56 thoughts on “Weekend Question Post

  1. Systems analyst/computer geek for the State of Loosiana. I neither particularly like nor hate the job. Fixing problems with computers and/or printers, to me, is roughly alalogous to solving crossword puzzles. My prime focus these days is the virtual server project, on which I’m one of the two project leaders, I guess.
    The salary’s ok, but what I LIKE about working for the State is that they treat us like human beings. I’ve had several career-type private sector jobs where I was treated like crap…and of course have done service sector stints (hotels, restaurants, cab driving) where money can be made, but the hours and/or pace are more suited for young adults.
    With the State you get holidays, decent amounts of vacation and sick leave…plus, to be honest, in my field, instead of “one person doing the work of three” it’s more like “two people doing the work of one.” This allows you to take an extra day off here or there if you need to, and it’s good for the local economy (State workers are purchasing goods and services.)
    About the only thing I dislike are the restrictions on partisan politics, but I’ll deal with it. We are allowed to participate in issue advocacy.

  2. Self employed computer consultant in Mid-coast Maine. I am pretty lucky – I get travel from client to client (small businesses and “residential customers”) in a beautiful part of the country. I get to meet all kinds of interesting people and generally make them happy. No health insurance, so that’s sometimes a worry. I drive a lot, so gas prices are a bit of a worry too. But all in all, I’m very lucky.

  3. I am a Project Manager. That means that if I do my job well it looks like I’m not doing anything. And if anything goes wrong it is my fault. I find the level of job satisfaction goes up and down depending on the project, and then on the team. My favorite ones have been in Africa. My least favorites are here, and now I am working on a real estate mixed use project that is taking on some water and listing. I have been shifted into financials and working on putting together funding scenarios. Stressed out as it is the deep end of the pool for me. But I am learning all kinds of new stuff, and getting new skills.
    But I am dusting off the resume and looking for the next thing. This is likely going to end sooner than later and I will be needing to get into something fast…focusing on Africa again.

  4. I am retired and loving it. Before retirement at age 60, I was a Toxicology Lab Supervisor in a Medicak School and loved it. It was challenging and the best things about it was my boss, who never asked me to do anything in the lab that he wouldn’t do himself. (like grinding up maggots found on autopsy bodies and analyzing them for drugs) By the way, I can’t watch any episode of CSI without dissolving into hysterical giggles. 😉

  5. I am a technical writer and software tester who works for a small company that provides Electronic Data Interchange software and services to buying groups and purchasing cooperatives*. I find and report bugs and errors in the company’s software, and then when the programmers have (ostensibly) fixed them, I test the software to make sure it works correctly. I also write in-program and online help for our applications, as well as user manuals and training materials.
    Ilove my job. It’s a small company and we’re all completelyinsane, so I fit right in. I also really like that I do most of my communication in writing, through the computer, rather than having to talk to people, or, perish forbid, try to sell anything. (Iespecially like that I’ve actually had clients e-mail the company to tell us how good and useful my helps are! Nobody does that! Go me!) I don’t make a metric shitload of money, but I’m also a long way from broke.
    * A buying group or purchasing cooperative is a large communal venture by a group of small businesses, where they do all their purchasing of goods as a collective. This allows small independent retailers to compete effectively with much bigger corporations. It’s all rather socialist, really. 🙂

  6. My current occupation is by far the best I have ever had, and ever will have. It offers lots of free time to use as I please. It offers very little stress, and only very slight supervision by my “coworker”. Yes, I am retired!
    Before that I was an engineer for an airline, working on maintenance of aircraft mechanical and hydraulic components. I supervised up to 20 other engineers, technicians and clerks for awhile, until I began concentrating on just making it to retirement. Needless to say, perhaps, dealing with office politics was the killer part of the job.
    If I see an opening for someone else at my current occupation I will certainly keep all of you in mind.

  7. Retired after 28 years as a weekly newspaper editor and columnist. It was a great job, but I figured it was time to go when I could show up at a public meeting, see what was on the agenda, and be able to write the story before the meeting took place, since everyone’s arguments and points they wanted to make remained unchanged for 28 years–even though there were different people involved.
    But it was fun and interesting to watch our community go from the 1,200 souls who lived here when I was a kid growing up in the 1950s to the 27,000+ who live here now. Best of all, I got to comment every week in two or three edits, which helped me keep my sanity when dealing with political hacks and dolts.
    While dailies are having lots of problems now, weeklies are in growth mode, especially in booming suburban areas like ours. Mostly, that’s because of the destructively atrocious news judgment of the daily press. Give people what they need to read (as opposed to chasing focus groups’ suggestions–most people don’t know what they need to know until an informed reporter digs it up and prints it in the paper) and you’ll be a winner every time.
    It was fun for 28 years and cruising the Internets (I keep searching for those tubes) is too…

  8. I’m a supervisor for a locally family owned automotive supplier in Michigan. Secure.
    We are a rare breed here in Michigan, as businees is REALLY picking up due to new business, mainly making transmission parts for the smaller Ford engines. we are actually hiring!
    That being said, the family that owns the place is old school, Catholic set in their ways and uber-Republican. St Ronald and trickle dsown economics and all that shit rocks!!
    They honestly believe that people are mere posessions to attain the bottom line that should be thankful to having employment provided to them.
    A secure and well paying job in Michigan, and not only do I not appreciate it, I fucking hate it.

  9. For almost thirty years I have managed an ob/gyn ultrasound department. Diagnostic ultrasound is interesting and there is always something new going on – the 3D systems we use are amazing; digital volume data that can produce images similar to MRI and CT. I love working with patients and I enjoy managing my team but I hate the capitalistic US healthcare system. It’s nice to have a skill that is in demand but I have had many repetitive motion injuries from scanning and figure I have about five years before I’ll be forced to do something else. Like retire 😉

  10. Application administration and faculty support specialist for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I administer accounts and provide technical support and training for the online course management system and have been in the Nevada System of Higher Education for nearly a decade now. Love the work, being around students and faculty keeps a person young and offers a diversity of ideas and opinions that one might not get in a corporate environment.
    Ironically, I’ll be heading down to Loosiana this fall where I’ll either sign on with the University of Louisiana, Lafayette (I’ve always wanted to tell people I work for Ooh-La-La) or set up shop as an independent contractor.
    I’ve done a wide variety of jobs since college and have in some form or fashion appreciated and eventually loved them all. I’m a believer that a diversified resume and portfolio gives one enough options to weather the worst times and if one job completely disappears or contracts to the point of the job running your life, you can opt for another career that will pay the bills and let you keep your soul healthy.

  11. I am a night shift Nursing Administrator. I am the only member of hospital administration on duty, so I run the whole show until the suits show up the next morning. Mostly I manage the nurses on duty, but a little (or a lot) of every possible other issue gets on my plate from time to time. It’s as high as I will ever go in the ranks of nursing. And for a nurse like me, it is a wonderful job. I am very tired of night shift though.
    I will probably go back to ER nursing after this wears me out, but who knows…

  12. I retired early (age 54) last year and my timing couldn’t have been worse! My investment portolio has lost close to 30% of its value since then and the cost of everything we use (energy, food, and healthcare) is skyrocketing. That being said, I’m back looking for a job…
    But prior to last year I supervised the children’s department at the local library. I had a reasonable commute, was paid fairly well considering the local wage structure, and had excellent benefits. BUT, I worked for the biggest jerk around and he made my life absolutely miserable. That combined with some staffing problems and the fact that my husband was already retired, made retirement look oh so good. Let’s hope a 55-year old librarian can still find a job!

  13. I have a job that allows me to write for a living. I’m an appellate lawyer. The job draws on my creativity (find a persuasive argument) and my writing skills (communicating the argument in persuasive writing to appellate judges).

  14. i had a job for low pay but perfect for me making tiffany reproduction lampshades that could fool experts. til cheap assed shit and the boss’s suicide killed the company. the window got engaged too. but i have a basement full of glass. ad i keep plugging away with arts. no $ reward yet.

  15. I’m an attorney working for a nonprofit social service agency. My state leads in poverty, incarceration, mental illness, substance abuse and other addictions, teen pregnancy, anti-immigrant fervor, and religious conservatism. On the other hand, we maintain our low ranking in education, access to health care, and access to justice by our legislature’s diligent tax-cutting. That’s a balance few states attempt to match.
    In spite of the very long hours I put into my job, I make considerably less than the average income for the rest of the U.S.(but still more than my clients, most of whom are disabled/homeless). I do, however, make a difference — both for the individuals I help and by participating in local and state reform efforts.
    My children are all free-thinking and conscientious adults. I admire them endlessly. My parents live nearby where I can check on them daily (they are in their mid-80s and have mobility problems).
    I like my job; I love my family and my dear friends.
    Life has brought me remarkable good luck.

  16. Heh.
    I’m a Methodist Pastor…which means I only work for a few hours a week on Sundays.
    That was snark.
    I get to write a lot, talk a lot, listen a lot and try in every small way possible to make a difference for people in my community and world.
    I also cope daily with a God fixation, but it comes with the territory 🙂
    The hours can be irregular, the personal demands can be high on both me and my family, but I don’t think I would do anything else.
    *shrugs* What can I say. Its a vocation.

  17. I’m a legal and business affairs person in the ad biz. Terrible business to be in, but the work is OK. I’m a solo act, so there’s no security, etc. Ended up doing it after 20+ years in law firms and in-house.
    At least I have time to read and occasionally comment on blogs like this!

  18. Former musician turned composer/arranger turned audio recordist/mixer turned film/video picture editor turned interactive/DVD coder and author turned “fed up with working for The Man” — so I opened my own shop two months ago…
    My co-conspirator has as many years (30) in the production side of the biz as I have in the post side, and we’re definitely having a *lot* of fun in this endeavor.
    I absolutely love – for the first time in a while – getting up in the morning and going to “work”.

  19. Overnight radio DJ in Honolulu.15+ years and I still love it! Neat digital toys and I get paid to
    listen to music and surf the net. Life’s good in paradise 🙂

  20. Look you dirty fucking hippies, I listen to your phonecalls while resting in my hyperbaric lair. Every once in a while I ask Lynne to go get me a couple puppies and kittens for my daily sustenance – I find that it goes best with a Bourbon chaser.
    I call that jackass from Iran every other day and we joke how the war in Iran will fuck over each of our countries but line our personal bank accounts with even more riches.
    I tell Dumbyanuts to go ride his bike when he’s getting on my nerve. Maybe one day he’ll ride a bike and be eating pretzels at the same time.
    Go fuck yourselves!

  21. Maritime attorney / company VP / human resources / office manager / receptionist /landscaper for a small (millions of tons, 5 employees) international ocean transportation firm.
    I have regular hours and don’t have to take work home with me too often, which is nice. But I work for a pair of very idiosyncratic and micromanaging + illogical + computerphobic owners (married, he’s 80, she’s 59) in a port city that is losing vessel calls every year. I would much rather be working in environmental regulation for the state; unfortunately, for the past 5-7 years that I’ve been ready to make a move, both WA and OR have had pretty strict hiring freezes on.
    But our office is on the river and I’ve seen a bald eagle steal a salmon out of the talons of an osprey right out my office window; we’ve got a resident coyote that visits each fall and spring; and our office is two miles away from some of the best summer and fall u-pick fruits in the U.S. (where I spend my summer lunch hours), so it’s not all bad.
    (I don’t work in a law firm because I was raised by a pack of lawyers and have seen far too much of the hive. I went to law school because I sucked at my first choice, journalism: writing good, researching good, interviewing very very very very very very bad.)

  22. I’m a graphic artist for one of the major military Recruiting Commands.
    I do graphics for Medical Officer Recruiting. You’ve most certainly seen my work. I have done voiceover work for our TV spots– you’ve heard my voice. I also handle retirement ceremonies for everyone on the base– programs, matting and framing, etc. All brainless and repetitive. I work with fools and wingnuts.
    I hate the location of the job, I’m not terribly happy with my employer, but as a Disabled Veteran, I need a steady job with health benefits, and so I sublimate my misgivings, and launder my income by helping others in need.
    Under the new NSPS system, the “steady” part of the job is under serious question, and I’m regularly gripped with the fear of losing this gig– as much as I find it daily drudgery. I don’t want to lose this nice little house I bought last year.
    Fifteen years until I can retire. GAH!
    It’s sort of like a soft prison.

  23. I am the (newly minted) director of research compliance at a state university. (yes, that’s DORC. Bite me). I deal with non-financial research compliance issues and, hopefully, facilitate pre- and post-award procedures for research faculty working on externally-funded projects. Short answer: I work everyday with mostly very brilliant people who passionately believe in science and research, and help them follow the rules so they can hang on to the hard-won chunks of funding they manage to find out somewhere out there in the rapidly dwindling supply.
    I also work part time providing advocacy for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
    There are parts that I love and hate about both jobs. Both are intensely rewarding, and both are very draining and demanding, which is why my online presence probably seems so trivial and peripatetic.
    Which is ironic because I am the least career-driven person alive. I need to work, I very much prefer to work in jobs that are fulfilling, but work is not where my heart and soul is.
    There are people out there, many of them it seems, who can give their all with jobs and family, then log online and be consistently brilliant and inspired and effective changemakers devoted to larger causes, day in and day out. They have my admiration and respect, but I am not one of them.

  24. I am a principal investigator at an archaeological firm in Arizona. In general, I love my job, except for those days when I have to send my crew out on excavation projects in the middle of nowhere in 120-degree heat…

  25. I teach science to juniors and seniors at an arts oriented high school. I covet the paychecks of others, but I cannot imagine doing anything else. I get up in the morning, and play all day.

  26. Organist/choirmaster for an Episcopal church. Love every minute.
    Teach piano to a dozen or so tykes. Love it.
    Holding down a day job doing phone sales for a chiropractor. Want to stab myself in the face from 9 to 3.

  27. Broadcast engineer / voice over talent / voice actor
    Recording studio etc

  28. This is one hell of an excellent thread.
    SO much diversity here.
    I’m really impressed by every single one of you.
    Thank you, Athenae for asking this question.
    Humbly yours,

  29. I work with kids (K-12) who have been removed from school for a variety of reasons. These kids are all Spec Ed kids, &, according to Wisco law, are to be provided educational services while they are out of school. I also substitute teach, but only for Spec Ed teachers. I am just like any other person connected to public school, I like the kids a lot & I like the Spec Ed teachers a lot, I like the office staffs a lot, I even like an occasional administrator or two, but I have nothing but contempt for some in the main administrative office. On the other hand, it could always be worse.

  30. Permanently disabled ex-Nuclear Engineer, bookstore manager, mechanic, waitress and chef. I do research and am an activist on several topics, especially for New Orleans and the Coast. Gratifying and angering at the same time.
    Right now I’m setting up the funding and creation of our own restaurant here in New Orleans. And I’m a landlady, or will be again when our property is repaired.
    I love having a job to do, no matter what it is. I was full-time at age 13 and I’ve never hated working. These last 3 years since the Flood have been very hard in that I couldn’t take job offers because of the uncertainty of where I was going to be living (gave up driving due to nerve damage).
    Overall, I think Life is pretty kewl.

  31. Author of non-fiction books, formerly as work-for-hire, hoping to retain rights on the next one. It hasn’t sold yet, so I’m retired for the time being. Allows for gardening and poking around the internets.

  32. Retired at 57. Life is schweet.
    The last two years I worked I was an office manager for the criminal prosecutions bureau of a state attorney general’s office. Didn’t like that a whole heck of a lot. Trying to get state employees to work when they’ve capped out on salary and can’t be fired can be frustrating. I loved working with the attorneys. Generally, a great group of people who so appreciative of paralegals who were willing to extend a bit of effort on their behalf.
    Before that I prepared responses to habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates. Loved that job. Reading some of the trial transcripts was like watching Law & Order. My favorite was the testimony of a victim who explained he always very carefully hid his house key under the frying pan on the front porch. Heehee.

  33. I am an Information Assistant for the NHS (National Health Service), my job entails dealing with information and assisting the Analysts with their tasks e.g. my current task is finding data on various forms of Cancers and creating graphs for the Public Health department of the organization. I do a little bit of everything, keeping the diary up to date, loading data, signing off reports to the Department of Health and so forth.
    I would not say I enjoy the job but it is better than being on the Jobseekers Allowance (money for when you are unemployed) and also its a permanent job with a pension and it pays the rent and allows me to afford things but I don’t want to be there forever

  34. I am a legal secretary which I have been for the last 26 years.
    I have been at my current job since last October and like it a lot.
    I work for two young attorneys who show their appreciation, as opposed to my last job, which I hated. It was a job where they expected one person to do the work three people should have been doing.

  35. Want to stab myself in the face from 9 to 3.
    I hope there’s a refreshing cocktail close at hand at about 3:15. Or some other refreshing respite.
    it pays the rent and allows me to afford things but I don’t want to be there forever
    Moonie, you won’t be, trust me. You are young and brilliant and insightful. For now, though, it sounds like a good gig for someone just out of school.
    Overall, I think Life is pretty kewl.
    GG, I’ve been intrigued by your eatery tweets. I had no idea. Kind of high risk biz, probably more so in NOLA now than elsewhere. OTOH, I can so see you rockin’ it.

  36. …I wander through the woods on occasion (though not nearly as frequently as I did thirty years ago when I first started my present gig) and write stultifying documents analyzing the potential effects of proposed federal land management actions, which are then included in larger documents called Environmental Impact Assessments that are subsequently published so my agency can be sued by those who disagree with the proposal…
    It’s a living…

  37. Network admin(routing + switching). I also do some Windows XP training as well. I’m currently teaching myself Windows Server 2003 so I can start training people in that as well. My job is great and I love my workplace.

  38. i’m a minor pencil pusher for a university. i just found out that janitors employed by my city get paid more than me. i kind of backed into this job after failing to get one in the field i was pursuing for a couple of years. so i’m trying to redirect into another field instead where i might have better luck, where i’m more sure of my skills. meanwhile – things ain’t so good at home.
    it could be worse though. it could always be worse.

  39. When I’m not appearing on game shows or blogwhoring, I raise money for a university. I used to be a lawyer, but I hated it; before that, I taught high school and community college for four years, which I liked but it was hard to find a job (at the time), so I went to law school.
    I always say that my worst day in my current career is still better than my best day as a practicing attorney, and after 12 years, I still believe it.

  40. I founded a radical bookstore/coffeehouse collective here in Baltimore. I work there and have been restoring this large burnt-out church we have re-puposed as a low-cost community events venue. Having finished with all this social justice work (forming a bike collective and a free store are in my past..). I want to become a pharmaceutical representative. I am currently writing reviews of disease states with an industry-wide focus on cures and think that this product may save the pharmaceutical industry from strangulation. Recent Hopkins grad.
    yes, that is a resume.
    and while I am :
    Love the blog; long time reader; where is holden? I miss my gaggle!

  41. Currently a freelance environmental scientist. I do historical site research to find spills of hazardous materials that pose a public health risk. I figure out how bad they are, I document them using analytic chemistry. I write an Environmental Site Assessment in conformance with ASTM 1527-05, and I hand the problem off for to someone else to fix.
    I really liked finding 30 year old, half-full, 1,000 gallon gasoline tank under the (stable, but safe??) playyard of a local youth center. It had been left there and the area re-landscaped a few times, and voila – down the memory hole, until I found a record of it, and tracked it down, and there it still was. That one was a good day. Nobody called the papers, catastrophe averted.
    Most days, however, are relatively boring, but it is never the same thing two day in a row. At least 50% of the job is writing dry reports in technicalese, 20% is travel, 25% is research, and only 5% is super fun, but it’s worth it, that’s one day a month that rocks. Sometimes two or three in a row.
    I’m really enjoying seeing what you all do. Thanks for sharing!

  42. I always say that my worst day in my current career is still better than my best day as a practicing attorney.
    Going to law school may have been a mistake, but the bigger mistake can be actually practicing.

  43. I’m a biochemist for a medical products company. I provide technical support for reagents/calibrators that are used on a clinical analyzer. I’ve been doing this for 29 years and really like the work and the people I work with, as long as the people aren’t management.

  44. High school physics teacher, 30 years (well, HS 28, college 2). I love my job. I have phenomenally smart students who mostly work like dogs, and who are almost always good kids. I am paid enough, but it took 20 years to get to a middle class salary. I also spend a minimum of 60 hours a week on the job.
    If you like kids, have a sense of humor, know and love a subject, this is a terrific career. The country needs more smart, well educated, energetic teachers. You might want to give it a try! You won’t get rich, but you probably won’t starve, either.
    Most of the administrators I’ve know have not been terribly helpful but at the same time they haven’t been terribly harmful, either. They just want a ship sailing smoothly. (Some actively try to improve the quality of the school, and I admire them for it.) It’s your responsibility to do the best job you can; most of the time no one will be on your case if you’re phoning it in. But few of my colleagues are loafing; the kids usually inspire you to good work.

  45. Damn, wish I weren’t so late to this thread. That’s what I get for being busy on the weekend. Sigh…
    I’m a Data Goddess, which boiled down means I count things and then analyze the various permutations of the counted things. I do this for a small community college, and a big part of my job is handling our accountability to the state higher ed system. Which is what is making me pull out my hair this week–major end-of-academic-year reporting due, and I’m going on a trip Wednesday. Yeek!
    I love my job–lots of independent work, lots of problem-solving, lots of system-building, and I work for a boss who’s very cool. I love the college environment.
    My second job is teaching history at the college part-time (that’s what I was really trained to do). If I could be doing that full-time, I would. I never really understood the idea of a “calling” till I stood up in front of a class the first time. Damn, what a great feeling it is to teach those kids (and yes, I can say kids because nowadays most of them *are* younger than I am. Lord, how things have changed ;-).
    So, David Derbes, I’m right there with you on the joys of teaching. (And one of my dear, dear friends teaches college kids how to be good physics teachers–he also happens to have been my high school physics teacher. I heart physics teachers!!!)
    My third job is working as a typist/secretary/girl Friday for a science fiction writer. She is a wonderful, wonderful person, and I love her writing, too. She’s as moonbatty as I am, and we spend half of my work time talking about the latest news (she knows wayyyy more about the Don Siegelman case than I do).
    Yes, I’m busy. But I love all my jobs, so it’d be hard to give any of it up (not to mention I need the $$$).

  46. Stay-at-home mama for me. I was a glassblower for a number of years before that – I still have the pipes and the tools, but going in and doing it is damned expensive. When I was in NYC before I moved back to New Orleans, I had begun taking courses towards the cantorate (i.e., Jewish clergy), and then I switched to courses in Judaism and the visual arts, which would have put me on a track to museum curation or art history or some such thing.
    Now that my little guy has reached 5 1/2, I’m looking for employment, and it is damned difficult for someone who has only been teaching art occasionally over the past five years or so. I’d like to start working in mosaic glass, but with the economy in the shitter, it doesn’t seem like a good time to try to build a business like that. I recently went on a job interview for the first time in ages, and my husband’s monster commute to work every day plus my son’s after school child care came up. The ASC at his school sucks. My husband’s commute has him coming home at a late hour. None of this is really conducive to a 9 to 5 workday.
    It’s banging my head repeatedly against a wall, trying to find employment these days. But I have to keep trying. The rising gas prices alone remind me that I must do so.

  47. Humanitarian Aid worker. Currently in Papua New Guinea. Before that in Aceh after the tsunami and before that in Darfur when it was first beginning to fill up camps. It’s interesting work but sometimes too far away from home (get back to the States about once a year if I can manage it). Still, been doing it for nearly 30 years. Guess I like it.

  48. I am a nurse anesthetist at a state run hospital facility (screen name adopted when I was in anesthesia school at Big Charity). Most of the time, I spend my days inducing respiratory arrests and then taking over all the vital functions of patients while someone else sticks them with knives. I love my job.

  49. I am the owner of a cleaning and moving service. We provide labor only moving services as well as regular and one time cleaning services. I have a 21 yr old son and twin brother who help me run this thing. My movers are all young guys, the oldest is 23, who love their jobs. I love this job too, but due to considerable growth I’m getting stuck in the office more often. We get to travel around the area and meet all types of people from all over the country and the world. Don’t ask how much I spend for gas in a month’s time. I am also providing good paying jobs to kids who need it.

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