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Denis Kilcommons: Don’t give up the day job!

Sixty percent of workers said enjoying their job was their main motivation

A sanitation worker cleans the sewers in Calcutta

Sixty percent of workers said enjoying their job was their main motivation.

They put satisfaction and good working relationships ahead of bonuses, according to the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Which is just as well, in the present climate of wage freezes and rising prices.

But it got me wondering about how many people really are happy in their job. I mean, there are very few openings for quality control officers in a brewery, or sausage roll testers at Greggs. Most people make the best of their occupation and it is probably the camaraderie and friendships of the workplace that makes employment bearable and sometimes enjoyable.

But what about some of those really bad jobs. Like door to door salesmen, or the Dereks and Sheilas of Mumbai who phone you up on a cold call mission that no one wants to hear? And I feel sorry for anyone manning a helpline, a job title that is usually an oxymoron, as they are there to divert, pacify or accept abuse from callers because they can’t help anyone.

Other occupations I would not consider include toll booth attendant at the Humber Bridge (what do you do for toilet breaks?), personal assistant to Lady Gaga, sewer cleaner, taser tester, lavatory attendant or chiropodist. A lifetime looking at feet? I don’t even like my own.

To be honest, I’m ambivalent about professional mourners. They have been used for centuries, of course, from the days of Ancient Greece and Rome. Today they can still be found in Taiwan, The Philippines, China and Essex. Yes, the only way is Essex if you’re looking to boost attendance at your last rites; that's where Rent A Mourner is based.

Their website says: “We are available for funerals and wakes by appointment. We can supply professional, polite, well dressed individuals to attend funerals and wakes. We are happy to take your guidance on how we integrate and mix with your other visitors.”

They are hired to help increase visitors to funerals where a low turnout is expected, possibly due to a popularity issue.

So even Billy Nomates can have a packed house for £45 a head for two hours mourning at the funeral, and the same rate for two hours to attend the wake. For some reason, they do good business in Hull.

“Oh, he was a great bloke. Can you pass me another lager?”

Evaluating work is subjective so I found the latest figures on the best and the worst, in a survey by job search engine Adzuma.

The top five occupations were translator, web developer, surgeon, lawyer and vet. Worst five were miner, courier, builder’s labourer, journalist and sous chef.

What’s this? My career listed as fourth worst? And no sewer cleaner in sight?

And I thought I’d had a gilded life.

(How do you rate your job? Answers/stories to the usual address).

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