I have one of the worst jobs

I am a reporter. I am a broadcaster. You can’t get much worse than that. And, my goodness, the company that I keep!

An internet career listing organization called Careercast.com has ranked 200 jobs from best to worst. Being a broadcaster ranks 191st, right behind shoemaker/repairer, drill press operator, conservationist, and taxi driver … and right ahead of butcher, dishwasher, meter reader, and waiter.

Then the list gets even more dismal. “Reporter” is No. 196. The rating is for a newspaper reporter but a reporter is a reporter. And since there’s so little numerical difference between broadcaster and reporter, and I am a broadcast reporter (and more), I don’t mind considering them in the same misery index, as defined by Careercast. The only worse jobs to have than reporter are oil rig worker, enlisted military soldier, dairy farmer, and lumberjack.

The organization rates the physical work environment on five categories totaling 40 points. Four categories totaling 41 points measure emotional work environment. Out of 81 possible points, the reporter rates 69.250.

Stress is another factor. Out of 97 possible points, the reporter shows 44.750. Physical demands for the reporter are ranked at 49.25 (compared, for example to the oil rig worker at 74.47 and the dairy farmer’s 72.66). Reporters get killed in the rankings of “hiring outlook.” We’re at minus-4.75. Broadcasters are at 8.75 to the good. The only job in the bottom ten that also has a negative hiring outlook is dairy farmer.

Some related jobs and their rankings: Photojournalist is 166. Disk jockey is 180. Disk Jockey!?

I’m ten to fifteen points below disk jockey. Talk about a blow to the heart —-

Maybe its because they get to play records at weddings and meet lots of nice chicks while I, on the other hand, have to mingle with Jay Nixon when he’s in town or Steven Tilley or Jason Crowell and sometimes even with people who are in the Congress.

The top ten jobs for 2012, says Careercast, are: software engineer, actuary, human resources manager, dental hygienist, financial planner, audiologist, occupational therapist, online advertising manager, computer systems analyst, and mathematician.

But I am a reporter and a broadcaster. Where did I go wrong? And why do I insist on continuing to go wrong?

Because what many of the people like those in the 191st and 196th jobs do is important. Because somebody has to tell you what the people you elect (and that some of them appoint) are doing to you, for you, and with you. And the doing is addictive. Being where things important to people happen and having the opportunity to tell you about them is just about the greatest thing in the world. The hell with the rankings. I would never trade being a reporter for a chance to look in people’s mouths or their ears or design video games or any of the other things in the top ten for anything although sometimes I do feel like the little guy with the shovel who walks behind the circus parade and cleans up the elephant poop. When somebody asked him one day why he didn’t get a better job, he responded “What? And get out of show business?”

I’m off to the capitol now and like all good reporters, I’ll be looking for the next big scoop.

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