No! I am not digging for a bugger! This is my "I am pondering" look.

No! I am not digging for a bugger! This is my “I am pondering” look.

Given how busy I am, I’m just as surprised as you are that I have any time at all to wander off into Nonsense Land ponder compelling questions.

But I manage.

I just read a statistic that most people in my generation change careers (or jobs) between 3 to 15 times in their lives. I don’t have time to delve into how these figures were derived. But since they came from the government, I have confidence that the real figure is somewhere between 0 and 30.

All of a sudden, the concept of "margin of error" become relevant to people outside of a statistics class.

All of a sudden, the concept of “margin of error” becomes relevant to people outside of a statistics class.

So I began thinking about my career history. How many jobs have I held? Where do I fall in this range?

Here’s the list:

1. Mommy’s Good Girl (unpaid, but incredibly important)

2. Babysitter (twice, but only paid once–no one died, so that’s good)

3. Cemetery grounds crew (it was the freaking poison ivy that put an end to that gig, not the creepy workplace environment)

4. Work-study slave during my undergraduate program

5. Char woman for the slum in which I lived during my undergraduate program (to get a break on my rent)

6. Research assistant after graduation

7. Research consultant after assistant gig ended

8. Assistant Director a Cooperative Education Program (totally unqualified, but amazing references)

9. Research Assistant for Beltway Bandit firm in Bethesda, MD

10. Research Assistant for National Research Council, Doctorate Records Project

11. Office Slave in Savings and Loan

12. Teaching Assistant for Research Methods Professor at George Washington University

13. Research Assistant for George Washington University Hospital physician studying STDs

14. Research Director for The Washington Home, oldest nursing home in the nation

15. Instructor of Sociology, George Washington University

16. Research Associate/Instructor of Sociology, State University of New York

17. Professor of Sociology, Community College in New York

18. Author

Okay, so I’ve had lots of jobs. But major career changes? Not so many.

1. Researcher

2. Administrator

3. Researcher

4. Academician

5. Author

That means I’m way overdue for a change in careers. But what career should I go for?

I figure my dream careers of being Marilyn Monroe, a Solid Gold Dancer, or Paul McCartney’s wife and singing partner are probably not going to happen–all for various reasons I’d rather not think about because, well, it’s hard to write while wallowing in self-pity.

I’ve recently discovered a career that, on the surface, seems highly NOT-me-ish, but would have its advantages. I’d have to work around the obvious challenges, but I think I’d like to be a spy or secret agent.

You've got to admit, I've got the eyes for it.

You’ve got to admit, I’ve got the eyes for it.

I’ve been training…or watching training material in the comfort of my home. You know: programs such as MI-5, Alias, 24, Covert Affairs, Homeland and any number of 007, Mission Impossible, and Charlies’s Angels movies. I know! I’ve done my homework…but, look at my background. I’m a researcher, People.

Here are the fandabadoozle benefits of being a spy:

1. Cell phones and laptops that never need charging. Except for the rare exception when the plot requires low batteries or no signal, their communications equipment is on the ball. How awesome is that! Given my OCD-ness about things having to be full (a full charge counts, People), how could I pass gear like that up?

2. Efficient equipment. Spies can download whole hard drives onto itty-bitty flash drives faster than you can say, “Hurry up! Gunthar is coming back to his office. You only have one minute to get the data and get out of there!” When I try to just back up my pictures, I start the process, then go shopping.

3. Amazing job performance. Spies are very physically fit and have their sharp wits about them even though they never seem to get any nourishment except for a lot of “social” drinking. I tried that a long time ago and it didn’t work out quite so well for me. I passed out a  lot.

4. Clean up very well after they’ve been in hand to hand combat. With all that kicking, punching, throwing, rolling, and flying through the air, you’d think that they would end up in a full body cast. But no. They walk away with the obligatory droplet of blood somewhere visible and, the next day, maybe a small discoloration somewhere that doesn’t detract from their attractiveness. If I bump into a chair, my knee is black and blue for weeks. I still have a visible scar on my hand from a cut when I was 8.

5. Always look great–prom great. After single-handedly taking on twelve assassins and winning, their hair looks quaffed and their make-up is smudge-less. (Morticians make you look as good as they can if you lose a battle like that). Same goes for waking up in the morning. No bed head? How do they do it?

6. They don’t sleep. Well, they sometimes end up in bed, but sleeping is not what they are doing. Imagine how much more I could get done if I didn’t need to sleep…

7. They have back-up. Spies always have someone talking in their ear, giving them intel or setting them up with the resources they need.  I’d like to have friends in high places to assist me and, just for once, I’d like to know that the voices in my head were reliable.

Of course, there are problems with the spy-trade. There seems to be a lot of job-related stress. Maybe that’s why they take so many breaks at the end of their seasons. Also, spies have to lie to their loved ones and tell them that they are museum curators or insurance agents. Family members then think they are with the most boring people on the planet. That’s gotta be hard. And there’s the whole violence thing…

Look at Angela Landsbury before she started her gig as a mystery writer/detective.

Look at Angela Lansbury before she started her gig as a mystery writer/detective, Jessica Fletcher.

And look at her after. This is what spy-stress will do to a person.

And look at her after. This is what spy-stress will do to a person.

I’ll have to do more pondering on this one. I wonder if they take dizzy blonde Buddhist spies? No one would suspect me, that’s for sure…

Maybe I could just do recon missions?

Maybe I could just do recon missions?