Types of Job That Will Destroy You: The Bob

Any of you could wind up in one of these jobs, at any moment, without realizing it. The shitty jobs I’m about to describe aren’t specific positions or industries — they’re situations. Some of you — hell, maybe even most of you — are already in one of them.

The thing is, when people try to think up the worst job possible, most of them go right to shit. As in, “It could be worse, you could be shoveling shit somewhere!” or “At least we’re not working in a sewer! In shit!” But that type of job isn’t as bad as you think — you actually get used to the smell of poop, the same as you acclimate to a job where you work in brutal heat or bitter cold.

But these jobs below? They’re the ones you never get used to, where the longer you do it, the more it eats away at you. So let’s take a moment to say a prayer for ..

#1. The Bob

Also Known As:

The one whose job it is to make everyone else’s jobs harder, or to recommend they be fired.

On some level, we all realize there is often a big fucking gulf between what workers enjoy, and what actually makes a company profitable. Some of what the company needs the workers to do is going to piss the workers off, and somebody has to make them do it. And that’s fine, as long as that guy is the boss. But that’s often not how it works. Often the person cracking the whip is a Bob.

“How do you spell ‘Fuck off, Chad’?”

This is an employee who is either on the same level of the rest of the staff, or they’re temporarily elevated to some kind of task force (to raise quality or whatever), or they’re outside consultants brought in to shape up the operation, like in the Office Space example.

But one way or the other, if you’re a Bob, you’re a traitor. The employees don’t work for you, your name isn’t on the door, you don’t write the checks, you don’t have the ability to pay them a sweet bonus. Yet, you have the power to make their lives miserable.

“I’ll be working with you for the next couple of weeks. Where can I put my giant face?”

For Example …

I’m going to use a term here. Some of you won’t recognize it. The rest of you will reflexively feel your genitals crawl up into your body:

ISO 9000.

ISO 9000 is a certification that businesses can get that declares they have their shit together. Which sounds great, but from the employee point of view, ISO 9000 means a task that used to take two mouse clicks now takes two mouse clicks and three pages of exhaustive forms explaining what they just did. It’s endless, hellish record-keeping. Getting certified means ISO 9000 consultants come into the office and hover over every employee, constantly reminding them to log their time and fill out their forms.

Exactly 100 percent of the things the consultant is telling the employees to do involve making their job much, much harder. When they leave, ISO compliance will be handed off to someone within the company. And everyone will want to murder them. They’re now a Bob.

“No, he’s just hovering around, staring at me like a fucking idiot.”

But the key is you could get promoted to a Bob job tomorrow. Maybe you’ll get asked to work in Quality Assurance, recording and reporting your fellow workers’ errors. Maybe you’ll be put on a team to create a report about the department’s “efficiency”.


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