0

America’s most desirable jobs — Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell

“I’d be happy to have any job on the list, if you want to know the truth.”

“Ah, yes, you speak of the CareerCast.com ‘2012 Jobs Rated Report,’ which classifies the most and least desirable jobs in the U.S.”

“That’s right. The worst job of 200 on the list, No. 200, is lumberjack. I’d be happy to swing an ax if they pay me.”

“But the report says lumberjacks work on the hottest and coldest days of the year — that their occupation is dangerous and their pay is low.”

“A modest earned income is better than none.”

“I feel your pain. The March jobs report was disappointing yet again. Unemployment fell to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because discouraged workers left the labor force. Some argue the real unemployment rate is in the mid-to-high teens.”

“Yeah, that is why a ‘good’ job these days is almost any job that pays.”

“It’s interesting you say that. It wasn’t long ago in America when a ‘good’ job was any job that could support a family.”

“So true. My grandfather was a coal miner, who considered himself lucky. My dad poured molten steel in a mill. I was the first in my family to go to college. I dreamt of my dream job. I did OK, too, until the Great Recession.”

“So a ‘good’ job still is any job that will support your family?”

“Absolutely. I’d take any of the worst jobs. Dairy farmer is No. 199 on the list. They may work hard, but at least there is a demand for their product. Enlisted military personnel, No. 198 on the list, may face danger, but the pay is steady and the grub is free –– have you seen the price of grub lately?”

“Fair enough, but No. 197 on the list is oil rig worker. That is a hard, dirty job, and don’t those rigs blow up now and then?”

“Who cares? The pay is good and the overtime is better. I’d be happy to be a newspaper reporter (No. 196) or a waiter (No. 195) or a meter reader (No. 194). Reporters expose bad guys, waiters work with good-looking waitresses, and if I were a meter reader, I’d inflict fear in people and finally get some respect.”

“You really have given up on your dream job.”

“Maybe I have. I’m no different than anyone else. The best jobs in the report don’t look like dream jobs to me.”

“According to the report, the worst jobs are characterized by working in bad weather, danger, low pay and poor hiring prospects, whereas the best jobs involve good pay, job security and working in climate-controlled buildings.”

“Software engineer is the No. 1 job for the second year in a row. Who wants to be trapped in an office cubicle all day, pecking on a keyboard and dealing with IT geeks?

“Fair enough.”

“The No. 2 job is actuary? You get to do math all day for a boring insurance company? How about human resources manager (No. 3)? All HR people do nowadays is make sure companies comply with a million federal regulations so they don’t get sued.”

“Perhaps.”

“Dental hygienist is the No. 4 job in America? Rooting around in the mouths of people with bad breath? How is that better than being a dairy farmer?”

“But what about the No. 5 job –– financial planner?”

“Like Bernie Madoff, who bilked thousands out of millions of dollars and lived the high life until he got caught? Now there’s a dream job appropriate for the times in which we live.”

Tom Purcell, a freelance writer is also a humor columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. E-mail Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.