Sometimes, when you are down and out, between jobs, just trying to get by, you might be tempted to take a job that you otherwise would not have considered. I’ve seen engineers working at Walgreens. I’ve seen mortgage brokers working as roofers. No matter how bad it gets though, there are some jobs you should never consider.

Most people will automatically make wild claims that they would never do certain things for money - bank robbery, for example. Or prostitution. But, those are personal moral choices that people make because they lead to an undesireable lifestyle which, along with the potential criminal penalties, most people do not want to venture into.

However, there are jobs that one can take where they can be “gainfully employed”, make a decent living, and where most people will not view them as scum. At least openly to their face. Usually, younger people are sucked into these types of jobs, and they convince themselves that it isn’t too bad. Eventually, they surround themselves with enough of their new peers at work that they begin to even delude themselves into thinking that the job is a necessary part of a functional society - and that without them doing their job, that our culture would crumble back to the condition of a third-world country. Usually, this is referred to as “drinking the koolaid” at work - a phrase that indicates an employee actually believes his company is the next Google or Apple and will do anything to ensure its success such as working long (unpaid) hours, being at every company function no matter how trite it might be, and expounding on the greatness of the company, its ideas, and its founders, to almost any poor stranger caught in a conversation with the recruit.

But in the cases below, the koolaid drinkers aren’t so much the employees themselves - most of them know that we silently hate their jobs - but the vast majority of society, who will, on occasion, even resort to utilizing these bottom-feeders to advance their own personal agendas. Publicly, we are usually silent about these workers. Privately, we might even say things like, “Can’t Uncle Jerry find a better job than that?”. But internally, throughout the course of our life, we might even think about calling these people to do our dirty work - to avoid being the good citizen and common man that we should be.

1. IRS Employee. It is bad enough we have an unconstitutional income tax that is sucking the economic power out of this country. Nearly everyone knows that some other method of taxation is needed that is not based on income (success). A consumption (sales) tax is probably the most likely tax to return the country to prosperity. However, you have to be some sort of sociopath to work for the IRS. There has to be a disconnect between your desire to provide for your family and your love of your fellow man. In a town of 100 people, no one in their right mind would volunteer to be a tax collector - to stick their nose in other people’s financial business and to force arcane laws down their throat. But, when you can have a “federal job”, benefits, and relative anonymity, it is easier to let selfishness take over and to convince yourself that if you didn’t do the job, someone else would.

2. Child Enforcement Worker. These people spend years in college to get a degree to work in “social work”, but end up compromising and working for the State. They convince themselves that they are doing important work. If you talk to one long enough, you almost start believing their rhetoric. They will tell you sad and even horrific stories about rescuing some poor child from an awful plight - and you begin to think for a moment, well, thank goodness for Child Enforcement. But the reality is that for every suffering child that is rescued, innocent parents have their children ripped away from their homes, and other children who should have been rescued are not. Remember, you can’t pay someone enough to actually care. They are just “doing their job”. They get breaks and benefits, too. But you have to wonder about someone who would knowingly work in a position where they trampled the rights of good families, had mistake upon mistake pile up until it was abominable, and showed up every week to collect a paycheck and laughed with their coworkers in the breakroom. The community is responsible to see that no one is abusing or hurting children. But when you live in communities of 50,000 and up, you can’t just pay workers to care for you - and then close your eyes to their insolence, laziness, and selfishness. Any decent, self-respecting person would never continue to put their own family’s financial comfort over and above a system that is utterly corrupt, utterly lawless, and utterly incompetent - unless they were complicit in it.

3. Code Enforcer. You have to wonder about not only the interests, but the intellect, of someone who goes around your community and does things like: measure setbacks, measure grass height, verify working order of vehicles, etc. Keep in mind that whenever someone calls code enforcement, nearly 99% of the time they call anonymously. They are simply afraid to talk to their own neighbors. It is almost as laughable as it is pitiable. If your neighbor has a purple boat parked in the front yard - do you really, really care? And if you are trying to sell your home or have some reason to present your neighborhood as something greater than it is, can you not have the decency and forthrightness to go speak to your neighbor in person first, before calling a government agency to talk for you? This is yet another job that is allowed to exist because people are cowardly shirks these days. As a code enforcer, you are required to spend a great deal of time doing nothing of any substantial value to society. If you didn’t exist, society would eventually learn to cooperate among each other - to look their fellow man in the eye, in other words. The biggest joke about code enforcement is people moving into suburban .23 acre lots and then wanting a “beautiful view” out their front yard, and “peace and quiet” in their neighborhood. So, they call code enforcement whenever anyone parks a trailer in an unseemly location. Or they call the cops when some neighborhood kids ride their mini-motorcycles up and down the street 30 times. They apparently think their little suburb in Palm Bay should be not too different than living in the wilderness of Golden, Colorado - except they don’t want any bobcats around. They’d call animal control for that.

Those are the worst three. Now below are a few more that I think society could live without if it bothered trying - which it won’t. Unlike the ones above, I don’t think these people are insiduously evil or wholly selfish, but I don’t think it would be a bad thing to see some upheavel and competition in these fields.

1. Computer Repair Guys. On a frequent basis, I overhear the conversations of people who bring in their computers for “repair” at the local Best Buy or CompUSA. I’m not picking on these stores - there are other computer repair guys around town, too. These people notoriously rip people off tremendously and take advantage of people’s ignorance. I saw one professionally-dressed woman come by a store to pickup her laptop which had been “repaired”. She brings it by every three months for a “checkup”. The squad defragged her hard drive, scanned for an elimnated virus, adjusted her “security settings” (whatever that means), and did a diagnostic hardware checkup - and proceeded to charge her $120.00. They even mentioned that updated her Norton Virus software - indicating that these theives had, at some point, gotten her to buy her own virus software, but were collecting nearly $500/year to run it for her. Now, you might say that this women is just stupid, or that her company is paying for this ridiculous service - a service which she could do entirely on her own for free, if even needed at all - but, she isn’t the only one. How about the older gentleman who came in with a “broken mouse” which was “repaired” for just shy of what a new mouse would cost. Of course, the new mouse he was shown was a $49 version - so he was happy to pay $35 to have his mouse repaired - no matter that he could have probably bought a replacement for $5 or $10 if he knew where to go - if it was even truly broken (doubtful). The guys who work in this field, sadly, aren’t particularly bright when it comes to computers. Some of them have A+ certifications - or better - but their real skill comes in knowing how to sell the customer things they don’t need. Auto mechanics are regularly investigated for such shenanigans. I think it is high-time we start investigating these computer repair places.

2. Public School Teachers. It seems necessary to make the all-too-common disclaimer that I’m sure there are some public school teachers who truly care about the children and are leaving a lasting, positive impact on their young, impressionable minds. Society says it is wrong to criticize public school teachers for the problems in public schools. After all, these are the dedicated, underpaid, lovers of children who have devoted their lives to the education of the next generation. The problems in public schools are fully political and administrative in nature, right? Except the only problem with that theory is that it is full of muck. Teachers are as much to blame - if not more so - for the current mess we are in. Remember what I said about child enforcement workers - that you can’t pay people enough to actually care? If teachers really cared about children, they’d stop feeding them the answers to state exams, they’d stop having relationships with children, they’d lead lives that are examples to children, they’d quit the teacher’s union, and they’d take care of their own children first. I can’t believe how many children are running around town getting into all sorts of trouble whose parent is - surprise! - a public school teacher. What I find even more amazing are the number of teachers who have a “heart for the children”, but aren’t married, or don’t have children of their own. A heart for the children - of strangers? Creepy. These aren’t exactly the Mother Teresa’s of society. The most radical thing is that teachers often truly believe that if it wasn’t for them, society would collapse. It is an interesting theory. Perhaps they could all quit and we could determine whether or not it is true. I’m amused every year when my church decides to recognize the teachers in the congregation. First, they have the homeschooling “moms” stand up (apparently dads are useless) while asking the audience to hold their applause. Then, they have the private school teachers stand up. And then, they have the public school teachers stand up to be recognized for their “ministry” and have everyone finally applaud. How shallow - and wrong. The funny thing is that homeschooling parents don’t need some sort of public recognition. And there is certainly nothing ministerial about teaching in a public school. They are paid to do it. Maybe those who volunteer their time should be recognized for their efforts. But a paid worker being called a minister? These public school teachers truly have the wool pulled over the eyes of many. I thought maybe we should recognize all the Harris engineers making $65,000/year for their “ministry” to the semi-conductor world. Unbelievable.

3. Traffic Ticket Cop. Well, now that I’ve done the unthinkable and smeared public-school teachers who are supposed to be “above criticism”, I might as well step one foot further into the swamp. But, I want to make clear here that I am not criticizing law enforcement or police officers, or even the highway patrol. I’m only referring here to any law enforcement officer who takes time to sit and squat and write tickets. I’m not even referring to the giving of a ticket when needed - a cop is behind a guy weaving all over the road, or a cop is just waiting to turn at an intersection when a guy blows through the red light at 80mph. I’m referring only to the cops who sit in little corners and nooks, radar gun in hand, or watching the red light at some no-name intersection. I wonder in amazement how a person who has a heart for catching bad guys, for upholding the law, who went to police academy, who risks their life to help strangers - how such a person can just sit, like a bump on a log, and pull over decent working folks hour after hour. And then it occurs to me. They don’t have that heart at all. Maybe they once did, but it is gone. Some cops might argue that it is a necessary evil, that they are required to do it by their superiors, or that “complaints have been called in” around that area. This is probably the case for the moment at hand, but how many cops are working hard, or at all, to change the system? Now, we have cameras at some intersections and eventually they will be everywhere - so, in theory, the cops will soon be able to go back to catching bad guys. For those of you cops who have forgotten who the bad guys are, they are the rapists, muggers, robbers, and murderers. If they were all gone, locked up, or dead, most of us wouldn’t have a problem with you pulling over Bob Smith in his ‘96 Camry with his two kids on the way to soccer practice who was going 7mph over the speed limit. Really, we wouldn’t. But, when the most visible presence of the local police force is in traffic traps, and my morning newspaper says yet another bank was robbed yesterday… you can’t help but wonder if you are purposely trying to irrate the public. I’ll get into my recomendations on how to revolutionize the local police force later, but for now, lay off the traffic traps. My personal pet peeve is the businesses who cater to this sort of behavior and let cops use their property for such activities. Your parking lot is for customers only and you have a right to demand the cops leave - but you don’t. On several occassions, I’ve notified the business owners around town that I will not shop at their establishment until they stop hosting these traffic traps - and then I tell the officer on my way out that he just cost the business a customer. It isn’t much I can do, but if more people started doing it, maybe they’d get the message to get back to real law enforcement. It is a shame really, because law enforcement officers should be highly respected. We all teach our children this, but then have to hold back our under-breath muttering when we see this sort of despicable behavior. It would be really nice to be able to respect law enforcement in our hearts, not just in our minds.

Technorati : IRS, careers, child welfare, code enforcement, computer repair, employment, jobs, teaching

Posted in: Community & Culture