50 Bulls**t Jobs: System Engineer

April 30, 2007, 2:10 PM UTC
Fortune

Just a few ways to be profitably and pleasantly (if uselessly) employed, from Stanley Bing’s book, “100 Bulls**t Jobs and How to Get Them” (Harper Collins).

A reader from California writes:

I am a “System Engineer” on a project for a major defense contractor.  Although my scope of responsibility has yet to be defined, I can say one thing for certain: I’m paid a very nice salary, most of which comes from your tax dollars.

As a former military officer with a graduate degree in computer science from a top-notch school, I was supposedly hired for my software engineering background, project management skills, and overall technical domain knowledge.  To date, however, I have yet to participate in any form of system or software design; my daily tasks consist mostly of attending directionless meetings, typing up the resulting “meeting minutes,” and sending them out via e-mail.  For the remaining 95% of my time, I take long lunch breaks and surf the web (as I’m doing now).

Of course, this should not be trivialized.  I would not be able to perform these tasks without having achieved the ability to log into a PC, type a Microsoft Word document, and send an e-mail to multiple recipients.  These critical functions require essential cognitive and motor skills that could otherwise be overlooked.

Readers, what do you think? Is this a bulls**t job?