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Not Quite the Job

It never ceases to amuse me when I read the author biographies in books the kind of jobs they claimed to have had. Most people have one area of work which they pretty much stick to the whole of their lives. But a lot of authors claim to have had several occupations. Are we seriously supposed to believe that these people have led such amazingly full bohemian lives that they've been a fruit picker in New Zealand, a parachute packer in Greece, a Shetland fish factory worker, a hospital porter in Florida and a barman in Ottawa? They may have done the jobs briefly but they weren't really a fruit picker, a parachute packer, hospital porter or a barman. In most cases they dabbled in this work while at high school or university to earn some much needed cash. That's way different from actually being one of these things. That would mean waking up five or six days a week knowing that you were going to spend seven or eight hours covered in slimy fish guts or waiting hand and foot on a bunch of ignorant arrogant drunken slobs. Day after day, week after week, year after year, decade after decade. It's about an attitude of mind, not proficiency with a filleting knife. Doing it for a couple of days or weeks as a Temporary Person Passing Through doesn't mean you really understand what the job is about.



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