The Unsung Casualties Of Covid-19

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Even though we are not out of the dark hole of Covid-19 yet, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel — and it’s not the paramedics.  People are beginning to speculate on the economic impact of shutting down the world economy for several months.  A lot of industries have taken some serious body blows and are trying desperately to endure.  For example, I have no idea how cruise ships are going to come back from this.  (Quite frankly, they couldn’t pay me enough to get on one of those floating petri dishes!)  Meanwhile, other industries have adapted.  Liquor stores are delivering, restaurants are takeout only and housecleaners are working from home, telephoning detailed instructions to rich people on how to make the bed and plug in the vacuum cleaner.  Unfortunately, other industries simply cannot survive.  These are real people whose lives have been torn apart — but the world has forgotten them.  They are the unsung casualties of Covid-19.

Pickpockets – This has got to be the most devastated industry in the world.  By definition, the pickpocket business is a people business — up-close-and-personal.  Social distancing has all but destroyed this once thriving traditional occupation.  In fact, in most tourist traps, there is actually 100% unemployment.  These numbers are catastrophic.  Although, given human nature, I’m certain there are still a few dedicated craftspeople out there, plying their trade – struggling to survive.

Prostitutes – Suddenly, what was once called “the world’s oldest profession” isn’t even a profession anymore. Yeah, yeah, yeah!  There’s still phone sex and Live Cam, and I’ve read that some people are turning to ZOOM for illicit group encounters, but … The thing is, and I believe most people will agree, the erotic buzz of paying a stranger for sex just isn’t there when you’re forced to remain 2 metres (six feet) apart.  And, this has become an insurmountable challenge for many hardworking men and women.

Spies – Fast cars, tuxedos and little, itty bitty gadgets have no place in today’s world.  Think about it!  It’s impossible to pull off a mission impossible when all the bad guys are stuck at home watching Netflix.  Hell, everybody has a hideout these days!  And it’s not as if you can sneak up on anybody when you’re the only one on the street.  Although, to be fair, high speed car chases are a lot easier — except there’s nobody out there to chase.  The reality is, Post Covid-19 James Bond may have to go back to bird watching.

Aroma Therapists – It’s hard to work up a bunch of sympathy for these scam artists who’ve spent the last decade charging big bucks to let people smell things.  Of course, some of them are still selling their snake oil online, but that’s not going to last very long.  It won’t be many days before most folks discover that all it takes to feel good about yourself is a loaf of bread in the oven.  And if you really wanna get happy … just bake some cinnamon rolls.

And finally:

Meghan and Harry – They couldn’t have picked a worse time to get into the celebrity business.  Pissed off about being a second-string Duchess, Meghan decided she wanted to be the Reigning Queen of Southern California.  Unfortunately, all of her potential subjects are busy trying to keep their own media brands alive.  They just don’t have time to faux fawn over a couple of ex-royals.  Plus, after Gal Gadot’s “imagine no possessions” fiasco unmasked the industrial-strength hypocrisy most celebs practice so diligently, being idly rich isn’t all that fashionable any more.

So, let’s all remember, in these troubled times, some people are a lot worse off than we are.

Titles Are Important!

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Like it or don’t, folks, titles are important.  What you’re called dictates how others treat you.  For example, when I worked in radio (yeah, I’m that old) there was always at least one person who occupied a desk, did the typing, answered the phone, took notes, ran errands, etc., etc., etc.  She (and in those days it was usually a she) was called the executive producer.  She wasn’t a secretary because secretaries were paid by the hour and got overtime, whereas executive producers were on salary and could work all the hours that God made — at no extra charge.  It was a tricky/dicky thing to do, but the harsh reality was (and still is) personally and professionally, executive producer packs a lot bigger punch than secretary does.  So, many young women took the pay cut and added the prestige to their social life and the title to their resume.

These days, we live in a world of degrees, diplomas and certificates, so it’s a little more difficult to call yourself something without a piece of paper to back up your claim.  However, it’s not impossible.  Here are just a few examples of job titles that look as though they carry some credibility but really don’t mean anything.

Nutritionist – Apparently, this is not a professional designation like dietician.  Anybody can call themselves a nutritionist — even if they advocate eating cheeseburgers and fries four times a day.  The truth is some nutritionists have some training, but the majority have either just read or just written a trendy food book and haven’t any real scientific knowledge about what the human body needs to keep rolling.

Life Coach – The difference between an ordinary person and a life coach is – uh – nothing.  The qualifications a life coach needs are – uh – none.  And the only ability essential to being a life coach is – uh — convincing you that they are smarter than you are.

English Teacher – There are many schools around the world that will hire you just because English is your native language.  In most cases, these aren’t “real” schools, and the money is ridiculous low — but they will pay you.  Or you can just show up in a medium-sized village somewhere in the back of beyond and start charging people for English lessons.

Preacher/Evangelist – This is one of those weird ones that only works if you’re not associated with a recognized religion.  As long as you don’t claim to represent anybody but yourself, you can preach hellfire and brimstone — or eternal salvation — to anyone who cares to listen.  You can even charge them for the privilege!  However, once you start presiding over weddings, funerals and miracles, you’re going to draw some serious attention from local law enforcement.

Tour Guide – Unlike travel agents, tour guides don’t need any qualifications.  All you need to do is point at things, pronounce the names properly and pause long enough for pictures.  If you know a little history – bonus!  If not, call it “Hidden History,” and make it up.  After all, Marie Antoinette might very well have been a lesbian.

But my absolute favourite (and I’m thinking about doing this myself) is:

NBA Free Agent – The National Basketball Association has virtually no rules about who can play in the league.  You have to be male and over 18 years old.  That’s it!  So, in order to become an NBA free agent, all you have to do is inform the league — in writing — that you consider yourself eligible for the draft.  Bingo!  You’re an NBA free agent.  (Now, that would look really good on my business cards!)

10 Jobs You’ve Never Heard Of!

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There are tons of jobs in this world that nobody’s ever heard of.  They’re not advertised anywhere — and companies will deny they even exist – but they do.  And after years of research, I’ve managed to identify a few of them.

Flak Catcher – Every company on this planet employs an army of people whose only job is to answer the telephone and get yelled at.  They’re the ones on the other end of “Customer Support.”  They have no real power and can’t actually fix your problem, so they are just supposed to listen to your assortment of threats and obscenities and hope the hell you go away.  Most companies prefer ex-nuns for this position.

Complimentary Crying Baby – You’d think that child labour laws would prevent this sort of thing, but every airline employs a variety of babies who fly around the world and cry — during takeoffs, landings and just when you’re about to take a nap.  There’s a lot of room for advancement in this position, and many babies go on to become the “Obnoxious Child.”  I have no idea why airlines do this, but I’m assuming it’s to boost liquor sales.

Motorcycle Rider – This occupation dates back to post World War II when housing developers hired ex-servicemen to roar around the streets of urban areas on noisy motorcycles.  Their purpose was to “encourage” young families to buy houses in quieter suburbs — and it worked.  These days, the building trade still hires “Motorcycle Riders,” and in some cities, it’s considered a growth industry.

Useless Government Employee – All governments hire one person whose sole purpose is to give you the wrong forms, send you to the wrong department or generally muck up the paper trail so completely that even Stephen Hawking can’t figure it out.  They do this so the other government employees look good in comparison.

Cat Sex and Barking Dog – I don’t know how they train these animals, but pharmaceutical companies have employed them for years to help sell sleeping pills.

Arguing Woman – Always found in grocery stores, this person’s job is to hold up the line by arguing with the cashier over some ridiculous thing like expired coupons.  The purpose is to stall you at the checkout long enough so you buy stupid crap you don’t really need — like magazines, gum and candy bars.

Movie Talker – The jerk in the movie theatre eight rows back who insists on explaining the coming plot twists to her hearing-impaired friend.  I’m not sure who hires these people, but I imagine it’s probably Netflix, Hulu or some other streaming service.

Condescending Techie – Companies that sell electronics all have one techie who’s an utter asshole.  His job (and it’s always a guy) is to roll his eyes, speak gibberish at you and reconfigure your device so you can’t find anything.  They do this in the hope that you’ll eventually get so fed up with the problem you’ll just say, “Forget it!” and buy something new.

Stereo Guy – This is a seasonal position (summer only.)  Air conditioning companies hire people to wait until midnight, turn their stereos up to a million decibels and blast Mega-Death Hip Hop Techno Country music into the stinkin’ hot summer night.  The purpose is to force you to buy an air conditioner so you can close your windows against this unholy din without dying of heat stroke.

And finally:

Dog Walker/Jogger – These people are hired by the police to go to secluded wooded areas and find dead bodies.