Do you need money, but absolutely hate people? Do you dislike having to fulfill the most basic requirements of your position, and feel that you’ve earned the world’s biggest, most delicious cookie every time you do so? Well, do I have some job options for you! Any one of these would satisfy your undying need to be cruel and/or hopelessly indifferent to the people you encounter, but I recommend trying all of them within a year for maximum soul-crushing effect.
1. Salesperson In An Upscale Boutique — It should be stated, right off the bat, that retail is no fun. For the most part, it’s a lot of dealing with customers who aren’t always incredibly nice, but are always incredibly demanding. But then, that’s about 95 percent of the service/hospitality/retail industry in general. So, you know, that comes with the territory. And I’ve worked in an upscale boutique, a place where I could afford absolutely nothing that was for sale (until I convinced myself that two paychecks’ worth of income was a fair price for shoes, as you do) so I know exactly what it’s like. But what is it, precisely, that drives the women and gay men that work in these stores, stand behind these counters, and glare from next to the jewelry cases to treat customers with such incredible disdain? What teaches these people that they are better than anyone who walks through the door and that anyone who crosses their paths should be met with the kind of stink eye that could kill a child? I hate to break it to you, but there is absolutely no difference between someone who works at Old Navy and someone who works at Cusp, Dior, or whatever other store that manages to convince cashiers they are doing humanity a favor by standing around. Pro tips:
- Don’t look at customers with judgmental eyes. It makes them feel uncomfortable/ugly, and beyond losing a potential customer, you’re making the world just a little bit sadder.
- You work at a clothing store, probably making between 9 and 12 dollars an hour, stop buying the clothes your store sells. I know you get a discount, but that’s how they lure you in. IT’S A TRAP
- Do not be mean to women, even ones you think are too fat/unattractive to be wearing your clothes. I know that some of you actively decide what people should and should not wear the products you sell (I’ve seen it) and you are what is wrong with society.
- There is nothing more awesome than a retail worker who is actually nice and helpful without being pushy–you could all afford to be like that. Stop lingering next to the leather jackets with that lemon-sucking stare and join in. Life is too short to be terrible to customers.
2. Barista – Three hundred years from now, when one looks up the word “Barista” in the dictionary, one will find “n. Entitled, pretentious 20-something with minimal employable skill and maximal disdain for his fellow man.” Again, I was a barista myself. Twice. I actually enjoyed the job, and would gladly do it again. There’s no shame in pouring coffee, but there’s also no glory in it. It is what it is–pouring a cup of coffee. Yes, you can convince yourself that you’re remaking the wheel every time someone asks for an extra dollop of foam, but you are performing a basic set of tasks and the vast majority of your job is to be nice and accommodating to the people who come into your establishment–which is where so very many baristas fail. Here are a few things you should never let a barista convince you of, no matter how self-righteous their diatribe:
- Tips should be mandatory: No, sorry. They don’t make a waiter’s wage, they make usually between 7 and 10 dollars an hour. No, that’s not a lot of money, but no, it’s also not intended to be supplemented by tips. They are not performing the kind of task that would regularly deserve one, as pouring a drink and cleaning up after it are the most basic points of their job description. Sure, it’s nice when a customer tips, and I like doing it if I order something particularly difficult or get to know my baristas really well. But it’s just icing on the cake. Nice when it happens, not something to guilt trip people over if they fail to comply.
- Coffee is hard: No, it’s not. You learn the procedures, you become familiar with how the different coffee tastes and what it mixes well with. It’s not some magical set of spells and incantations that you learn over high-moon ceremonies as you sacrifice a chicken with your shift manager–it’s making god damn espresso. For the record, every food-industry employee in Europe (and many other places around the world) are required to learn everything about making coffee drinks on top of their other duties, and no one thinks they have earned an Olympic medal for doing so.
- Coffee is the new wine: Ehh, fine. If you are into coffee, sure. If you are really, overly, egregiously into coffee…whatever. Everyone is entitled to like whatever they like. But don’t let people push you into “tastings” and talk to you about the “jams” they did over the weekend and expect you to do anything more than nod along detachedly. You are more than entitled to like your super sugary, milky coffee-based drink with ice and whipped cream or whatever you like, and that doesn’t make you any less cool than they are. If people want to be pretentious and elitist about their hot cup of flavored water, let them, but don’t feel stupid for ordering your hazelnut latte. Those things are delicious.
3. Lifeguard – You know, perhaps we should start paying our lifeguards more–or just get rid of the position altogether. Either way, this whole “entrusting the safety of swimmers to tanned sixteen-year-olds who spend the afternoon playing grab ass and twirling the whistle around” is not really working out for us. Think about it, have you ever seen a lifeguard doing anything besides practically falling asleep in their chair or talking to the other lifeguards as they blast incredibly inappropriate music at the family pool? I don’t know, I feel like most communities would think it important to entrust someone with this position who seemed at least marginally invested in whether or not the people swimming lived or died. A few questions I have for lifeguards:
- Why do you want to be a lifeguard? Because you get really, really tan? It’s 2011, that tan is bad for you, you are going to look like a California Raisin when you grow up, little white girls.
- Do you actually know emergency procedures? I am willing to bet a significant amount of money that the answer is no, even if you say yes.
- Why do you insist on playing uncensored Lil Wayne albums at the pool? I don’t want my little cousin to hear about his universal willingness to perform oral sex.
4. IT Person – Let me just say, right off the bat, that these people don’t hate humanity so much as they must hate themselves to choose such a masochistic profession. Sure, they will quickly come to hate humanity in all its ineptitude, but they probably started out with relatively good intentions. But how many times can they save the day for people who’ve ruined their computers with Limewire-downloaded porn, are unable to use anything other than Internet Explorer, or can’t open up Outlook before they lay their heads down on a battered Dell laptop and blow their brains out? I would probably last three days, and that’s being generous. Don’t get me wrong, I am not very computer-savvy. But having to help my mother alone when she can’t figure out how to edit a Power Point presentation or unzip a file has made me fear for her entire generation. The idea that my job would be to help homes or even offices full of people who don’t know what a driver is wakes me up in cold sweats. Just a few reasons I feel people go into IT:
- They committed some terrible sin in their youth that they feel they must repent for before they meet their creator.
- They enjoy explaining to the same secretary on a bi-weekly basis not to eat her muffins directly over her keyboard.
- They need a daily dose of hatred for humanity to fuel their all-night sessions on /b/ and The Forum.
- They really enjoy installing McAfee/Norton over and over again.
And if none of these career paths work out, and you still want to exercise your disdain/indifference for your fellow man, you can always just get it over with and become a really sketchy, unreliable drug dealer. Better hours, honestly.