Claudia (the one with whom I used to share a cubicle window) sent me the link, and she clearly did not think the life of a Tech Writer rated being 5th least stressful.
I noted that Software Architect came in at #8, which made me laugh, because Drew, the architect on the last major project I worked on, aged visibly during the course of the release. So when I IMed him the link, his reaction -- too fast for him to have clicked through -- was:
Drew: B.S.Geoff stopped by later and I told him the news. He thought for a moment, then said, "OK."
Kellnerin: Really? I thought it was right on, because you were totally not stressed when you were architect
[In the last reorg, Drew shed the architect title and went back to being a plain old developer.]
Drew: It's less stressful than air traffic control I guess
Drew: or working on Wall St.
Drew: Where does Tibetan monk rank?
"Do you feel like you have the fifth least stressful job in America?"
"I don't know," he said. "I haven't had enough other jobs to be sure. I could probably be less stressed about my job if I wanted to. It's a personality thing. My brother, who's a lawyer? Now that's stressful."
"True, it's not life or death. And it's less stressful than being a trade book editor. You never leave that stuff at work. There's always a manuscript you should be reading."
"That's not a personality thing? You can't just say, 'There's always going to be a manuscript to read, I'll just get to it tomorrow?'"
"Sure, and if an agent sends it out and says there's going to be an auction next week and you better have formed an opinion on it or be prepared to explain why you missed the next big thing ..."
"OK. I guess you have a point."
"My sister-in-law, though, is a physical therapist, and her first job was hugely stressful, but that was purely because of administrative bullshit at her workplace. Then she got certified as a hippotherapist ..."
Geoff creased his brow briefly. "Wait, a hypnotherapist?"
"That's what I heard the first time, but I decided that couldn't possibly be what you said, and turned it into something that made sense."
"It's where you help people who can't walk by letting them ride horses. See, even if you can't walk on your own, you're using muscles just to keep your balance. It's awesome, you're basically giving people pony rides all day."
"That does sound totally awesome, until someone falls off their horse."
On my way out of the office, I ran into Steve (ex-colleague of johnny's) in the elevator, and I told him his job had been deemed the fourth least stressful.
"Hell yeah," he said. "I just wonder what the other three might be." Steve is the kind of guy who would probably be pretty relaxed no matter what he did.
"Tech Writer is number five," I mentioned.
"Yeah, you do look a little more stressed than me."
"Just a shade. Software architect is eighth."
"I can see that. They have to make decisions."
"But they don't have to do anything. They just dream up cool shit."
"I guess. I have to do stuff, but it's not like I worry about it."
THE MAIN PORTION OF THE Engineering floor of my company is one long rectangle. Within this space the individual teams are arranged in horizontal stripes two cubes wide. The other day, one of the developers in the stripe next to mine brought in a pie.
"Want a slice of my I'm-glad-to-be-alive pie?" he asked his team.
"What's the occasion?"
"Well, it's my birthday so I stopped on the way to work and picked up a pie. But then I was riding away on my bike and got hit by a car, so now it's my glad-to-be-alive pie. I'm OK though, just skinned my knee a little, but otherwise I'm good."
"Seriously? You went over the handlebars and everything?"
"Yeah, everything went flying, and the lady stopped and got out of her car, and was like, 'Oh my god! Are you OK?' and I said 'I think so ... but I'm not sure about my pie ...' So she went and got it for me, and was apologizing, 'The box got a little smushed.'"
"Still tastes good, though. Thanks for bringing in pie ..."
RANDOM MEDIA OF THE DAY. It inspired the same thought in both D and me: "He's filled with tinier men!"
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