Job of the Day: Pharmacist

Here’s a career path you might not have considered, buried within this largely depressing piece about how much part-time work sucks, via Bloomberg:

“Does a highly-paid, relatively short-hour, moderately high education, majority-female occupation sound too good to be true? It is true and the field is pharmacy,” write Harvard labor economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz in a paper calling pharmacist “the most egalitarian of all professions.” As big retail chains expanded, replacing independent pharmacist-owned shops, they offered part-time work at relatively high wages. As a result, women flooded into the field. “Because of the extensive work flexibility and low pecuniary penalty to short hours, female pharmacists with currently active licenses take little time off during their careers even when they have children,” the economists write.

But if demanding unpredictable hours from cashiers and clerks is good for business efficiency, why isn’t the same true for pharmacists, who work short hours in similar retail environment? The most likely explanation is that pharmacists, unlike cashiers and clerks, can legally trade money for more predictable hours. Their median wage is $58 an hour, which leaves a lot of wiggle room.

Not bad, right? USNews concurs, scoring the job of a Pharmacist 8.1 out of a possible 10 and ranking it #5 on their list of Top 100 Jobs, period. And yet in my entire life, though I know plenty of folks whose grandparents worked at drug stores, probably making egg creams, I’m not sure I’ve encountered anyone who’s said, “I want to be a pharmacist.” Not sexy enough? Somehow off the radar? Why are we not all behind the counter, dispensing drugs with a smile?


Every Job I’ve Had: Publishing, Teaching, and the Inevitability of Grad School

I got my first ever paying job through a family friend. My mom’s college friend ran a (now defunct) television production company specializing in lowbrow A&E Biography specials (RIP), afternoon cooking shows for the Food Network, and occasional documentaries for HBO. I was shy and willing to earn minimum wage spending all summer inside, reading the internet. My first summer, I pitched subjects for a Biography special on murderers. I spent a lot of time on Crime Library, got familiar with the filming policies for both federal and assorted state prisons, and eventually one of my suggestions became a TV episode! “First Person Killers: Ronald DeFeo,” (about the guy who inspired The Amityville Horror) aired sometime in 2006, and I have still never seen it.


On Not Being Lonely About Labor

Over at n+1, a reader writes into Kristin Dombek at the Help Desk, asking for help to cope with her feeling of being exploited by work, and the “white-hot festering rage that runs at all times in the background of my day to day.”


Crashing The Gay Job Fair

Apparently the recruiters don’t mind if the crashing heteros are genuinely talented, and the organizations don’t care as long as the students are “active allies,” — after all, the point is to foster inclusiveness. But when MBA bros come in saying stuff like, “Dude I’m not gay,” the whole point of the thing is lost.


When Your Boss Monitors Your Bathroom Breaks

Via CNNMoney and a post on my dad’s Facebook wall with the commentary, “Fight for feces freedom! End bathroom surveillance,” (thanks, Dad!), a faucet manufacturing company called WaterSaver has limited employee bathroom time to six minutes a day, a move that, if the Teamsters have anything to say about it, will get them in trouble with the Labor Relations Board.


Getting Married and Living on $11 Per Hour

When my wife and I first got married, I was working at a real estate office in Miami while she finished her degree in nursing at Florida International University. I hadn’t finished school yet and wasn’t very close to doing so. She was in her last—and toughest—semester. (Try your best to continue reading this before you make your judgments about whether we should have gotten hitched or not. If we get divorced, I’ll let you tell me that you told me so.)


More Work Poetry!

Here is an angry poem I wrote lo these many years ago when I was an assistant at a talent agency, and I’m re-posting it here, because we’re doing poems now? Sure, why not.

It was my first job out of college and it was … well, let’s just say, it was not a good fit. The good people at Conte published the poem way back when.

I Couldn’t Print This At Work

i. finally, a lovely day today. I know because I saw it out the window. finally a lovely day today. you called your old assistant.

I feel cheated on.

is it not enough to be penned in here with you, your name a cookie-cutter for my voice, my fingers dispensing your words? and after all, she left 


Millennial “Earnings Hangovers” And How to Fight Them

We all know how to treat a regular hangover: drink! No, silly, not more Smirnoff Ice, aka, the hair of the dog that bit you; lots of water or soda water, juice, and coffee. Sprite. Pedialyte. Eating can help, although I’ve heard arguments both for and against fatty foods. Ibuprofen (not Tylenol, which, like liquor and/or in combination with it, can damage your liver). Waiting. But how does one deal with the earnings hangover that one did not bring on oneself by partying but simply by graduating at the wrong time?

Students entering the job market in 2010 and 2011 took a 19 percent pay cut from what they could have expected without a recession, according to economists at Yale University in New HavenConnecticut – about double the penalty in prior downturns. … That reality is haunting a segment of millennials, the 82 million people born between 1981 and about 2000. Full-time 25-to 34-year-old workers saw income erode to a median of $38,000 in 2012 from $38,760 in 2007, based on National Center for Education Statistics data. Salaries for bachelor’s degree-or-higher grads fell to $49,950 from $52,990 in 2007.

It gets … not better:


The Lawyer-to-Be (A Poem)


Teachers make no money, And for “causes” I lack passion. I simply am too risk-averse For media or fashion. I thought I’d be a doctor, But I failed organic chem. When my friends went off to law school, I thought, “Why don’t I join them? Here is a profession Where you go to school and then You have employment guaranteed Once at the other end.” And so I’ve spent three lengthy years With Latin words and torts, Amassing debt and studying To one day work in courts. But now—thank you, economy— I’m temping and in debt. There’s lots of us and too few jobs, And I’m left with regret.


Emma D. Miller vandalized lockers with rhyming poems in high school. Now she works at a film festival in Durham, NC. She tweets mostly about documentaries.


Here Is Your Open Thread

At LinkedIn, a discussion of what not to do when you quit your job so you can leave gracefully:


My First Job, Or How Not to Deal With A Boss Who Masturbates at Work

I continued to engage in this magical thinking for another two weeks, but it became increasingly difficult. He’d often emerge from his office tucking his shirt into his pants, his belt unbuckled, a behavior I could not, no matter how hard I tried, rationalize.


What Would It Be Worth To You To Be a Laker Girl?

Cheerleaders have it all — in high school. Once they become professionals, though, and cheer for the NFL or NBA, they face an array of obstacles, including some entrenched, institutional unfairness; and at last, like the famed stewardesses of yore, another group of attractive, exploited young women employees who had to rebel against gross and unequal treatment, cheerleaders are beginning to push back:

Former Buccaneers cheerleader Manouchcar Pierre-Val has just made Tampa Bay the fifth NFL team to get served with a lawsuit from its cheerleaders. … Pierre-Val is the only named plaintiff as of now and was paid $3,000 less than minimum wage during her one year with the team.

On a recent This American Life episode (#530), writer-producer Chana Joffe-Walt discussed the cheerleader suits and the insanely stringent restrictions in their employee guidebooks, which cover everything from appearance and hygiene to decorum and what feels like cotillion-level etiquette. 

“Never apply makeup or fuss with hair front of people. If it’s absolutely necessary you reapply, freshen up, go to the ladies’ room. And do not hang out and talk while there. Beware, other women will judge you in there, too. (emphasis added because OMG WTF –ed)