The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Jobs That Don’t Really Fire You For Delivering Bad Results
The inspiration from this confession came from a package I received in the mail from the United States Postal Office that made me think: Just how bad can do your job and they don’t fire you? This led me to think about all the jobs you can do, be horrible at, and still not get fired. I mean, I never want to see anyone lose their job, but if you aren’t good at it, than you probably shouldn’t keep it. How does one actually walk up to the house to deliver a package like this and not think this is a reflection on them and their company?
Luckily, the contents of the box remained undamaged, as my Dad just sent me some powerful vitamins from Isagenix. It looks like he paid $11.14 to send the package, which I know it is not enough to cover someone’s salary for the year, but it might help to make them care just enough to get my package to me safely. While it looks like he sent it priority, but did not mention it was fragile, the fact that he would even have to do that lets you know just how a service worker at USPS might be treating your package. However, past incidents in which I have labeled items as fragile only seem to make it worse. It is as if they purposely see just how much tolerance your package can take, and do it so that you are more willing to buy a USPS priority box rather than trying to ship your own.
It reminds me the opening scene in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, in which he completely and utterly destroys the package as he is walking to the recipient’s house. Fortunately, the package was just a distraction so he could save the dog from its owner, and return it to the ex-girlfriend of the man. If you haven’t seen it, the scene is hilarious.
With that in mind, we figure out which jobs you can be horrible at and still get to keep.
1. United States Postal Service
If your box comes damaged, they have claims forms, but the whole process is tedious. In the past, I had twenty packages of a rare iced tea shipped to me in containers filled with liquid. Seventeen of those packages made it and the other three were damaged. I attempted to make a claim but nothing was ever done about it and I took my losses. It seems that the mailman can deliver the package as is, and it is probably not his fault. After all, someone likely loaded up his truck.
There is a whole process going on behind the scenes at the post office: where the package is first deposited into the system; it is organized in the warehouse; where it is then loaded on to a truck, slated for whatever destination; and it might even go to the airport, where it is then loaded with hundreds to thousands of other packages; where it is then moved from one place to another; where it gets unloaded back into a warehouse; then gets organized and sorted; and then put back on to another truck; where it is then delivered to the recipient. Of course, during this whole process, it is more than likely to be damaged, but unknown whether care and consideration was actually taken, even if it was labeled as fragile.
2. President of the United States
Forego the politics of who you voted for, the President lies everyday to the world and does it with confidence and a smile. While there are certainly people who highly dislike or even hate the President and call for their impeachment, it rarely happens that a President who does a bad job gets impeached. The instances in which a President were impeached or almost impeached were the case of President Richard Milhous Nixon, in which he resigned over the Watergate scandal.
The other instance, in which a President was nearly impeached was President William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton, for sexual misconduct allegations. Due to verbal inconsistencies and misunderstandings, he was found not guilty of the charges. Almost every President has lied about something to cover up government corruption during their term. Yet, most people forgive and forget, as the lies also come with a certain amount of half-truths, often thwarting blame and responsibility from the President.
It would be amazing if we voted for political leaders, mayors, governors, senators, and congressmen based on their track record of actually getting things done and sticking to their promises. Unfortunately, power, money, lobbyist influences, corporate influences, and the ability to write and pass laws often creates not individual, but entire groups of corrupt lawmakers and leaders.
Searching Google for “list of honest politicians” won’t bring up a single leader from your country, county, state who was 100% honest. Even the most honest politician has lied 16% of the time. This could easily provide insight into the kind of game that politics is that needs to be played well. Fortunately, two Presidents, a President-elect, and a Vice President do appear on the most honest list. However, if we were to give them a grade from high school, with 70 as the passing grade, and anything below as a D or failing, they all did poorly with the Honesty Index.
Politics is certainly not an easy job and most people that get into politics saw something, wanted to do something, and some actually did something. However, as recently as 2017, Congress has very low approval and trustworthy ratings, 78% disapproval to be exact, among the American public. Chances are that if 78% of your co-workers disapproved of you, you likely would be hearing about it from a boss, and if things didn’t change quickly, you’d be without a job. Fortunately for those in Congress, who usually give themselves a raise for doing poorly every year, also wrote laws to protect themselves from being fired so they could serve for an entire career and lifetime.
While there have certainly been instances of doctors who have mistakenly misdiagnosed diseases, prescribed wrong medication, and even unknowingly or accidentally killed patients, the majority of doctors are protected from lawsuits and malpractice claims. This does not mean they won’t be investigated and their license revoked. It definitely happens to doctors who take for granted their practice and often get greedy.
My former doctor was caught writing illegal pain killer prescriptions and was sentenced to 8 years in prison and is no longer going to be allowed to practice medicine. However, the thing that makes some doctors bad at their jobs is that instead of identifying the origination of a problem, they would prefer to just prescribe medication which may have potential side effects or cause worse damage. The opioid epidemic paved the way for many companies and people, including doctors, to become legal drug dealers and profit, while ignoring the drug abuse issue that has likely killed many of our loved ones. If you do not know anyone who has died due to a drug overdose, brought on by opioid abuse, than consider yourself lucky.
I am not blaming doctors or calling them bad people. There are many great doctors who have their patients’ best interests at heart. All I am saying is that they are protected from many types of lawsuits and malpractices, and they don’t always have to be right about things, even if it kills their patient. If 50,000 to 100,000 American patients die a year in hospitals, than it begs the question: just how bad of a doctor can you be and still keep your job?
This, of course, does not exclude nurses, who are usually responsible for delivering the dosage amounts in hospitals, and are often overworked, understaffed, and have too many patients to care for at any single given time. While nurses have some protections, and there are plenty of bad nurses who move around the country who have “bypassed the system” and been re-hired to continue doing a bad job, however, they are not added to the official list, as the medical care system can be very strict on nurses.
It takes a special kind of person to be a CEO. One who usually has years of experience with a company, who has held themselves to a high standard, who knows the business, who is usually charismatic, and driven by passion. There are all different types of CEOs, but there are certainly unique aspects of their personality that provided them with some careful consideration about their status and vote as a CEO. CEO is usually not a job you apply for, but a position you are voted into. With the position comes huge benefits, especially with salary, but it also means the CEO is held accountable for the profits and wellbeing of the company.
There have been CEOs who have taken the fall and resigned, as they are the image of the company and are expected to be the one who drives results. While there are many CEOs who are great at what they do, there are also plenty of CEOs who have learned how to wing parts of their job, and aren’t necessarily good at it.
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The loss or replacement of the CEO position usually is a tedious process that most companies want to avoid, but sometimes they cannot. Not only do CEOs do a bad job and get to keep their job, but they often receive a great payout package for resigning, sometimes in the form of millions of dollars. Thus, there have definitely been CEOs who have done a company no favors and even ruined the reputation of a company and still received a payout of millions of dollars, ignoring the fact that they pretty much cost the company whatever reputation it may have had. Fortunately for the CEOs, contracts are usually what give them this benefit.
6. The Government
Chances are, if you are alive, in any country, you have complaints about your government. Whether from corrupt officials or poor decisions it has made, the governments in all of our countries suck at their job. We put humans in control to make laws, run systems, enforce those systems, but since it is run by humans, there is emotions, feelings, fear, and greed that all come into play. Okay, the governments aren’t that bad. We are all still alive and relatively healthy.
If your society is functioning and you can walk out on the streets or go to work without too much concern, than your government is actually doing an OK job. Unfortunately, it seems that most of the world’s problems are not because of the individuals living in society, but actually the governments themselves as the cause. If you think about less than a quarter of the population of your country is running the government, and those within the government are just following rules, laws, and orders of the job, than you are left with about less than 0.01% of those who actually run and control the country’s government. In the case of North Korea (speculation), you have just a handful or two of people who make (or suggest) the decisions.
Firing government workers, from local to state to federal is quite rare. Most people hired are intended to be there for long periods of time. It is also not so easy to get a government job and most government jobs require recommendations, degrees, certifications, and very extensive background checks. These things cost time and money, and thus, when the government hires, they are hiring you as part of their investment to get you “into the system”.
Government workers are often held to a higher standard and some may even have had to work hard to get to where they are, receiving recommendations, or working their way up to achieve security clearances. There may also be friends of friends of friends in governments and thus, they receive a lot of protections just by knowing someone already in government. There may be some who become corrupt or lackadaisical and may be reprimanded, but firing a government employee or official does not happen often.
Government is a type of necessary evil: we certainly need municipality and laws that protect us from ourselves, but when the government is not doing a great job, there is no single person or group of people or even a majority vote that can actually replace the government. Thus, despite the creation of most of its own problems, our governments are still in power to do as they please, regardless of our approval or not.
7. Teachers and Professors
Colleges and universities are a huge business across the United States, driving economical factors to book companies, administrators, banks, loan companies, and the government. A college campus can stimulate the economy by providing jobs for construction workers, secretaries, janitorial services, maintenance crews, and professors. There are several types of positions that Professors obtain including adjunct professors, instructors, assistant professors, full professors, and distinguish or chair professors. The latter and higher up ranks are the ones who have achieved tenure and proved themselves to the university by providing some type of value, usually in the form of research.
Being a good researcher does not always make a great professor and there are plenty who are so focused on research but being a professor is what pays their bills. This means they may not teach very well or expect to be mostly hands-off while they just show up to class and hand out a test. Higher ranking professors usually receive tenure which gives them certain protections against the institution firing them without a very, very good reason.
Being a teacher is not for everyone. If you are in it for the money, you are definitely in the wrong field. Being a teacher is an underappreciated and often underpaid job. Despite this, there are plenty of people who just enjoy teaching things to other human beings. Teachers can also receive tenure and there are some teachers whose goal is just to fake it until they make it, at which point, it is not always easy to fire a teacher once tenured.
Unfortunately, sometimes professors and teachers who receive tenure, which is usually very hard to get as one has to complete a doctorate in order to obtain it, and they may become more lazier or lackadaisical or feel that they reached a level where they are protected and no longer have to work for what the position they are already in. Tenured teachers and professors may feel they are “above everyone else” and that their teaching skills are “good enough”. But as irony would have it: they day you stop teaching is also the day you stop learning.
What list would this be if I never mentioned the weatherman? With advanced tools, most weatherman are nearly on point, especially in certain areas around the country. However, there are definitely areas of the country that are subject to ever-changing weather that can be almost immediate.
Technology makes it possible to predict weather fairly accurately, but sometimes, the predictions are wrong. Sometimes a rainy day turns into a few clouds and overcast which then turns into some sun. If the weatherman is wrong, no one actually gets hurt. It is just a prediction that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, some women who planned their weddings for a certain day and expected sunshine may get the complete opposite.
There is not much a weatherman can say or do that will get them fired. They have some of the most comprehensive and advanced scientific knowledge in front of them to help them do their job. The weather can be very unpredictable. A cold front could take the globe, causing massive temperature drops and snow to develop, or a tornado could suddenly change directions, or a hurricane could end up gaining strength even though it had shown signs of weakness. Despite all of this, the predictions of a weatherman are unlikely to cause them to lose their jobs.
If you were to review the sentencing by some judges in some cases around the world, you might question how they came about to the conclusion of giving that particular sentencing. When a judge gives a sentence for a particular crime, they are setting a preference for every case that will follow. Thus, the influence and power of a judge can be nationwide and even worldwide. Whether it was sentencing someone to 5 years for murder or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or even death; while someone who was caught selling marijuana or stealing receives 10 years in prison.
Being a judge is one of the most respectful positions one can have and hold in their career. Becoming a judge is not usually a position that can be applied to, but rather appointed. A judge is someone who has studied and practiced law for more time than the average person studies in school. Judges get their reputations by handing down sentences to the guilty.
Some judges are more harsher than others, but no judge is the same. Though every judge usually follows some type of standard in the law, there are some judges who apply their own opinion in the matter, sometimes handing down a lighter sentence and sometimes handing down a harsher sentence.
Judges very rarely get fired and their authority is very rarely questioned, despite the fact that some sentences handed down certainly need to be. A judge, like the President, can actually only be impeached, by the House of Representatives. There needs to be a majority agreement on whether to impeach the judge are not. In the history of the United States, only fifteen federal judges have been impeached, where eight were convicted, four were acquitted, and three resigned. Once you have made it to judge-hood, it is usually a lifetime position.
10. Specialty Position
There are some people living in the world with very specific skills and talents and those alone make them very indispensable. In almost all cases, their mind is the most powerful asset they have that makes them a valuable asset to any company that will have them. There are people who get into the mindset they are the be-all end-all and nothing can replace them, and sure enough, they get replaced. However, a specialty position usually means they are at the genius level and are not the type of person to develop such arrogance.
For some others, however, and it is seen within a lot of software engineers, they may get lazy over time, slack in their position, develop an arrogant and selfish know-it-all better-than-thou behavior, and if there is no replacement, the company often has to deal with the temperament of their employee until they can actually find a new replacement. In many cases though, a specialty position is so valued that the demands for this person are high, and may make firing them nearly impossible.
This list is certainly not exhausted and there are plenty of other occupations where you can do a bad job and not be fired, or you just have a less chance of being fired for not doing a great job. There are plenty of jobs where you can do just the bare minimum and keep your job. Sometimes jobs require that all you do just show up and stand attentive or present, and that is certainly not doing a bad job. However, there are still many more jobs where people seem to be bad at them, but because the company needs a responsible human being present, which sometimes is all the effort some people are willing to give, they are able to keep their jobs.