This morning I was alerted to a Forbes piece written by Susan Adams on the Least Stressful Jobs of 2013. Number one on the list? University Professor. Susan has some amazing insights as to why this is such a cushy job:
University professors have a lot less stress than most of us. Unless they teach summer school, they are off between May and September and they enjoy long breaks during the school year, including a month over Christmas and New Year’s and another chunk of time in the spring. Even when school is in session they don’t spend too many hours in the classroom. For tenure-track professors, there is some pressure to publish books and articles, but deadlines are few. Working conditions tend to be cozy and civilized and there are minimal travel demands, except perhaps a non-mandatory conference or two. As for compensation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for professors is $62,000, not a huge amount of money but enough to live on, especially in a university town.
Word. I mean, I know I spend my summers lounging on the porch drinking bourbon, you? And how you folks at Columbia, UCLA or Boston University liking those cheap college towns you live in?
I'm not saying that University Professor is one of the most stressful jobs out there, but if you're going to call something cushy, it would help to understand what you are talking about. You know what's stressful? Fact-checking and research. Those are stressful activities that Susan clearly eschews at all costs. In fact, when you can just randomly make shit up about jobs you only know from bad movies, that seems like a pretty cushy job too. Let's see what Susan does in her job:
Since Forbes hired me in 1995 to write a legal column, I’ve taken advantage of the great freedom the magazine grants its staff, to pursue stories about everything from books to billionaires. I’ve chased South Africa’s first black billionaire through a Cape Town shopping mall while admirers flocked around him, climbed inside the hidden chamber in the home of an antiquarian arms and armor dealer atop San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, and sipped Chateau Latour with one of Picasso’s grandsons in the Venice art museum of French tycoon François Pinault. I’ve edited the magazine’s Lifestyle section and opinion pieces by the likes of John Bogle and Gordon Bethune. As deputy leadership editor, these days I mostly write about careers and corporate social responsibility. I got my job at Forbes through a brilliant libertarian economist, Susan Lee, whom I used to put on television at MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Before that I covered law and lawyers for journalistic stickler, harsh taskmaster and the best teacher a young reporter could have had, Steven Brill.
Sounds killer. Who could take the time to even begin to learn about the basis of a story with all that going on?