Low work, high pay: Meet the BS job

Monday, June 26, 2006

Stanley Bing never thought writing his latest book on BS jobs would be so hard.

He's written seven other books without breaking a sweat, largely on business culture and other BS.

"It actually took way more work than I intended it to," Bing said, sitting behind the desk of Gil Schwartz, a vice president at CBS in New York. Stanley Bing is Schwartz's BS pen name and alter-ego.

Bing managed to wade through the BS and finish his book, "100 Bulls--- Jobs ... And How to Get Them." The final product is a funny and honest look at jobs that are overpaid and generally require little work for a lot of perks. (See No. 94, "Vice President of the United States.")

"I don't ever intend to do that much work on a book again," he said.

Obviously, "Writer of This Book" (Bing) made No. 96 on the list, sandwiched between "Xerox Repairman" and "Wine Industry Professional," whose job it is to "Talk the talk. And drink!"

Writing the book was the hard part for Bing. But coming up with a list of 100 careers (if you can call them careers) from the many BS industries in the world was easier than BS job No. 24: "Cold Caller."

Bing could do a sequel with 100 more jobs, he says, but he won't. This book covers everything from advertising executive (No. 1) to yoga franchiser (No. 99).

What gave Bing so much trouble in writing the book was taking his idea beyond just some cute list of BS jobs. Each job has famous examples, the upside, the downside, skills, duties, salary and how to get the job.

Don't get the wrong idea, having a BS job is a good thing. A great thing even. People with BS jobs are "having fun, making a living, and enjoying their lives, perhaps more than you," Bing writes.

Bing has come up with a BS quotient for jobs. Write this down and try it: B is the BS Quotient and it starts with Abuse times Perks times Salary. So take your salary and the value of your perks in tens of thousands (6 for $60,000), times the number of times you're abused (1-10). Divide that by the number of Hours you "really" work in a week. Then, multiply all that by G (a scale between 1 and 10 on how fast your career is growing.)

Got it? BAP$/H (G)

It's not as trusty as, say, the Pythagorean theorem, but Bing swears the formula works.

For example, the BS Quotient of a "Pet Psychic" is really high, 199. And for a "Construction Site Flag Waver," it's 90.

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