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The Worst Jobs in Science: The Sequel 336

Posted by michael
from the guinea-pig dept.
flyingtoaster writes "For the second year in a row, Popular Science published their annual countdown of the worst jobs in science. This year's list includes Anal-Wart Researcher, Iraqi Archaeologist and Landfill Monitor. And you think your job's bad?" We also linked to last year's list.
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The Worst Jobs in Science: The Sequel

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  • Where is? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ericdano (113424) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:02PM (#10883403) Homepage
    Where is the Slashdot author? Or the Cowboyneal feeder? Or the Slashdot Moderator? Or the Slashdot story submitter?

    Those sound like bad jobs to me ;-)

  • by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:03PM (#10883411) Journal
    Odd, "EA Researcher" was nowhere to be found. Oh that's right, they don't have any. They're just an assembly line now.
    • Don't hate them because they're inscrutable. These are people who love the subtle power and intricacies of computers, yet who must spend their days incarcerated in windowless rooms telephonically holding the hands of 16-bit blockheads. One computer tech in Delaware recently had an urban legend spring to life when a user called to complain, apparently in all sincerity, that his computer's "coffee cup holder" (actually the CD drive) was broken. "We should all be issued sidearms so we can vent our frustratio

  • by BortQ (468164) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:03PM (#10883415) Homepage Journal
    - Programmer for EA

    Computer scientist is a scientist, no?

  • by Temporal Outcast (581038) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:04PM (#10883422) Journal
    Ewww!

    #4 is Tampon Squeezer

    On the other hand, Tampon Tester would rate as one of the best jobs ever.

    *sigh*

    Sorry if I grossed someone out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:05PM (#10883436)
  • Anal wart (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:08PM (#10883453)
    The bright side? "In 13 years I've only been pooped on twice, and that's not bad." :-|

    I love my job.
  • Go Helpdesk! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:09PM (#10883458)
    Sure, you aren't killing puppies for science, but you do spend all day listening to people demanding that you fix their problems like it's your fault. You're usually rated by call time, so actually helping people looks bad on you review.
    • Re:Go Helpdesk! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DogDude (805747) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:13PM (#10883487) Homepage
      Like the article says, don't worry... you won't be employed for long.
    • Re:Go Helpdesk! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jim_v2000 (818799)
      I am pleased to see that computer help desk is on the same list with tampon squeezing. I used to work for Symantec's consumer tech support call center, and let me tell you, that sucked. For those of you who don't know, Symantec charges 30 bucks per call to their tech support. This made what would normally be a frustrating job into a hellish nightmare of tech support. Every cust who calls is is already pissed off because they KNOW it's your fault that their ancient computer won't get on the net anymore a
      • Boy am I glad I worked a good helpdesk. I worked for two years for 20 hours a week at a medium-sized university helpdesk. I liked the job, frankly. Sure, there was a neverending stream of dunderheads, dolts and downright dunces, not to mention an *incredibly* bureaucratic IT staff... But we all need something to complain about. People with PhDs who need to ask "how do I get to Google... on a Mac?" among others. And underpaid- yay for $8.50/hr! But I've seen much worse jobs...
    • I reckon the IT administrator job has to be even worse than helpdesk. Sure, the helpdesk has to put up with clueless lusers who couldn't find their Asus with both hands. However, the IT administrator has to put up with management. IT administrators are required to pull off miracles with no budget, no staff, and lots of unpaid overtime. And if anything does go wrong (which, thanks to Finagle's Law, it will), then they not only did something wrong, but they are almost never given the resources or authorit

  • WMD (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:10PM (#10883464)
    Don't forget Iragi Weapons Inspector?

    The jobs not done until you find at least one.
    • Re:WMD (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      WMD's have already been found, idiot.
      • Re:WMD (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        mod parent up so we can all laugh at him.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:11PM (#10883478)
    Food taster for Fear Factor...
  • by Temporal Outcast (581038) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:12PM (#10883479) Journal

    The cradle of civilization and agriculture. The first place humans built cities. The birthplace of writing. And--oh, yeah--currently the best place in the world to get yourself kidnapped or killed. For archaeologists, there's no plum like Iraq. Saddam actually let them do their job, and he even protected his country's heritage in museums. But now no archaeologist can work in Iraq until security improves. Meanwhile more than 8,500 treasures have been stolen, and those are just from museums, where artifacts are cataloged.

    What truly troubles archaeologists is imagining what's being taken from their dig sites in the field. Archaeologist Francis Deblauwe, who is trying to keep tabs on the looting, knows of more than 30 important digs, including ancient Babylon, that have been despoiled, but he notes that his list is "very preliminary and grossly incomplete." When the researchers do get to go back in, they'll be able to determine which sites have been looted. But they'll never know what's been taken.


    Sheesh! And I wonder how many such 'casualities' of war we ignore. Really sad.

    War is not just people, it's a whole lot more. And as an amateur archaeologist, I really do feel bad. And these things are irreplaceable.
    • hypocrite (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:57PM (#10883748)
      Yeah, due to your sig I see you really give a shit about the casualties of war.
    • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @08:35PM (#10884295)

      Things are a litte more complex than that little blurb in the article suggests. Saddam's interest in archaeology tended to be self-serving, such has when Saddam rebuilt Babylon [about.com]:
      In 1982, Saddam's workers began reconstructing Babylon's most imposing building, the 600-room palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II. Archaeologists were horrified. Many said that to rebuild on top of ancient artifacts does not preserve history, but disfigures it. The original bricks, which rise two or three feet from the ground, bear ancient inscriptions praising Nebuchadnezzar. Above these, Saddam Hussein's workers laid more than 60-million sand-colored bricks inscribed with the words, "In the era of Saddam Hussein, protector of Iraq, who rebuilt civilization and rebuilt Babylon." The new bricks began to crack after only ten years.

      The problems in Iraq aren't new. Many of the problems in Iraq date back to at least Saddams invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf War [umd.edu].
      Prior to the Persian Gulf War, archaeologists working in Iraq were forced to close down excavations when Iraq's August invasion of Kuwait made the situation to dangerous to continue....


      And following the war, looting of archaeological sites increased dramatically as Iraq's impoverished citizens used sometimes desperate means to make money in light of the economic sanctions placed on Iraq by the western world.

      Saddam's military made a practice of stationing military units by antiquities to protect them from attack [opinionjournal.com]. There are many recorded instances, including these gems:
      ...In early February 1991, for example, Saddam parked MiG fighter jets at a Babylonian ziggurat at Ur to deter coalition forces from disabling them during the Gulf War. By Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian empire, he built air bases and weapons factories. According to archaeological scholars from the University of Chicago, an 80-foot mound containing many ruins of ancient Nineveh also housed an oil storage tank. During the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam used the site for anti-aircraft batteries because it was the most elevated spot in the area....


      In contrast, at the height of the bombing campaign the Pentagon produced aerial photographs of the Al-Basrah mosque. They showed clearly that the Iraqis had destroyed the mosque for propaganda purposes. While coalition forces had bombed a target some 100 yards away, leaving the mosque unscathed, Iraqi engineers sliced off the dome in the hope of duping journalists that the U.S. had been responsible for the destruction.

      The desecrations of burial grounds in Iraq aren't anything new. They happened to burial grounds [bbc.co.uk]after the first Gulf War too.

      The looting of the museums was also overstated [globalsecurity.org] as well.

      FWIW: In Afghanistan, the Taliban was destroying priceless cultural artifiacts [bbc.co.uk] as being anti-Islamic. The US intervention in Afghanistan stopped that, and the new government is committed to preserving such artifacts.

  • Science teacher? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdhutchins (559010) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:13PM (#10883489)
    I was shocked to see "public school science teacher" on their list. They used a poor example, and yes, that would be a bad job. But there are many good science teachers, and most schools are better than the one they picked out. The article also implies that public-school science teachers are all poor teachers, which is not true. I was shocked to see that (I'm a high school student), and I'm sure many other slashdotters are too.
    • But there are many good science teachers, and most schools are better than the one they picked out. The article also implies that public-school science teachers are all poor teachers, which is not true.

      I didn't see any criticism of science teachers being "poor teachers," except in the sense that you should feel sorry for them because they have to put up with inadequate funding.

      While most public schools probably don't need to have English teachers teach science, it is true that many are under-funded & t

    • What? No... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mtrisk (770081) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:29PM (#10883592) Journal
      I think you had it wrong - they aren't implying that public school science teachers are poor teachers! It says they have one of the worst jobs, which I believe is true. Not only do they have to teach a subject which requires intelligent thought to a disinterested student body, their profession is constantly under attack by religious radicals.

      Hell, my own mother threatened to take me out if they taught me evolution. It didn't happen, but I shudder to think of other students who did have that happen to them.

      Also, science is one of the most poorly funded departments across the nation. Hell, team sports such as Football and Soocer, even electives such as music get more funding in some areas.

      So yes, they've got one of the worst jobs in science: teaching it to the next generation.
    • by Zackbass (457384) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:29PM (#10883594)
      It doesn't matter if you are the best teacher ever to walk the earth, most public schools will have wonder why you waste your time there within months of your first day. No matter how much money the science department gets it can't make a student give a damn. Not only do you have depressing students, but then you have to deal with the school administration when you the parents of the pothead that got a 30 on his chem final call and raise hell.

      The opposite is true too. If you have a bunch of interested students you can put together a great class with very few supplies.

      Science teacher absolutely deserves to be on the list as long as a large part of our society still sees no value in education.
    • by Suburbanpride (755823) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:35PM (#10883624)
      My dad taught science in public high schools for 25 years before quiting. In the last school he worked at, the football team got new uniforms every year, but he was forced to by lab equipment out of his own pocket. He gave a damn about the students, but unfortently he did not have the the support of the administration.

      If america is going to maintain a competive edge in the world, we have to get kids excited abotu science. There are lots of great universities out there, but what happens when kids come out of high school hating science beacuse they had bad teachers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:14PM (#10883500)
    What about President Bush's Science Advisor? If that job did drive you to drink nothing would.
    • Well they have a Congressional Science Fellow listed on there if you RTFA (or RTF Magazine). In both jobs most of your efforts will go to waste, but I'm sure if you were the President's Advisor, I'm sure you'd at least be paid better.
  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:15PM (#10883504) Homepage Journal
    Anyone find it funny the most common job on there is Nursing? The nursing role has changed from working with patients to Medical Assistants. They hire 10-15 MA's to 1 Nurse in most clinics. And then to top it off, they dont pay the Nurses for the years in school, and hard work, and they get no respect for managing the MA's ontop of normal nurses duties.

    What a shame.

    In our Internet-based summons for readers to top (bottom?) last year's "Worst Jobs" list, nurses nominated themselves in droves: "Still a no-respect profession. Doctors treat you like slaves." "The pay is substandard for all the training." "Just look at the current shortage." Indeed, the government estimates that we're short 110,000 nurses, and that by 2008 we'll need half a million more.

    Numerous studies echo the dissatisfaction of our nurse readers. Nurses are fleeing the profession because of stress, long hours, low pay and lack of advancement opportunities. The cost? A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that surgical patients at hospitals with the worst nurse-staffing levels (ergo the most overworked nurses) have a 31 percent greater chance of dying. If this trend doesn't improve, we might soon find "patient" topping our list.


    • by MmmDee (800731) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @07:13PM (#10883837)
      Interesting... nurses have only in the last 10 years felt so neglected. This at a time when their salary/hourly wage is at an all time high. Most nurses are earning upwards of $36-53K [salary.com] (national average of LPN-RN with many in the $60's especially RN's with a couple year's experience or specialized). Many nurses can sit for their boards straight after only 2 years of training, not bad pay for 2 years. Their career path is not limited to being LPN/RN's. If they're not satisfied with providing direct patient care, they can go further into becoming midwives (with pay in the $45-70K range), Nurse Practioners (pay in the $70-100K range) or obtaining their PhD's in nursing and going the teaching route (pay's not great, but more respect from peers). So, in summary, they don't have excessive training requirements; however, they enjoy good pay by most people's definition, job security, no limitation to geography, broad career paths (up and lateral).

      If there's disrespect among mid and upper-level providers (MD's and other staff) toward nurses perhaps it's because of a lack of understanding of each other's tasks / responsibilities / liabilities / time demands. While it's true that nurses have a very tough job for 8-12 hours/day, other providers also have difficult jobs.

      As to nurses "fleeing" the profession, I'm surprised as there are numerous articles describing the flock of women and men TO the nursing profession and the 2-year wait to be accepted into many nursing schools.

      • Just to clarify, all those "other" nursing specialized cares does mean more than 2 year grad. If you want management, or nurse practitioner, you MUST have a higher degree. Minimally masters. Also, the nurse practitioner don't make much more money than floor nursing. The only nurse that actually makes a lot more money are the nurse anesthetists. Also, the required call also makes nurses make more money, but it is more than a 40 hour week.

        And, yes I am a nurse.
        • by MmmDee (800731) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @07:50PM (#10884065)
          And, yes I am a nurse.

          Then thank you for the job you do.

          The "other" nursing specialties do require more training and that's part of their career path (like everyone else). Primary Care Nurse Practioners make on national average $69K [salary.com]. I dated a NP for 7 years (she was a "floor RN" for four of those years), she now makes $85K and a friend of hers is a NP for a hospital specialty department and makes $100K. The friend has no call and the former gf gets paid extra for each weekend she works ($1500 for Fri to Sun--double that if it's a holiday). The median salary for a CRNA is $118K [salary.com].

          Unlike many 9-5 jobs (or 7-3), many jobs in the medical profession are not 40-hour weeks. Many are much more (especially if you count call nights/weekends). When I was a resident, an 80-hour week was considered short (this was of course before resident hour limitations initiated in New York).

    • I don't find it especially sad, because I know it doesn't really belong on the list. The job that does? Nurse's aide. There's no job so bad that the person's subordinate doesn't have it worse. There, you not only have to deal with incompetent doctors, but also incompetent and lazy nurses as your superior instead of your coworker.

    • A recent University of Pennsylvania study found that surgical patients at hospitals with the worst nurse-staffing levels (ergo the most overworked nurses) have a 31 percent greater chance of dying

      31 greater chance of dying? Everyone dies unless nurses have found an imortality serum, so what do they mean here really?
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:16PM (#10883514) Homepage Journal
    They are. But what about:
    • Forensic proctologist
    • Leech veterinarian
    • Global warming expert at Shell
    • Corporate EMT at Philip-Morris
    • Rosanne Barr's gynecologist

    Some of those were hard just to list.

  • Grad student (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:17PM (#10883518) Journal
    How about just grad student? No matter what your research is, you're overworked, underpaid, and then thrust into a saturated job market, where you may never find a tenure track position. And if you do, you'll still be paid a far sight less than any random dick with an MBA.
    • You need to go through grad school to get an MBA, so even those "random dicks" endure the same torture you do.
      • I may be wrong, but I find it hard to believe that getting a masters in business and a phd in, say, physics or biochemistry, are at all comparable.
        • I find it hard to believe that getting a masters in business and a phd in, say, physics or biochemistry, are at all comparable.

          They're not. MBA students take classes, they don't do research, and they graduate in 2 or 3 years. A science PhD is a minimum of 4 years and most places it's more like 6 (if you're really unlucky, even longer). On the other hand, PhD students often get to do really awesome work, and at least we get paid to go to school. I also suspect that I'd much prefer my current classmates
    • Re:Grad student (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Noksagt (69097)
      Last year, they had "Post Doc," which is probably worse--you are paid almost as little and have already made the choice not to sell out to some consulting firm who would pay you large sums of money for those three letters you can place after your name.
    • They're talking about JOBS. Where you get PAID. I've been a grad student - that stuff they gave me every week, there wasn't enough of that to be considered money.
    • Re:Grad student (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BWJones (18351) *
      Oh I don't know about that. It really depends upon which area you are going into. When I went to grad school (Ph.D. in neurophysiology), I had a tuition waver and I was making about $30k/year. (I think the NIH average is now around $22k) Some students in computer science make even more. On the whole however, grad students are typically underpaid, and you do work hard, but my experience has been that after I graduated, things got busier even still, because in addition to writing and doing benchwork, you
      • I'm a computer science graduate student at William & Mary. I make $16,000 a year. The Ph.D. students - I'm still a Master's student - make $19,000 a year. And compared to people in biology, we get paid a lot; I know someone who gets $12,000 a year.
        • Re:Grad student (Score:4, Informative)

          by the gnat (153162) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @08:27PM (#10884256)
          And compared to people in biology, we get paid a lot; I know someone who gets $12,000 a year.

          Ummmm. . . I'm in biology, and I get $24,500 starting out - more this semester because I'm also teaching. This is about the most any school pays, actually, but the top biology programs are all pretty comparable. For a single 20-something, it's good money, even if I took a large pay cut to go back to school. Students on external fellowships make even more: the NSF now pays upwards of $30,000 a year, and more if you teach.

          Frankly, I couldn't be happier with my position, despite the attempts of our local grad student union to convince us that we're oppressed. However, after I graduate I can either go consult (shitloads of $$, but no science or fame), work for a biotech or big pharma (good $$, okay science, probably no fame), or become a perma-postdoc (no $$, awesome science, probably no fame). I could get all three as a faculty member at a good university, but there are vastly fewer jobs available than candidates, and you have to be some combination of brilliant, extremeley focused, well-connected, and just plain lucky. I'm well-connected, but only reasonably intelligent, and I can't focus worth shit, so unless I get really lucky I'm not getting one of those jobs. Sort of depressing, but at least I like the work I'm doing.
          • Then I guess your school pays a hell of a lot more than mine. Public or private? What's the cost of living like in the area?
            • Public or private? What's the cost of living like in the area?

              I'm at Berkeley, which is public, but this doesn't make that much of a difference if you're a US citizen - our stipends largely come from federal training grants, which would be the same at a private university, and next year I'll be paid mostly by my boss (who gets funded by the NIH). Berkeley and Stanford (and UCSF) pay the same amount. On the other hand, my department pays tuition on top of my stipend, meaning I actually cost a lot more -
  • by mogrify (828588)
    ... a USDA meat-packing plant inspector?
  • by Enaku (801081) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:35PM (#10883628) Homepage Journal
    Dubbya's speechwriter?
  • Last year's list (Score:5, Informative)

    by quizwedge (324481) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:37PM (#10883638)
    The link mentioned in the previous slashdot article no longer works. Compliments of the WayBackMachine [archive.org]
  • by Noksagt (69097) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:38PM (#10883647) Homepage
    We also linked to
    last year's list. [slashdot.org]
    In fact, it was so good that they linked to it twice [slashdot.org]. No word yet as to when they'll re-run this one.

    In all seriousness, the first posting of last year's list does have some great comments.
  • by Trikenstein (571493) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @06:44PM (#10883680)
    In 28 Days Later.

    Even if you don't get bit, the staff dusts you *just to be sure*.

    Talk about temp help....

  • Yes, you just published the answer in the previous article [slashdot.org] (and before). Obviously the worst job in science was that scholar that spent a year at EA. Of course.
  • by apsmith (17989) * on Sunday November 21, 2004 @07:32PM (#10883940) Homepage
    here's the poll results [sciscoop.com]... Main site [sciscoop.com] - poll is halfway down on the right.
  • eeeeeeeew (Score:4, Interesting)

    by humuhumunukunukuapu' (678704) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @07:33PM (#10883948)
    . . . the female Dracunculus medinensis migrates from the gut to a point just under the skin of, say, a leg, where she then commences growth to a length of as great as three feet, and where, ultimately, she lays her eggs. When the thousands of babies make their joyous arrival, they blister the skin and pop through, leaving Mom behind. The traditional way to get rid of her is to wrap her head around a stick and twist very slowly--one turn of the stick per day--for weeks or months, depending on how long she is. (This treatment is so old that it inspired the ancient snake-and-pole aesculapius symbol of medicine.)
    • Re:eeeeeeeew (Score:3, Informative)

      by LarsWestergren (9033)
      "We can't show pictures or even really talk about these diseases," says parasitologist Eric Ottesen of Emory University. "Society just isn't ready for it."

      I hope no one tells him about the internet:
      Worms [cdfound.to.it]
      Scroll down to see the stuff described in the article if you are curious. NOT for the faint of heart obviously. If you thought it sounded fun to get a huge scrotum, look at that poor guy.
  • Thats easy!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adolfojp (730818) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @08:09PM (#10884175)
    Unemployment! But if you still consider your job to be worse than that...
    ...theres no need to fear, Reverend Sharpton is here! [spiketv.com] ;-)

    Cheers,
    Adolfo
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 21, 2004 @08:43PM (#10884329)
    I spent one summer screening race horses for drugs... by chemically testing their urine.

    Yes, I had the joy of sitting in a lab and handling horse piss for eight hours a day. Let me tell you, the range of colour, texture, and viscosity of the stuff is truly mind-boggling.

    The one saving grace? I wasn't the guy that had to collect it from the source.
  • Were famous! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Stone316 (629009) on Sunday November 21, 2004 @08:57PM (#10884387) Journal
    I grew up in St. John's, Newfoundland and its a beautiful place and i'm hoping to move back there (if I can find a job since the economy isn't the best..) The last time I visited was over 2 years ago but I still remember the smell of the harbour and picture the bubbling sewage, along with flocks of Seagulls like they were at a feast.

    I heard if you fall in you have to get a ton of shots.

    Some links of interest:
    http://www.ozfm.com/skycam.htm [ozfm.com] for a live webcame of the downtown core.
    http://www.stjohns.ca/cityservices/environment/har bour/cleanup.jsp [stjohns.ca] The Harbour Cleanup Project website.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John's,_Newfoundl and_and_Labrador [wikipedia.org] A post on /. wouldn't be complete with a a wikipedia reference.

  • by morcheeba (260908) * on Sunday November 21, 2004 @09:07PM (#10884445) Journal
    I found this neat company that made a system that controlled the thickness of sheet metal was it was being manufacturered. Kinda interesting, I thought... I could apply DSP algorithms and statistics to the problem. Low pass filter, etc...

    The factory tour went something like this:
    ----
    The core technology of the company was a non-contact system that used radiation to penetrate the steel and measure its thickness. Are you cool with radiation and wearing the exposure badge? Sure, not planning on any kids for a while...

    Now, this steel is pretty hot, so you've got to be careful not to touch it, ok? Sure.

    It's also relatively thin and the edges aren't the smoothest -- so, it's sharp. But it's steel, so it's still heavy. You wouldn't want to get any fingers you're particularily attached to near it. Uh, ok.

    And, it's moving out the mill at a fairly fast speed. Radioactive, Semi-molten, sharp and fast. Still ok? uh, yeah, sure.

    Finally, for some ungodly reason, it is dripping with acid. We don't know why; that's just part of the manufacturing. That's partly why we go with a non-contact measurement.

    Lastly, even though your resume is excellent, we're going to put you on the support team for at least a year. It's low pay, but there's lots of overtime and travel benefits. You'll go to all sorts of exotic mill towns.
    ----

    And that, my friends, is why I took the rocket-scientist job instead.
  • by macdaddy (38372) * on Sunday November 21, 2004 @10:57PM (#10884897) Homepage Journal
    What about a science advisor to the Bush Administrator? That's got to be the worst job in science unless you also hold a degree in fair-weather theology.
  • by cavac (640390) on Monday November 22, 2004 @01:01AM (#10885526) Homepage
    Well, in my humble personal world, one of the worst jobs in IT is still working with the sales department to turn their "lie-to-the-customer-a-bit" into something approaching reality.

    And guess what; it's an uphill battle. The more lies you make into working software, the more undoable things are expected from your department. But fail once and you're out of a job.
  • K-25 demolition (Score:4, Informative)

    by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Monday November 22, 2004 @01:35AM (#10885751) Journal
    I grew up in Oak Ridge. If you think that a building dripping with radiation is bad, check out the Secret City scenic railway [southernap...way.museum]. Doesn't seem unusual, until you discover where the station [techscribes.com] is. For some real giggles, here's an excerpt from the bottom of the page:
    Note: Due to additional security procedures following the events of September 11, 2001, the Secret City Scenic Excursion Train is currently boarding at the back gate of the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP), formerly known as the K-25 facility. This situation will continue until we are advised otherwise by security officials at ETTP.
    Yes, folks, due to heightened security, we're having Joe Public board the train right next to the abandoned nuclear facility. You know, the one with radioactive barrels filled with Uranium scattered willy-nilly out in front.

    Scary as all that sounds, I've actually been on the train ride. It's very pleasant, the rail cars are antiques, and the tour guide's history of Oak Ridge during WWII was interesting. (Checks rad badge again. No problems.)

    It's a shame to see the old girl go down, really. She's done a lot [childrenof...roject.org] in her time in "Happy Valley". K-25 was at one time the world's largest building [childrenof...roject.org]. (For a sense of scale, have a look at the two-story townhouses at the bottom of the pic. If you look carefully, you'll see that the two buildings in the center are actually just one building.)

  • by mikey573 (137933) on Monday November 22, 2004 @06:54AM (#10886878) Homepage

    I'd have to disagree with the Television Meteorologist listing.

    In New England, most local television news weather forecasts are overseen and reported on air by actual meteorologists, unlike other parts of the country that have untrained "weathermen" (like southern california). In smaller TV markets, or weather is much more stable, or even on radio, you might as well read off government supplied weather forecasts [noaa.gov].

    They are well paid for TV. (however if you are not on TV, meteorologists get shafted in terms of pay, unless they work as consultants -- usually environmental consultants dealing with air quality issues.)

    Also, those guys are instant celebrities around these parts.

    Snow predictions are one of the harder predictions to make. These guys basically have to choose between various computer model predictions, and sometime they are far off.

    However, my recommendation is don't trust a forecast longer than 24 hours in advance.

You can't take damsel here now.

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