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The best worst job in the world

Getting into the game by Chris Clark

“Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.” – Thomas Carlyle

At long last, the lowly newspaper reporter has made a top ten list. Too bad it’s a list of the ten worst jobs a person could have in 2012.

Every year, the job website Careercast takes a look at 200 various careers, and rates them according to such variables as environment, stress, physical demands and career options. For the first time ever, newspaper reporter was considered just about the worst job there is.

There will always be those days when you feel like you have the lousiest job on the planet. But, if you actually quantify aspects of every job and compare one to another, it isn’t hard to figure out which ones are better than others.

Cleaning beergarden bathrooms, for example, is a lousy job. Cleaning them with a hose, or a flamethrower, is better. Topless mud wrestler is not a good job. Referee for your local topless mud wrestling league is much better.

Staking claim to the top spot in this year’s worst jobs list is lumberjack. The money isn’t bad for timber harvesters, but unemployment is very high, and the demand for lumberjacks is expected to fall in coming years.

Working outside all day may seem like a great job perk, yet being a lumberjack is not only considered the worst job, it is also one of the most dangerous. Finding young people who want to do it, and work hard at it, is what’s on the decline.

Children today would far rather sit inside with the latest video game than get up and get their hands dirty. Other rotten jobs that topped the worst of 2012 list include dairy farmer, oil rig worker and soldier; all good jobs if you don’t mind dirty hands. Dishwasher is another worst job, but at least your hands stay clean.

Newspaper reporter used to be a job that was respected and admired. Not anymore. What was once a career so glamorous and important that even Superman wanted it, now features income so low, stress levels so high, and opportunities so woeful, it is considered a job to avoid.

As the digital world continues to take over with instant information on demand, the need for newspapers is diminishing. The decline, experts suggest, is apathy. Today’s younger generation doesn’t care about the news, and, if they do, it’s more about celebrities and gossip than what is going on in their own back yards.

Luckily, there is far more to this job than the stress of deadlines, odd hours, and fact I would be better paid if I had a dollar every time someone complained about their community paper.

This job takes me to places and conversations that I never imagined existed. It is interesting, respectable work, and rarely boring. I get to write sentences and get paid for it. Sometimes, even complete sentences.

In short, becoming a reporter is like signing up for adventure; and if that makes it the worst job of 2012, then bring on the adventure. Besides, it could always be worse. Sorry, lumberjacks.

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