Career Overview's 18 careers with unbelievable perks

The always-helpful blog, Career Overview, posted 18 careers with unbelievable perks. It is a great list with at least one job that will sound like fun for everyone, but before you quit your day job, breathe deeply.

Focusing on just the perks, may cloud your vision, leading you to ignore the fact that some of these are very difficult jobs which require superb communication skills, training, care, and, precise performance.  Smile at the perks, but talk to someone who does the work before changing your life. Here is the list:

Concert usher or worker
Cruise line employee
Customer service representative
Flight attendant
Hotel management
Journalist or reporter
Movie usher
Mystery shopper
Nanny or part-time baby sitter
Personal assistant
Personal trainer
Professional taster
Public employee

Writing by hand: benefits, making it fun, when to use it

Mont Blanc Noblesse
It pains me to note that the Wall Street Journal reports that handwriting instruction is down to an hour a week in elementary school, but new research shows that writing by hand trains both young and old brains in critical functions. This gives me hope.
....The practice helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.
It's not just children who benefit. Adults studying new symbols, such as Chinese characters, might enhance recognition by writing the characters by hand, researchers say. Some physicians say handwriting could be a good cognitive exercise for baby boomers working to keep their minds sharp as they age.
What, then, might a modern person do with a new or newly-re-developed skill of handwriting?

1. Make writing a pleasure:  Get a fountain pen with a gold point. Back in the day, a Bar or Bat Mitzvah gift was a fountain pen -- often Mont Blanc. As always, grandparents know best.
Why is this such a great gift? Summed up so clearly by Ron Rosenbaum in 1980 in Savvy that I had an almost perfect memory of it, he posits that the difference between writing with a ball point or any other pen and writing with a gold point fountain pen is like the difference between skating on a rug and skating on ice. He certainly persuaded me then, when a Mont Blanc Noblesse 14K gold point was $73. It was a lot then, but it was worth it for the pleasure of writing.

With an entry-level Mont Blanc coming in at $150 used or $200 new, a gold-point fountain pen may be out of your range. Two options come to mind: (1) with a bit of hand-eye coordination, you can put a Mont Blanc cartridge into a bic pen, or you can go to a pen store and try out good quality roller pens. Feel the weight of the pen. Find pleasure in how smoothly the ink flows. Enjoy yourself.

2. Know when to write handwritten notes.
The always helpful and correct Culture and Manners Institute's regular email addresses the burning issues of our time -- the ones that are on the back burner until someone makes a mistake and the pot boils over in sad or embarrassing ways.
When sending letters by mail (postal, not the celebrated e-kind), it is good to know when to type and when to write by hand.  Here are some guidelines:
Business correspondence
Thank you notes for interviews or contracts
Hand-write (use dark blue or black ink):
Thank you notes for gifts and other acts of kindness
Replies to formal invitations
Condolence letters
Expressions of love
Do not use business letterhead for personal correspondence that might be misconstrued as coming from the company, such as a letter to the editor, an endorsement of a political candidate or letter of complaint.
I am delighted to give credit to the Culture and Manners Institute at

Why? 21 challenging questions for the new year

Go back to bed if at least one of these questions doesn't make you laugh...
  1. Why do drugstores make the sick walk to the back of the store for prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
  2. Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and diet cokes?
  3. Why do banks leave vault doors open and chain the pens to the counters?
  4. Why do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put useless junk in the garage?
  5. Why do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight?
  6. Why do drive-up ATM machines have Braille lettering?
  7. Why does the sun lighten our hair, but darken our skin?
  8. Why can't women put on mascara with their mouths closed?
  9. Why don't you see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
  10. Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?
  11. Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?
  12. Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
  13. Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called 'rush hour'?
  14. Why can we buy mouse-flavored cat food?
  15. Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
  16. Why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections?
  17.  Why don't they make the whole plane out of the indestructible material in the 'black box'?
  18. Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
  19. Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  20. If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
  21. If flying is so safe, why is an airport called a terminal?
From a forwarded email....