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Who Says We Need More Jobs?

Paul M. Muchinsky*
University of North Carolina-Greensboro
If this is a leap year, you know we are looking at another presidential election. We have another 6 months of endless blather by two politicians who will say anything to get our vote. And what is the most prominent theme that both candidates talk about? Jobs —“WE NEED MORE JOBS!”
Most Americans might fall for that line, but we I-O psychologists know better. That’s right; you can’t fool people who know more about jobs than the politicians. More jobs? They’ve got to be kidding us! We already have oodles of them. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) lists 12,000 jobs. I say we fellow I-O psychologists stand up to the politicians. Let’s tell them to first fill the jobs we already have. Here is a not-so-random, one-half percent sample of jobs straight out of the DOT. For those few of you who may be a little hazy on some of them, I’ve included the industry where these jobs are found.
Aitchbone Breaker (meat products)
Antisqueak Chalker (boot & shoe)
Appliquer, Zigzag (garment)
Babbitter (machine shop)
Ball-Ender (musical instruments)
Base-Wad Operator-Adjuster (ordnance)
Belly Wringer (leather manufacturing)
Blind Hooker (boot & shoe)
Blow-Off Worker (furniture)
Blunger Loader (textiles)
Bone Crusher (chemical)
Bosom Presser (laundry)
Brain Pickler (meat products)
Broomcorn Scraper (fabrication)
Bull-Gang Supervisor (tobacco)
Bunghole Borer (wood)
Butt Presser (meat products)
Cake Wringer (plastic)
Calciner (cement)
Canadian-Bacon Tier (meat products)
Caponizer (agriculture)
Car Chaser (beverage)
Castables Worker (brick & tile)
Cattler Dropper and Pritcher (meat products)
Causticiser (paper & pulp)
Coper (stonework)
Dado Operator (woodworking)
Duck-Bill Operator (mine & quarry)
Hogshead Hooper (wood)
Hooker Inspector (textile)
Irish-Moss Operator (chemical)
Lamina Searcher (tobacco)
Main-Galley Scullion (water transportation)
Mandrel Puller (plastic)
Offal Baler (leather manufacturing)
Pelota Maker (toy-sport equipment)
Pinion Staker (clock & watch)
Psychologist, Industrial-Organizational (professional)
Redeye Gunner (ordnance)
Retort Forker (chemical)
Road-Hogger Operator (construction)
Roustabout (petroleum & gas)
Santa Claus (any industry)
Scagliola Mechanic (mining)
Shackler (meat products)
Shorts Sifter (tobacco)
Sisal Picker (furniture)
Six-Section Blower (hat & cap)
Skoog-Machine Operator (millwork-plywood)
Slunk Skinner (meat products)
Smash Hand (textile)
Sprigger (tobacco)
Sprue Knocker (foundry)
Stiff-Neck Loader (logging)
Tawer (leather manufacturing)
Top Waddy (agriculture)
Tuyere Fitter (steel)
Twister Doffer (textile)
V-Belt Skiver (rubber)
Wax-Ball Knock-Out Worker (toy-sport equipment)
I don’t know about you, but with aitchbone breaker, brain pickler, butt presser, Canadian-bacon tier, cattler dropper and pritcher, shackler, and slunk skinner, I say the hottest action is in meat products. And don’t tell me these jobs are being shipped overseas. Our meat stays at home.
Where do you find these jobs? In the far recesses of my mind. And there are plenty more where they came from.
OK, let’s be honest. When the politicians keep saying we need more jobs, I-O psychologists know they are simply using the wrong word. What the politicians really mean is we need more positions. Absolutely true. We need more position openings that can be filled by our workforce. It’s too bad the politicians never took a course in I-O psychology to learn the difference between a job and a position.
But what if we could make the media understand the difference? I can just imagine this exchange at one of the upcoming debates between the two presidential candidates:
Moderator: “Over your long career in public service, what was your favorite position?”
Candidate: “Missionary.”
Moderator: “Your opponent has one minute for rebuttal.”
So everyone listen to the politicians talk about jobs for the next 6 months, and then be sure to vote in November. That includes you international members of SIOP as well. Don’t be bashful about voting in an election for which you lack eligibility. The American election process is very robust. We accept hanging chads, and dead people often vote in Chicago.