Category Archives: Jobxtaposition

THE Interview

Today, an interview with a man who needs no introduction. Good evening sir.

Good evening. It’s a pleasure to be here.

The world today is chaotic, yet in other ways, not so much. It was not that long ago—less than a century—when a number of nations were either at war or threatening war.

It has calmed down a bit, but one never knows when some radical leader will appear, appeal to those who have nothing to lose, and create all kinds of mayhem.

As the leader of the world’s only superpower, you have, in many ways, a responsibility to keep some semblance of order in the world.

That’s much easier to say from the chair you’re sitting in than from my chair. It’s a lot of responsibility to commit our blood and treasure to some fracas in a far-off land. Maintaining a military that can accomplish that is expensive and complex. When we station troops in some trouble spot, we still have to keep them supplied with everything from food to weapons. That supply train itself is expensive. People forget that our troops are stationed around the world—Europe, Asia, Africa.

Not to mention the fact that your primary duty is keeping the people back home happy.

The economy is always a major issue with the citizens. Everyone wants protection, good roads, and plenty of fresh water, but no one likes paying for those services through their taxes.

And then there’s politics—a truly demanding and dangerous game.

Dealing with politicians is different than dealing with any other group—they’re all trying to hang onto their power, and line their purse. I swear, there are senators that would stab me in the back, if given half a chance.

Well, let’s hope that they never get such a chance. I know your time is precious and your schedule full, but I do wish to thank you for taking time today.

The pleasure is mine.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a round of applause for the most powerful man in the world—Julius Caesar.

Another Jobxtaposition

What if accountants managed their practices like psychotherapists?

“Are we finally ready to get my tax return filed?”

“I’m sensing a lot of anxiety. Would you care to talk about it?”

“Yes, I’m anxious, and, no I don’t want to talk about it. It’s April 13th and I’ve been here every week since January. I need to get this done.

“Now, here are all the receipts for all the repair parts I’ve purchased.”

“I see. Now how does that make you feel?”

“I feel like I’m going to go to jail or have my house seized by the IRS if we don’t get this finished! Look, just take these receipts and do your calculations so we can get this finished!”

“Hmm, I see. How do you think that his affects your relationship with your mother?”

“Well, considering that this is a family business, and my mother is the office manager, she’s going to be pissed if we don’t file our taxes on time.”

“Oh, dear. I see our time is up for this week. I say we continue next week. Shall we?”

“I’ve got a better idea. Tomorrow my mother is going to stop by and find out why our taxes aren’t done. Don’t think that not showing up at the office will help you—she’ll find you. I know. I stayed out half an hour past curfew once. ONCE! I was so scared that I hid in an abandoned quarry in a rattlesnake pit two counties away. She found me in twenty minutes.”

“I’m still sensing a lot of anxiety. Why don’t you leave all those receipts with me and I’ll see what I can do.”

[Knock on door]

“Son, is everything done and ready to file?”

“Not, quite, mom.”

At that point, my mother looked directly at the accountant.

“I’m not afraid of you,” the accountant said.

Suddenly, my mother’s sounded a little raspy, as she added, “You will be. You will be.”




What if people engaged in one field used the business model of another? Something like accountants who not only do your taxes, but go on tour. I call this jobxtaposition; for my first jobxtaposition, let me introduce Aesop Lee Bailey, Philosopher for Hire.

Mr. Bailey, I wasn’t aware that philosophers were in such demand. I thought the only market would be to teach college freshman.

“Well, that has an element of truth, you see, but as a philosopher, I gave it a great deal of thought, and realized that one needs to guide people when it comes to certain services certain services. People didn’t realize that they needed designer sneakers costing hundreds of dollars until professional athletes made them aware of their need. I decided to look at a profession whose model would fit philosophy and adopt it—or should I say adapt it? Hmmm. I’ll have to give that some thought.”

So which professional business model did you decide to emulate?

“I initially thought about the clergy since the fields have so much in common, but the profit margin is absolutely abysmal.

“I finally decided on the business model used by lawyers. In days past, when we had a disagreement, we’d sit down and discuss it; lawyers convinced everyone that litigation was a better solution. Don’t like the neighbors’ dog? Don’t talk to the neighbor, take them to court. Did the school not eliminate every peanut down to the molecular level for a five mile radius? File a suit.

“The next advantage was the flexibility. If a client wishes to engage my services, the client chooses the subject and tells me whether I should be pro or con. Unlike amateur philosophers, I am not married to a particular idea or set of values. A client walks in and says, ‘I want to hire you to think up new things about global warming.’ I can then ask, ‘As a supporter or a cynic?'”

So how do charge a customer for your services?

“Billable hour. I charge by the hour in ten-minute increments, or any portion thereof. If I sit in a quiet room, I can sometimes dedicate two or three hours. Research is required, of course, so time spent reading, and of course thinking about what I’ve read is included.

“I do charge a premium for an epiphanies, which seem to occur suddenly while I’m in the shower. I figure that not only am I due the premium, but also portal-to-portal—from As with lawyers, the legal fees are one charge, and the expenses another.”

What kind of expenses do philosophers encounter?

“Well there are the usual things—paper, pens, and such, but all of the great philosophers have done their best work while drinking. Lofty ideas call for a fine wine or brandy, while blithering can be accomplished with nothing more than a pint of porter and a handful of bar mix.

“There’s one more part of the lawyers’ business model that’s useful. If an idea I think of for a client has commercial value, I receive one-third of the gross.”

Well, Mr. Bailey, I want to thank you for your time. I’m sure my readers will enjoy your unique approach.

“It’s been a pleasure.

“Oh, wait a minute…….. Here’s your bill, and please note the a surcharge since you didn’t buy me a drink.”