Top 10 Useless Professions
July 28, 2010 | Lists
In times of plenty, an economy can sustain countless jobs that contribute little to society and that would fuel third world anger against us should they find out what these jobs pay, or even that they exist at all—pet groomer/psychoanalyst, for instance. But when companies are taking a bonsai tree approach to staffing, it is natural for the rest of the job market to shrink to the bare essentials — think human fluid mopping specialist.
Some jobs are just more important than others and we include ourselves in that assessment. Writers give people things to read in the bathroom and balance out the pictures in pornography, but they cannot be called upon to, say, remove a gall bladder (posthumously doesn’t count). Writers block means insomnia and Exedrine hangovers — surgeon’s block means a malpractice suit.
Here we offer 10 professions that could be eliminated and the aftereffects would be less severe than a night on non-alcoholic beer. These are our Top 10 Useless Jobs!
10. Life Coach
Considerably more useless than a psychologist (many of whom can be replaced by bartenders in a place that does poor business), a life coach is for those who really need a financial planner to tell them to stop wasting money on a life coach.
Qualifications: None. In fact, the defining trait of the life coach is that he or she has never been successful at anything other than being a life coach.
Ideal for: Those who have previously made no contribution to society or former consultants looking to add a few more syllables to their business cards.
Registered dietitians go to school and learn complex food chemistry as part of a rigorous four-year degree program. Anyone with regular bowel movements who ingests organic oatmeal can call themselves a ‘nutritionist’.
Qualifications: An ability to find out which cantaloupe is ripe simply by tapping on it.
Ideal for: Anyone incapable of completing dietitian’s training who feels at home discussing sojourns to the crapper with perfect strangers.
A license to print money as treatments are ongoing and involve the continuous application of whatever it is they do, which has no scientific basis and as a result is not covered by state or provincial health care plans.
Qualifications: Chiropractic College, which is to medical school what those coin-operated kiddie plane rides at the mall are to aviation school.
Ideal for: Anyone with a GPA hovering above academic probation whose last science course involved building a volcano.
7. Travel Agent
Video killed the radio star. Digital killed the travel agent. With the ease of the internet and sites like Priceline, you can book a flight and hotel from bed before someone with a real estate blazer, headset and age-old brochures brews their morning coffee.
Qualifications: Increasingly, this job requires someone able to keep the developments of modernity at a comfortable distance and those who hate having to deal with too many customers.
Ideal for: People who like to catch up on their mall shopping during smoke breaks and find it exciting to direct nationals to embassies during a coup.
6. The Guy who Holds the Stop Sign to Indicate Construction.
Surely a plum job — standing around holding a sign and staring at traffic while your fellows are breaking their backs digging ditches like they’re on a chain gang. Presumably this function could be replaced by sticking the stop sign in a potted plant, or to reflect constantly changing conditions, the sign could be two-sided and attached to a rope — when the road is accessible, a worker could pull the rope to change stop to go.
Qualifications: Must have protective safety garb despite the only danger being enraged motorists and be able to stand for hours on end without any human interaction whatsoever — the non-sitting version of being a travel agent.
Ideal for: Those who aspire to catcall women and fulfill construction worker stereotypes without working so hard in the summer heat that their eyeballs sweat.
5. Gym Teacher
Teachers are occasionally reviled because they get their summers off and some update their material less frequently than a cruise-ship comedian. While some teachers inspire and encourage, others are called gym teachers. They blow whistles and sometimes get beaned by basketballs.
Qualifications: The ability to divide in half—as this is how a soccer/softball team is chosen during gym class—basic knowledge of dodge ball, softball, basketball and soccer. In other words, the vast majority of North Americans could fill in for a gym teacher and the kids wouldn’t be any the wiser.
Ideal for: People whose dreams of athletic glory were ruined by injury, the drink, and delusions (about 33.3% each).
Sadly, the one-time mainstay of pornography — the sexy Rapunzel librarian who whips off their glasses and is stacked in the stacks — is being usurped by technology. Libraries are using automated systems to store and retrieve books and many books in our lifetime will be available in digital format and it’s s unlikely that the folks at Google force employees at their Seattle headquarters to undergo intensive training in the Dewey Decimal system.
Qualifications: A MA degree that is the single biggest waste of a year’s salary that isn’t Journalism Grad School.
Ideal for: Loners, the homely—a Venn diagram of which would be one circle.
3. Postal Worker. The point at which postal worker jumped the shark as a profession was probably when junk mail began outweighing actual mail in their bags. Their days are numbered — they can’t go on distributing TV Guide to geriatrics and utility cutoff notices to non-payers forever.
Qualifications: The ability to read the handwriting of someone so far removed from mainstream society that they still send letters by post.
Ideal for: Homicidal maniacs who love the outdoors and have yet to start a militia group.
Don’t think so? You have no future, ironically, as a futurist.
Qualifications: Special DVD box-set of Star Trek and a penchant for asking unanswerable questions on Infowars forums.
Ideal for: People who match pony-tails with blazers and not in a court-room, or a Vermont organic tea-shop-like setting.
1. Personal Trainer. Basic literacy and being able to discern graphical illustrations slapped on the side of your average exercise machine, should put this profession out of commission quicker than something torn to get out of the company golf tournament.
Qualifications: A penchant for dressing in sweats every day and not being on welfare or a gym teacher.
Ideal for: People who cannot get enough gym time and aren’t presently in a state penitentiary.
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