Thursday, July 22, 2004

plum job

I know that as a resident, my standards of "good" and "bad" have become bizarrely distorted when compared to the standards of normal people, but there's no better feeling than coming home post-call, taking a nice hot shower, and knowing that you are the master of the next eighteen hours of your life.  You're not the boss of me, hospital!  I can do whatever I want!  I can take a nap.  I can walk my dog.  I can have lunch anywhere I want and take as long as I want to eat it.  Or I can sit quietly by myself and do nothing at all.  Sure, I'll be back the next day and you'll own me again, but for now, I belong to me. 

Wow, that's a little depressing.

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On the subway today, I was thinking about what would would constitute a real plum job.  I realized that a great job would be one in which people are paying you to do what other people would do for free, or at their own expese, because it's fun.  Here's a partial list of what I've come up with:

1.) Travel writer.  Preferably for a publication with a lot of money and read by rich people, so they can afford to send you somewhere good.  "The World's Top Ten Spas" or something like that.  Not "Hoboken: Highlights and Attractions."

2.) Professional Movie Critic.  Not of the Siskel & Ebert variety (I think having to be on TV would turn it into a whole other job) but of the A.O. Scott and Steven Holden variety.  Also to clarify: Not Gene Shalit, not Rex Reed.  If you were a movie reviewer for a classy rag (Times, New Yorker or similar) you would get paid to watch movies, you could go to classy places with glamorous people (like the Cannes Film Festival, oh mais oui!) but still have steely journalistic integrity in case studio execs want to bribe into saying their stinker of a movie is "An Emotional Tour de Force" or some other such blurb that they can slap on their movie posters.  Actually, maybe I wouldn't have integrity.  Maybe it would be fun to be bribed.  The only con that I can really think of is that sometimes, you'll have to review something like, "Garfield: The Movie," and be contractually obligated to sit through the whole thing.  But then you could write a really bitchy review, and then it would be fun again.

3.) East Coast Socialite.  Well, I guess that's not really a job. 

4.) TV Doctor.  Strangely enough, this is what my med school interviewer predicted that I would be doing in 20 years.  A TV doctor on a news program I mean, not a TV doctor like Dr. Michael Mancini of "Melrose Place."  I think my interviewer said it to mean that I had a good personality, but at the time I was paranoid that he was saying that I talked too much and should shut my pie hole.  TV doctor would be a great part-time gig, though, mostly because it wouldn't be very hard.  However, trying to convince a new mom why giving her newborn Strawberry Quik mixed into the formula is not such a great idea, even if "the baby likes it"?  Surprisingly difficult.

I once had a friend who worked for an advertising company for the summer.  He spent his summer in L.A., interviewing models by day and taking clients out to fancy dinner and clubs by night, all expense-free.  Also, I believe they put him up in a suite at the Four Seasons his entire time out on the West Coast.  How do people even find jobs like that?  My only revenge is that I heard he's actually a second-year medical student now.

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Hey look, they're talking about "Scutmonkey" in Germany!  I only wish I could read German, so I could figure out what they're saying.  Who knows, maybe they're saying I'm lame-ass.  (Thanks again for the link, Kai B.)
Currently reading: "Complications."  Back to the medical non-fiction for me.  No offense, "House of Leaves," but you are making my brain hurt.  I tread a fine line with these medical leisure books, alternating between feeling stressed-out thinking about medicine in my off-time, and feeling relieved in reading about other people's bumbling residency stories and knowing that I'm not alone in constantly feeling like an ass.  And yes, I love run-on sentences.

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