Sunday, May 19, 2013

In which You Can Be Anything

 Sunday comic!

'Come along, Chadwick,' said Father, pulling the boy roughly by the hand. 'But Papa!' came the plaintive wail--'the cows, the cows, the cows, the cows!'

"... as far as I am concerned, there isn't money enough in the universe to hire me to swing a pickaxe thirty days, but I will do the hardest kind of intellectual work for just as near nothing as you can cipher it down--and I will be satisfied, too.... The law of work does seem utterly unfair--but there it is, and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall be his pay in cash, also."
Mark Twain,  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 

What would you not do for any amount of money?


  1. "What would you not so for any amount of money?"

    1. University administration
    2. Upset Strelnikov

  2. You all really don't want to go there. I can think of four or five jobs I do on a regular basis most people don't want to have to conceive. Those slackers that inhabit your lecture hall might get a few of those. There are a few I would dearly love to hand a shovel to and point a ditch, but alas most of them know somebody.

    Shall I start with cleaning out the sump pump at the dairy? or was it the slaughterhouse? Or shall we don our hazmat?

  3. A former coworker of mine spend two of his college summers working in a Pennsylvania poultry processing plant. His job: operating a special drill that bored out the turkey asses that came past him on the assembly line.

    I was always amazed at his calmess when presented with silly tasks or stupidly short deadlines.

    He would just put in perspective, and express his gratitude for not having to drill out any turkey butts that day.

  4. Pretty much anything else, since I've just about done it all. I held many jobs when I was young and then spent nearly a decade in IT before escaping to academia (where I once again held a variety of jobs as a non-traditional undergrad). You name it, I've done it, and through it all, I've been struggling to get here. My institution is shitty, my pay is abysmal, and the classload is horrendous, but it's still better than any of the crap I did before.

    1. Hey, I'm former IT as well. I find it makes it a bit easier to navigate dealing with the university's IT folks...

    2. That it does. Though some of them are determined to run their script. "Now, what browser are you using?" "No, I'm telling you, the problem is with one of your servers. I can see the error right here." "So, should I put down Internet Explorer? If you don't know, it's probably Internet Explorer." (head:desk)

  5. It is hard to think of what you would not do for ANY amount of money. Am I just shallow, or does that sort of change things? ANY amount?

    Well, I would not want to carve turkey butts, or do anything in a slaughter house, but I'd do it if I had to. I already know I'd work for a bank processing foreclosures, putting people with small children out of their homes (did that, briefly-----HATED IT. But did it).

    I would not screw people for money. Any amount. That's what. I just had a company call me, asking if I wanted to "teach seminars" for them. For good money. Over the summer. A financial company, but they wanted English professors. I took the offer to the adjuncts, thinking they might want that money. It turned out what this company was doing was using these "helpful seminars" as tools to get time with people and convince them to invest in a bad scheme. I could never do that. Neither could any of the others I talked with about this (as far as I know-----I'm not looking too closely though).

  6. One of my ambitions when I was younger was to have enough money that I can pick and choose what I wanted to do.

    I was on the dole for several years during the 1980s and I was desperate for any job in my profession. As a result, I ended up working for some real crappy outfits because I needed a paycheque in order to survive. Instead of splurging and spending my earnings, I saved and invested what I had left over after paying my bills. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life working for employers I couldn't stand and doing what I hated.

    I'm semi-retired now and I don't have to worry about that any more. If someone wants my services, they know where I am but they better have something that's interesting to offer me.

  7. Currently, the bar is set at anything that is intellectually uninteresting and paying less than $40/hr.

  8. Miner, steel worker, anything that requires working at a great height. To put that in perspective, anything above the second step on a ladder counts as "a great height." I couldn't do anything that hurt people or cute animals either, so that eliminates loan sharking or any animal shelter that was not "no kill."

  9. Replies
    1. That puts things in perspective. It's right up (or down) there with underground diamond miner.

  10. When I was in my worst job ever, my husband used to say that it couldn't be THAT bad since I wasn't spending weeks away in a diamond mine. It took awhile for me to realize that he was setting the bar way too low.

    There's a lot I'd do (and have done) to support myself and my kids, including cold calling at dinnertime to sell home dry cleaning devices that were almost certainly toxic. But I don't think I could pick strawberries, spread roof tar, or give manicures. All three make you inhale horrible, headache- and cough-inducing chemicals, and the first two take incredible stamina.