In Celebration of My Unemployment, Here are 5 Jobs I Would Totally Suck At

There are so many jobs I should never, ever, in a million years try to do. Because I would be terrible. Like a racehorse, or Brad Pitt, I can only do this one thing.
Publish date:
October 9, 2015
work, unemployment

So, I’m unemployed. I’m also 32. In the past I would take the first job that came my way and be grateful for it. This led to gigs working answering phones for nuns and sterilizing dental equipment.

But I am old and weathered now. I crave stability. During this most recent job hunt I tell anyone who will listen (and also some randoms on the subway) that whatever job I get next will be the job I have until retirement. IRAs and full benefit packages have been fodder for my proverbial spank bank. I dream of a commute worth bitching about and of making small talk with the same people every day about stuff like the weather and also television.

It’s hard to find a job you want to have your entire life. It’s even harder when you are really only very good at one thing. For me that’s writing. SURPRISE. So since I want this forever job, I figured it should be in my field, and something that’s exciting to me. That’s part of what’s made the hunt so hard. Ideally, it should make the eventual gig I get even more rewarding.

Looking for this magical unicorn of a job has made one thing very clear to me. There are so many jobs I should never, ever, in a million years try to do. Because I would be terrible. Like a racehorse, or Brad Pitt, I can only do this one thing. Put us out of our misery when we break an ankle or attempt a career in architecture. Here are five jobs I could never ever do. Not including being Brad Pitt or a racehorse because duh.

Brain Surgeon

When I was an infant my father was notorious for bouncing me on his knee while crooning, “Can you say ‘plastic surgeon’?” He also weirdly had decided that I should marry Matt Dillon, but that is neither here nor there.

My father is a priest and a professor, my mother is a teacher and a librarian. The odds of me delving into the hard sciences were....not great? Throw into the mix that I’ve got a slight familial tremor in my hands and a deeply-rooted fear of death, the idea of me professionally puttering around with anyone’s insides is nightmarish. For all parties concerned. I can vividly conjure images of me sweating through OR scrubs while elbow-deep in bowels bellowing “WHAT IS INTESTINES?” before blacking out.

Sex Therapist

I think sex is great. I am not a prude. But I’m also not your friend who is gonna be like “ORGASMS, amiright?” So, sitting in a room with two people instructing them on the finer points on boning down does not seem like something at which I would excel.

To my core (unless it is talking with a partner, and even then, god help me), I turn into a twelve-year-old when talking about the naked times. Exhibit the fact that I just very earnestly typed “the naked times.” Some poor desperate soul will be talking to me about their sexual insecurities and I’d probably just panic and start blurting Cosmo-style tips like “PUT A SCRUNCHIE ON HIS BALLS MAYBE?” in order to keep myself from engaging in a prolonged monologue on the hilarity of queefs.


I am stubborn to the point that growing up, my mother called me “Stubborn Bear” in a creative attempt to turn one of my biggest faults of character into an endearment. When I was in first grade I had a really terrible teacher. She was deeply terrifying and impatient. She was teaching us how to use a measuring cup and when I grabbed the wrong one she yelled at me.

That evening at parent teacher conferences she told my parents that I was having a hard time learning measurements. I was indignant. I swore to never learn math.

At the age of 32 I am pleased to report that on this choice I have not wavered -- please ask the myriad of people who have tried to instruct me on the finer points of leaving the right tip. Until recently, I just left as much cash as I had and scuttled out like some mentally deficient version of Roman Abramovich. Three dollars for a coffee? ENJOY ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS WAITRESS! NOW YOU ARE RICH BECAUSE OF MATH!

A Rock Star

I had the good fortune to be my godson’s nanny for the first year of his life. He is a lover of music, this kid. Currently he sees me and knows that with a winning smile and some hugs I will present him with the device I carry with me that plays "Uptown Funk." He will take it and march up and down the apartment, pausing to pump his arms in the arm and gyrate his hips.

Before the era of Bruno Mars was ushered in, he had another favorite: The Big Bopper. I would play him "Chantilly Lace" over and over and over and over again and he never tired of it. He might consider it passe now, but I do not. To wit, I have decided that one day a week is Becca’s Big Bopper day where I speak exclusively in the style of the BB. A friend greets me and “HELLLLLLLLLO BAAAAYYYYABY!” I deeply whinny at them in response.

What is cool and charming and retro-funny when the Big Bopper does it, is just crass and strange when I attempt it. I doubt this would be any different were I the frontwoman of a band.


I was, actually and very briefly, a janitor. I once pulled a dead pigeon from inside the fiery depths of a furnace. I emptied trash cans and lectured people about proper fecal placement (inside the toilet, not beside it or in the garbage can). Once, on my commute home, I discovered a used sanitary napkin rolled up like a snail shell and adhered to my sleeve. Verily, these were dark days.

I was really, really, really bad at it. I was too lazy to replace the trash bags at each office worker’s desk so I implemented an ingenious system wherein I stretched rubber bands around the brim of each can securing the liner indefinitely. There it remained until such a time as it began to stink or, the rubber band gave way, snapping off the thing like the opposite of champagne cork. I spent hours hiding in the furnace room so that I would not have to lug around the giant bags of recyclables to the freight elevator.

“I’ll be in here,” I’d say to no one, “breaking down boxes.” Then I would quietly sit and stare at the wall. I was lazy and ill-tempered. In short, a pleasure to know. I was like a less effectual version of Futurama’s Scruffy only so not lovable. I blame being in grad school at the time.