Friday, May 10, 2013

Exciting Job Opportunities in Fictionland

Okay, so why do so many people in Fiction have exciting jobs? Or jobs that are exciting in Fictionland, but probably aren't at all that exciting in the real world. 

The Lawyer 

Every lawyer in Fictionland is gorgeous, immaculately dressed in expensive suits, and invariably ends up exposing a conspiracy that goes ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP. Well of course. You'd hardly bother with one that went all the way to the bottom, would you? 

I did work experience at a law firm once. It was all child custody and traffic offences, and boring as hell. Maybe things get a bit more interesting when you're prosecuting war criminals at The Hague, but I'm pretty sure that for the majority of lawyers in the world, work is a dull place. 

The Doctor 

In Fictionland, a doctor is never just a GP. No, a Fictionland doctor works in a busy inner-city ER, and, although frequently gorgeous, has very little time to worry about that since every time they turn around there is some child with a gunshot wound lying on a gurney in front of them. It's drama! It's tears! It's DON'T YOU DIE ON ME, DAMMIT! 

I had to go to an ER once when I had a bad reaction to some antibiotics and turned bright red. I was also unconscious, but, you know, after the sensation of burning ants suddenly swarming over my skull, the unconsciousness came as something of a relief. On one side of me in the ER was a lady who had a migraine -- seriously, she looked terrible -- and on the other side was an old woman having an asthma attack. And you know what? By the time you realise you're not going to die and you've played around trying to make the Machine That Goes Ping go ping more quickly, a hospital ER is a very boring place to spend a few hours. And surprisingly cold. 

Sure, it's life and death in there. But not always, right? 

The Police Officer 

A Fictionland cop spends more time in car chases alone than on completing his paperwork. And don't get me started on shootouts. Okay, so maybe that sort of thing happens in some places, but not where I'm from. Hell, where I'm from if a cop so much as draws their firearm, that's a report. And actually fire it? I can count on one hand the number of times that's happened when I've been working, and I've been in my job for a lot of years now. 

Most cops spend their time doing paperwork. Seriously. 

The Teacher

Oh, Fictionland teachers! They'll change your life! They're full of inspiration and hope. They'll turn a class full of ghetto ganstas into Rhodes Scholars, simply because they BELIEVE IN THE KIDS. It's heartwarming stuff. 

Except try this out: how many teachers did you have in your school life? And how many were just like the guy from The Dead Poets' Society? None, I'll bet, because standing on your desk and saying "Oh Captain, my Captain" does not actually qualify you to undertake standardised testing. You might be inspired, but you won't get into university. 

And, as a sister to a high school teacher, what with all the crap they have to make sure the kids learn, and all the crap they have to stop the kids doing while they're learning it, there's not a lot of time left over for inspirational speeches. 

What other Fictionland professions don't translate to the real world? 


  1. What about forensics and CSI... I've seen lots of children say they want to be in forensics because they want to be just like Bones or do things like CSI without realising that's not exactly what you do in real life.

    1. Oh, nice one Cheree! Yes, because it's the CSI guys who go out with firearms and apprehend the bad guys, right? That's another job that I think would be --well, not exactly boring -- but certainly routine.

  2. The Photographer - he's always on some exotic set with models, or sipping wine in Paris, when most photographers are trying to get Timmy to smile as his sister cries and their dog lifts his leg to the fake stone arch. And then endless billing, advertising, insurance, haggling with the lab, and distant cousins asking if you'll do their wedding for nothing more than all the exposure it will get you.

    1. Oh god, yes! But you forgot the other type of Fictionland photographer: the one who, instead of snorting likes of coke off the bums of skinny androgynous models, is embedded deep in a war zone with only a flak jacket and a press badge for protection. There is no middle ground in Fictionland!

    2. So true. I read a novel once that started just that way - a war photographer got a shot of Something He Should Not Have Seen and then the bad guys saw him, and he promptly escaped by beating off the enemy soldiers by swinging his camera by its strap. : p

    3. Oh, but think of the money that nations could save if only armies stopped buying those damn expensive assault rifles and invested in camera straps instead!



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