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Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, February 16, 2005 1:50 PM
The 10 Worst Jobs
Kevin Salwen on Passionate Work

USA Today is running a fun series in its sports section: the 10 Worst Jobs in Sports. Two days ago, mascot was the featured position of misery: 'You should try wearing an outfit of synthetic feathers, foam and fiberglass on a 100-degree day in July,' the paper said. ''Imagine wearing a fur coat in a sauna while doing aerobics,' (Orioles Bird Bromley) Lowe says. 'That's what it's like.''

Yesterday, the horrid job was soigneur aka the person who cares for a professional cyclist or team. 'We're valets, cooks, washers, drivers, wound cleaners, psychiatrists and confessors,' Shelley Verses told USA Today. And today, the paper cited the football 'wedge buster,' the guy who throws his body at full speed into the team of blockers trying to make a hole for the kick returner. Says Philadelphia Eagles special teams coach John Harbaugh: 'It's like throwing yourself in front of a bus.'

I'm eager to see the other 7 jobs, but beyond that it makes me wonder if every organization or industry doesn't have its share of 10 worst. Internal compliance comes to mind. Expense account checker does too. Of course, so does just about anything at the IRS. What's on your list?


Nicole - 2/17/2005 10:58:26 AM
If we're going with 'those I personally would least like to have' and can leave it out of a specific industry here's my personal 5 Worst list...

5. President of the United States-- (too much pressure, too much criticism-- nobody is ever happy with the job you're doing).
4. Garbage Technician (that's the PC way to say it...)
3. Chemist (too many equations!)
2. Dishwasher in a busy restaurant
1. Collections agent

But while thinking about the worst I somehow made a leap in my mind to the BEST jobs to have. And since Worthwhile is really about working with passion, I thought I'd share my 5 Best list...

*Note- the following top-five is really in a fantasy world where money means nothing and I could magically have all of the experience needed to walk off of the street and into the job. No corporate ladder, no additional education, no 'natural talent' necessary.

5. Chart-topping singer/songwriter
4. Forensic Psychologist (a.k.a. Criminal Profiler)
3. US Olympic Swim Team Head Coach
2. Editor-in-Chief of a national swimming magazine
1. Senior killer whale trainer for SeaWorld San Antonio or Orlando.
Joan - 2/16/2005 9:59:51 PM
Of course a lot of people who work in the IT security biz provide a valuable service and are extremely interested in their work, Steve. The people who do USA Today's 10 Worst Jobs in Sports enjoy their work, too. Don't you think that if any one of the mascots decided they didn't want to put on that hot feathered costume any longer, there would be dozens if not thousands of people who would squawk and caw to get a chance at the job? How about the football wedge busters? Even though it's like throwing yourself in front of a bus, it's a very valuable service to the team, and one that is extremely interesting. All 10 Worst lists define the worst as 'those I personally would least like to have.'
Fred - 2/16/2005 4:48:34 PM
Telemarketing (Commission-based).
Steve - 2/16/2005 4:07:46 PM
You know, maybe people should limit their comments to jobs about which they have first hand knowledge. To say that just about any job at the IRS must be bad shows ignorance at best and lack of consideration (shooting for the quick laugh is beneath you Kevin) at worst. And Jenny, I happen to work with a lot of people who love the IT security work they do-- they're providing an incredibly valuable service and are extremely interested in their work.
Jenny - 2/16/2005 3:03:29 PM
Among the 10 worst jobs in IT, I would imagine 'business continuity planner' would be at or very near the top. Also, anything having to do with IT security, and enterprise tech support.


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