Somehow I missed it again. It must have been lost in the mail . . . again. I never did receive the annual salary survey from Parade magazine. According to its own press—which has to be the best press—the issue of Parade that shares the results of their annual salary survey is their most talked about issue every year. Why wouldn’t it be? We Americans are nosy people who always want the lowdown on what other people are doing and make . . . we are inquiring minds. Each year Parade throws out the results of their annual survey so that everyone can know what a select group of our fellow citizens makes. Once again—going on over 35 year now—my survey has gotten lost in the mail . . . or, they figure what I make wouldn’t make it onto the chart . . . either way, I did not get to share my salary . . . again!
Though I did not get to participate—yet another year—I do understand how this issue of Parade is so popular . . . inquiring minds want to know. We want to know so that we can see how we stack up compare to others in the family. We seem to get our value based on the value of others. Sad as that might be, it is true. In this year’s survey . . . well, let’s just say that my value is way down there, but not at the bottom. Puts me solidly in the 99 percent . . . and, I do not think that the top one percent even know that I exist. So, at least I am in some good company.
One of the things l like about this issue of Parade is that it gives me the opportunity to pat myself on the back for the jobs I thought I wanted, but was smart enough not to get. I was always fascinated with the accordion, kind of enjoy polka music, and thought that Weird Al Yankovic looked like he has a pretty good gig . . . but, according to the survey, Joseph Hughes or Abingdon, Maryland only makes $6,000 playing the accordion. Good thing there isn’t a single muscle in my body with any musical inclination beyond playing my iPod. Thought about being a writer, but everyone knows that writers don’t make any money . . . but, I do know that a lot of writers started their careers writing for newspapers . . . usually starting out writing obituaries. Gloria Ross of St. Louis makes $13,000 writing about dead people . . . tough job, not much pay.
I thought about becoming an actor . . . actors seem to make great money. According to the survey Sandra Bullock makes $63 million, Matthew McConaughey makes $19 million, and Daniel Radcliffe makes $17 million. But, then there is this guy by the name of Tom Egly of Alexandria, Virginia who makes only $5,000 being an actor . . . a “background actor” . . . that is an actor who stands in the background of the show, movie, or play. I could do that, but I’d want a whole lot more than $5,000 . . . I’d want at least a cool $6,000 or a chair to sit in instead of standing around.
Now, there are some jobs I wouldn’t mind having when I retire. Harry Pecci of Richboro, Pennsylvania makes up to $12,000 as a stadium beer vendor. Yeah, he is the beer guy. I’d even take a cut in pay for the job if it came with the perk of free beer every couple of innings. I saw that a school principal makes around $60,500 in South Dakota . . . as a minister I think I could handle being a school principal. Couldn’t be that much difference between a school full of unruly kids and a congregation. I’d like to be an ex-Vice President of the United States . . . they make a cool $230,700. Like a principal of a school, being a Vice President couldn’t be too difficult . . . I mean, come on, look at what is out there. I couldn’t do any worse. I wouldn’t want to be a state senator . . . especially in New Hampshire where the salary is only $100. This was the lowest paying job on the survey.
I did notice that there were no religious jobs on the survey. Not sure what that means . . . I know clergy are vastly under-paid for the jobs that they do, but there is always at least one or two minister-types on the survey every year. Usually there is the super-duper television evangelist with the slicked back hair, tan body, and lyrical voice who makes mega millions . . . and, then there is the tired worn out, pale, whispering preacher who barely makes enough to buy a cup of coffee. If they had sent me the survey I could have been that one just about the other . . . you figure out which one.
Maybe next year . . .
In the meantime, well, I have taken a philosophical view of this whole “what people make” curiosity. It really does not matter what a person makes because he or she—in the end—cannot take it with them when they die. Besides, that is not what they are worth any way. The reality of the situation is that none of us is worth more than a little over $160 dollars. Yeah, you read that right . . . $160 dollars. That is what all of the elements that make up our bodies is worth . . . $160 dollars. It does not matter what one earns, he or she is still only worth $160 bucks when he or she dies. If you don’t believe me check it out . . . read Nick Berry’s article over at the DataGenetics website (http://datagenetics.com/blog/april12011/index.html). Also, I think that what a person’s worth is measured in family and friends . . . measured in love. With that in mind, I am one of the wealthiest people I know . . . but, then again, Parade magazine never asks for that sort of information in a survey . . . or maybe they do, but it got lost in the mail . . . again!
Oh well, there is always next year!