Friday, January 09, 2009

A thought.

I bet accounting firms would love to be able to convince accountants that their job is a "calling" and thus they should be content with whatever conditions are dictated to them. After all, if they could pull that one off, there'd be more money to go into the pockets of the executives.

Of course, teachers and those in similar professions, such as professors, are the only ones who ever seem to take this line seriously -- or, at least, are expected to take it seriously. Why? Like being an accountant, being a teacher is just a job.


Richard said...

If it's "just a job", why don't most teachers leave it for a better job (retrain and become accountants, say)? Presumably they find it more intrinsically rewarding. (I know I'd much rather be a low-paid teacher than a high-paid accountant.)

ADHR said...

I'm not convinced that most don't leave it. I don't have any data on that.

But putting that aside, I wasn't suggesting that someone couldn't take teaching as intrinsically rewarding. I was pointing out that it's a con to allow others to tell you that it's a "calling". Hence the reference to the heads of accounting firms trying to persuade accountants to take their job as a calling.

I once knew a coroner who found the job endlessly fascinating and cheerfully moved to different positions, regardless of the pay, because the cases were more intriguing. I'm not trying to object to people like that; I'm objecting to the expectation that everyone in a particular job takes it as a calling.

There's nothing to teaching itself that makes it intrinsically valuable, and thus any more than another job. The apparently general belief otherwise leads, I think, to the general outrage and fury that follows a strike or other similar action by anyone in any teaching profession or position. This is clearly unwarranted, though; while some may be taking their job as a calling, some see it as just a job and are reasonably objecting to conditions of the job.