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:
irradiated fuel handler (doesn’t Homer Simpson have this job?)
barker (listed under Business, Skilled – Sales, Professional)
pile driver operator
firer, high pressure
industrial (bowling pin) machine mechanic
cook, mess (have you looked in our kitchen, recently?)
stable attendant (as opposed to the those unstable attendants)
faller (this is what Robb was doing at the time of the accident)
sponge clipper (my personal favorite!)
manager, Christmas tree farm
toll collector (Robb has been obsessed with this job for years)
jockey (listed in the performing arts, for some reason)
rodeo performer (also in the arts)
lithographic dot etcher
pewter caster and finisher
taxidermist (listed in the arts)
dog pound attendant
baggage porter/bell hop
missing persons investigator
human service worker
animal control worker
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.