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All Jobs Are Not Created Equal
by Mad Dog


I think they were trying to impress upon me that whatever I wanted to do with my life was okay. Well, as long as I made enough money to take care of them in their old age. 
Jobs are like soul mates, they say we each have a perfect match out there somewhere, itís just a matter of finding it. Of course they also say the harder you work the more money youíll make, itís the thought that counts, and Arnold Schwarzenegger can save California the same way he keeps saving John Connor. The trick, of course, is finding that ideal career. This can involve a lot of trial and error, which is why my career path resembles Robert Downey, Jr. taking a sobriety test. But thatís okay, I figure sooner or later Iíll stumble upon the right thing. Hey, even a blind squirrel will find an acorn sooner or later.

   This isnít to say we should try anything that comes along. After all, there are definitely jobs I know I donít want. When I was growing up my parents used to say it was a good thing there were people who didnít mind being garbage men because they didnít want to do it. I think they were trying to impress upon me that whatever I wanted to do with my life was okay. Well, as long as I made enough money to take care of them in their old age. Trust me, Iím not happy about letting them down, though I do feel good that I can help my mother from time to time by making her nice new cardboard signs that say, ďWill demonstrate my walker for money.Ē


Another job I donít want is roadside urine collector. This is one of those careers that the Birkman Personality Quiz doesnít usually recommend. At least I hope not.
  While I donít have any desire to be a garbage manónothing personal, itís just that I canít imagine waking up that earlyóit would still be better than some other jobs. A few days ago a whale washed up on a beach in San Francisco. A dead one. A very stinky rotting dead one. A scientist had the fun job of sawing off the decomposing animalís head and fins, which took the better part of an afternoon. While not nearly as disgusting as being the poor projectionist who has to watch Charlieís AngelsóFull Throttle over and over, it nevertheless wonít make my list of Top 100 Jobs I Have To Try In My Lifetime.

   Another job I donít want is roadside urine collector. This is one of those careers that the Birkman Personality Quiz doesnít usually recommend. At least I hope not. In case youíve blocked it from your mind, the Birkman Personality Quiz is the test you took in school which was supposed to help you discover which careers youíre best suited for. Itís the one that asked whether youíd rather watch an opera naked while sitting on a block of ice or listen to adorable, rich, white, middle class, teenage pop stars with perfect bodies whine about how difficult life is, a career way too many kids are having recommended to them.

   Years ago, one of my brotherís friends was told that his test results showed he was best suited to be either a farmer or a priest. He didnít listen and went on to become a successful lawyer, which only goes to show how inaccurate the test is. It was on the right track though, since heís done rather well for himself planting seeds of doubt in jurorsí minds and convincing clients to have unshakeable faith in him even when he forgets their name, but it still needs to be updated. Especially since it doesnít recommend that anyone become a roadside urine collector yet it still tells students to become doctors, politicians, and Carrot Top. As if we need any more of them.


This is actually the anti-job, since heís paying for the privilege of working, something I sincerely hope other employersó especially my editorsódonít pick up on anytime soon.
   Actually, this isnít a career I ever thought the world neededóroadside urine collector, that isóbut it does. Apparently there are people driving cars who donít want to waste time pulling into a rest stop to get rid of those two Big Gulps they had for breakfast, so they pee in a bottle and toss it out the car window. State road crews, not being able to tell at a glance whether the bottles contain Gatorade, liquid anthrax, or recycled coffee, are calling the hazardous materials team to get rid of them, at an average cost of $2,500 per run. On one run, a crew in California collected 300 bottles, which are sitting in a state office right this minute waiting to be reclaimed by the rightful owners. After 30 days theyíll auction them off, so keep your eye on eBay.

   Speaking of eBay, it can be a good resource if youíre looking for a new job. Fox Sports recently auctioned off a position as sportswriter-for-a-day and some guy forked over $310 so he can write a story about a NASCAR race and have it posted on the networkís web site. This is actually the anti-job, since heís paying for the privilege of working, something I sincerely hope other employersóespecially my editorsódonít pick up on anytime soon. I have news for him, people are paid to do that kind of work, even Rush Limbaugh. Thatís right, Rush is joining the line-up on ESPNís Sunday NFL Countdown, which is his consolation prize for having been glossed over for Dennis Miller a few years back when Monday Night Football was suicidal but didnít feel up to calling a crisis hotline for help. Millerís lack of success should in no way be an object lesson for Limbaugh. After all, who doesnít want to see him humiliated on live TV?

   All this should make you feel a little better about your job. Especially if your day isnít spent decapitating rotting whales, collecting discarded urine bottles, or bidding in online auctions for a fake, one-time career. Then again, it might be inspiration. After all, itís never too late to make a career change.

©2003 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them while looking for an empty bottle to use in the car.

 

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