A Career In Substance Abuse, That Sounds Like The Job For Me

Ian R Thorpe By Ian R Thorpe, 19th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

Tongue in cheek look at some of the crazy job titles advertised in the public sector.

Not a job but a vocation

Better news on the jobs figures this week are being interpreted in mainstream media as a sign the economic depression is coming to an end. This is a very superficial view however, if we take an in depth look at the new jobs being created, they are mostly in the public sector. And most fall into that category of career opening that has been called "non - jobs".

Some of the jobs on offer by public authorities, quangos (quasi autonomous non governmental organisations) and charities carry job titles and descriptions that are quite hilarious and though public sector salaries are not great it’s easy to get the idea that not much work will be required from the successful applicant. What, for example, does a "lean practicioner" do to justify a salary, for it was an advertisement for a suitably qualified person to fill such a position that set me on this quest.

While jobs for doctirs, nurses and care workers are being cut in the health service and waste disposal or road maintenance service departments are being downsized, one authority has created a new posts for an "age friendly communities" manager – to make the town a better place to live for older residents – a walking and cycling officer, a "community conservation" officer – to run "green gym" schemes, where people are encouraged to create community gardens and plant trees – and an "Energy Island" programme office administrator, to promote renewable energy. The council insisted the roles would benefit the area economically but did not explain how.

While we are on the subject of what these people do, how is a Domestic Violence Action Co-ordinator going to occupy their time? Co-ordinating domestic violence by scheduling the wife beating activities of thugs so as to spread the load on Hospital A & E departments and ambulance services? Or if some bastard is ill or just exhausted, perhaps these local government officers are respnsible for arranging that someone else to go round and beat his wife up for him?

Jobs in Domestic Violence have come up a few times recently, clearly a sign that the people who invent such positions are not thinking things through properly.

Another recent vacancy that has me baffled is an advert for a Singing For The Brain Co-ordinator. WTF is singing for the brain. It is something to do with teaching lousy singers to not make any noise, just sing a song in their head so as not to annoy people. Or is it something more sinister perhaps, are the government encoding messages the Fibbonaci series values of musical tones and employing pitch – perfect singers to brainwash us all?

Just as puzzling is the requirement for a female prostitution action worker (they’re nearly all co-ordinators, outreach workers or action workers, sometimes there are even calls for action co-ordinators. Anyway, a female prostitution action worker, isn’t that just a pretentious way so saying “prozzers wanted.” Maybe not because the job description said the job holder would be “researching and developing strategies for dealing with the causes of demand for prostitution. Well that should take about five minutes. Too many sex starved blokes, not enough prostitutes. Sorted, can I have my year’s salary please?

A team of black and ethnic minority compact officers is needed in London. To compact black and ethnic minority people like they compact household waste? Isn’t that a tad racist? If member of ethic minorities are not compact to fit in the very small office they have allocated for this task, the employer should only accept applications from pygmies and Japanese. No Sumo wrestlers though. So pygmies, selected Japanese, San bushmen from the Namib desert. And Eskimos maybe, they are quite compact. That should keep immigration down.

Pick of the week though was a half page dedicated to “careers in substance abuse.” That's doing drugs in plain English

How do you get into a career in Substance Abuse? Well being called Charlie Sheen, Amy Winehouse, Keith Richards, Jack Nicholson or Michael Jackson is a good start.

It is actually two years since I first posted an article on this topic. I'm willing to bet that in a town hall somewhere is England there is a little person sitting behind as desk waiting for someone to come and reveal what a lean practicioner actually does.

Childhood drinking set us on the slippery slope
Cheaper Drugs Now
The Pissed Pensioners Of Harrogate
Diffferent Clothes


Career, Government, Job, Public Sector, Satire, Work, Worker

Meet the author

author avatar Ian R Thorpe
Born Manchester UK, 1948. varied early career from clerk via construction site worker and street trader to I T consultant. Performance poet, broadcaster, fiction writer and essayist on many topics.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
20th Dec 2013 (#)

food for thought for sure... I think you should google lean practitioner and find out what it is and write an article for the rest of us about it. My thought is that this person teaches the other proper ways to lean to show the right amounts of boredom, care, frustration, or fatigue. Very important when one is at the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles, at least here), for example, or any government office... ;)

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Dec 2013 (#)

Interesting post Ian!

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author avatar Ian R Thorpe
20th Dec 2013 (#)

See my reply to Phyl. Management consultants (even retirered ones) are like lawyers, we never (in public) ask a question we do not know the answer to. :-)

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author avatar Ian R Thorpe
20th Dec 2013 (#)

Having a backround in management consultancy I had a prettyu good idea what these jobs were about. Here's one definition:
"The core idea is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Simply, lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources.
A lean organization understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continuously increase it. The ultimate goal is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste.
To accomplish this, lean thinking changes the focus of management from optimizing separate technologies, assets, and vertical departments to optimizing the flow of products and services through entire value streams that flow horizontally across technologies, assets, and departments to customers."
In other words it is a practicioner of management b.s. :-)
Have a great (and not in the least lean) Christmas Phyl

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