Sunday, November 05, 2006

Robb's Jobs

Prior to the accident, Robb worked as an actor and also worked with me as a theatrical scenic artist. Since both of these jobs require a great deal of physical agility, he has to figure out what career he wants to pursue when he is well enough to work again.

But what to do?

Hoping for some guidance, Robb recently met with a vocational rehabilitation counselor. He spent hours taking aptitude tests, and today the results arrived in the mail.

Even as he was taking the tests, Robb thought they were pretty useless, and the materials he received did nothing to dispel this impression.

The document offered some utterly generic opinions on Robb's personality, most of which I completely disagreed with (since when is aesthetic the antithesis of realistic?), and a long list of careers from which Robb might choose.

Here were a few of the listed careers that Robb was encouraged to consider:

flight surgeon
soil scientist
ampoule examiner
embalmer
eyeglass inspector
tablet tester
tissue technologist
fingerprint classifier
irradiated fuel handler (doesn’t Homer Simpson have this job?)
weather observer
blaster
barker (listed under Business, Skilled – Sales, Professional)
pile driver operator
coil winder
electrotyper
firer, high pressure
industrial (bowling pin) machine mechanic
layout worker
molder
roustabout
stationary engineer
stevedore
butter maker
cook, mess (have you looked in our kitchen, recently?)
fish smoker
food mixer
freezer operator
oven tender
pickler
sausage maker
sugar grinder
pretzel cooker
bread worker
fur cleaner
hide splitter
knitter mechanic
rug hooker
sewer, hand
artificial insemenator
milker, machine
reptile farmer
shellfish grower
stable attendant (as opposed to the those unstable attendants)
weeder-thinner
faller (this is what Robb was doing at the time of the accident)
kelp cutter
able seaman
ordinary seaman
rock splitter
sponge clipper (my personal favorite!)
wellhead pumper
manager, Christmas tree farm
animal scientist
foreign clerk
social secretary
toll collector (Robb has been obsessed with this job for years)
photo typesetter
switchboard operator
scientific linguist
poet
acrobat
comedian
impersonator
jockey (listed in the performing arts, for some reason)
mime
rodeo performer (also in the arts)
ventriloquist
silhouette artist
bank-note designer
magician
hat designer
memorial designer
etcher, hand
lithographic dot etcher
pasteup artist
stencil maker
stripper (printing)
pewter caster and finisher
craft artist
color expert
taxidermist (listed in the arts)
sanitarian
body guard
butler
caddie
companion
dog pound attendant
baggage porter/bell hop
missing persons investigator
human service worker
animal control worker
cryptanalyst

Our observations? Well, some of these sound like Shakespearean insults (“Thou fish smoker, thou hide splitter, thou coil-winder.”) Some sound like jazz age double entendres (sugar grinder). And most seem like jobs that were popular in 1936, and might still be applicable at Colonial Williamsburg, or the county fair. Or perhaps these are the jobs that the protagonist in the black and white movie assumes when he is pretending not to be a playboy millionaire.

One thing that caught my eye, was that this career aptitude test was infuriatingly not gender-blind. If a man earned a score of nineteen on a particular section, and a woman earned the same score of nineteen, the two test takers were not assigned the same percentage of career suitability. As we all know, men make great doctors, lawyers, and stevedores, while women bide their time working as window dressers and hat designers until they get married and start having babies.

11 comments:

Gina said...

Ooh! Ooh!

Choose the mime!
Choose the mime!

ericaflory said...

bank-note designer
isn;t that a fancy name for a counterfeiter? :P

Anonymous said...

Isn't he already doing some of these jobs? Food mixer, animal control worker, fur cleaner, and of course, companion? -Rose

Anonymous said...

Fish smoker? Don't fish cough?
Those are some weird jobs- I'd like to see some of those jobs listed on IRS forms- why not add space alien spotter as one of those professions?

Annalisa

knitica said...

My favorite is body guard. Does this test not actually take into account the reason that Robb is taking the test? No offense dude, but I can totally outrun you after I've taken a shot at the president you're guarding. Unless you MacGuiver me. Then I'm done for.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Robb is supposed to deflect any bullets with his wheelchair, but that seems disrespectful to wheelchair-makers everywhere.

Annalisa

bobbie said...

Let's see now...stevedore, baggage porter, rodeo performer, acrobat, jockey, rock splitter, pile driver operator...

How about intelligent coordinator of vocational rehabilitation jobs with clients?.

Gothknits said...

I liked acrobat...
Embalmer...you'd always have work.
industrial (bowling pin) machine mechanic...as opposed to the non-industrial bowling pin machines??
Where did you get this test? I think we all need to take one of these.

and for the record Homer Simpson was a supervising technician before he became safety inspector.

Anonymous said...

Pretzel cooker and sausage maker could be combined with the home brews for a good time!

moonduck

Anonymous said...

While I realize this says more about me than it does about the test or commenters...

I can not BELIEEEEVE nobody has said anything about the fact that "artificial inseminator" was on the list....a few up from "ordinary seaman".

*pause*

*snort*

TaylorM said...

Well, I'd say that list really narrows down your options there... They're all such good choices...

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