Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I have the fourth best job in America

According to this ranking. :) I work in a biology lab at Caltech.

Actually I don't know if I'm the kind of biologist they mean, and furthermore when I looked a bit more at their methodology it seemed very shallow. And they couldn't take into account all the individual conditions (like whether the boss is sane) that can have so much effect on working environment. So I'm not taking it seriously.

I do like my job, though, and what I chiefly like about it is that it doesn't bug me. I don't feel stressed about work. No one's mean (to me), no one minds if I shift my schedule earlier or later (that's huge), and I've yet to suffer any injuries from sea urchin spines. Often free food, scientific talks, and other events can be found around campus. And the work itself is interesting, neither hard labor nor sitting at a desk all day. I get to move around a big lab bench and work at microscopes and shake sea urchins, and eventually I learn more about what the genes do. True, autoclaving the biohazardous waste isn't my favorite thing, but really I only do that an average of once a year.

One thing I'm sure of: if photography is your dream job, you should avoid taking out $140,000 in student loans at 18% interest for a four-year degree in the subject.

4 comments:

farfarolla said...

the box on the shelf looks like an accident waiting to happen. Poor girl. Aren't you the one in charge of safety?

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

hehe, though i must admit, I'm a much bigger fan of finding my way towards the radioactive stuff myself, makes for some interesting studies ;)

Rachel Gray said...

Fortunately I'm not in charge of safety for that lab; it's just a generic picture. *My* lab is *much* neater (crosses fingers behind back).

Joe, when it comes to injuries and loss of life in biology labs, I've heard of ultraviolet light, liquid nitrogen, and phenol all being more dangerous than radioactivity-- but of course the chief danger of radioactivity is DNA damage that you don't notice till you get cancer, as Madame Curie could attest...

Eanah said...

I guess I'm #6, as that's the only thing on the list remotely like my job.

Very, very odd list. Lots of highly specific things (shoemaker, telephone repair man), but lots of big gaps too.

Also, meter readers come in at #179? The ones I know either use it as a foot-in-the-door to becoming a lineman, or they actually like it. Don't think many of them look down on it...