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The Daily Tar Heel

Tough Jobs Someone's Gotta Do

First, let's see if you qualify. If you're a hard-working, overachieving, grading-curve-ruining, Type A-personality soon-to-be graduate who will punch 70-hour-week timecards to climb the corporate ladder, I'm afraid I have some bad news. I can't help. Move on.

If that's you -- and there's no shame in it -- rip out this column and use it as a dartboard, or to carpet your cat's litter box. You need not this advice.

As for the remaining 99 percent of the graduating class, welcome to a crash course in how to land a pushover profession that will make George Costanza itch with envy. At your fingertips are careers that make Maytag repairman look like workaholics -- if you know how and where to look.

To secure the easiest, cushiest, plushest profession possible, be creative. Think, people, think! These aren't the jobs for which University Career Services organizes interviews, or the newspaper runs want ads. To land a posh post, figure out how to beat the system.

So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, without further ado, I present the easiest job in today's market ... drum roll please ... Tiger Woods' caddie!

Steve Williams, a 37-year-old New Zealand native, has the awfully undesirable task of lugging Tiger's clubs around the fairways. Though he receives only a miniscule amount of Tiger's winnings, that piece is cut from a very large pie.

Ponder that, using some rough numbers. Counting last weekend's Masters Tournament, eight tournaments into 2001 Woods already has won more than $3.26 million. Let's say his club carrier does receive one percent. So before he yells "Fore!" again, Williams has made 32 grand in two months -- just for carrying a bag! Anyone paid anywhere near that to lug textbooks around campus?

And get this: Williams works only Thursday through Sunday, and "work" consists of replacing the flagstick and chirping, "You 'da man, Tiger!" after every shot.

Brutal, huh?

That job is today's cream of the crop, but there are worthy alternatives, so start photocopying your resume. Plenty of cushy careers can be yours.

For example, I hear Kate Moss is looking for a chef. Will lunch today be one carrot or two, Ms. Moss? Or maybe you could make your living as J.D. Salinger's publicist. Here's my number, call whenever you finish hibernating.

The whole key, folks, is not growing discouraged easily. Catch a break and, all of the sudden, you've got less work than Dick Vitale's barber. There's no pressure when your Stevie Wonder's interior decorator. I mean, someone is paid to count ballots in Cuba. I'll be damned, Castro won again!

Until recently, Cal Ripken's doctor was loving life. Cal was an M.D.'s dream -- in perfect health and never misses an appointment.

I imagine Jerry Seinfeld, an obsessive-compulsive neat freak, pays a maid to clean nothing. I bet Mr. T repeatedly frequents the same jeweler. I'm sure Manute Bol's looking for a weightlifting spotter. Heck, even Calvin Coolidge had a speechwriter.

C'mon, who answers all (OK, both) of the fan mail addressed to John Rocker? ... does the weather report in Siberia? ... is the governor of Minnesota?

You want a job where it's impossible to be unqualified? How about managing the New York Yankees? Or serving as the directors of the University of Notre Dame's Hillel and Brandeis University's Newman houses? Heck, be Tammy Faye Baker's cosmetologist! Sure, uhh, that color, umm, really accentuates your cheekbones. Yeah.

If those opportunities don't pan out, worry not. There's still hope, but you first must adjust your objectives. Rather than thinking about snagging the best job, avoid the worst ones like the plague.

Believe you me, it'll get ugly in a hurry if you're Austin Powers' dentist. Or John Madden's cardiologist. Or Rosie O'Donnell's cameraman.

As a word to the wise, don't become a Tel Aviv hog farmer, an army recruiter in a Quaker town or an Amish electrician. Hey, Caleb, is business always slow this time of year?

I don't care what they'll pay, don't serve as Steven Seagal's agent, Marv Albert's fashion coordinator or Bob Dylan's translator. Ditto for being Darryl Strawberry's probation officer and Al Gore's dance partner. Simply ain't worth it.

Don't volunteer to be Mike Tyson's sparring partner, nor Roseanne Barr's physical trainer. Same goes for Bobby Knight's secretary -- and players. No paycheck justifies receiving that degree of abuse.

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Some believe that determining the worst job ever is like choosing between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, or Ginger and Mary Anne -- no definitive answer exists when there are strong arguments for all parties involved.

But I disagree. I believe there's one job, hands down, that must be considered the utter bottom of the barrel, the kind that will make Delaware's director of tourism and New Jersey tollbooth collectors send sympathy cards. Having read this column, you probably agree that one post trumps all others as all-time awful. So whatever you end up doing, seniors, pray that you'll never have the world's worst occupation, a truly thankless position bordering on cruel and unusual punishment.

My editor.

Dan Satter's dream job is to write columns -- and to get paid for it. Don't worry, he's not holding his breath. Tell Dan your ideal career, or your opinion of his column, by e-mailing him at satter@email.unc.edu.

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