Response to This American Life’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”

Here’s why I got out of This American Life’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. Most astronauts that assign for the job do mini jobs like practice flights in a plane, gravitational tests, and tests based on astrology. The ones that do the best in the test results manage to get into space, which happens on rare occasions, or go home for not being astronaut material. John Hogman was dragged into a series of high profile Apple Computers commercial due to his embarrassing androgynous appearance. He was stressed out by his new found fame and gained weight throughout the course of his life, keeping himself hidden from the paparazzi at all costs. This is considered the downside of being famous or involved in medias that would eventually make you look bad.  Ed Ugel had a very unusual dream job that involved buying jackpots from lottery winners. When you win the lottery, your prize is often paid out in yearly installments and Ed would offer winners a lump sum in exchange for their yearly checks. He’s talked with thousands of lottery winners, and the vast majority, he says, wish they’d never won. Ed wrote a book about his years in the “lump sum industry” called Money for Nothing: One Man’s Journey Through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions. Sarah Vowell tells the story of a mapmaker named Charles Preuss who charted the Western Territories with two of American history’s legendary explorers—John Charles Fremont and Kit Carson. The maps Preuss made were best sellers and helped open the Western frontier to settlement. But, as he wrote in the diary he kept while in the wilderness, he hated pretty much every minute of the expedition due to how tedious it was. Reporter Douglas McGray interviews a college student in California with good grades, an excellent work ethic, but no possible way to get a legal job. She’s lived in the U.S. since she was little, but her parents are undocumented; and she is, too. She had really wanted to be a waitress, but felt that many people didn’t want to see her potential and rejected her from the job. This talks about how getting a job isn’t easy as it seems since they expect a lot from a high school/college student in terms of how efficient of a  worker they want you to be.


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