International Working Women’s Day

Jessie: Feeling grateful for her job!

During the course of my research for my Beryl and Edwina books I encounter a lot of things that set my imagination on fire. One of the most interesting things I discovered as I worked on the first one, Murder in an English Village, was that women were not allowed to enter into every profession until the passage of the Sex Disqualification Removal Act of 1919.

It lead me to give a lot of thought to jobs I might not want to have. So, Wickeds, which job could you not imagine yourself ever doing and why not?

Edith: I could never imagine being a mathematician or an actuary. Too many numbers! Nor a bungee jumper, parachutist, or cliff diver – those jobs are the stuff of nightmares for me.

Liz: I could never do a math-focused job either, Edith. I also could never work in retail again. I did that as a kid and now, well, I don’t think I could deal with that many people all day!

Sherry: I couldn’t do anything in the medical field or having to do with bodily functions of any kind. I’d be the one on the floor needing the medical attention.

Julie: There are so many jobs I don’t have the skills, patience, or ability to do. But I saw a picture of folks who work on skyscrapers recently. Folks sitting on a beam hanging over empty space, eating their lunch. That is a job I could never, ever do. I’d weep and crawl around. My palms are sweating thinking of it.

Jessie: I’m with Sherry. I don’t want to even imagine circumstances that would lead me to a life that I would take a job in the medical field. I have an absolute phobia of blood drawing, needles, the smell of rubbing alcohol and the sound of sterile packaging being ripped open. I can barely type the preceding sentence without becoming light-headed. Also, the idea of wearing scrubs makes me almost as upset as the rest of it.

Barb: I’m a bossy type, so I wouldn’t want a job where I wasn’t in charge of something substantial or couldn’t see the impact of my efforts. I’m always looking for a measure of control, which is why I am now the boss of an entire fictional realm.

Readers, which job could you never imagine yourself doing and why?

22 Thoughts

  1. Not any of the adrenaline type jobs that some think of as exciting or getting the blood to pumping because I’m too much of a think this out type person, scared of heights and have been know to faint. 🙂 Also seeings how I am not that athletic sort, I’d be horrible at playing a sport much less thinking I’d get paid for it.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. That’s a good point,Kay. I’m a think this out person, too. I always admire those people in jobs where they are reacting to new situations all day–IT support people, stock traders, first responders, ER personnel. I admire it, but I wouldn’t last a shift.

  2. I relate to many of these (especially math and retail), but the one job I could not do?

    Computer tech support.

    Seriously, some of the customers have the stupidest questions. I’d get fired for saying something snarky to the wrong person at the wrong time.

  3. Telemarketer—these poor kids are just trying to work their way through college by reading a script, and they get the worst abuse because it’s their JOB to interrupt your dinner!

    …or caseworker for DCFS, seeing things you can’t un-see, and frequently not having the staff or the authority to do anything about it. Every time I see a report of a child-abuse death, where the kid had been “in the system,” I brace for the vitriole that’s gonna be heaped on some haggard caseworker.

    My, this took a cheerful turn! o_O

  4. Certainly nothing that required climbing to any height – construction, radio tower light bulb changer, even roofer. But those would never have been on the slate to begin with. However, the job I would hate most is any kind of sales, face-to-face or telemarketer (I actually tried the latter about 45 years ago – bad choice). I can’t in good conscience try to sell to someone something they don’t need. And, I burned out working for a legal services firm many years ago. And, I love a challenge and trying new things, but they have to be legal, moral and ethical.

  5. Count me out of the medical field as well. I could never deal with all that stuff with my stomach turning. There are things I can barely deal with when it is me who is sick. Plus the pressure of life and death.

  6. IT. My computer skills are limited to random clicking. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Problem is, I can’t remember how I got to where I am.

  7. Good morning Wickeds,

    Edith, actually mathematicians almost never get involved with numbers. Once you get past calculus, almost everything is abstract concepts and completely non-numerical, so you might want to rethink your career choices.

    Until my second year of college, I’d actually planned to be a doctor, but I accidentally took a one-unit course in Fortran programming and it was clear that I’d discovered my true vocation. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have thrived as a doctor, but for a completely different reason than most here have given. I would never have been able to distance myself emotionally from my patients, the way doctors must to survive, and I would probably either have been a suicide or in a mental institution within a year.

    When I was younger (up until high-school days), I’d wanted to be an actor. It’s something I was (and am) good at, but thank the heavens my mother browbeat that career choice out of me. The constant rejection that actors undergo would probably have had me throwing myself off the Empire State Building within a year. I would have thrived on acting itself, but what you have to go through to get there would have been the end of me.

    As for tech support, I actually had to do that for about six months until my employer wisely decided that it would be better to find me something else to do with those hours that wasn’t customer-facing. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don’t suffer fools gladly. If I’d stayed in tech support, any longer, I doubt they’d have had any customers left within a year.

    Back in the early days of PCs, one of the most frequent messages you’d see would be “Press Any Key to Continue”. At least twice a week, we’d have calls from people saying, “I can’t find the Any key.” Sigh. No, that job is for someone a greater stash of infinite patience than I have.

    It’s possible this story is apocryphal, but I hope it’s not. Someone receives a tech support call from a customer saying that her computer isn’t working. The tech walks her through the check-list to determine what the issue is. She asks the customer, “Does your monitor have power?”

    The customer replies, “What’s a monitor?”

    “It’s the television screen in front of you. Is the little red light at the bottom glowing?”

    The customer replies, “No.”

    “All right,” says the tech. “Lets make sure the plug hasn’t been pulled out of the wall. Go behind your computer and make sure it’s still securely plugged in.”

    The customer replies, “it’s too dark back there to tell.”

    The tech asks, “Can’t you turn on a light?”

    “No,” replies the customer. “Our power’s been off for the past hour.”

    The tech replies. “Ahh, I think I understand the problem. Do you still have the boxes your computer came in?”

    “Yes,” replies the customer.

    “Good. Then box up the computer, take it back to the store where you bought it, and tell them you’re too stupid to own a computer.”

    It this story actually happened, I would have been screaming at the customer as soon as she said the power was off. I’d never have kept my cool long enough to deliver that last line. No, I would not have had a happy careen in tech support.

    1. Lee, I managed tech support for years. I loved the people who worked for me. Then there is.

      –The salesperson who send his computer back to our offices in MA from China with a note saying, “It’s broken.” IT response, “It is now.”

      –The Ivy League school with a tech manager so abusive we wouldn’t let female support personnel take his calls.

      –The guy who liked the look of a woman working in HR. After a few attempts at flirting he went back to his office, pulled her network connection and waited for his phone to ring. Readers, they married and are still going strong more than two decades later.

  8. No on the medical field. My cousin is in nursing school & is loving it. She has gotten so excited on the days she’s been able to draw blood, help out during a c-section, etc. I couldn’t do it. I’m too squeamish & I don’t have the patience.

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