Take This Job and Love It

CIMG1236I’ve had a few bad jobs in my time. Among them, cleaning dog crap-filled kennels, doing mind-crushing data entry, and digging through several weeks worth of moldering beer cans at a recycling factory. So when I got a chance to write about a company that lets people try out their dream job, I jumped at it. Even though I’m happily self-employed now, I remember all too clearly this feeling that my life was slowly circling the drain, and the madness to escape. If that rings a bell, read on:

“So what do you know about blades?” asks Joe Waites.

“Not much,” I say.

He sighs, stares at me for a second and seems to feel a kind of weariness as if he doesn’t even know where to begin. Joe strokes his thick red beard, which along with his flowing ponytail makes him look half Viking, half heavy-metal roadie. Finally, he motions for me to follow him further into the sprawling, gritty complex that is Albion Swords, the New Glarus business where I am taking my “Vocation Vacation,” working, as it were, my dream job.

In the next room, on a whiteboard, Joe starts to draw.

“A lenticular blade,” he says with a professorial air, “has a sharp edge and curves up like this. It’s designed for a clean pass through. Dismemberment was never the objective. It was just meant to cut to the bone. All you had to do was touch, and step back.”

He makes a light lunge forward, then moves deftly back. It’s a move designed to bring down the burliest medieval knight.

“But,” I start a question that’s been on my mind. “But what about running someone through?”

“Oh, that’s just to depressurize the abdominal cavity. Have you seen those ‘injury’ videos on YouTube?”


“You’ve never seen a stabbing?” He seems genuinely surprised.


“Well, it’s nothing but intestines.”

Read the rest here.

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