Thursday, June 11, 2015

Story 86: The Most Boring Jobs in the World – Panel

            Host: Welcome to tonight’s installment of "The Most Boring Jobs in the World - Panel".  I’m your host, Killian Time; we have three guests joining us this evening.  Let’s start with the lady on my right who requested to be addressed as “Ann”, as in “Ann-onymous”.
            “Ann”: Thanks for having me – I love your show!  It literally is the only thing that gets me through the day.
            Host:  Indeed.  And why is that?
            “Ann”: Because mine is the most boring job in the world, Killian, and I need something to look forward to in order to drag myself out of bed and across the many, many hours of each rotation around the Sun.
            Host: And what is it that you do?
            “Ann”: I’m a museum docent.
            Host: That doesn’t sound so bad; we all love museums.
            “Ann”: Oh, the visitors have a blast.  They can linger as long or as little as they want, or move on to the cafeteria, or leave the building altogether.  Whereas I’m assigned a single section of the floor and have to stay there for hours and hours, making sure people don’t touch anything.  Master’s degree in art history and I’m a glorified babysitter.
            Host: I’m sure that’s not all you do.
            “Ann”: Oh you are, are you?  I get to do tours sometimes, but that’s just babysitting on the move while trying to keep my patter straight.  Then, it’s back to the standing, and the staring.  The art starts to lose its appeal by the time I’ve memorized the cracks in the oil paint.
            Host: I see.  Well, you certainly have made a strong case for yourself on this show.  I award your job an Ennui Rating of 9 out of 10.
            “Ann”: Yes!  Success at last!
            Host: Next, we have another contestant with a pseudonym in order to protect his company: “Sharon”, the tour boat operator.
            “Charon”: Actually, Killian, it’s pronounced “Charon” – as in the boatman who ferries doomed souls across the River Styx into Hades.
            Host: Oh yes, I get it now.  So, I presume that that has some significance to our topic.
            “Charon”: Oh yes: much as “Ann” mentioned, I too must babysit on the move when I conduct tours.  The differences are that I have recite my speech while simultaneously operating a motorboat in a tidal river; the tourists sit there like slugs, stirring only to snap photos of nothing; my patter is so molded to the landscape that I could read my endless monologue off the rocks and trees; and I have to travel the same zig-zaggy circle eight times a day, six days a week, until the day I die.
            Host: Surely not that long.
            “Charon”: It could be any moment now: I can feel my heart stop beating with the tedium.
            Host: But you see such beautiful scenery every day.
            “Charon”: Yes.  I see such beautiful scenery.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Would you like to watch the same beautiful movie multiple times every day?
            Host: …No, I guess not.
            “Charon”: There you go.  Plus, all the boats and their waste have been slowly killing the habitat, so the company’s going to have to relocate the tours soon.  Suppose that’ll shake things up for a day.
            Host: You make some good points.  I have to award you an Ennui Rating of 8.5, though, because the constant threats of the gas tank exploding and/or the boat sinking with all hands add an element of thrill that deducts from your score.
            “Charon”: That is true.  Rats.
            Host: Finally, we have “Dickens”, who works in a box factory.  Sounds interesting.
            “Dickens”: It’s not.  I have one job to do: straighten the product on the conveyer belt as each piece passes me, for eight + hours.  That’s it.
            Host: Oh my.
            “Dickens”: On top of that, we’re always on edge because there’s the continual chance of losing a finger, eyebrows, etc.
            Host: I’m sorry, “Dickens”, but that does not qualify as “boring” – on the contrary, it’s life-threatening and therefore exciting.  Live up to your fake name and expose the dangers of factory life to the world if you must, but you cannot participate any longer in this game.
            “Dickens”: Typical.  Can’t make progress anywhere in life.
            Host: Try the “Is My Life Trying to Kill Me?” show next door.  (“Dickens” leaves)  Right, so, since we’re now short a contestant, I’d like to throw my hat into the ring and submit my job as a candidate for “The Most Boring Job in the World”.
            “Ann”: Really?  But you have new people to talk to each day, and you get to play games, for crying out loud.
            Host: Yes, yes – you’d be surprised at how people’s sob stories all start sounding alike after a while.  Why, I just had people with your and “Charon’s” predicaments last week, only one was a study hall teacher and the other was a forest ranger.  I disqualified the ranger because she gets to drive a truck and occasionally faces down bears.
            “Charon”: So, you find us all… boring?
            Host: Extremely.  I try to find new ways to ask the same questions, but I finally gave up and just read from my script.  Even my reactions are repeats.  I would be bored to tears if I weren’t on camera.
            “Ann”: I guess you can award yourself an Ennui Rating of 10, then.
            Host: I wish; technically, I can’t compete.  Shook things up a bit though, didn’t it?  And now, I name “Ann” the winner because it’s late and I only have my dreams in REM sleep to look forward to.  This is Killian Time, and thank you for watching "The Most Boring Jobs in the World - Panel".  Be sure to tune in tomorrow, where I’ll be here yet again, joined by an amusement park ride operator, a fruit picker, and a literal clock watcher.


  1. HA, the irony alone was worth the read. It was very funny and true of a lot of jobs. "From tedium to boredom and back again" to paraphrase "Mr Roberts"