Published Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:37 pm
George Ayoub: Ink-stained wretch notably absent from best-jobs list

Newspaper columnist must have been number 101.

That’s 100 spots from software developer, 72 from esthetician, 44 from bill collector and 30 from exterminator.

U.S. News and World Report has published its list of the 100 Best Jobs of 2014. We ink-stained wretches are nowhere to be found. No mention of writers of any kind.

Public relations specialists led the creative types parade, checking in at a comparatively sketchy 85, art directors at 91 and architects at 92.

The top five? The aforementioned coding kings and queens, computer systems analysts, dentists, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.

The magazine decided the “best” using seven measures: number of new jobs in the next 10 years (10 percent of the weight used to calculate the total); percentage of growth in the next 10 years (10 percent); median salary (30 percent); the ease of landing a job in the future (20 percent); percentage of people in that occupation who are currently employed (20 percent); stress level (5 percent); impact on lifestyle and family (5 percent).

Check it all out at U.S. News and World Report’s website, but you’ll find no writers, bloggers or newspaper columnists there.

Missing, too, are the dream jobs of millions: sports and movie stars.

Why researchers failed to list professional athletes is curious. If 30 percent of the ranking checked in at $10 million a year for seasonal work, I would have to believe sports stars merited a look.

Throw in league expansions, trades and a pathway to management and come on. Where’s the BMOCs of pro sports?

Hollywood’s rich and the famous, although not necessarily an occupation, are also missing from the best jobs list. This could be because matinee idol scored a perfect zero on the criteria calculations as did the ability to get the good seat at a restaurant.

Speaking of which, I would quibble with stress and work/life issues only weighted at 5 percent. Paycheck math fuels plenty of job satisfaction, but “best” may not always translate to “happy,” as in “You couldn’t pay me enough to do that.”

Certainly finding and keeping a well-paying top 100 gig can make for smiling blue skies and offset the afflictions of a lousy boss, a toxic workplace or mind-numbing monotony. But not all of it.

So, as with any “best” list, salt grains all around, particularly when we consider and compare our own 9-to-5.

When I read about growth percentages, current occupation volumes and the next 10 years, I wondered where I would put the inordinate flexibility that my job affords me. Not that I can come and go as I please, but — well — it’s close.

And while there is deadline stress, covering night events and far too many Saturdays and Sundays at the keyboard, I rather dig the blank screen in the morning. When it’s filled (after rewrites, tweaks and considerable fussing), I have a satisfying sense of completion — and progress.

The words, phrases and ideas measure the distance I’ve come that day, what I’ve created, the flesh and blood and bones of my accomplishment. I find that far superior to a time clock or whistle or bell.

I also find that for me, having a job that gives me a “voice” is a game changer.

None of which means I particularly like coming to work, and at my age the R-word has made the to-do list. Of course, massage therapists (27), middle school teachers (50) and taxi drivers and chauffeurs (74) may feel exactly the same way.

Too, like most of us at work (where we should be happy to have a job), some days our situation is easily among the 100 Best.

And other days, well, the numbers don’t go that high.

And still others, I’ll never get off 101.

EB L Street lane to close
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Some city streets remain closed
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
OPS bus, SUV collide; no students onboard at the time
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
2nd District House race: After 8 terms, Lee Terry knows how D.C. works — and doesn't
Bellevue man is killed at Minnesota dance hall after South Sudanese basketball tourney
Spring corn planting still sputters in Nebraska, Iowa, other key states
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
U.S. Senate race: State Auditor Mike Foley defends Shane Osborn against ad campaign
Public defender to represent Nikko Jenkins in sentencing
Mid-America Center on track for lower operating loss
Bluffs City Council approves dozens of new numbered street lights
National Law Enforcement Memorial Week set for May
Ted Cruz backs Pete Ricketts' campaign for governor
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Breaking Brad: Kraft wiener recall is business opportunity for TD Ameritrade Park
Instead of returning the wieners, TD Ameritrade Park is calling them "cheese dogs" and charging double.
Breaking Brad: Photos with the Easter Bunny are so 2010
In a sign of the times, most kids ran out of patience waiting for a photo with the Easter Bunny at the mall, just snapped a selfie and went home.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »