13 Dignified Disciplines That Unfortunately Cannot Be Taken Seriously
There’s a nobility to working. We’re repeatedly assured there is, anyway — part of the whole capitalism thing. Is there anything actually better, really, about doing a big load of stuff than not doing a big load of stuff? Is a day spent toiling really of more worth than a day spent doing anything else?
There are jobs, either full jobs or tasks within other jobs, which are perfectly valid, of just as much meaning as any other, and yet they have goofy-assed, dumb-bastard-sounding names that mean you can’t treat them, or anyone who does them, seriously. Like, if you knew someone and they went to college for years and worked really hard to pass all their exams and announced they had got their dream job of “Chief Rim-Licker,” you’d be like, dude.
Best Boy: Oh, Well Done You!
In film production, the Best Boy does a very useful job. They’re an electrician — that’s a specialist field that requires training and experience. However, saying “Hello, I’m the best boy” sounds childish and silly, like you’ve just won a lollipop.
Petty Officer: They Love to Serve
The “petty” in the naval rank “petty officer” comes from the French petit — they’re the lowest officers, but still rank above non-officers. The name just makes them sound like they’re all sassy, chasing drama and shouting things like “Slay, queen.”
Frogmen: Not Really Part-Frog at All
Tactical divers are hardcore, combining swimming and fighting in an extraordinary way. A shame, then, that the informal name for them — also used in news reports about police divers looking in rivers for bodies — sounds like the worst superhero conceivable.
Baby of the House: Sounds Cute, Isn’t
It sounds like a mid-’90s live-action comedy about a preverbal infant entering government, but the B o’H is actually the youngest member of a parliamentary house. The current Baby of the U.K. House of Commons is 25-year-old Keir Mather.
Animal Sexer: You Should Be in Prison
One of the many duties of vets is determining the sex of infant animals, sometimes before birth. This can involve various unsavory-sounding names — calf sexing, foal sexing, chick sexing and — if done in-utero — fetal sexing. Ewwwww.
Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod: How Absolutely Dare You!
There’s a lot of ridiculous pageantry and nonsense in British politics. The Black Rod tradition involves a representative of the Crown knocking on Parliament’s door and being symbolically turned away. That name though: woof.
Bunghole Borer: Whisky Business
The hole in a beer barrel or whisky cask, which has a bung in it, is known as a bunghole. This needs to be bored using a tool called a bunghole reamer, the most Beavis and Butt-Head sounding shit ever.
Smutter: Absolute Filth
It sounds like the self-administered title of someone selling homemade porn in the 1970s, but a smutter is actually the person who ensures agricultural machinery remains unblocked by debris, and/or clears any blockages that happen. No jizzing at all.
Penetration Tester: You Enormous Perverted Bastard
Also known by the much less smutty title of ethical hacker, a penetration tester’s job is to try to get into secure computer systems to expose vulnerabilities. It just sounds so damned seedy.
Back-End Engineer: Utterly Disgraceful
Back-end engineers make huge amounts of money and, despite what their title suggests, don’t have to rummage around up anyone’s shitbox. They work on the data parts of software — essentially, the parts the users don’t see. No asses involved.
Lamb Boner: Horrific and Revolting
There is both art and science to removing meat from bone — a millennia-old task that also includes cutting-edge (yep) developments. It’s a shame then, that if it’s your job, people think you have sex with animals — young ones — for money.
Toilet Sniffer: Exactly What It Sounds Like Actually
Super-tasters are in high demand, and taste is mostly smell, so super-smellers should also be given the respect they deserve. However, when Chinese authorities hired super-smellers to sniff public toilets and make sure they were clean, people laughed at them.
Erection Engineer: A Hard, Hard Job
An erection engineer oversees everything in a building project from budgetary concerns to structural issues. Also BIG THROBBING HARD-ONS!