The Silicon Valley Voice

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People Who Don’t Like People

Do you know the problem with the people at your job?

They’re people.


People are awful. They’re quarrelsome, troublesome, fussy, messy, complicated, confusing, stupid and stubborn and annoying.

There are some good things about people, I suppose. And there may even be some good people. (Here’s looking at you, Oprah.)

The problem is that the good ones are all taken — taken by other companies that pay better, work smarter and have free ice cream sandwiches in the break room. It’s companies like yours that get the rejects, as your own hiring conclusively proves, and, boy, do they make your life miserable.

Which brings us to Mary Lorenz — one person I really like.

Lorenz, who writes for CareerBuilder, recently published “15 jobs for people who don’t like people.”

Describing our introverted lifestyles, Mary writes, “It’s not that you don’t like people, per se. It’s just that you’ve never been invited to a networking event and thought, ‘Well, that would fun.’ In short, you’re not a people person. And that’s okay.”

OK? I’ll say!

But not everyone agrees. Once you acknowledge that you’d rather live in a Yurt in East Yurtistan than be in any situation that requires you to mingle, expect shaming from a world of rabid networkers. These are exactly the people we’re trying to avoid, yet their scorn does sting, which is why you resist admitting that you’re a loner misfit, more comfortable at home, alone, with only your cats for company.

(People who don’t like people invariably like cats, have you noticed? Probably because cats don’t like people, either.)

So, what are the megabuck jobs for people who don’t like people?

How do you feel about being an interpreter? The median hourly pay in this field is $21.44, with job growth expected to be 17 percent a year.

All good, but how this job qualifies for a people-hater eludes me. If you’re interpreting, aren’t there, by definition, at least two people involved — the interpreted and the interpretee?

Another drawback is that it may be necessary for you to know another language, or so Mary Lorenz suggests. I’m not so sure. Considering what I hear in our current political campaigns, we could use an English-to-English interpreter, stat.

A more exciting job is an actuary. This job’s median pay is $47.85 an hour, and the only requirement is that you can add 2 plus 2. Or, really, 2 minus 2, since the basic job of the actuary is to figure out when people are going to die. This is very important to casket companies, and the manufacturers of sympathy cards. It is absolutely vital to life insurance companies, since they need to know the life expectancy of their policyholders, so they can cancel their insurance immediately before they croak.

If passing death sentences on your nearest and dearest does not fill you excitement, an even more thrilling career is that of an electrician. As our author points out, “As an electrician you get to work with your hands, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical day,’ and you won’t go into debt with student loans because much of the training is on the job.”

Much of the dying is on the job, too. Connect wire A to wire Z and you could have 40,000 volts coursing through your body. Your painful death won’t thrill your family, but it will make all the actuaries happy.

If you want a career that keeps you away from people, but also includes a soupcon of glamour, become an accountant.

Clearly, the need to do your clients’ taxes may require some human contact, but after a few years of working with you, most of your clients will be in federal prisons for tax evasion, which should limit person-to-person contact to visiting hours. The only downside I can see in becoming an accountant is dealing with the paparazzi and groupies.

Or you could become a librarian. You will spend most of your time with books, and when you do run into a person, you can chase them away with your professional shush. In fact, you might sign up for an online course at a leading librarian school, Shushing 101, to see if this is the profession for you.

Of course, if you really want to remove yourself from the world of people, become a workplace humor columnist. Here in my yurt, I almost never see people, and when they see me, they turn and run.

Don’t know why, but I like it.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at



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