The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wacky Adventures in Career Archaeology

As you may have noticed (those three of you who look in here semi-regularly), I have been a bit busy lately and therefore not posting.  It's the usual: baby prep, work business, family issues, etc.  I am going to try to get back to posting 2-3 times a week, but it may take a while.  In the meantime, I will try to post the occasional bit o' stuff when I get the chance.

At the moment, though, I had a few minutes to pause and reflect on the direction that my career has taken over the last six years.  I have, at various points, considered changing careers, either to make more money (I'm doing okay, but I could do better if I went back into business) or to get away from the stress that my job can entail (significantly lower with my current employer).  I have, however, come to the conclusion that while my job has both low and high points, at least I'm not usually bored for long. 

It is difficult to conceive of other lines of work in which you are likely to be ordered by the county coroner to carry human remains in your trunk, run into a macrobiotic dieting cult in the middle of the forest, or discover that your required communications equipment is so poorly adapted to the environment that it literally creates a greater safety hazard than it could possibly solve. 

Even at my job's worst, I have at least gotten good stories about running into grounded boats in the middle of deserts with no water around, being told by oil company executives that "the laws don't apply to people like us" (incidentally, turns out that they do apply), trying to find my way through a maze of improvised roads with no clear landmarks in dense fog, and had weird run-ins with drunk biologists who were tracking rats.

Kaylia, my fiance, has taken to describing my fieldwork as "field adventures."  I would typically disagree with this - digging holes next to a highway in high temperatures is more of an annoyance than an adventure - but there is a degree of truth to it.  When I was younger, I was very timid, and while my friends were out climbing mountains, skydiving, experimenting sexually, going to clubs, and generally finding ways to look for excitement, I was either at work or at home, and feeling a bit down.

Now, most of these friends have moved on, and have jobs in which they sit in an office all day, and go home to a fairly normal home at night.  While there are elements of this that I find agreeable (indeed, I am actively working on the whole "fairly normal home" part of this), I must admit that I get a bit of enjoyment out of being the guy with the best stories when we get together: "Your boss wants that code finished before it's even possible?  That sucks.  Hey, did I tell you about the time that I learned how to chase off a charging pack of dogs armed with nothing but my voice?*"

While there are things that I would change about my career, I think that, on the whole, I've been pretty lucky.

*Yes, this actually happened.


The Lonely Traveler said...

gotta love the macrobiotic dieters!

10 minutes to chanting!!

Anthroslug said...

Well, we never did find our gold that day.