March 31, 2015

Horse 1869 - What Sort Of Job Would You Do?

There is a lesson to be learned if you post your email address online. Sometimes, due to the power of the Internet, people send you email and ask you questions.
If you would like to send an email and ask a question, my address is

If you weren't writing for a living, what would you be doing? What sort of job would you do if you weren't a writer? 
- Pippin1987 (email address withheld), 24th Mar 2015.

I'm touched that someone thinks that I do this professionally. That must say something about the perceived quality of what I write (or else just feeds my ego). I am confused though. This blog is hosted on which itself kind of suggests that I'm not really that "professional" for want of better word. It might indicate though that some aggregator of content could be monetizing what I wrote without my knowledge though.
Don't get me wrong, Blogger is a great platform. It's just that people's patience to read even five hundred words has been whittled down to virtually zero thanks to Twitter and Facebook, and because of this whilst I've seen many many blogs burst into to life, virtually all of them flicker, fade and die. I personally no one else who still keeps a blog to the same degree that I do and that would have done back in 2005.

In answer to Pippin's first question about what I would do if I wasn't a writer, I have to clarify that I'm not a professional writer. I work in an accountant's office and that's what keeps the bill collectors at bay. If there was money to be made in blogging, I certainly haven't seen any of it.
Let's assume for a second that I was though. In my varied career, if you can call anything I've done a career, I've worked in retail, in warehousing, in an abattoir, a bank, various administration positions, as a court recorder and of course in accounting. I suppose that since I was born in the final quarter of the twentieth century, the idea of a job for life was already a dead concept and when I did enter the workforce, it was in a slow recovery period after a recession in which unemployment exceeded 10% and interest rates had topped out at 17%. The idiom that "beggars can't be choosers" seemed perfectly apt to me and as someone who had recently entered the job market, I took whatever was going. I don't see that any differently now.
If for some reason, I did find myself looking for another job, I suppose that I'd either look in administration or accounting but neither if those things is where my passion lies. No employer is going to hire someone on the basis of a blog (and three books) to wrote for them.

Ideally I'd like to write copy for the ABC, or work as a script writer for radio but I think that it's more likely that Air Porcine will start taking passengers from Devon to St Bacon. Had this question been asked of me in 1985, I probably might have said that I'd like to be a writer of some sort but the whole world of writing has changed at least twice since I was born. Once upon a time, people would become journalists or novelists and submit copy and stories to editors and agents, to be published. In that world, book editors and agents would keep slush piles of manuscripts which they might release for eventual publication but I'm not sure whether anything like that even exists anymore. Nor do I think that news outlets keep armies of journalists and opinion writers under their employ anymore and this has basically an entire industry to fend for itself as freelance writers.

In an absolute world of fantasy, I would have quite liked to have been a professional motor racing driver but seeing as there haven't really been any more than about two dozen Formula One drivers who were actually being paid to race at any given point in time since the late 1970s, that really is the stuff of dreams. Given that I'm simultaneously older, taller and heavier than every driver in Formula One, even if for some reason everything had aligned and I was the heir to an outrageous fortune, putting me into Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari would be like trying to cram Magilla Gorilla into a pair of ballet flats and have him stand en point for the Bolshoi. Again, Air Porcine would be trying to undercut Qantas on price from Sydney to London.

I think I might have had fun as a detective for the police force. During my time as a court reporter, I was often sent down to Central Police Station with tape machines to record and make notes on the interrogation of suspicious persons. Most of the world of policing involves petty larceny and grievous bodily harm and so I don't think I'd enjoy that very much at all.

There are a bunch of other jobs which I think would be ace, like being a motoring writer and getting to fang about in cars all day long, or being a "holiday tester" and testing holidays and hotel rooms, or a radio announcer, or the guy on the Today show. None of those things are going to happen though.

I've also thought that it might be fun to work in a butcher's shop. One of must very first jobs was on the kill floor of the abattoir before it was demolished to make way for Sydney Olympic Park and whilst I saw sheep and cows go in, I never saw shanks, sirloin or silverside come out. I think that it's important to know that the animals which become our food are respected whilst they are alive and on the journey to becoming our dinner.

Sheer pragmatism says that if I wasn't working where I am, then I'd be working in admin or bookkeeping, accountancy or finance somewhere else. That's neither fun or interesting but it stops everyone named William from harassing me... all Bills have to be paid.

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