Friday, August 06, 2004

Hitting the Job Lottery

I had the most interesting discussion this afternoon. My friend J. in California, has a really cool job. She is basically the personal publicist for one of the world's most advanced robots. That's right, you read that right. Basically she travels about a week a month, gets fed at nice restaurants and gets coverage for this super duper robot. Not a bad way to make a living. But what fascinated me even more is that these tours she goes on with the robot are like rock concerts. No less than 25 people travel around for this robot's appearances. TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE!!!

But as sweet as J's job sounds, she still works her 50, 60 or 70 hours a week, because she is, after all, in PR. And so as much as we, as fellow PR people think she's hit the job lottery, there are people in that group of 25 who are even luckier than her. Apparently, the robot needs four guys to control it. So one guy basically moves the head, another one moves the arms and so forth. Well these guys are not engineers. They're not Ph. D. students in robotic. No, they are average guys who are obsessed and really good at video games. But get this. They are paid a salary. As in, they get paid the same thing, every two weeks with no fail. However, unlike us suckers, they only work that one week out of the month when the robot is on tour. The rest of the time, one of them is a deejay, I'm sure another one goes on audition after audition. And as much as many of you are scrambling trying to figure out exactly how you can kill one of them to take their spot, here is the worst part.

They make $50,000 a year for this.

So here I am, waking up at 4 in the morning with anxiety attacks because of my job, horrified at the idea of going in for another 10, 11 or 12 hour day. And during this time, some guy in California is working one-tenth as hard as me. And getting paid really well for it.

It's enough to make one weep. And so I wonder: are my odds of getting hit by lightning better than finding a great paying job where people treat me well and I am challenged every day without feeling completely overwhelmed?

Am I looking for the job equivalent to a unicorn?

This really has not been a good week for me. I had convinced myself that I had a sixth sense. Some people see ghosts. Some people can read others' thoughts.

My gift is that if a song pops into my head, I can flip through my 10 pre-programmed stations on my car radio, and it will either be playing on one of them or it will come on next.

I know! Cool gift right? Not exactly a party trick since it only happens about once or twice a week, but still. I'm a superhero. I'm Music Woman.

And yet this week, in telling one of my friends this deep dark secret (or an ex-friend as it may be since he's still no longer talking to me, despite my pathetic attempt at an apology) and you know what he tells me? That brains pick up radio waves and radios are on a delay, so the radio waves are hitting my brain before my ears can hear it.

So apparently, I'm no one special. I don't have a superpower. I have no psychic powers. I just have some freakish brain that can pick up radio waves. Which makes me really concerned about the microwave now. What's that I hear? Popcorn popping? Must mean the neighbors are about to put some in.

Sigh... I hate being ordinary.



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