Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Careers In Crime: An Applicant's Guide (Book Review)

Someone on my gift list is getting my favorite gag gift next year, a CD of the Christmas Chicks singing various Christmas carols, because said person, obviously worried about my job prospects during the current recession, gave me a book designed to help in choosing a new career for these hard times.

In case you might be interested, Careers In Crime: An Applicant's Guide, rates 50 criminal careers in terms of duties, compensation and rewards, enforcement and penalties, stresses and hazards, and work environment. The book appears to do a good job of reporting on the careers it covers, because the top-rated job in this book is that of “Drug Counterfeiter,” and the bottom-rated job is that of “Prison Wife,” one of those guys in prison who serves a meaner, stronger guy in the prison in return for “protection.” This occupation rates an “F” for hazards and compensations and deserves its bottom listing.

“Currency Counterfeiter,” which is Number 10 on the list, sounds like a nice way to make a living. Very rewarding in terms of $$$$, but in order to really make a go of this one, you’d best have access to a large, commercial press. Using your home computer and inkjet printer doesn’t quite achieve that “real money” look.

“Rustler” doesn’t look half bad. It’s Number 6 on the list, still in the top 10 criminal careers. And you don’t even have to rustle live cattle or emus. Dinosaur parts are big ticket items these days, and if you can manage a good intact T-Rex, or even a good triceratops skull, you can make good money. However, if the landowner or rancher catches you and happens to have his rifle on him, your career could come to an abrupt halt.

Believe it or not, “Scalper,” one who resells tickets to concerts, sporting events, etc., only rates a 24 out of 50. Sounds like a sweet deal, until you read the hazards, which include angry fans and the possibility of getting “scalped” yourself.

In case you’re wondering, “Identity Thief” is Number 4 on the list and is one of the fastest growing criminal careers. Apparently you can work almost anywhere, as there are always identities lying around waiting to be stolen, and the chief danger to success in the field appears to be your own tendency to boast.

Frankly, I think I’ll keep my current job and pass this book on to somebody on my gag-gift list. It’s a great read if you’re looking for entertainment, but there are undertones of seriousness when penalties and hazards are discussed. In fact, I suspect the negative aspects of these “jobs” may be a tad downplayed.

In the meantime, if you’ve never heard a group of chickens “sing” Christmas carols, you can’t go wrong on the Christmas Chicks’ CD. It never fails to put me in the mood for egg nog and fruitcake.


jared @ Career profiles said...

Great stuff!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Interesting book. Your mentioning Currency Counterfeiter reminded me of when I used to work in a bank as a teller. Local businesses had commercial accounts and they'd make daily deposits. Once, when we were tallying the McDonald's deposit, we found a counterfeit twenty dollar bill - the thing was photocopied!! It looked so bad! We were surprised the employees didn't pick up on the fact that the bill was not real!

Molly Noble Bull said...

Unique book, Kathryn. Preventing crime by pretending to endorse it is a great way to teach a concept.

Teresa Slack said...

What a great gift idea for a writer. We're always looking for ways to supplement our income. thanks for posting. I'll have to check this one out.