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Jobs This American Won’t Do:

A recurring theme in the current dust-up over immigration is the idea that we must have some program allowing for guest workers because there are some jobs that Americans just won’t do. A story last week in the LA Times underscored this, citing worker shortages in the landscaping business even when experienced workers can make as much as $34 an hour.

Well, they’re right. There are jobs I won’t do, and I feel it’s only fair to tell you which ones they are.

It has little to do with manual labor. Sure, that’s the popular notion; Americans look down on manual labor. Has anyone thought of attaching a calorie burn value to these activities? Let Americans know they’ll lose weight installing sod and patio stone and you’ll see those $34 gigs fill up faster than seats at a Blue Collar Comedy show. Of course Jeff Foxworthy would have to alter his hilarious bits. “You may be a redneck if… well, your neck is red… from working. Outdoors.”

It’s certainly not fear of lifting and pushing and hauling that keeps me from certain jobs, otherwise I would never get out of Trader Joe’s with my goods. No, it’s the jobs themselves. Here are four of them that I will never do.

Backdrop Slogan Writer

Somebody must write those slogans that appear behind Bush every single time he appears in public. There’s always a blue or green wall with a simple pointed slogan like “Education Good” or “Environment No Big Deal” any time Bush does television. Last week Bush appeared at the U.S./Mexican border and while the border itself was in the background, I swear I could make out the words “Wall Strong” stenciled on the fence. Anyhow, those slogans are condescending to the American people and I won’t write them.

KFC Spud Scooper

KFC has a new entrée: It’s a bowl of mashed potatoes with fried chicken strips laid on top, then there’s gravy and three kinds of cheese laid on top of that. I spent my first 22 years in the Midwest, and I have no recollection of ever being served my own personal bowl of mashed potatoes. I know they had these bags, but those were for feeding horses. There were troughs… no, wait, those were for cattle. Anyhow, I wouldn’t want the gig shoveling the potatoes into the bowls. Nope, won’t do that job either.

Handing Over Phone Records

For this entire NSA domestic spying thing to work, there had to be honest, hard-working phone company employees who were made to hand over the personal call records of their fellow citizens to government officials who would peruse them like just another chunk of newspaper. That’s unpleasant, making good people do bad things. Qwest refused to hand over phone records. I would work for Qwest, but maybe they know that already since I mentioned it during phone calls audited for the government by my phone company, Verizon. I won’t work for them.

Kicking People Out of Trailers

Last week FEMA, the popular government agency, began sending out eviction notices to some 3,000 Katrina victims living in FEMA trailers because those tenants might not meet the eligibility requirements for living in a trailer. Yes, with their roomy good looks and durable particleboard construction, you can see why people might cheat to provide shelter for their families in a trailer. Eventually, someone will have the job of kicking those folks out. Someone, but not me. I won’t do it.

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