TQ: Jobs

By Timothy R Butler | Posted at 4:18 AM

Here are my answers to this week's TQ from Mark.

1. What was your first real job; part of full time? Cutting the grass on weekends doesn't count unless you worked for someone other then yourself.

If it has to be working for someone other than myself, then I guess I still don't have a “real job,” and probably won't for a long while. ;) Nevertheless, the self-employed (and/or “freelance”) person that I am, the first memorable money producing job was probably doing some Perl development in 1998 or getting my first sell of advertising (to Microsoft, incidentally) on a site I was producing in 1997.

2. What was your worse job ever? How long did you last? What made it so bad?
Taking job to be project, since I've never really changed jobs: I'd say producing an auction metasearch a few years back. The pay was very good (I kept raising the price because I wanted out of the project, but the client was willing to pay even my escalated pricing), but it was just a miserable, mindnumbing project of combing HTML pages for traits I could use to figure out where key data was at auction site after auction site. It lasted a few months, ending after the site launched and no one seemed to care to use it.

3. If money were not an issue, and you could change careers right now, what would you start doing?

What I hope to be doing in 5-6 years. Teaching theology and religious studies at a college (four year, perhaps liberal arts, not Bible college) or university. My primary focus would be in the philosophy of religion. In an ideal world, I'd also be able to dabble in my other academic interests, particularly literature and economics. Money isn't the issue, credentials are — I need to get through at least a masters, if not a Ph.D. before this is going to happen.

4. My mother has said countless times that she would rather work for a man boss then a women boss? What is your opinion on the subject of male vs female bosses?

I have never taken well to bosses, I'll admit, hence why I've found being my own boss a much more ideal situation (though, in reality, doing my job means every client is my boss). I'd have to say it depends much more on the individual than the gender — I've worked with and under both men and women; both can be hard at times.

5. What do you think the ultimate job (for anyone) would be?

To me, I think the ultimate job would be an academic job. What could be better than exploring your favorite subject, doing research and writing on it, and teaching it to the next generation of those interested in your field? Of course, I realize I find academia much more appealing than many people do. I tend to think there is no one ultimate job, to be honest.

Note: The questions on this page written by Mark are governed by the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.5 license. I believe my responses are allowed under fair use and therefore are not licensed under the Creative Commons license (I don't want people messing with adapting my personal opinions, thank you very much).

Also Filed Under: Home: Autobiographical: TQ: Jobs

Re: TQ: Jobs
I guess that the one problem of teaching is that unfortunately the students aren't always interested. If you're at a liberal arts college (one of) your course(s) might end up being a required one that students may take only begrudgingly. I suppose that this is one reason that I'm almost glad that the dot-com bubble burst, as it has meant that there are fewer people in my field who just chasing after money instead of pursuing a genuine interest.
Posted by Dave - Aug 21, 2006 | 1:44 AM

Re: TQ: Jobs
You certainly have a good point, Dave. Indeed, that is a problem. I think, though, inasmuch as I'd be teaching theology, those kinds of classes would serve as an outreach (hopefully) by demonstrating the rational side of what many of those students may view as just archaic beliefs (e.g. Christianity). I don't think enough people have encountered enough of Christian theology to see that it is quite rational.
Posted by Timothy R. Butler - Aug 21, 2006 | 5:15 AM

Re: TQ: Jobs
1. What was your first real job Nine years old. I got a printing press for Christmas. I made address labels. By age 17, I was printing QSL Cards (for Hams and CB'ers). Made $4000. 2. What was your worse job ever? Beta Products. I was a regional sales manager (which is really an applications engineer). It was an "entry point" that got me to Texas (which was great)! How long did you last? Under the tax code, I could not quit (and still deduct moving expenses) for nine months. I lasted nine months, then started looking around (heavily), and they laid me off at ten months. What made it so bad? The people. We had opposing values. The office staff of 40 people had, collectively, 125 marriages. Nine of us were never married, three were married once (only one of them was "faithful"), the rest had three to five marriages. Drugs, porn (viewed and manufactured), homosexual sex (my boss was bisexual) and prostitution was common. In general, the people were nasty. But the job was fun. I'll elaborate on my blog. 3. ...what would you start doing? I would probably do what I am doing now (transportation), along with teaching in a college. 4, ...male vs female bosses I would rephrase it and say "man versus woman". Lots of "male" bosses are boys; immature men. Lots of "female" bosses like to "play store" and don't take the job seriously, since they can fall back to their husband's income and the culture that comes with it. Or, they try to "fake testosterone", and become "boys". I've had excellent bosses of both gender, in consumer products, services and biomedical, women have been better. In "engineered" products, military equipment and 24x7 environments, men have been better. Most (9 out of 10) of the best bosses I've had have come from the military academies. Most of the best women bosses have come from top-level universities. 5. ... Ultimate Job Start with the MBTI, look at your box, and pick one of the "suitable" jobs. And look at the people in that industry.
Posted by Mike O - Aug 22, 2006 | 2:13 AM

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