Saturday, April 29, 2006

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. - Arnold Toynbee

List Friday - This week's topic: Your Dream Job
Courtesy of Loretta, of Pomegranates and Paper

I’ve had what some people would consider pretty cool jobs.

I worked as a scenic artist and set designer in theatre for ten years. I enjoyed drawing out the background drops but the painting, eh. And all the dealing with difficult designers bit the big one. And most of them were difficult. Maybe I should have been a draftsman. I was an excellent painter – one of the few things I do not need to be even remotely modest about – and hit the top of the pay scale in this city at the age of about 26. And it was really just so much manual labor and working with toxins…so I got lucky and became a technical writer. My specialty was medical software, which I really enjoyed. I also dabbled in mark-up languages/programming. That was fun but not ultimately incredibly useful.

In between, I worked in a bookstore, that was also cool for a while. No pressure, you just went home at the end of your shift and forgot all about work. And I was a copyeditor – ok, but you really do have to read a bunch of crap you’d rather not. I’ve worked clothing retail – never again. But I got a major discount on some great clothes. But I? Am not so hot with the customer service. I really don’t like people, in case you haven’t noticed. I also toyed with the idea of becoming a real estate agent. H manfully did NOT laugh in my face when I mentioned that.

I actually HAVE my dream job. I love, love, LOVE being a reference librarian at a university. Every day brings a new challenge and a new research topic. I adore doing research. I love telling people I am a librarian. It’s pretty terrific to actually HAVE your dream job – I know I am very lucky. But inn a different life, the following jobs would be something I would consider, for fun, not for profit.

  1. Forensic pathologist – yes, like Quincy. I would be SO good at this. This has been my dream job since I was little. I just never had the brains/oomph/drive to go to medical school. I could also see my way clear to being a coroner/medical examiner. (I also wouldn't mind being a mortician. Not my dream job, but it'd be ok.)
  2. Biomedical informationist. With my library graduate degree, I am halfway there! When my kids are grown, I can apply myself to finding a job at a hospital library and see what I can work out from there.
  3. A hospice social worker. I would be VERY good at this, too; I am at my best in crisis mode. It’s the mundanity of everyday life that gets me down and makes me nutso and crazy to live with. And I could be helping people who really needed the help, in a time of stress and sadness.
  4. A transplant coordinator. Yes, body organs. I am crazed on the subject of organ donors. Everyone should be one, if at all medically possible.
  5. Olympic gymnast. Nadia Comaneci was my childhood idol. Yes, I *will* be going to see “Stick It,” no matter how godawful the title and the reviews.
  6. Run a little used bookshop/café. But I want to be independently filthy rich, so I don’t have to worry about how we are doing, and also so I can hire people to cover for me when I want to sleep in.
  7. Work for a company that runs estate sales and clears out estates. Do you know that Cheryl Wheeler song, Estate Sale? That pretty much sums it up.
  8. An auto mechanic. But back when cars were not just all computer-driven. I can change out a muffler, and a carburetor, and all sorts of easy stuff like tires and oil. I can weld. I think I’d be a terrific mechanic.
  9. Stained glass restorer. I took a class in this within the past year, and was not only pretty decent at it, but also enjoyed it very much. It is soothing work. And my – ahem, shall we call it, “detail-oriented personality” - would prove to be useful.
  10. A pool boy. Excuse me, pool person.

I used this as the signature on my work email for a while; I'll bet my boss did not find it nearly as droll as I did but I never asked:
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. ~ Bertrand Russell


Carolyn said...

Hey pool person, want to meet at the cabana and drink margaritas?

Katya said...

I couldn't do any of the jobs where you work with dead or dying people. I always wanted to be an archaeologist. But I really like being a reference librarian too.

Sarah Louise said...

In answer to your question: we would run the used bookstore together!

Love the BR quote. Wonder how I can slip that into a fortune cookie to my boss...

Lazy cow said...

You are so lucky to be passionate about your work. I was always sort of embarrassed to admit to being a librarian - even though I was mainly in the software support/training and scientific library side. Now that I no longer do it, I'm happy to admit that I *was* one.
Your work history sounds cool. I was always in a customer service role of some sort because I'm 'good with people'.
And I'm with Katya on the archaelogist!

MsCellania said...

Great quote! I know I'm getting overzealous when I get angsty about mothering. I do that 'count to 10' thing.

And I worked on cars ALOT when I was a kid. I rebuilt a 1959 Anglia with my dad. We even put on new piston rings. Did some body work, too. Thank God not much as it was all lead based paint...

You have had some dream jobs. And you are lucky lucky lucky to have your dream job now. Our librarians love their work, and it shows.

Miz S said...

SHIT! I'm feeling intimidated by your eclectic employment history. How can you have done so many interesting things already at your tender young age? Share the secret of your cleverness with me.

blackbird said...

gosh you like a lot of icky stuff.

Suse said...

Oh please can you move to Melbourne and we'll open a bookshop/cafe together? Pretty please?

And my car's muffler needs replacing while you're here.

Joke said...

I'm with bb. High Ick Factor.

As re. being passionate about my job, I am proud to say I only do what I do for the money, since I hate ALL work. Until the day I can charge confiscatory hourly rates for being brilliant in my own way, that's unlikely to change.


P.S. My WVW is "mrpud"

Surfing Free said...

I love medical things as well, but I'm not sure I would be cut out to tinker with people's innards for a living. But I have put up my own list - thanks for the suggestion! :)

David said...

Would you have painting as a part of your life if it weren't stressful now that it wouldn't be your primary income?

BabelBabe said...

Maybe, because I could now afford to pick only the fun jobs. Which are few and far between. I am now a paint diva - I refuse to do backpainting or priming; I only want the cool stuff to do. Mostly drop layout and painting, intricate detail work. Never again will I woodgrain. Or scumble.

jess said...

I don't know what it means, but love the word "scumble."

I think the estate sale thing sounds like fun - but only for a little while. I think real estate would be fun in that you would get to wander through a TON of houses. But, it would probably be more fun to just go to lots of open houses and browse. I'm mildly obsessed with the interiors of other people's houses.

David said...

So, if I need a part time paints faculty member - sounds like it isn't you.

BabelBabe said...

Nope. Sorry. Prestigious as I am sure the position is.

Especially since as a librarian, I am considered faculty - woot!

Although Cletus has retired, yes?