Thursday, December 6, 2007
Is Your Job Bullshit?

Everyone complains to me about their job, saying it's bullshit. Now you can see how bullshit your jo really is. I scored a 32/40. What's yours?


Here's some bullshit jobs, according to one of my favorite author's Stanley Bing:

Communications manager
Essentially you're getting paid well - in the six figures up to 50 percent of your base for bonus - to write e-mails, memos and articles for senior management that their employees have no interest in reading. Oh, and through these written communications we're supposed to inform and engage employees so that they're proud of the company they work for.


Software quality assurance analyst
Good job... make sure everyone else is doing their job up to some standard - using some methodology, employing some practices that only you know of and can decide whether are appropriate for 'this project' or not.

Review how other resources are performing their job vis-à-vis methodology they are following and picking fault with an appropriate number of things they do and can `improve.'

Guru of methodology; guru of some internationally recognized operational standard (to which everyone seems to aspire to and eventually gain some of the benefits everyone else apparently has gained); guru of management practices.

Comfortable existence; low stress; $125k per year.

Technical analyst for state government
Provide in-depth technical analysis for decisionmakers to base their decisions on. Their decisions rarely if ever match the recommendations of your analysis and if there is a way to squeeze efficiency and save taxpayers tens of thousands, if not millions of dollars a year, you will watch the government decisionmakers go in the exact opposite direction to justify inflated budgets and to protect their turf.

The good: You get to watch government in action and get paid a buttload of money and world-class retirement benefits.

The bad: You get to watch government in action burning your tax dollars under the guise of a competent management decision-making when you know in your gut it should land them in jail for fraud, waste and abuse.

The dark: Take ownership of anything and you will be politically tossed under the bus as it will be your decision. Try to make all decisions as a group so that no one person can be held accountable.

The future: Pina Colada and Margarita sipping in Belize, Panama or Costa Rica just about as far away as anything technical as one can get.

Robot operator
Sit and watch the robot do all the work, record statistics of the work and every once in a while, call maintenance to come fix it for you.

Pay: 13.00-20.00/hour

Upside: You get to sit on your butt and do nothing all day

Downside: Sitting for eight hours a day for a couple of weeks straight hurts after a while, plus it is incredibly boring.

Darkside: You get lots of time to think, you start plotting ways to actually do some work.

Quality engineer
Get paid to post "Quality First" stickers in manufacturing plants all day, espouse how Quality really saves instead of costing money, and write procedures that no one cares about or follows. Then get yelled at when something goes wrong and customers are unhappy.

Academic advisor for student-athletes
Basically, what I do is find the easiest classes on my college's campus and enroll my student-athletes in them. Then, if one of my students stops going to class, I call up the professor and beg him/her to give Star Jock the benefit of the doubt and pass them with a `C'.

If the prof isn't immediately cooperative, I happen to notice we have some decent seats to a couple home football/basketball games available for the upcoming season.

Payphone account manager
Monitor the number of collect calls made from payphones.

Amount of time per day required to accomplish: 15 minutes. Why? Because there are 150 million cell phones in the country and only 300,000 payphones. Plus, when was the last time you made a collect call from a payphone?

Pay: $50,000/year. Why? Because a 3-minute collect call cost $25 and someone is still making them! Also get to spend plenty of time staring at the wall.

Door monitor
For a few months, I had a wonderful part time gig as a "door monitor." My job was to sit in a building just inside the door from 5-8, after the receptionists went home, and occasionally look up from my reading to let in people who knocked (usually fewer than five per day).
I could have been replaced by a buzzer. And I made more than minimum wage! (It was either eight or ten bucks an hour, I forget which.)

Management coach
Teaching executives how to do their jobs. In every organization, you will rise to your level of incompetence and stay there. These executives get a promotion to a level they cannot do, so they need a coach to help them. Over-paid private tutor for wealthy adult students, no definable product and no way to judge the coach's performance... what could be better!

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posted by Sickamore @ 4:58 PM  
1 Comments:
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