Best and Worst Jobs

The best and worst jobs (career) is, of course, subjective. However, I’ve had many and also lived 70+ years on the planet. In other words, I speak from much experience. Continuing with recent posts – here are my thoughts.

There is a difference between choosing a job and a job choosing you. The former is, paradoxically, determined by forces outside yourself. The latter is, paradoxically, also determined by forces not controlled by you. [Oh shit!] Let’s set all of that aside for now, and get on with My List.


  1. Major league baseball player.
    Where do our phantasies come from? I loved baseball from almost my beginning of consciousness.

My first idea of a job/career was: I’d be a New York Yankee, major league baseball player. That notion persisted until sometime between 1963 and 1967. Nevertheless, was it close to a real outcome?

I was good (= baseball player). Really good? To be a professional baseball player requires certain abilities. It is unlike other sports in that it is an individual AND team sport. You can have all the talent in the world, and still fail. [See Mike Trout] And yet get really rich $$$. More paradox.

Real events wiggled into my mind, as well as alcohol and drugs, and things got … uncertain and weird.

To continue with MY LIST:




are what? Where do they come from?

Given my lists of best and worst jobs … can you make a determination as to who I am?


WHAT determines who we (you or I or us) are?




7 thoughts on “Best and Worst Jobs

  1. “There is a difference between choosing a job and a job choosing you.”

    So true. In school I was focused on getting into the arts, hopefully becoming the next Quentin Tarantino or George Lucas… But life, as the saying goes, had other plans. Out of school, I was a Field Service Rep fixing machines. (“The guy from IBM is here to fix the copier!” [sigh] Wrong company, wrong machine, but otherwise yeah.) That segued into an invitation to HQ to do national support and that led to the ultimate career of “software guy”. Long arc that ended in retirement, but it’s the only “career” I’ve had.

    During and shortly after school it was a bunch of temp-hire stuff, most of it theatre lighting gigs, but there was some variance. Once I spent a few days using a sledgehammer to break up a sidewalk so it could be replaced, but those jobs were fairly unusual.

    I still think the best job ever would be film director. Or musician, a career I decided long ago I probably wasn’t quite good enough to pursue. But man, I sure would love to have made a living playing music. That actually might even be better than making films, come to think of it. Or, I’ve realized recently, stand-up comic. If there are multiple realities where we made other choices, I’m pretty sure there’s one where I became a comic.

    Worst jobs… that’s tough. So subjective. POTUS sounds like an awful job. Most political careers do. I guess any job you don’t like would be a worst job. I loved the work I did, but the environment at The Company changed over the years making it overall a job I hated. Which is why I retired. Had the numbers, hated the environment, so I left and never looked back!

  2. Yeah. Since I wrote and posted this (pretty much just off-the-cuff) I’ve looked more at my 2 lists. They pretty much line up as opposites on a spectrum. Such as teaching and bookstore owner. Both attempt to “educate”. However, with Teacher you often have reluctant/resistant students; whereas in a bookstore the ‘student’ is eager and curious – making the ‘job’ fun.
    Brother, you got a taste of how Doctors can be scorned during your COVID stay. Even blamed for the patients’ bad health. And Social Work is like that, too. The clients are often reluctant/resistant and blame everyone but themselves for their troubles. Clinical Psychologists, however, are well paid and the clients come in of their volition – seeking help/relief.
    I think it matters, Mr. Smyth, not only must you love the work; but also the interaction with the others. If that makes sense? Most people don’t like cops. Or dentists, or undertakers. For sure politicians – professional liars. Soldiers must do as they are ordered. Marine sniper? Seems like it’d be fun; but not for everyone.
    And yes, WordPress is flawed. I didn’t get notice of your comment. And I have many complaints, too. But then I have low expectations for the whole “computer age”. I’m working on lowering my expectations of people, too.
    Some people know what they want early, pursue it and are good at it. Everything works. I think that’s pretty rare, though.

  3. Furthermore: I just watched “ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT” on Netflix, a German made adaptation of the 1929 book. It explicitly shows how awful the job of soldier is, and why.
    To the point of opposites: Marine Sniper is in stark contrast to Butcher. Again, the above noted film depicts this. Killing a man up close, or butchering any animal, is quite different than the sense of achievement one must feel when delivering a clean kill-shot from a distance.

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