Thanks to a recommendation from I bought “Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs“. It’s really a tribute to an older book called “Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do”.
Gig consists of monologues of a wide cross section of working people. There’s a porn star, a software developer, prison guard, a prisoner (don’t know if that’s technically a job), an air force general, a high school teacher, a journalist and enough representatives of other professions to make a thousand “x y and z walk into a bar” jokes.
My favorite little story was about a single mom who had a gig as a psychological warfare specialist. She ended up getting my dream job when an Army recruiter asked her about her specialization preference. Since “spy” was not an option she took the next best thing.
Modern psywarriors, like this girl, sometimes hail from rather somewhat rural places, so they get a lot of multicultural sensitivity training. One point brought home to them is that it is very important to never refuse native food or drink that is offered to them by friendlies, even if it’s gross. In training they even have a mock dinner during which they have to down “weird” drinks and eat “weird” food. That training kind of came in handy to our protagonist, as she was offered “gruel goat” meal in Africa which you had to eat with your hands. She handled that well.
Turkish coffee turned out to be a stumbling block for her : ” … Turkish coffee. It’s got like a half an inch of grounds on the bottom. Well, I didn’t know if I was supposed to eat the grounds or not …”
What to do, what to do? Of course she decided to ask one of the guys. Guess what kind of advice he gave her. Riiight. I’d do the same thing.
Anyway, you can read her story here tanks to the guy at Amazon who sneaked full text search past the lawyers.
touched upon the most fascinating topic of what professions “Russian” immigrants never choose. Police officer appeared rather often on the list of professions suggested by her readers. Well, a guy who’s desk was right next to mine in a High School pre-calculus class finished the Police Academy here in New York. I am not sure if he actually became a cop though.
One story that he told me was kind of funny (I can’t judge it’s truthfulness though) . He smokes a lot. And once he was caught smoking right next to what he described as an “ammo dump”. The instructor who caught him came up with a creative punishment. My friend was forced to dig a proper human size grave and then bury the cigarette butt in it. Yeah, being an NYPD cadet is tough.
Another “Russian” classmate of mine became a US Marine. I wonder where he is right now. “Semper Fi” means the same thing even with a Russian accent. Yeah. By the way, the motto of NYPD is “Fidelis Ad Mortem”.