Quotient of Your Job
ike I said, the understanding that many apparently
100-percent bullshit occupations have some percentage of actual content is key to your evaluation and appreciation of the jobs that lie ahead for you. I’d like to take a moment, then, to investigate a brief means of scientifi cally calculating the actual bullshit component of any occupation, to help you make your ultimate selection.
The fundament of all that guides the physical universe may be expressed in one simple equation fi rst formulated by Isaac Newton, and this guy didn’t have an ounce of bullshit in him. Here is the formula:
F = MA
Force equals Mass multiplied by Acceleration
That is, the force of something is a function of how heavy it is and how fast it is picking up speed.
Stay with me here. It will be worth it. This equation is not only the basis of the laws of physical motion. In another, better-k nown form—E=mc 2—it is the core of Einstein’s theory of relativity, a body of work that looks very much like bullshit but really isn’t, at least for those who have seen a mushroom cloud or used to live around Chernobyl.
First, let’s think about the three elements involved in Newton’s original equation:
• Force: or to put it another way, power. Economic power. Management power. Sexual power.The secret of life.
• Mass: or to put it another way, weight. As in, I put on weight. He’s a lightweight. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
• Acceleration: or to put it another way, speed. If there’s anything we like almost as much as power, it’s speed. Fast car. Fast food. Can’t talk. Gotta run.
Your power is equal to how heavy you are, boosted by how much faster you are going than you were five minutes ago.
• Okay, then: . . . oh, sorry. is the power of the bullshit in any of the jobs we’ll be looking at in this book.
• Mass—what makes things heavy? In looking at jobs, that would have to be the hours one is forced to put in (H); the amount of times one is likely to be abused by one’s management or clients, on a scale of 10 (A); the value of the package of perks associated with the employment, in thousands, with a minimum number of
1 (P); and finally and not the least important, the salary ($), in tens of thousands.The higher the number of hours, the more it will reduce the quotient of the job— since great bullshit jobs require very little presence, I think.We can therefore express the mass of the job as follows:
Abuse x Perks x $alary Mass =
Or . . . M =
• Acceleration, likewise, is a rather simple function— how fast is your career growing over time? This may be expressed as G, or a number between 1 and 10. How does it work? Well, if you’re a personal publicist who had eight big clients last year, and this year you just had Brad Pitt?You’re doing great, baby! Give yourself a G of 8, because one Brad Pitt adds up to at least eight schmendricks!
Our final equation, then, looks like this:
= AP$ (G)
And here’s how it works, looking at an average corporate bullshit job like mine:
= Abuse x 25 thousand worth of perks
x 12 in tens of thousands (3)
35 hours (golf not included)
. . . assuming that the job is growing at a rate of 3, which is moderate and slightly optimistic for most of us.
This scientific calculation gives us a ß of exactly 128.57, a number over 100, which makes it a truly bullshit job indeed, so congratulations, whoever you are, you’re doing great, and so am I.