Like most people, I have aspects of my job that I’m not entirely crazy about. However, I am crazy about making money and remaining gainfully employed, so in the interest of celebrating what I do have, I present five jobs I hope I never have to perform.

1. Waving a sign to advertise a business by the side of a busy road—in costume! Yesterday, I passed a pitiable chap in a banana costume advertising a Chinese restaurant. Not sure what bananas have to do with Asian cuisine, but it sure got my attention. Mission accomplished! As bad as a costume is, one could argue it would be worse to be out there without one. Then all the cars rushing by are looking at you, not at some random banana person. Either way, I’m glad I’m inside my car and not out there waving that sign.

2. Butter taste tester. This is an actual job. What more can I possibly say?

3. Fast food employee. I already did my time in this field as a young teenager and while I learned valuable lessons about the impatience and ferocity of hungry people, I never want to work in the food industry ever again. Mind you, this is not a slam against the kind people who deep fry my potatoes. I’ve heard people make snide comments, usually while waiting with shocking impatience for their food, about how “stressful” working behind the counter must be, to which I always reply, “Have you ever worked in fast food?” No one who’s ever worked two registers while dropping fries, answering the phone, tolerating an egomaniacal assistant manager and mopping up a bratty kid’s milkshake would ever call this job easy.

4. Telemarketer. I do a weensy bit of this at my job now, and I can tell you it’s no picnic. At least I have the advantage of calling people who’re familiar with the product I’m pitching and have already ordered it in the past. But cold calling and doing the hard sell? Ouch. Is anyone ever happy to have whatever they’re doing interrupted by a sales call? Right from the get go, they’re less than thrilled to speak with you and now you have to convince them to buy something, switch to your service, or make a donation. You have to be relentless, which exasperates even sympathetic people like me who don’t want to be rude. This is possibly one of the worst jobs ever invented.

5. And finally, elementary or junior high school gym teacher. “But wait,” you protest. “That would be a fun job!” Yeah, if you like torturing children. Why would I want to be responsible for the immediate suffering and future self esteem related therapy expenses of scores of young adults? Wearing track pants all day, brandishing an asinine whistle whilst shouting at asthmatic kids to keep running and “tough it out!” I’d like to be able to sleep at night, thank you very much.

There! I feel so much better now. It’s sort of like the Glad Game, only built off the comparative misfortune of others. Pollyanna would be so proud!

T

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