Deciding The Worst Job

A website called has declared what it considers to be the worst job in 2016:  newspaper reporter.  It’s the third year in a row that being a print journalist has ended up at the bottom on the desirable occupations list.

The website uses a methodology that looks at each job’s work “environment (emotional, physical and hours worked), income (growth potential and salary), outlook (employment growth, income growth potential and unemployment), and 11 stress factors to determine which professions are among the least desirable.”  Newspaper reporter ends up at the bottom of the list because the median annual salary isn’t that great, the outlook stinks because so many newspapers and other media outlets are closing, and there isn’t a lot of potential for career growth.  The best job, in contrast, is “data scientist,” where the median income is $128,240 and there is a strong growth outlook.

news-guySorry, but I disagree with this.  Good jobs and bad jobs aren’t just defined by salary and whether you’re in a thriving industry.  Other qualities — like being able to use your creativity and your brainpower, and whether the job involves noisy, smelly, dangerous, or otherwise unpleasant conditions — are important, and more important still is whether you like your boss and co-workers and look forward to getting to work in the morning.

Speaking as a former reporter, when those other qualities are considered, I think being a reporter is a pretty good option.  The job is always interesting, and at times, when you break a good story or write a particularly good lead, that you feel a nice little adrenalin rush.  Are you really going to get the same kind of feeling from being a boring, nerdy, white coat-wearing “data scientist”– which sounds like a puffed-up title, anyway?  And how can reporter possibly be less attractive than the traditional scutwork jobs, like sanitation worker or cubicle dweller?

Sorry,  You’ve totally missed the boat on this one.  There’s just no way that being a reporter is the worst job around.  Who knows?  Maybe the real worst job is ranking jobs for


Anybody who’s leery of going to the dentist will undoubtedly appreciate this story:  a man from Indiana went to the dentist to have four teeth pulled, only to awaken from the procedure to find that all of his teeth had been removed.

dentures-anchorage1The four teeth were being yanked out to allow the dentist to deal with an abscess — which is a disgusting enough problem in the first place, when you think about it.  According to the patient’s wife, the dental surgeon then decided to pull all of the teeth to prevent the spread of the infection. The dentist’s office is limited in what it can say about the patient because of federal health care privacy laws, but has released a statement that every patient receives a thorough explanation of the treatment plan for their condition and the issues that might arise, and then executes an appropriate consent form.  Either way, a guy who had a full set of choppers when he was put under later awoke from the procedure with a gaping void where once his teeth had been.

We tend to take our teeth for granted — until they aren’t there, I guess.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to wake up and find that all of my teeth were gone, but having read the story about that guy from Indiana I’m sure going to do what it takes to avoid ever having to deal with that nightmarish scenario.

Excuse me while I go brush my teeth, will you?