Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Least Stressful Jobs of 2013... WHAT the....????

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Least Stressful Jobs of 2013... WHAT the....????

     GSAS students, and academics across the nation, are in a social media uproar over the Forbes list of "Least Stressful Jobs," of 2013, as "university professor" came in at number 1, above seamstress, medical records tech, jeweler, lab tech, audiologist, dietician, hair stylist, librarian and drill press operator. The list actually comes from a site called Career Cast, which compiles data about all different jobs and lists a "stress score" for each of them.

    My thoughts:
    First of all, what is a drill press operator? (had to look this up. seems cool!)
NYPL digital files: drill press operator

Drill Press Operator, from Career Cast Website
    Second - and here is where my piece will get controversial! -- how is librarian number 9? How isn't that number 1? That job seems pretty low-key to me. In my experience, librarians are amazing, awesome, helpful people, but they do not seem stressed out. The job requires extensive knowledge, but it doesn't seem like the actual job itself causes stress on the body or mind. Am I wrong? Maybe I am -- but it seems like a job I wish I had. Also, you can't take that job home with you -- it is not as if you can do the job from home, etc. You basically are at the library or you aren't. And you are in a place where people literally are not allowed to make noise -- seems anti-stress to me. Unless you have to yell at people a lot to shut up. 

   I mean, I am sure if you are the person in charge, running a library, it is pretty stressful, but I'm not even sure librarians do that kind of thing -- make budgets; hire, train, manage, and terminate staff? Anyway, cue the outraged librarians....now!
  Thirdly, I feel bad for jewelers. Most have to run their own business, and, in this economy, when I'm sure not too many are buying lots of jewels and baubles (in fact, many are SELLING them), that seems pretty dang stressful to me.
Jeweler

   Dietician... yeah, that seems cool. I'd move that up on the list, maybe. I wish I could tell people to eat lettuce wraps and yogurt instead of pizza and ice cream. Seems like a great idea for a career, actually. I'd get really stressed though if I couldn't eat pizza. I'd be like that character in Legally Blonde who sells exercise DVDs and makes money promoting exercise as a lifestyle but in secret gets liposuction.


   University professor -- honestly, maybe I am biased, because this is what I aspire to be, and it is a hat that I wear now even while I am finishing my degree,  but I just don't get this one. I see my professors inundated with work. I am sending three of them a 60 page chapter in a few days, and want feedback on it by next month -- imagine how many requests like that these people get per month? per week, even? "Write me a recommendation," "Meet with me before class," "Give me an extension," "Change my grade," blah blah blah, the requests seem endless. I, as a student, have "asked" for some of these things, by the way; and, as a professor, I have been asked ALL of these things. It is strange to be on both ends of the stick -- I realize what the expectation is on the student's end, and also realize the pressure on the faculty's end.
Fordham College at Rose Hill

    I guess the most striking paradox of the whole thing is that no one wants her job listed on the "least stressful jobs" list -- you feel indignant, claiming that it is INDEED very stressful, and don't you dare to presume to say otherwise, and if you walked a mile in my shoes, and how can I complain to everyone about my day if everyone thinks I have the number 1 least stressful job in America? -- and yet no one wants her job to actually BE stressful. When I mentioned this paradox to my husband, he chuckled and commented insightfully that in Europe, this would not be the case. "Least stressful" would not be considered a knock on your life's work. In America, it seems it is.

Thoughts? -- L

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