The Hardest Way to Make a Challenging Living

Pro tip from Andrew: Don't take a job because of the money. Ever. Unless your job involves either playing a game or being professionally attractive, it's the absolute worst reason to give up that much of your time and of your life.

A girl I know was talking about a company she wanted to work for. The job she was describing was okay, but her reasoning for wanting it was "because it starts at $60,000 a year." After that, she didn't have much to say about it. It wasn't close to being that "dream job" she was always talking about, wasn't located in a place she wanted to live, wasn't going to help her much besides buying some nice toys and nicer clothes.

I shook my head and told her she was showing just how young and naïve she was. She shook hers and told me I was showing just how old and bitter I was.


The flip side to this is what I call "real jobs" and how badly they pay. Teachers, social workers, environmental researchers - the list goes on forever. People give and they give and the end result of their efforts are things of immeasurable worth and what do they have to show for it?

How much is it worth that a child knows how to read?

What's the assessed capital value of getting an abused woman to seek help?

What's the return on investment for helping a crackhead get their life back?

In a world where special-ed teachers make $40,000 to help disabled kids adjust to society and systems analysts make $70,000 to streamline corporate computing operations, it's hard to see how anyone is truly worth anything.

As for that girl, I just told her to go for that job. And to call me when she quit it.

Well, she made good on her promise, and we had a lovely conversation the other night about it when she called to tell me she quit.

She had lasted eighteen months. We both got a good laugh about that.