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The Bad Jobs of Tomorrow, Today

Sorry to ruin your day, but you can pretty much forget your dream of becoming a metal and plastic grinding tool operator. This profession, whatever the heck it is, appears at the top of a list of “The 10 Worst Jobs of the Future,” which I found online from Kiplinger.

It’s difficult to imagine there are any jobs worse than the one to which you are currently clinging, but apparently, there are some professions that are even more doomed than yours.

Like the above-mentioned dream job of grinding tool operator. According to Kiplinger’s Stacy Rapacon, the reason for the negative outlook on grinders is a combination of technology and globalization. Though we like to think of human beings at the top of evolutionary ladder, “most of the work can be done more efficiently by machines.” And what can’t be done better by a machine can be done cheaper by a citizen sitting in Bangladesh. As result, “machine operators who specialize in cutting, slicing, extruding or forming are fairing poorly.”


I warned you that I was going to ruin your day. You can intrude, and you can exude, but cruel fate has decimated your opportunity to extrude.

The other nine doomed and damned professions are so varied that it makes you wonder if it’s worth your while to pursue any career at all.

See yourself becoming a floral arranger? Fantasize about creating individualistic artistic bouquets of posies to celebrate Mafia funerals? Fuhgeddaboudit! Even the Mafia prefers to get their flowers at the supermarket, where the arrangements are created by butchers, in between chopping chuck and grinding sausage meat. (Which could be good news to the soon-to-be redundant plastic grinders, who may have a big career in grinding sausage.)

And doesn’t it always seem that being an airline ticket agent would be a whole lot of fun? It’s such a wonderful opportunity to interact with happy travelers totally excited to be embarking on stress-free journeys and always in a great mood. Plus, you get to explain fascinating aspects of today’s travel luxuries, like why it now costs extra to check a bag, request a cup of coffee or use the bathroom.

Alas, ticket agents are becoming an endangered species, which will not exactly be shocking news to anyone who has been to airport lately, and waited an hour in line for some doofus to explain that their flight has been delayed four hours, so there really is no problem.

As an alternative to ticket agent, Kiplinger suggests you become a hotel desk clerk, but don’t even consider this as a career unless you have developed a highly prurient leer.

Being a bike messenger is also a job on the skids; though, when we consider your lack of physical conditioning and your surplus of girth, it is unlikely that you would live long enough, racing through the traffic, to see your profession to come to an end. Of course, if you do want a safer delivery job, consider the U.S. Post Office. Mail-carrier positions will be reduced by an estimated 26.8 percent by 2200, which is just about the year that your birthday card to your mother should arrive.

In a depressing turn of events, my own career choice of reporter also appears on the endangered professions list. Paper-based products like newspapers and magazines are the Dodo Birds of the modern media environment. The few publishers that remain have merged and consolidated themselves with such gusto that there are few media outlets available. This explains why you are likely reading my column on Cheese Lover’s Weekly.

The alternative career recommendation for reporters who come to their senses is to “jump on the other end of the press release and pick up a gig in public relations.” This makes perfect sense. Sure, you can report the news, but lying is more fun, less depressing, and it pays better.

As we know from watching film noir movies from the 1930s, every detective has a sexy blonde sitting at their telephone switchboard, so I was totally shocked to learn that switchboard operator is also a profession that is on the outs. Rapacon suggests customer-service representative as a possible alternative, since this career requires people who “know more information and respond to more complex questions.”

This is nonsense, and if Rapacon wants to know my reason for scoffing, she is welcome to call my office. As Trixie will inform her, “Your call is important to us. The wait time to answer complex questions is four hours.”

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company,


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