Service of Challenging Jobs

December 4th, 2014

Categories: Jobs, Work

Photo: Yahoo

Photo: Yahoo


The story of the window washers dangling from a collapsed scaffolding on the 69th floor of the World Trade Center recently reinforced my admiration for those who do these jobs. Too bad there are no self-wash windows or windows that you could swing inside safely in skyscrapers and not be sucked out by the draft.

I couldn’t do this job nor would I want to learn how. Heights are scary.

Next my thoughts jumped to a list of so many other essential jobs that I’d not do well but wish I could such as statistician; hospice care staffer; electrician; plumber; surgeon; clinician; artist; computer/tech guru; carpenter; furniture maker; handyman; dentist and pharmacist–for starters. I can’t look when I get a shot and if I had to give one as pharmacists do these days, my eyes would have to be open.

Are there jobs you admire, could never do but wish you could and others you wouldn’t want to try?



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8 Responses to “Service of Challenging Jobs”

  1. jC Rizzo Said:

    To answer your question: I worked once briefly as an essentially incompetent policeman in that I lacked both the instinct to distinguish between serious and not so serious situations and the force of character to solve problems without the need to resort to violence.

    Consequently, I am absolutely awed by how the New York police, especially under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, so succeeded in reducing crime levels whilst at the same time showed such restraint in its use of heavy handed tactics. It was an admirably amazing performance!

    Now that different elements are in charge of running the city, I fear a return to disorder, violence and worse. Perhaps this is inevitable and cyclical in nature.

    If so, let’s reduce the pain and speed up the process. Why not disband the Police Department and let the citizenry enjoy the freedom from “police brutality” it so desperately craves?

    I’m serious, but I’m also getting out of here before things get worse.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I hope that you are wrong in your predictions about the city. I lived here when it was a scary place and I much prefer feeling and being safe. In fact, I heard this week that murders and crime are down in NYC.

    I could never be a police woman. I don’t have the nerve. And you’re damned if you do or if you don’t– or you’re potentially dead. What a frightening position to be in.

    If you are referring to the reaction to the Grand Jury decision about Daniel Pantaleo’s guilt in the death of Eric Garner, I think that the key word the jury was asked to consider was intent–did the policeman intend harm. They clearly thought he didn’t.

    That doesn’t answer why a man selling individual cigarettes should be treated as though he was selling arms or drugs. I also wish that I trusted the objectives of some of the leaders of the protestors.

    I’ve written before about a very young policeman who escorted a beggar off the subway in the gentlest but firmest way. He was respectful of the man but forceful, reminding him that begging wasn’t permitted. But when a person feels threatened, how civil can they be?

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Had I had half a brain and not heeded dreadful advice, I might have been working somewhere in the zoological field. Sorry about those window washers, but that along with Alpine/Tibetan adventures hanging off cliffs hold no interest.

  4. DManzaluni Said:

    I never went for aptitude assessment, principally because I held a clandestine fear that after extensive testing, someone would conclude that I should be an actuary and should spend the rest of my days trying to figure out when people are going to die.

    Curiously enough, when my son was five, he announced that his ambition is to be an actuary!

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I think it takes a while for many people to realize what they should have studied much less what career to pursue. Many students finish college and have no clue and I think it’s normal. I was in awe of those who wanted to be a nurse or a teacher or a doctor when in college. If the obvious things–what friends and family do for a living or what you see around you in daily life–don’t ring bells how is a young person supposed to know what they would be good at?

    And then there are those who know they want to be a doctor like their dad or mom but who don’t have the grades. The really brave ones are those who have law or medical degrees, realize the work is not for them and do something else.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    D. Manzaluni,

    Oh gosh, two geniuses.

    Maybe you wouldn’t have had to determine death…you might have decided when people who lived in the country would run into a deer with their car or when customers who bought gas stoves would have a fire and then you would work on a device that would alert drivers about deer and deterrents to prevent fires caused by gas stoves and you’d save millions of lives.

    I wouldn’t dare take such a test as I’d fear the result would be “Go home and forget it. You don’t fit anything.” I never liked tests.

  7. DManzaluni Said:

    Yeah, I’m with you on that. I even try to avoid blood tests for fear of failure. Think of the sheer ignominy of that!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    For a whole set of other reasons like you I don’t like blood tests either. Tests are tests–to be avoided when possible.

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