What is the world’s best profession? Experts in the gospel will tell you that a vocation involving hard work and serving others is the most fulfilling. Experts in the ultimately make-believe world of real life will try to convince you that working as few hours as possible for as much money as possible should be your goal. A recent superficial, completely speculative study completed by the crack research staff at the Mormon Third Eye, however, has concluded that almost instant appreciation for a job done well in the form of clapping or applause truly qualifies as an essential element of the world’s best work.
On your next hot chocolate break at the office, while you’re waiting for the copier get fixed and your boss or assistant or co-worker to get off the phone so you can hold yet another meeting about the project that’s not going so well, daydream about employment where you are routinely applauded for your job performance. Better yet, what about receiving applause BEFORE you do the work? How would that be?
I have not described an imaginary world. Exhaustive MTE research revealed at least four professions where workers receive applause for what they do: athletes, movie stars, toy ladies, and maternity ward nurses. There may be more.
We’ve all clapped for athletes and movie stars. However, I knew a work-at home mom who ran a part-time home business for several years that involved setting up vending machines at pediatric dentist offices and elementary schools dispensing toys in exchange for tokens. Dentists and teachers would award children with “good student” or “good patient” tokens which could be used to purchase small toys from the machine. She kept a small inventory of tiny toys in her basement, and routinely spent a few afternoons a week visiting offices and schools to fill the “treasure towers” with toys and sell tokens to dentists and educators. It provided very modest “furniture income,” enough to fix the furnace, go out to eat, and other minor necessities, but the real income was psychic: often, when she walked into an office or school to refill the towers, she would receive rousing rounds of applause. She was bringing them toys! Everybody loves the toy lady!
I knew another woman who spent almost 30 years as a maternity ward nurse, mostly on the night shift. There were long evenings of sick mothers and lost babies, and tired mornings when she had to slog home and take care of her own family. However, she does remember in the depths of twilight stillness newborn infants wildly enjoying their first gasps of life in their second estate. Their big spirits found it difficult to be trapped in such small bodies, and their only outlet was petite crying accompanied by constantly wiggling and flapping arms and legs. The night nurse liked to imagine that this was their version of applause, the only way they could thank her for taking care of them, and it made her smile.