Party guide to good ca­reer choice

Dur­ban POI­SON

Sunday Tribune - - GARDENING - Ben Trovato

THE EFF led a mo­tion in Par­lia­ment this week on the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of banks. The party of fighters, drinkers and lovers – they’re al­most Ir­ish in their ten­den­cies – be­lieves all banks should be in the hands of the state.

What a good idea. The gov­ern­ment can then give sta­te­owned en­ter­prises a break to re­cover while the banks are pil­laged. A bit like what crop farm­ers do with their fields when they’re not be­ing mur­dered.

It’s a ro­ta­tional thing. Which is dif­fer­ent to what for­mer en­ergy min­is­ter Tina what­sher­name did when she sold our oil re­serves and then claimed she was sim­ply ro­tat­ing stocks. Thank­fully, this ap­palling woman has since been ro­tated out of the cab­i­net.

Any­way, I don’t want to talk about pol­i­tics this week. Af­ter read­ing Jac­ques Pauw’s book The Pres­i­dent’s Keep­ers, I want to find a dark cor­ner and curl up like a pan­golin un­til the gov­ern­ment is free from the clutches of these filthy de­plorables.

On a more cheer­ful note, for thou­sands of kids 12 tor­tu­ous years of school are com­ing to an end. Soon they will fin­ish writ­ing their ma­tric ex­ams and slouch in door­ways across the coun­try all slack-jawed and glassy eyed, say­ing: “Now what?”

Here’s now what. I’m turn­ing your bed­room into a mi­cro­brew­ery, you nasty lit­tle pus­tule. Go ask the gum­mint for a job. If it weren’t for them, you could have spent the last 10 years work­ing.

You would have had a skill by now, even if it in­volved noth­ing more com­pli­cated than mak­ing shoelaces. In­stead, all you have is a head full of use­less facts and fig­ures and the faint stir­rings of a life­long drink­ing prob­lem.

In just a few weeks, more than half-a-mil­lion shift­less teenagers smelling of stale sweat and funky hor­mones will be clog­ging up the malls and beaches, wait­ing for some kind of divine sign to show them the way for­ward. Lis­ten up, kids. There will be no sign. There is no way for­ward. There are no jobs. You might think that’s good news, but it’s not. That’s bad news. The good news is… ac­tu­ally, there is none. Sorry about that.

A ca­reer sup­ple­ment fell from my news­pa­per the other day. Five bub­bly, bright-eyed young­sters were on the cover. Four of them were white. The fifth was In­dian. This sug­gests that, thanks to af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion, dark­ies have their fu­ture cut out for them.

Ei­ther that or their sit­u­a­tion is so dire that, when it comes to mak­ing life choices, they would be bet­ter off read­ing the en­trails of a chicken than a news­pa­per sup­ple­ment.

Any­way, here are some ca­reer tips for the in­cur­able op­ti­mists out there. Don’t say I never try to help.

Law. This is a ca­reer choice and not, as many seem to think af­ter ob­serv­ing our politi­cians, some­thing to be vi­o­lated with im­punity. Judges and mag­is­trates pre­fer it if you ob­tain a de­gree be­fore rep­re­sent­ing clients.

How­ever, this is an old­fash­ioned con­cept and nowa­days it is quite ac­cept­able for you to ap­pear on be­half of fam­ily mem­bers in cases rang­ing from tres­pass­ing to mur­der.

As far as ac­ces­sories go, all you will need is a leather brief­case and a black dress­ing gown (R69.99 from Mr Price).

You have the choice of be­com­ing an at­tor­ney or an ad­vo­cate. At­tor­neys have more fun, but ad­vo­cates have more money.

I am an ad­vo­cate be­cause I have been ad­mit­ted to the bar many times over. All you need to prac­tise law is the ca­pac­ity to hold your drink while ly­ing through your teeth. And some judges will be im­pressed if you have a work­ing knowl­edge of pig Latin.

Medicine. An­other ca­reer in which for­mal qual­i­fi­ca­tions are heav­ily over­rated. Self-med­i­ca­tion has grown tremen­dously in pop­u­lar­ity and al­most any mod­ern ail­ment can be cured with six pills and a half-jack of whisky three times a day in place of meals.

With more and more peo­ple shun­ning ex­pen­sive surgery by al­low­ing their friends to op­er­ate on them at home on the kitchen table, you will never be short of work. The Hip­po­cratic Oath also al­lows you to have sex with emo­tion­ally vul­ner­a­ble pa­tients.

Safety and se­cu­rity. Next to fraud and cor­rup­tion, this is the fastest-grow­ing sec­tor in the econ­omy. In the old days, se­cu­rity meant lit­tle more than stand­ing guard. But thanks to an ex­plo­sion of crime, you now stand a good chance of be­ing able to shoot and kill some­one be­fore your shift ends.

This goes a long way to­wards liven­ing up those long evenings of watch­ing over some­one else’s stuff. All you need is a driver’s li­cence and an abil­ity to grasp the mechanics of hand­cuffs. The abil­ity to grasp a rub­ber ba­ton is also help­ful.

It may prove dif­fi­cult to en­ter the field if you have been con­victed of crimes against hu­man­ity. How­ever, some com­pa­nies will con­sider this a bonus.

If you suf­fered a blow to the head as a child, you may wish to be­come a bouncer. Here, the abil­ity to speak a recog­nised lan­guage is not a pre­req­ui­site.

Mar­ket­ing. The un­speak­able at­tempt­ing to fool the un­sus­pect­ing into think­ing they need the un­nec­es­sary. You will get to hang out in cock­tail bars and at­tract pretty girls by us­ing words like “con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions” and “brand aware­ness”.

Later you will re­alise that the girls were more in­ter­ested in your co­caine-en­crusted nos­trils than your words. No mat­ter.

The world of sell­ing is an ex­cit­ing and po­ten­tially lu­cra­tive one, es­pe­cially if you don’t get caught. You may wish to branch out into pub­lic relations, which in­volves telling lies and sleep­ing with jour­nal­ists.

Hospi­tal­ity. In South Africa this is known as the hos­til­ity in­dus­try. Whether you wish to be a ho­tel man­ager, a chef, a waiter or a re­cep­tion­ist, it is es­sen­tial that you pos­sess a deep-seated ha­tred for peo­ple ir­re­spec­tive of their race or gender.

You will also need to bear in mind that the cus­tomer is al­ways wrong and should be thor­oughly ig­nored at all times. Ad­vance­ment in the hos­til­ity in­dus­try is only pos­si­ble through gross in­com­pe­tence and con­sis­tent mis­an­thropy.

Ship­ping. The only thing more re­ward­ing than work­ing on a ship is be­ing on a ship and do­ing no work what­so­ever. This can best be ac­com­plished by be­com­ing a stow­away. It takes no train­ing at all, al­though the abil­ity to hide and scav­enge is use­ful.

Once you reach your des­ti­na­tion – hope­fully Perth or Dover and not Walvis Bay or La­gos – you will find that your brief ca­reer in ship­ping has been a huge help in find­ing you a job that pays real money.

Au­dit­ing. A desk job that in­volves in­spect­ing a com­pany’s fi­nan­cial records and then al­low­ing the high­est bid­der to dic­tate the con­tents of your fi­nal re­port. If you suf­fer from ethics, this job is prob­a­bly not for you.

Hair­dress­ing. A pop­u­lar fall-back for those un­able to make it into the as­tro­physics class. Re­quire­ments in­clude the abil­ity to talk ab­so­lute rub­bish for up to three hours at a time with­out ac­ci­den­tally sev­er­ing the cus­tomer’s jugu­lar.

Dr Ben Trovato says school-leavers can join the med­i­cal fra­ter­nity by op­er­at­ing on their friends at home.

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