When someone asks about your dream job, I think we all have something that just springs to mind.  However, in reality, it might not be the best job for us.

For instance, if you were to reply with “fireman”, you might be looking at fire fighting as a glory-gig.  You get to save peoples’ lives, you get to slide down poles and drive big trucks.  You probably get a lot of free time to work out, have sex, and use language that pushes the envelope of acceptable television (if Rescue Me has taught us anything).  You wouldn’t think, at least until you got there, about the heat of the fire, the unbreathable air, and the worst hours imaginable.

Doesn't this look like fun? Traveling 400 miles to sit in a closet and draw a picture of Wonder Woman for a guy dressed up like Snake Eyes.

Same thing with comics.  A lot of the people I meet really want to be a comic artist.  They want to go to conventions and talk to their idols and draw Spiderman and be a big-shot in their little world of drawing practically naked people.  You wouldn’t think, at least until you got there, about the hours of sitting in a room alone, the lifetime of thankless arbitrary deadlines, and the politics that go into getting hired and/or getting a contract.

I am aware of this “other side of the coin” mentality that we all seem to forget, so when people ask me about it, I usually just list things I would like to do in a job.  Hopefully, they suggest a good one, and hopefully that good one is drawing stick figures on a semi-regular basis.

I would like a job where I help people; a job that seems to matter – maybe not to everyone, but to at least a few.  I would like a job where I’m not waking up dreading going in and I would like a job where I do not punch a clock – maybe not make my own hours, but I don’t want a job where I’m ruled by a shift whistle.  I would like a job where I am really effective, but I wouldn’t want a job where I’m so relied-on that I can’t call in sick if I need to.  I would like a job where I work a lot less than most people work.  I’d like a job where I’m almost guaranteed to stay employed for as long as I want to be.

After writing this, I know what I’d like to be: I would like to be an unopposed politician.  It doesn’t really matter what position; drain commissioner or state representative, I don’t care because it would fulfill all of my requirements to be happy in a job: it helps a few people, I don’t punch a time-clock, I work a lot fewer hours than I do now, I’m effective but not irreplaceable, and yet I wouldn’t be replaced until I felt like leaving or until I died (and then The Wife could take the job).

So, starting Monday, I’ll be looking for a position that no one wants in two years and I’m going for it.  I wonder what job I’ll get.

I hope it’s the Board of Trustees for some no-name college.  Or maybe a “public advocate.”  That’d be the best.


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