The best, but least known jobs of 2006

According to the Department of Labor, people are getting employed in the land of the Bullthistle, and from this spectator’s vantage point – they’re taking care of business, and working a little overtime.

For our area, the Department of Labor now lists the top three available jobs as cashiers, retail salespersons, and waiters and waitresses.

While encouraging, it’s sadly apparent that all the best labor real-estate of 2006 has finally been gobbled up.

With much regret in my failure as an 06er to stake claim in Norwich during the Chenango job rush, consider this my “I didn’t used to – but now I wish I was that guy” job list;

First on our list: the shadowy, yet intriguing shopping cart “repo” man.

These private contractors have opened firms all over the city with no shortage of work, or wherewithal. It definitely took a savvy market sense to find that wave and ride it. And given the number of these successful opportunists, I’d say Norwich will be in good hands when it comes to reining in any future economic wild horses.

Prediction: From this talented crop, expect a budding action or metal fab reality TV series to develop in the coming months as the buzz spreads, similar to that of “Dog of the Bounty Hunter” or “American Chopper.”

The next hot title falls under Homeland Security: Fire Lane Access, Procedure, and Patrol Expert in Reconnaissance.

You’ve no doubt recently noticed the hefty number of unmarkeds occupying this parking lot no man’s land – you thought they were the problem – trust me, they’re the solution. These brave citizens have been deputized to take-up the forbidden space, and curb you, the real offender, from ever even thinking about using that black-market handicap sticker. “Park in the road, park on the sidewalk, or even park in a designated spot – just don’t let me catch you parking in the sin-grid, buddy,” the closing phrase of an upcoming public service announcement will reportedly say, according to insiders (in a close second, but axed for clarity issues, was the phrase “So, in closing, you can park your friends, you can park your nose, but you can’t park your friend’s nose).

Prediction: Expect to see a full-time increase in rusted mid-size vehicles with booted tires at many of your local shopping centers. They’ll be equipped with two separate top lights (one blue, one orange), a removable magnetized door sign marked “FLAPPER,” and a bumper sticker that says “If you think this car is ugly, you should see my girlfriend.”

Indicators of a comfortable society are often its attention to culture, ambiance and practicality, and our third and final batter definitely fills our list’s “sign of the times” slot: Durable Organic Confetti Spreaders.

Like Athens before it, Norwich has been rife with these “they must know somebody” pixies who spend their days frolicking – tossing cheer and style in the form of previously discarded tobacco after-products, crudely referred to by the unrefined as “butts.” Gathered near (river) banks, restaurants, saloons, day care centers and loading docks, the spreaders finish off any excess lung fodder and collect the often wasted remains into their satchels, in preparation for recommittal onto the sidewalks of our fair city – like the falling petals of a white rose.

Prediction: If their health permits, DOCS plan on diversifying. They will begin by inspecting minor league baseball dug-outs, ultimate fighting tournaments, and study halls in an effort to collect fresh snuff deposits as colorful and aromatic garnishes for water fountains and empty soda bottles.

Hey, it looks like we missed out. But there’s no sense crying over spilled milk. Spoiled milk on the other hand – now that sounds like a job prospect for 2007.

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