My husband seems to think I should start thinking about a career at this point in my life. Apparently he's a little concerned about what I'm going to do with my life once the kids are off to college and living their own lives. Maybe he doesn't realize I started a career 13 years ago when I gave birth to our first child. Perhaps the following job description my friend sent me will help him see I already have the best "job" anyone could ever want. Sure, the pay is lousy but the benefits are priceless:
JOB POSITION: Mom
JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidate must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES: For the rest of your life - must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs $5 for the pool snackbar. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat, just in case this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and safety testing of a million cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. Reverse-salary scheme is actually enjoyable to most applicants and you wish you could do more.
BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, job supplies limitless. Opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.
Okay, you tell me, what career could I possibly start now that would bring me greater joy than the one I'm already living?