Professional Nag…..Chemist

At one point in my childhood, I had dreams of being a SCIENTIST working in front of a big complicated machine with lots of dials and buttons learning SOMETHING IMPORTANT to HELP THE WORLD. Well, the big machine and the dials and buttons are there but what I really do is nag people for a living.

I’m an industrial chemist which basically means I’m a glorified production supervisor. I write lists of ACTION ITEMS and I FOLLOW UP to make sure people remember to turn their homework in on time. I ensure TOTAL PRODUCTIVE MAINTENANCE which means I’ve read the owner’s manual and I’ve marked the calendar and I remind people to change the oil when it’s time. I apply LEAN MANUFACTURING PRINCIPLES which means I make everyone put their last toy away before they’re allowed to bring out another. I do INVENTORY MANAGEMENT which means I look in the fridge and make sure someone goes to the store before we run out of milk. I MANAGE THE CULTURE by listening to the narcs and talking to the popular kids. Then, what really earns my pay, I SOLVE PROBLEMS by asking, “what do YOU think happened? Oh, we quit following the instructions and then something went wrong? Well let’s try something crazy . . . yeah, I know, I’m really smart, everyone tells me so. Thanks.” Then I WRITE REPORTS for an hour every month to assure the muckey-mucks that the big ‘ole technical thingamajig is getting more complicated and temperamental every day, but (WHEW!) we managed to dig deep and pull out another month’s worth of widgets.

The pay is INCREDIBLY GREAT for such a simple-minded job. If I didn’t mind travelling, I could be a CONSULTANT and make the really big bucks — and then I wouldn’t even have to do the nagging myself, I could just pull out some really slick overheads and get some other poor schmuck to do the kvetching.

But it’s REALLY IMPORTANT work that HELPS THE WORLD . . . at least, that’s what I put in my monthly reports.