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Believe me, your job really could be worse
By JEFF WEBB, Editor of Editorials
Published September 2, 2007
Tomorrow is Labor Day, so it is an opportune time to be:
- Thankful we are mentally and physically capable to hold a job.
- Thankful for the job we have.
- Thankful we are still dreaming about our dream job. This, of course, would include the job some call retiree.
But between bites of barbecue and plunges into the pool, lighthearted Labor Day chatter might include remembering our worst job, or pondering the job we never want to have.
My worst job was in military basic training, scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush and wash cloth - sans gloves - in a 16-unit open-air latrine shared by about 50 guys. This indispensable hazardous duty had to be completed before breakfast and again before lights-out.
A runnerup to that horrible hands-on job was the humiliation of selling mostly ill-fitting polyester clothing during the dreadful days of disco, at a chain store in a mall named after a rooster. That fowl indignity haunts me to this day, but I rationalized my two-month foray into retail sales this way: I forfeited most of my 2 percent commissions by sending customers to stores where they could find better clothes for less money.
As much as I disliked those jobs, they helped put a roof over my head and food in my belly, for which I am continually grateful. Still, with the benefit of perspective that comes from an enduring and rewarding professional career, I realize now there some jobs I wouldn't take on a dare.
As it turns out, a few come to mind in Hernando County:
-Charles Mixson, county engineer and director of the Department of Public Works. This guy has turned into the poster boy for those who want to bash bureaucrats and grouse about inefficient government.
-Anyone who works at Rogers Christmas House in Brooksville, where the owner is so far into debt that a holiday delivery of cash by the jolly old man himself may be too little, too late.
-The grill cook at Waffle House. How do they keep it all straight?
-David Pugh, who has found that being mayor of Brooksville is more than cutting ribbons and kissing babies. During the past year he has had to preside over the dismissal of the police chief, personnel director and city manager and a majority of the Housing Authority members. He also has negotiated the hiring of a new city manager and a city attorney.
-Larry Jennings, the deputy county administrator who finds himself the odds-on favorite to become - for the third time in four years - the interim county administrator. There's nothing like assuming all the headaches and responsibility, and having nothing but a "thank you" to show for your trouble.
-Roofers. No further explanation needed.
- Jake Varn was selected last week to be attorney for the Brooksville Council. There's nothing too terrible about the job itself, but the commute from his home in Tallahassee must really stink.
- Commissioner Chris Kingsley, who appears to be the swing vote in deciding whether the referendum about granting the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District its independence will be held in January or November. Kingsley must choose between ensuring more voters will have a say in the matter, which means putting it on the November ballot, or joining colleagues Jeff Stabins and Diane Rowden in their blinders-on sprint to the polls in January.
- Finally, the divers who have been exploring beneath Weeki Wachee Spring. The deepest underwater cave in the United States may be expansive once you get far enough down, but there's not enough money in the world to get me to crawl through those narrow passages along the way. Claustrophobia is a full-time vocation.