Kids, Let's Go To CareerWorld!
by Mad Dog
Luckily we live in
the 21st century so we have new and improved ways of finding career
possibilities. You know, like going to a theme park.
It’s not easy trying to decide what you want to be
when you grow up. Take it from me, I’m still trying to figure it out.
From the time we’re young we’re pushed into making this decision. It
starts with our parents. Not to infer that they have ulterior motives,
but they do tend to steer us towards careers which will benefit them.
Okay, so it’s actually rather blatant. Sometimes they push us to
follow the career they wish they’d gone into so they can feel
fulfilled vicariously through us. Other times they urge us towards
professions which will have a high earning potential right about the
time they need it most—when they hit their Golden Years. Still others
steer their kids towards jobs which have perks for family members, such
as doctors, lawyers, bail bondsmen or, again looking towards the
retirement years, Depend sales reps.
Once in school you’re given tests
designed to tell you what careers you’re best suited for. You remember
them, they’re the ones that ask whether you’d rather sit through all
of Wagner’s Ring Cycle without going to the bathroom, watch Rosie do
the tango naked, or stick your tongue in an electric outlet. Somehow
your answers to these questions determine which fields are appropriate
for your personality type. I don’t know who designed these tests but
they’re really not much help when the results come back saying you’d
make an excellent farmer, priest, or Inspector #42 at a clothing
why schools have guidance counselors. They’re trained
professionals—Look kids! Another career opportunity!—who can
interpret these results, review your school transcript, and try not to
burst out laughing while consulting their Magic Eight Ball so they can
randomly choose a career to recommend. I have to admit that what little
faith I might ever have hoped to have in them was dashed when my older
brother’s high school guidance counselor committed suicide by jumping
off a roof. Seriously. I mean, is this really someone whose advice I
should be following?
For as little as
$15 youngsters spend the day pretending to be doctors, archeologists,
circus performers, reporters, or interested.
live in the 21st century, so not only do we have the advantage of peanut
butter in individually plastic-wrapped slices, email in-boxes which fill
up with offers to enlarge body parts we may not even have, and 500 TV
channels which are more entertaining when we flip through them searching
for something to watch than they are when we finally find something and
it turns out to be on network TV, it also means we have new and improved
ways of finding career possibilities. You know, like going to a theme
not proposing you send your children to Disneyland so they can decide
whether they’d rather be Goofy, Dopey, or Grumpy—after all, they
need to learn early that not all of us can grow up to be members of
Congress—I’m suggesting they go to Wannado, a role-playing theme
park for kids that may be coming to a city near you. It started in
Mexico City as Ciudad de los Nińos—City of Children. For as
little as $15 youngsters spend the day pretending to be doctors,
archeologists, circus performers, reporters, or interested. They do this
in life-like surroundings while interacting with adult actors who should
have better things to do with their time and talent. Grupo Magico, the
company that started it, says this role playing can help children decide
what they want to be when they grow up. Interestingly, most of them
choose snow cone vendor or cotton candy quality control inspector.
The first Wannado, as they’re being
called here in the U.S., will open in 2004 as part of a mall in Sunrise,
Florida, then expand to six other cities, including Chicago, Dallas, and
Atlanta. They’re not saying how the American ones will be different,
but since companies including Coca-Cola, American Airlines, Sony, and
Microsoft currently pay a fee to be “sponsors” of the Mexican one,
it’s a fair bet children here in the U.S. will be able to role-play as
movie theater concession workers, pilots, TV repair technicians, and
ridiculously rich men.
doesn’t open soon I’ll be on my own and may have to stick with
writing. And continue to work on my retirement program by standing in
front of a mirror and practicing saying, “Would you like fries with
the theme parks won’t be open on time for summer vacation this year,
but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for 2004. Imagine the
look on your children’s faces when you take them to CareerWorld, where
they can learn how to climb the Corporate Ladder, be thrilled by the
House of H.R. Horrors, and scream at the heart-stopping ups and downs of
the 401-K Roller Coaster. Years from now they’ll fondly look back at
the first time they glimpsed the Stock Option House of Smoke and Mirrors
and the wild freak show called the Company Christmas Party.
Unfortunately there’s no fun house at CareerWorld, but they’ll
forget all about that when they see the food. They’ll be able to eat
crow, humble pie, and their words, and trust me, it’s never too soon
to develop a taste for these staples of the business world diet.
Wannado will also come in handy for
people who are looking for a career change. That’s why I hope they
open one near me soon. After all, I don’t have any children to push
into jobs so they can make plenty of money and help support me during my
Golden Years, so if Wannado doesn’t open soon I’ll be on my own and
may have to stick with writing. And continue to work on my retirement
program by standing in front of a mirror and practicing saying, “Would
you like fries with that? How about a snow cone?”
©2003 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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