Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Choose Your Poison...

Hello, Unflagging Followers!

With my savings starting to ebb away like beer from a damaged keg, I find myself now hunting for a new day job.  Given my p!$$-poor track record with past gigs, I've set a few simple conditions in stone for this new career:

(1) I don't want to be yelled at by customers for some stupid decision that my employer made.

(2) I don't want to asked to sell something that I have no vested interest in.  This includes (but certainly isn't limited to) paper clips, window dressings, auto-gyro insurance, salt and pepper shakers and batting practice helmets. 

(3) I don't want to clean up any bodily fluids, regardless of how many assurances I receive from my employer that the protective gear I've been given is "state of the art".   

(4) I don't want people's lives to depend on my ability to put shit together properly. 

(5) I don't want to work in an enterprise that encourages me to knowingly rip people off. 

So, to get a feel for what I'm about to wade into, I thought I'd take a look at the latest employment by industry figures courtesy of Stats Canada.  Here's an impressive-looking pie chart which I cobbled together to help break down the numbers (click to embigginate):

Okay, let's break down these very broad categories with some added description and coupla' 'xamples:
  • Agriculture (2%) includes growin' stuff, running "Poison Ivy's Carnivorous Plant Nursery", keepin' critters in barns n' fences ("ATTICA!  ATTICA!"), choppin' down trees, and wrasslin' with giant squid.  
  • Natural Resources (2%) takes into account pannin' fer gold, gettin' gas (?) and doing your best Daniel Plainview impersonation.
  • Utilities (1%)  includes (as one might expect) electric power generation, water treatment, poo disposal and natural gas distribution.  "Hey, somebody's bakin' brownies!"     
  • Construction (7%) a.k.a. buildin' stuff.  
  • Manufacturing (10%) i.e. makin' stuff. 
  • Trade (a whopping 15%) is essentially wholesale and retail in all of its glorious forms.  This includes retail call centers ("HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!")
  • Transportation (5%) also includes "warehousing".  Air, sea, rail, Pinto, rickshaw, bobsled:  it's all here, homes. 
  • Finance (6%) should also be paired up with real estate, leasing and the aforementioned auto-gyro insurance sales (which, I'm told, gives you ample coverage against liability, collision and Humongous-related firearm attacks):

  • Science (8%) is short for "professional, scientific and technical services".  This category also includes lawyers (for some odd reason), accountants, architects, engineers, designers, consultants as well as your run-of-the-mill beaker-chokers.  
  • Support Services (4%) was chopped down from "business, building and other support services."  Since I still had no clue what this meant, I looked for some examples.  As it turns out, this broad category includes such disparate things as record keeping, collections, employment services, pest control, landscaping, waste management, security, travel agencies and (more) call centers, this time for people who dropped their Blackberry in the terlet.  Seriously, can't you people stop texting long enough to take a pee?!?  
  • Education (7%) Learnin' people up since 859 AD
  • Health Care (12%) also includes "social assistance" and, presumably, "changer of bed pans".
  • Culture (4%)  was truncated from "information, culture and recreation".  This includes makers of newspapers, software, movies, music, telecommunications and the fine folks who brought us such cultural touchstones as Work It
  • Food Services (6%) was also supposed to include "accommodation" and jobs which require the utterance of such pithy statements as "Would you like to super-size your fries for only 43 cents, sir?"  
  • Other Services (5%)  includes such esoteric things are repair, maintenance, laundry services, religions (!) and that always-lucrative cottage industry: death
  • Public Administration (6%) In other words, THE MAN: government, bureaucrats and the po-po.  
So, after careful examination of this data, I can easily extrapolate the following scientific conclusions:

(1)   If "Natural Gas Distribution" is a real job then this means that my buddy Dean has been moonlighting all these years without proper compensation.  Little wonder the poor bastard's always so tired.

(2)   I'm pretty sure Batman falls into the "Science" category.  That is, if he lived in Windsor, Ontario.

(3)   I'm gonna go ahead and assume that independent writers, artists and performers were just lumped right into the "Culture" category, otherwise they didn't even rate in this survey at all.  And, frankly, that's just too depressing a thought to consider.

(4)   As far as I can determine, my return to work conditions have eliminated approximately 92% of what Canadians routinely do every day in order to eat.

(5)   The odds of me finding myself in a creative career is approximately the same odds of a celebrity marriage lasting for a lifetime.  Or getting hemorrhoids.  


More wacky information on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Okay, make yer own damn pie graph.

"Never tell me the odds."

FAIL  It amazes me that someone like Harry Knowles has a writing career and I don't.  Check out this inexplicably weird, random and vaguely embarrassing tidbit shoe-horned into his recent review of the Godzilla Blu-Ray:

"SO yeah… I love GODZILLA. It probably has to do with me going to strip clubs with my parents on Halloween with my 'Uncle BOB' in a full-bodied GODZILLA costume for the Costume contest and seeing the Big G dance with naked girls at the Yellow Rose."

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