Un-congratulations are in order for yours truly, as well as my newspaper co-workers.
We have the Worst Job in America, according to a recent report.
I didn't know we had the Worst Job in America — well, sometimes I wondered (one too many Karl Malone interviews) — until it was made official by Careercast.com, which released its list of the best and worst jobs in the United States.
There it was at the top of the list, ranked No. 1 in the nation: newspaper reporters. If they held a bowl game for worst jobs, we'd be headed to the championship to take on lumberjacks.
According to the list, being a newspaper reporter is worse than being a lumberjack — ranked No. 2 — and we don't have trees falling on us or perform highly dangerous labor with large saws. Being a newspaper reporter is considered worse than that.
It's worse than being an enlisted man/woman in the military — No. 3 — who have people trying to kill them in the Middle East, whereas all we face is the occasional reader who wants to kill us (they usually settle for writing nasty online comments instead).
It's worse than being an actor — No. 4 — even though I wonder if they've noticed the dreadful hazards of that profession, such as the onset of prolonged or permanent adolescence (to wit: Charlie Sheen, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers — I rest my case; not that I'm bitter).
It's worse than being an oil rigger — No. 5 — and reporters don't even work in such a hazardous environment, although we do have to talk to basketball and football coaches after losses.
It's worse than being a dairy farmer — No. 6 — and we don't have to work with cows (I once wrote about cows and, believe me, they are lousy interviews, almost as bad as NBA players and politicians).
It's worse than being a meter reader —– No. 7 — a job that makes you about as popular as the IRS and could prove fatal due to daily exposure to boredom, although, in fairness, reporters must sit through city council meetings that last about two weeks and nothing happens.
It's worse than being a letter carrier — No. 8 — a profession so stressful that it inspired the expression "going postal."
It's worse than being a roofer — No. 9 — and we aren't paid low wages to perform hot, dirty, strenuous labor in high places; we're paid low wages to write bald-faced lies from the safety of desks (I kid, I kid).
It's worse than being a flight attendant — ranked No. 10. OK, now THAT hurts. Reporters don't face snotty fliers who are worn out by flight delays and security checks and lousy service and gacky bags of dried-up peanuts and being told their bag doesn't fit in the overhead bin and to shut off their electronic devices. I would rather have thumbtacks pushed into my forehead.
Being a newspaper reporter might be the Worst Job in America, but it's mostly because the job is becoming as relevant as a typist or a file clerk or one of those guys who pumped gas for your grandparents or a video-store clerk or a typewriter salesman.
Newspapers are dying. Nobody reads them anymore (except you, and thank you — tell a friend). Instead, they read their news online, which, personally, I think is just a fad, like color TVs and smartphones.
Other than the constant threat of layoffs and/or having the newspaper fold, being a newspaper reporter is a fun job. Sure, it has low pay, but it also has high stress.
There must be worse jobs than mine.
What about the guy who picks up the little black bags filled with doggy droppings that people leave around the local park?
What about the wand guy at airport security?
What about the guy who holds the stop sign at road construction sites?
What about the guy who picks up Porta Potties?
What about Justin Bieber's PR man?
Careercast.com, by the way, also lists the 10 best jobs in America. No. 1 is actuary. I have no idea what an actuary is. So I looked it up on the Internet. "Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty … to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk."
So, actuaries are the guys telling newspapers to cut reporters or close up shop. Talk about a lousy job.
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