My Day Job: I Lucked Out

Today I realized how blessed I am to have the job I have. I was reading an article this evening when it just struck me.

No, it’s not my “dream” job (but I’m working on that, too), but besides the flexible schedule, the ability to work from home, and being able to pretty much choose however many assignments I want (although I usually say yes to them because, hey, I can always use the money), when I have time to think about it, my job is actually very interesting.

I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about my day job much on this blog, as there hasn’t been a need to—and as much as it seems like I am an open book on here, there are some things I prefer to keep private. But in short: I work for a company that creates electronic newsletters. Their content includes abstracts of articles/reports/blogs that are already out in the media. We credit the original source and author, and link to the original article whenever possible. What I do is write the abstracts (summaries) of these different articles—for whatever links my editors send me. Sometimes it can be tedious, if I have to read and write several articles that cover the same basic story. Sometimes it can be confusing, like when I have to condense or dumb-down articles heavy with scientific, financial, or medical jargon. Most of the time, though, the articles that come my way can be simply fascinating.

For your edification and entertainment, allow me to share some stories I’ve recently had to read (and summarize) for work.

Sometimes they’re disgusting, like the one I had to abstract this week about women who eat their own placentas after giving birth. (I already knew this was a thing, thanks to STFU, Parents, but it never stops being revolting.) I almost emailed the editor to tell him I couldn’t do the article, it grossed me out so much, but I powered through it.

Then there’s an article from BBC News about enormous telescopes in Chile.

A new study recently found that genetic sequencing may not be the marvelous solution for disease prediction and treatment that people have hoped for.

I also had to abstract a study that was essentially about how to get children to try new foods.

Then there was also a to-do about a recall on silicone breast implants in France.

And yes, a lot of the things I’ve learned at my job can be transferred into daily life—not necessarily the part about breast implants, but at least it makes for interesting conversation.

(And did I mention I found this job on Craigslist? Yes, I totally did …)

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