good shake.
CareerCast has just published its list of the best and worst jobs of 2012. I had to read it twice to be sure I wasn’t having an acid flashback from the ‘60s.
According to CareerCast, two of the best jobs you can have are ‘actuary’ or ‘financial planner’.
Actuary? Best job? Do you think the folks at CareerCast actuary know what an actuary does? My dictionary defines ‘actuary’ as a person who compiles and analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums.
That’s a ‘best job’, huh?
Perhaps it’s because I’m still carrying Grade 10 algebra, but I would rather be trapped in a stalled elevator with Donald Trump than spent a nanosecond sitting at a desk toiling as an actuary.
As for being a financial planner, let’s see now … would that be like filling out your income tax form forever?
CareerCast’s list of ‘worst jobs’ is equally exasperating. The absolute worst job, they say is ‘lumberjack’ — what western Canadians call ‘logger’.
Well, I’d call it dangerous, for sure and there’s no question that felling trees in the forest is a strenuous way to make a buck. But worst job in the world?
Do you think the folks at CareerCast.com ever unclogged a septic field? Dodged a rodeo bull? Crawled on their bellies through a rat-infested attic?
I’ve never been a logger but I have been a dairy hand and a restaurant waiter — and those jobs also make CareerCast’s worst job list.
Balderdash. I’ve worked at both those occupations and, aside from crummy tippers and the occasional cow tail in the eye, found plenty to enjoy about them.
As somebody once said, anything can be a dead-end job if you’re a dead-end guy.
I’d be happy to simply dismiss CareerCasts dismal listings with a shrug if it weren’t for the job they’ve slotted as the tenth worst — broadcaster.
Now hold on just a minute.
I worked behind a microphone at CBC radio for 30 years and I can tell you it was easily the best job I ever had.
Well, think about it: no heavy lifting, all the tea or coffee you can drink, a roof over your head, a company computer with unlimited Internet access, free review copies from book publishers and the odd complimentary ticket to a hockey game, a movie or a stage show.
No dress code of course — its radio, nobody can see you. I could read the Six O’clock news wearing a Bozo the Clown nose and a purple tutu and no one would be the wiser.
Plus, all the training you really need for the job is usually under your belt by Grade 4. Can you read? You’re hired.
Okay, it’s not quite that simple — but close.
As my first radio mentor explained to me in a plummy Shakespearian basso profundo: “My boy, the most important quality you can have as a radio broadcaster is sincerity.”
Then he gripped my hand firmly, looked deep into my eyes and added, “Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
Broadcasting one of the ten worst jobs? Nonsense. It’s the best job ever.
And I mean that sincerely.
Arthur Black is a regular News columnist, author and lives on Salt Spring Island