King Henry VIII – Best Job Ever

Who are you?

Well, I was King Henry VII of England. I’ve been dead for, like, five centuries, but, through the magic of technology, time-travel, ghost-whispering, and make-believe, I’m here to talk about the award-worthy The History of Work Series. You see, my job was featured as the Second Best Job Ever, which is ridiculous. Can explorers divorce/murder their wives, establish their own religion and tax the crap out of the landed gentry? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

What do you do for fun?

Fox hunting. I also like to eat and drink. In your time, there’s this 120lb Japanese kid who wins all these hot dog eating contests, right? Well, I would eat four times as many wieners as he does in half the time and then wrap up the day by eating him, too. Look, I wouldn’t call eating people “fun,” I’m just saying that I did it before, okay? A lot of other kings liked horseback riding, but, truth be told, when you weigh 340lbs crushing the back of an animal is a bit mean-spirited and also made me feel like a bit of a fatty. In addition to eating in one afternoon what Northern England ate in a month, I also liked colourful robes, fancy hats and concubines.

What is your favourite community? Why?

I like the community of people that I locked in the Tower of London for treason because they remind me how great I am. There’s nothing like a huddled, scared group of Catholics, Spanish spies and non-Tudor-Kingmakers to make a guy feel pretty awesome about all the power at his disposal. Sometimes, I like to stand in front of their cells and eat big, huge legs of turkey while discussing the tenets of Anglicanism.

What is your superpower?

Largest human being on Earth in the first half of the sixteenth-century. How’s that for a synecdoche?

How do you use it to build community?

Perhaps the extended metaphor of my size allowed me to further establish the community of England by creating the nation state’s own church. Also, if I wasn’t so large there’s no way that people would’ve stood for me executing so many innocent people…like my wives.

My Three Favourite Things About Henry VII are…

[Editor's note: we'd just like to make it clear that we have many, many, many least favourite things about Henry VII; for example, Godfrey and I are fundamentally against murdering our wives regardless of how much closer they bring us to an alliance with Spain. We also don't care for overtaxing a taxed population - for Godfrey, especially the landed gentry - for militaristic purposes. Finally, gluttony isn't a great thing at all and this man is a bit of a poster-child for eating more than we need to. Oh, one more thing, don't let this get back to Hank, but we asked about 145 other people to be in "Get to Know Your Community" for the History of Work series and, well, they all declined to comment. This guy, though, well he isn't shy about speaking his mind. To say the least...].

1. He let us interview him!!! While Kurt’s interview with Santa Claus certainly expanded our readership amongst disgruntled elves and children of wealthy countries that are influenced by American popular culture, the fact that we locked down Henry VII (who has in fact been dead for over five centuries) will play huge with the History, Reformation, divorcee, and giant-robe crowds. I mean, if this were to happen in his day, well, Godfrey and I would probably have been thrown in the Tower of London on the charges of slander and, certainly, treason.

2. Giant pants. I remember, a few years ago when I was living in England, standing in awe as I gazed upon Henry’s giant armour. Honestly, a man from the sixteenth-century being so big was pretty darn amazing. Such sheer greed and gluttony contained in one pair of pants was certainly an historical warning of what big fat white guys could – and would – do to the world. Henry was a messenger. We just missed the message.

3. Entrepreneurial Boat-Rocking. The guy had a vision and he stuck to it, which is pretty admirable. Sure, it was based out of selfishness and an ego the size of his pants, but he took on powerful enemies and didn’t flinch once.

- As told by Godfrey von Bismarck and John Horn

The History of Work Series Concludes

So there it is. This concludes The History of Work Series on the Daily Gumboot. Godfrey and I have researched, analyzed, evaluated, and delivered results on, first, the nature of work as it relates to community and, second, the best and worst jobs of all time. Here is a re-cap:

The Five Best and Worst Jobs Ever!

And you undoubtedly had a great time reading the series – or selections from it – and learning all about the different careers and job opportunities that have impacted humanity over the past, well, forever. If you didn’t have a great time reading it, please contact Godfrey and ask for a refund.

Moving on…

One – or two – cannot engage in a project like this without asking some key questions about what it all means. Without further ado, here are three of those questions:

What was your creative process like?

JOHN: Well, it involved a lot of yelling. Swearing in German (mostly Godfrey). Swearing at Germans (mostly me). And also lots of love. We also surveyed over 15,000 people to find out what you - the readers – thought were the best and worst jobs of all time. As Historians – engagers of the most noble academic discipline – Godfrey and I were well positioned to use Google to find the top seven websites dedicated to “the history of work”. I believe that we even used some stuff from the Discovery Channel’s “History of Work” series, which was cool, but, as with so much media, only focused on the negative parts of work. Here at the G’boot, we like to keep things positive. Collaborating with Godfrey is a pleasure, mostly because his brain works in a completely different way than mine does. For example, Godfrey thinks about things before he says them, whereas I just write stuff down, man.

GODFREY: It’s true, while the inter-web was a great resource, a  lot of pensive thinking and dreaming and informal focus grouping when into our selection process. It’s amazing how readily people come up with an answer to, “What’s your favourite job?” whether in a coffee shop or while riding the bus. If people’s eyes lit up when they responded with “Explorer” or laughed uneasily when I pitched “plague collector” to them in a coffee shop line up, then these jobs made my final cut.

How does work inform community?

JOHN: In my humble opinion, work – paid, unpaid, volunteer, involuntary – is central to every community. To paraphrase Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest, I think a global emphasis on meaningful work that focuses on human beings, rather than technology or the goods it creates, will “return [sic] people to the heart of the world and of life.” Because sometime we lose site of the people that are wrapped up in our global economy. Hey, we’re the only species on the planet that suffers from unemployment! When it comes to work informing community, I think it’s telling that the typically first question someone asks a new acquaintance is “what to you do for a living?” Perhaps a better question would be “why do you do what you do for a living?” and, follow-up question, “how does this work feed your soul?” In fact, perhaps reflect on those questions yourself and think about what your work means to your community.

GODFREY: Engaging in fulfilling work is what lends so much meaning to our lives. So much of that fulfillment depends on touching the lives of others, working in a team, learning from your co-workers. In short, work means engaging with our world its people and building our connection to it. Even though it’s one of the worst jobs you can imagine, did  the plague collector touch her communities and make them better? Arguably, yes. The same goes for the community transforming power of a King (see tomorrow’s Get to Know Your Community for details) or the enlightenment provided to the world community by the academic. In short a job doesn’t have to be “good” or “enjoyable” to positively affect community change.

How do your respective jobs measure up?

JOHN: Well, I have at least two jobs. Both feed my soul in different ways. As Herder of Cats Editor-in-Chief for this online magazine, I get to write, read and work with brilliant people and Kurt to create an interesting, entertaining and collaborative narrative about community. Writing, more than anything else except for cheese and, I guess, my lovely wife Michelle, feeds my soul. Perhaps my favourite part of the Daily Gumboot is the instructive/prescriptive part of it, where Correspondents like Katie Burns teach people how to grow, harvest and can tomatoes. One of my favourite things in life is what the kids call “clashing of worlds” and I love how lucky I am to bring strangers together as they interpret the idea of “community” from myriad perspectives. As a Career Manager at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, I love the professional diversity of my work. The students are awesome. The work is as diverse as it is interesting as it is challenging and, to quote S||A (aka Stewart Burgess) I love the audiences for which I am lucky enough to teach as well as present edutaining material. Hardship only comes up when co-workers make fun of my clothing and don’t invite me to meetings. So, it’s pretty tough sometimes…

GODFREY: Having recently moved into a communications job which puts me into constant contact with the world around me  means I am growing to steadily enjoy my work after several years of boredom where I worked mostly in isolation . A great team of co-workers helps. In the end, people make my days great. Writing for the web and developing communication strategies is a bonus. I have a new job on the horizon as a father – an opportunity I am excited to get started on as well.

Final Words

And that, as they say, is that. Everyone, on behalf of Godfrey and myself I’d just like to say you’re welcome! As you find something to feed your soul in 2011 be sure to think about the positive way in which it will build community, too. And have fun with it!

- Godfrey and John

The Very Best and Worst Jobs Ever!!!

We’ve explored Pirates and Message Runners, Professors and Fact-Checkers, Singers and Searchers of Plague Dead, and, yesterday, Politicians and People Born into Wealth and Title. Amazing. We’ve come a long way and, before we ring in the new year, it’s time to review the very best and worst jobs the history of work has given us. Maybe just in time to influence your New Year’s resolutions…

Very. Best. Job. Ever.

Since there have been unknown places in the world and in our brains, there have been Explorers whose job it is to seek adventure into these mysterious places. There are a few types of careers that fit the bill in this category (details of how each one works are below). For example, Indiana Jones, Henry Hudson, Marco Polo, Cheng Ho, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta, and that Livingstone guy are the kind of explorers who get outside, dodge poison darts and rob graves for the good of Western/Eastern Civilization. With the creation of Planet Earth, there was nothing left to discover in terms of geographic mysteries and natural wonders on the planet – from an Indiana Jones perspective, anyway. The twenty-first century has, however, given way to new explorers of ideas, space, technology, and culture. And then there’s the guy who combines both kinds of exploring – old school and new school. His name is Wade Davis and his job title is Explorer-in-Residence for National Geographic. Coolest. Job. Ever. And they have a program!

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

EXPLORER

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship For an explorer, physical and/or mental anguish really isn’t “hard” at all, because it’s typically part of doing something you love! Okay, yes, you will contract malaria and dengue fever, but, here’s the deal: this kind of risk excites you! 5/5
Opportunity for Advancement Typically, you’re an entrepreneur-like worker if your job is to go out and explore things. Worrying about “promotions” and “corporate ladders” doesn’t really jive with your worldview, which is always changing by what you encounter. 5/5
Meaningful Nature of Work Of course it’s meaningful. You are discovering things that have never been seen, touched, tasted, heard, smelled, or sixth-sensed before! 5/5

Very. Worst. Job. Ever.

It should be noted and re-noted that slavery is as prominent and horrible as it has ever been – there are between 10-15 million slaves on the planet today. If anything, being a Slave has actually become worse than it was 1,000 years ago, mostly because the historical line is that the Catholic Church and the British Government put an end to it in the 1800s. There are lot of “Nos” that are associated with being someone else’s chattel: no rights, no dignity, no opportunities, no respect, no education, no meaning in life. Slavery has been around forever – long ago, Africans actually traveled to Europe to capture people and sell them  in Africa and the Middle East. Times have changed, though. What can you say about this kind of work? You’re owned by someone else – during the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries, slave owners in the American South listed slaves weight and height, etc. in their livestock log - and you do what they tell you to do. It’s apalling that communities still do this to each other.

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

SLAVE

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship You’re a slave! No matter how tough or crafty you are, being owned by another human being. Your plight is trivialized by lyrical content in horrible, horrible Britney Spears songs. 0/5
Opportunity for Advancement Are you kidding me with this?! Who made this matrix? 0/5
Meaningful Nature of Work Even if there was a shred of hope that you might like the work you’ve been assigned, you won’t find it rewarding at all because you’re a slave. 0/5

Reflections on these Jobs

GODFREY: These two occupations couldn’t be more contradictory in terms of job satisfaction, personal growth and and freedom to shape your everyday. Sadly, sot many can be a National Geographic Explorer and sadly too many still wind up as slaves.  Reflecting on these two jobs, however I’m thankful that only sometimes, on  a bad day, a slave to “the man” and inspired by the likes of Wade Davis and Dr. Livingstone to keep exploring my world, even if it’s sometimes from within my cubicle.

JOHN: First, get angry that slavery is as prominent as it is today. Second, reflect on how nice your holiday was. Third, get angry some more and, if you’re interested in channeling it, visit some of these websites:  stopmodernslavery.org or Amnesty International or Oxfam. Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, there is a pretty purposeful and clear binary between our best and worst jobs ever. One is about being someone else’s property and the other represents absolute freedom. Go into 2011 on a high note and find your inner-explorer. Or simply find the work that’s the most meaningful to you. After all, we gave you a pretty good list!

The Second Best and Worst Jobs Ever

Holy crap we’re almost done the series! Through Pirates and Message Runners, University Professors and Fox News Fact-Checkers, and Singers and Searchers of the Dead we have explored myriad kinds of work and how these historical jobs impact communities. Sort of. Other times we rambled about tenure and the coming Plague. Sorry about that. On to the next two jobs!

Best. Job. Ever. Number 2!

A Person Who is Born into Wealth & Title could be a King, Queen, Sultan, Baron, Emperor, Chief, Landed Aristocracy, or a trust fund baby from Connecticut. For over a thousand years you’ve just flat-out been better than everybody else and, depending on the century, you have represented one – or  several – deities here on planet Earth (thanks for that, by the way). Be it nation or fiefdom or Galactic Empire you are the final word on the economy, religion, the environment, human rights, and how many servants you can ethically sleep in one bunkbed. And all you had to do to get here is be yourself!

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

PERSON BORN INTO WEALTH & TITLE

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship If hardship is deciding which food to throw away  or weave even more gold into your clothing then your life is hard!

In the past, you have also used people as footstools, sacrificed virgins, and started your own church.

From time to time there are peasant uprisings, pesky Bolsheviks, Maoists, or Cromwellians who try to spoil your pageant. Just all in a day’s work. 5/5
Opportunity for Advancement You can’t really get much higher than King, right? Advancement can mean taking over another Kingdom, which means raising taxes, putting pikes into your serfs’ hands and sending ‘em into battle with hopes of achieving more land and title. 4/5
Meaningful Nature of Work Sooner or later, ribbon-cutting and holding hands with American Presidents who want your oil must get a little boring. Back in the day (or in Saudi Arabia right now) you derive meaning by weilding exceptional power. 4/5

Worst. Job. Ever. Number 2!

As a Politician, you have chosen to pursue a career in an ongoing righteous popularity contest that brings out the worst in people. From towns to nation-states, from the French Revolution until the 2012 Palin-Trump ticket, politicians have dug up dirt, slung muck, filibustered decent bills, perpetuated planet pillaging, and been Rob Ford. Recent findings show that most of them have nightmares about their work and that they aren’t always sincere in their promises. To quote Sir Winston Churchill: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” And the politicians make this worst form of government work…for…us…

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

POLITICIAN

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship Your entire working existence is one big peasant uprising!

People are skeptical of you and your values  when you start your career and downright hate your guts when you finish it. In between, you are raked through muck by your colleagues, misinterpreted in soundbites and probably get caught breaking the law.

This being said, the kickbacks are pretty sweet.

1/5
Opportunity for Advancement Your belief in democracy advancing merit, not legacy or title, is contradicted by your knowledge that money talks and Canada only has, like, eleven female MPs.

It’s still about who you know and playing the game.

2/5
Meaningful Nature of Work Self-interest (of yourself and your political party) defines your work. Being re-elected is, therefore, more important than passing career-crippling, yet world-saving, climate change legislation. From time to time you fight tyranny, deliver social justice, innovate, and/or appear on The Daily Show. These  meaningful achievements are few and far between, though. 2/5

Reflections on these Jobs

GODFREY: We will see in the next installment how slavery and the freedom to explore bring out the stark differences in two dramatically “professions”. When it comes to politicians, they don’t break with their historical antecedents. Being a politician can often seem like the historical evolution of absolute power, just by a different name. While the Obamas, Sarkozy’s and Suharto’s don’t rule by divine right, but rather the ballot box, let’s face – it their power is still largely absolute. They also still l live in palaces….I’m just saying….

JOHN: These jobs deserve each other. And, somehow, even though they’re different they really seem really similar. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – mostly because it really annoys Kurt – but Johnism is the only answer to the problems presented by these two examples of the bankrupt and broken way our world is governed. Or isn’t.

The Third Best and Worst Jobs Ever

Welcome to Part 3 of the Daily Gumboot’s award-worthy series on the History of Work. We’ve explored Pirates and Message Runners and University Professors and Fact-Checkers at Fox News. It’s been as hilarious as it’s been informative and interesting. With many of you in the Private Sector back at work, we hope that this mental exercise burns off some of that holiday goodness as you make great use of your downtime and read this blog!

Best. Job. Ever. Number 3!

From the Somalian poet/troubadour to the Japanese Geisha to Tom Petty, the Singer has been integral to the cultural fabric of communities. Your melodic words make people happy (even if it’s angry death metal it still makes people happy). Furthermore, according to a recent Happiness Index, singers are the happiest “workers” out there. Whether you’re a pop star, a Neil Diamond impersonator, a member of a church choir, or in the Little Guitar Army, you have fun with it. The job is simple, yet complex. You write poetry and then music to sing it to (or you get someone who can’t sing to do it for you). Everyone tries this job – especially in the shower and in Japan – but few can actually pull it off in harmony.

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

SINGER

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship You have arguably the highest level of job satisfaction in the history of the world. Because singing just makes you feel really, really, really good. This being said, the career of a singer involves sleazy producers, fickle fans, and the drugs. Your parents might also try to dress you up in horribly provocative and inappropriate outfits, too. 4/5
Opportunity for Advancement Ever since Cleopatra invited Phil the Performer into her court, singers have been overlooked for gigs. For every American Idol winner, there are 24 million singers who lose big. While you might be able to garner a humble YouTube/MySpace following, a career as a Singer –  is not successful in terms of the money pay off. But people who love what they do don’t care about that, right?
3/5
Meaningful Nature of Work Sometimes, you have to sing horrible, horrible pop songs that, while designed by focus groups of money-driven producers to be incredibly (and lucratively) catchy, make you die inside just a little. Not only are you doing what you love, you’re also doing what many, many people wish they could do and what even more people will never be able to do.Singing is – especially at the highest level – is something that can only be done by those who can do it and can never be taught.
5/5

Worst. Job. Ever. Number 3!

In the middle ages, Searchers of  The Dead, often destitute older women, who nevertheless had some medical knowledge, were dispatched by authorities to seek out quarantine houses containing victims of the plague or Black Death. Once they were identified, the house would be boarded up and the rest of the family quarantined. Searchers of the dead were mostly older women, destitute but with enough medical knowledge to spot plague victims. The pay was pretty crappy – about four pence per body – but prices plummeted during the Black Death (in the 1300s about 30-60% of Europe’s population died, which was around 370 million people), because local authorities couldn’t keep up with the hundreds of people dying everyday. Biggest job-related hazard? Dying of the Plague.

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

SEARCHER OF THE DEAD

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship Dude. Your job is to pick up plague-riddled dead bodies, put them in a wheelbarrow and then dump them in a giant pit. You may or may not have to then light them on fire and/or spread a corrosive substance – like lime – on the bodies. Everything about this job is terrible. 0/5
Opportunity for Advancement Well, there is a good chance that your supervisor will die of the Plague and, with a little luck, you can take his job.There is also a strong chance that you will die of the Plague.So, it’s pretty much a wash.
2.5/5
Meaningful Nature of Work You are the thin line between pandemic and extinction of the human race. Your job might be terrible, but it ensures that Plague survivors live to have non-Searcher-of-the-Dead jobs in the future!
Also, your appearances in Monty Python movies are as amazing as they are hilarious!
4/5

Reflections on these Jobs

GODFREY: This job redeems itself somewhat in that, superficially, it represents a meaningful public benefit. But looked at more closely, it hardly elevated anyone to martyrdom. In the 1300′s when sacrifice and faith through good works were applauded, rooting out diseased corpses for a few pennies  hardly counts. Nope, this job really, really sucked.  Good thing it’s  been relegated to history… Or has it?….John? Thoughts? Maybe I could be a singer whose voice cures pandemics…I’ll keep reaching for those rainbows.

JOHN: If I could do it all again, I’d be a Searcher of the Dead. Wait…that’s not right at all. But, yes, human beings will succumb to a plague soon. It’ll probably have something to do with technology taking over. Like, it’ll sap our energy and distract us from more important thi- wait, I think this idea is more than 140 characters…

This evaluation made me wish I could sing. I mean, I really, really like doing it, and, hey, being in a band is all about teamwork and communicating creative ideas to a variety of people in a meaningful ways…It’s also about sex and drugs!

The Fifth Best and Worst Jobs Ever!

As outlined by the Introduction to the History of Work Series, this is Part 1 of 5 of the Best and Worst Jobs in History. Godfrey and I don’t stand on ceremony or words. We get right down to business. Without further ado, here are the selections:

Best. Job. Ever. Number 5!

Being a Pirate has simultaneously transformed and stayed the same since there was water and people had boats. The mediums have changed (ie. the Internet or a Hedge Fund instead of a ship), but the methods (ie. lying, cheating, killing, hacking, stealing) have stayed the same. Historians and popular culture will tell you the a career as a pirate means freedom, adventure and rum, which is true. It also meant democracy, health insurance and possibly getting hanged, drowned or put in jail for the ridiculously greedy ponzi scheme that you pulled on the financial world. This career is a celebration of independence, entrepreneurship and risk taking.

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

PIRATE

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship

Lots of risk-reward here. For example, Bernie Madoff, one of the twenty-first century’s more notorious pirates, is facing a lot of hardship now. This being said, many Somali pirates (flush with cash and power after several years of mostly successful hijackings and coastal defending) are living much richer lives than their parents and grandparents ever did. Pirate ships were, as we all know, the first places where democratic principles were written down (100 years before the French Revolution), they saw health-insurance established, and tolerance of ethnicity and gender were also realized here before anywhere else on Earth…or at sea.

All this being said, having your face exploded by a cannon or your arm semi-hacked-off with a rusty cutlass isn’t really “medium” hardship…

3/5
Opportunity for Advancement Why do you think so many merchant sailors and Royal Navy seamen deserted their serf-like existence to become pirates? Because every pirate is only a few votes away from becoming a First Mate or Captain!!!

Women were also able to advance in this profession. In fact, the greatest pirate in history was a woman named Madame Cheng.

3/5

Meaningful Nature of Work For someone who has an entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, loves a tropical climate, and is known to sip some rum every now and then, this job is for you.Whether today or 400 years ago, pirates have always found meaning by thumbing their noses at the status quo and finding different ways to make the world work. Meaning is what you make it when you’re a pirate!

4/5

Worst. Job. Ever. Number 5!

The First World War Message Runner was responsible for maintaining a battle’s lines of communication before radio existed – in fact, it would not be uncommon to see a message runner carrying a cage of pigeons through the exploding muck of the Western Front because, well, pigeons were more reliable than transmission cables. Not only was the job horribly dangerous, if you think about the daily nine-to-fives (we’ve all had them) where nothing gets accomplished and you feel like crap walking home in the rain, wondering what it’s all for, the life of the Message Runner was just like that…except, instead of data-entry, powerpoint presentations, or hammering nails, you faced imminent death every single day.

No water breaks or smoke breaks, as the glow of a cigarette would be spotted by a sniper a mile away. Oh, and the mud on your boots would invariably cause your feet to rot (it was called “Trench Foot”). And, remember, if you quit, your friends will probably die.

Summary of Academically Sound Findings and Analysis:

FIRST WORLD WAR MESSAGE RUNNER

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship

It’s not just the getting shot or shrapneled or bayonetted that makes this job one wracked with hardship. It’s the overwhelming knowledge that, if you fail, the lines of communication break down and there is a really, really good chance that your comrades – and your friends – will die in a hail of gunfire and explosions.

It’s also incredibly hard to run through mud that is waist-deep when you’re tangled in barbed-wire and you can’t see anything through the haze of mustard gas.

0/5
Opportunity for Advancement Hey, if you don’t get horribly wounded by shrapnel or captured by the enemy you could get promoted to, like, Corporal! …awesome…

Fun historical fact: Adolph Hitler actually started his “career” as a message runner in the First World War. Clearly, this is a traumatizing job (see above).

1/5

Meaningful Nature of Work Your work is incredibly meaningful – life-saving, even. But this only makes things worse.

5/5

Reflections on these Jobs

GODFREY: The jobs in this series are not always bound by place and time….Take piracy,  well, it’s alive and well, on the financial trading floors of the world. Sure, they’ve swapped their peg legs for Prada, their hook hands for Blackberries and soiled sea clothes for Armani and white collars, but they’re still pirates. I won’t beat this analogy to death, but if you think of the rolling graphs of the Dow Jones index as the high seas, and derivatives as highly risky booty, well there you have it. The risk that everything could sink – you along with it – just makes it better.

First World War Message Runners is probably the most sadly futile and comically absurd occupation that ever was.

JOHN: Amazing! Our matrix totally works! Hopefully we sucked some of the romanticism out of piracy (ie. Bernie Madoff is a pirate and Johnny Depp will never play him in a movie). Every kind of pirate is all about teamwork, adaptability, innovation, and they’re typically great communicators.

As for Message Runners, well, nothing screams futility like a guy running through mud to deliver a message that might possibly affect minor changes along an immovable stalemate in a totally useless war. Sigh. As it turns out, creativity can’t outmatch exploding shells.

PIRATE

LOW

MEDIUM

HIGH

TOTAL:

Level of Hardship

/5

Opportunity for Advancement

/5

Meaningful Nature of Work

/5