So, what's so cool about your job?
Nick Bos
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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I was thinking the other day, all these geeks here buy a lot of games (a lot!).
But, of course, the money has to come from somewhere, so probably, most of these geeks have a job, right?

I am interested in seeing what kind of jobs people have, and what they (dis)like about it.

I'll start off =]
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1. Board Game: Ants in the Pants [Average Rating:4.27 Overall Rank:15221]
Nick Bos
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
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At the moment I am getting my Masters degree in Biology. I did a 9 month internship in Copenhagen (Denmark), with a project on ants.

I did research on chemical recognition in ants. Which odours are important for recognition and how well can they discriminate between different odours.

Afterwards, I applied for a Ph.D. position there, so from the 1st of January next year, I have a 3 year job in Copenhagen.

The cool stuff:
- I get to work with (and train) ants of a variety of species
- Fieldwork! (Panama, Italy...you name it)
- Conferences, seeing what other people do, meeting other researchers, and travel to different countries for these conferences (Iceland and Finland here I come!)

The less cool stuff:
- It's not a 9 to 5 job, more like 9 to 8 and in the weekends
- Statistics can be hard to use, and getting your stuff published is not that easy.
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2. Board Game: Task Force [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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I teach English at an after school club in Nagoya, Japan.

So what should I say is best about it? The fact I'm imparting knowledge to the next generation? The fact that I don't have to wear smart clothes unlike every other English teaching company in Japan, the fact that I get to live over here in crazy Japan....

Or the fact that I work for about 50 hours per MONTH, including a number of days where I work for only 1 or 2 hours a day and still get paid £1,300 ($2,600) per month with minimal tax and a cheaper cost of living than the UK where I worked 40 hours a week and earned a thousand.


It's all about the work hours baby.
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3. Board Game: About Nothing [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Thomas Taylor
United States
Castro Valley
California
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:Edit: After reading everyone else's posts, I've decided to make my post a little more informational, and a little less depressing.

I'm a Sales Analyst at a major high technology corporation (routers). What does that mean? I basically make sure that field sales representatives who are selling our routers and switches and whatnot get paid commissions on everything they sell. This is roughly translated to "I support 40 salespeople who like to bitch." Generally, these salespeople are good dudes. But generally, these salespeople would sell you down the river for a quarter as well, so its a razors edge kind of thing.

It's a lot of Excel spreadsheets and webex (who we just bought out) meetings. This job has made me a database and spreadsheet Jedi, but once you figure out all the hows, it becomes a reasonably repetitive "Tell me how many x we sold in y" kind of data regurgitation.

Unfortunately I recently got a new boss who is a micromanaging witch whom I lovingly refer to as "Sauron". She feels threatened by me. Conflict ensues.

Pros:
I work from home once a week.

Complain about CEOs all you want, but John Chambers is a badass. Unfortunately its the middle management screwing it up for him.

Pay is pretty good. Benefits aren't bad either.

I generally direct my own efforts. (When said micromanager's lidless eye is not upon me.)

I surf the geek a lot.

Busy work environment.

OT if I want it.

Almost all my coworkers in my role are women.

Cons:

Almost all my coworkers in my role are women. (yes this is a pro and a con)

Complete lack of gratitude from salespeople. After all, they are salespeople.

Where I work is an impossible place to describe. I would say its more like a Cult than anything else. People really believe they're revolutionizing the world...with phones & routers. While we are driving that global revolution to some very small degree, I'm pretty sure we're not curing cancer. (Which is how they regard it) Any attempts to point out reason & truth are ignored and you are shunned as the nonbeliever that you are. Its friggin surreal.

Insane workload. I am regularly tasked with 80+ hours a week worth of work. I generally ignore what I deem to be a waste of my efforts and do what I can within 40. Add to that sales reps calling you all hours of the day/night screaming for help...and you have yourself some fun.

Bizarre projects. My company likes to do insane things like remove all the cube walls from all the cubes and then scream "LOOK, COLLABORATION AT WORK!" While this is an admirable aim, I can say as a man who works with in a room with 30 salespeople, all screaming into their phones simultaneously - whoever thought up this idea should be shot. In the face.

Angry buyout people. My company likes to buy roughly 10 companies per year. They also like to have us start selling whoever we buy's stuff almost immediately. Unfortunately this leads to me having to interact with people who work for said bought out companies who hate Cisco for buying their cool small time company. They generally treat you like crap. Can't say I blame them.

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4. Board Game: The Inmost Sea: The Battle of Lepanto 1571 [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Mark Mahaffey
United States
Columbia
South Carolina
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I have the best job. I make maps & other art for games!
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5. Board Game: Mr. Bunny's Internet Startup Game [Average Rating:5.29 Unranked]
Patrick Hanley
Canada
Dorval
Quebec
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I'm an account manager for an internet hosting provider.

The pay is pretty damn good, the company I work for is VERY well run, and I'm lucky to have a great bunch of co-workers.

The only downside is that an alarmingly large percentage of our clients are spoiled brats who stomp their feet when they don't get what they want.


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6. Board Game: UNO: Happy Feet [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Michael Barlow
Canada
Stratford
Ontario
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I manufacture orthotics for people across Canada and a few in the UK.

What's cool about it?

I get to play with shop tools: grinders, bandsaws, and other things yet to rip (cut, shred, sand) my fingers off. (knock on wood) ...though I've come close.

We generate tons of scrap plastic and I work with vacuum presses. No ideas there.

Anyone need some little islands, explosions, missile trails, or mini bases for very small scales?
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7. Board Game: James Bond 007 [Average Rating:5.91 Unranked]
Wouter Dhondt
Belgium
Anzegem
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Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed. Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.
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I work as a software engineer on Video Surveillance systems. We don't use cameras for testing equipment cause DVD players are much cheaper. So we watch a lot of movies during the day while "testing". James Bond is a popular choice.
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8. Board Game: Adverteasing [Average Rating:4.26 Overall Rank:15045]
Paul DeStefano
United States
Long Island
New York
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I do marketing design, advertising, graphics and web work for a company that works in plastic textile. That means pool covers and tents.

I get to spend hours making photographs look different.

For example, people cover their pools in winter. But yards are ugly in winter. Wouldn't it be nice to see a pretty and clean yard with a covered pool? Sure it would, but then we'd have to get some homeowner to close their pool during a nice day so we can get a picture. This is not always possible. What if there's a house in the photo and we don't have permission to put it in an ad?

I can play in photo editing software for hours.

Its awesome.
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9. Board Game: Office Boy [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Marc B.
United States
Palm Bay
Florida
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I work for one of those HUGE companies. I'm a developer and project manager.

The good: I get to work from home.

The bad: I work from home, so I never call in sick and never get to "leave the office" and I work with international teams so SOMEONE is ALWAYS at work and pinging or calling me at all hours. angry

oh yea, and more bad, I'm being outsourced in the next 2 months and will most likely end up unemployed and job hunting in this crap economy. Merry Christmas. soblue
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10. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Steve Gillman
Germany
Viernheim
Hessen
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I get to work in Germany! (For a BIG software co.) Just moved here from Canada. Am going to Essen soon. Have a plan to visit all the places mentioned in Thurn and Taxis.
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11. Board Game: Prison Break [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Mike Kollross
Canada
Carvel
Alberta
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Pew pew pew!!!
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Not my current job but I used to work for Corrections and we had to do a inmate transfer at he airport. Moving cons from the bus to the jet and back. My job was rifle coverage. Very Conair. The weirdest part is each prison wants their hardware back so all the belly chains and leg shackles have to be removed and replaced with hardware from their destination.
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12. Board Game: Dirty Laundry [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
Justin Morse
United States
Falmouth
Maine
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I work for a company that makes point of sale software for the dry cleaning industry.

For the most part it's standard customer service misery.
The upshot is that about once a month, sometimes more, sometimes less, I get to go *somewhere* to do a system install. Last month I was in Mobile, Al for a week. The month before that was Wichita, KS. In a few weeks, I'm headed to Columbia, SC.
We get to keep our airline miles and hotel points, which is nice.
One of my co-workers just took a weeks vacation and didn't pay for a plane ticket or a hotel the whole time he was gone.

The travel definitely makes the tech support calls easier to swallow.


Plus I get to check out new game stores wherever I go! (Didn't find much in Mobile...)
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13. Board Game: Clean Water: The Water Pollution Game [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Dan Has
United States
Sandy
Utah
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This is definitely an interesting list. Anyway, I work for a company that manufactures water treatment equipment for commercial and industrial applications. A lot of the big hotels in Las Vegas have a water softener that has been worked on by me.

Pros:
I work whatever hours I want.
There is always something more to learn.
I work in Las Vegas a lot
$$$$

Cons:
Sometimes being in Vegas too much isn't as fun as it sounds.
Deadlines can be a tad stressful sometimes.
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14. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Jason Ober
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
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I'm a bean counter - I mean, an accountant - for the federal government. The worst part - spreadsheet nightmares, lots of data entry/easy analysis type work, and no decision making of any real kind.

But the groupies! No woman can resist an accountant, with our superior wit and ... oh, who am I kidding? Our personalities are surgically extracted as a condition of employment... shake

The 2 REAL pros: I get lots of time off (I have the flexibility to take 43 days off per year), and the job stability is pretty damn good, which is awesome in todays wonderful economy!
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15. Board Game: Monopoly: Nintendo [Average Rating:4.99 Overall Rank:14992]
WAN CHIU
United States
Arcadia
California
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Art dude in a small video game company.

Pros -
Pretty stress free as long as I get my stuff done.
Great boss and co-workers.
Board game sessions after work.


Cons-
Sometimes Long hours
Long commute.




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16. Board Game: Poker [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:864]
Marc Gilutin
United States
Alhambra
California
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I host a poker game (Omaha 8 or better) at one of the world's largest card clubs, the Bicycle Casino.
I'm dealt about 50,000 hands a year. If I count each individual hand as a game.......
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17. Board Game: Scoop: The Newspaper Game! [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Ryan Diel
United States
Missouri
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I work for a non profit Jewish newspaper. I am currently the production assistant. I build client ads, house ads, traffic any graphics that will be used and layout the ads and classifieds.

PROS
Flexible hours
Lots of holidays
A job

CONS
Weekly and monthly deadlines that must be met
Sales reps that turn in ads late making the deadline worse
clients that just don't understand design and make me make nasty ads gulp
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18. Board Game: Dancing Dice [Average Rating:5.74 Overall Rank:7628]
skrebs
United States
Davis
California
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As a high school teacher, my job is not cool, but it is weird. I remember sitting on the floor of the basketball court, amidst 1000 kids, watching a group of teenage girls dancing to whatever was popular and danceable at the time. After it was over, I turned to another teacher and said, "I just made $14. That's weird." So, like I said, my job's not cool, but sometimes it can be strange.
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19. Board Game: Bureaucracy [Average Rating:4.00 Overall Rank:15023]
"L'état, c'est moi."
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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I work as a strategic planner in this province's health care system. The IT division's been in reactive mode for a long time and is moving to become a proactive organization.

Pros: interesting and challenging work, great benefits, I have pretty flexible hours and can occasionally telecommute.

Cons: large numbers of stakeholders exist across the multiple agencies and services we're working with, which means everything is being managed by committee, which means a lot of meetings and slow progress.
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20. Board Game Publisher: North Star Games
 
Dominic Crapuchettes
United States
Bethesda
MD
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North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
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First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
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I founded North Star Games in 2003 to create games that gamers could play with their non-gamer friends and relatives (in other words, to help grow the industry).

Cool:
- I am helping to build something from scratch. It's a great feeling to see the company grow.

- I get to think about game design as part of my job! :-)

- My job tasks change every week. I have participated in raising capital, marketing, branding, overseas manufacturing, logistics, PR, etc. This means I am nearly always engaged and learning (it also means that I'm not an expert at anything).

- I love my job. I think games are one of the best forms of social entertainment and I believe their propagation is beneficial to society.



Sucky:
- We work long, LONG hours. It's not unusual for me to work 70 hrs/wk and think about company issues during another 10+ hours.

- It is very, VERY stressful to have raised nearly $700k from friends, family, and professional investors, and to not yet know if we will ever be able to pay them back. The uncertainty drives me crazy sometimes (or at least makes me emotionally unstable and snippety at times).

- Much of my work day is filled with grunt work such as data entry and customer service.

- I don't play as many games as I used to (mostly because I am so busy).
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21. Board Game: World Traveler [Average Rating:3.33 Unranked]
Mindy Kyrkos
United States
Sunnyside
New York
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I am a corporate travel agent, which means that I book business trips only, no leisure trips.

COOL:
**FREE TRAVEL!! Mostly "FAM" (familiarization) trips, sponsored by hotels and airlines. While they are technically business trips, the "business" consists mostly of being wined and dined and doing site inspections of top hotels. In the three years that I have been a travel agent, I have been to the following places (all flying business or first class, all staying in 4 or 5 star hotels, and all free): Paris (twice), Burgundy (France), London, Dubai, Boston, Miami, Palm Beach, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Scottsdale, Sedona.
**Special events - Aside from dinners and cocktail parties that are constantly being held by hotels, I have been treated to tickets to A Chorus Line on Broadway, The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center (NYC Ballet), several Mets games (sky boxes), and several others that I can't think of right now.
**Gifts - Any job in which you have salespeople courting you, you get a lot of gifts, and hotels and airlines are no exception. I get a lot of crap (anyone need 50 luggage tags?), but some great stuff too, some of which I have used in gaming!
**Discounts on personal travel - While not (usually) free, when I travel for personal reasons I can almost always get industry discounts.
**Taxes - All personal travel is "research," and therefore tax-deductable! How many jobs are there that you can legitimately deduct your honeymoon?!

UNCOOL:
**Mostly the usual complaints about any customer service job - clients who are either ignorant, or arrogant, or worse, both. Most are very sweet, but the ones that aren't...yikes.
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22. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Jae
United States
Bryan
TX
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I've had so many cool jobs...

I collaborated on the software that keeps the people in the space station supplied with oxygen and to control the robotic arm.

Upside It controls the Space Station. THE SPACE STATION!!!!

Downside The potential of possibly killing people inadvertently.

I was part of the team the re-wrote the launch control software for the space shuttle.

Upside
It launches the Space Shuttle! THE SPACE SHUTTLE!!!!
I got to see the inside of the space shuttle.
I got to watch a shuttle launch from as close as humans are allowed to watch.
I got to meet interesting people like the president.

Downside
Very strict management.
Waiting for the alligators to move away from your vehicle so you can go home and eat dinner.
Hurricanes.

I worked on software that does 3-d mapping of oil wells and displays them on a 3-d cube like screen.

Upside 3D visualization is awesome. Playing in virtual worlds you can walk through is pretty darn cool.

Downside 50 hours a week in a windowless cave makes for very grumpy people.

I taught teenagers how to program, build websites and create videogames.

Upside
Playing some awesome creative games.
Built in gaming group.
Knowledge expansion

Downside
Hanging out with teenagers.
Grumpy parents.
Grading papers.
Babysitting misbehaved teenagers.
Very low salary.

Currently, I develop software that determines the energy efficiency of buildings (like your house) that makes suggestions on how you could improve the energy performance of your house to reduce your electric bill and lower your carbon footprint.

Upside
Learning a lot about how to make my own house energy efficient.
Giving back to the environment.
Doing something that makes me feel good by helping others.
Access to a University Library (I LOVE BOOKS!)
University gaming groups

Downside
Long work hours.


I've had an amazing life so far, and it just keeps getting better.
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23. Board Game: American Dream Game [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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Being the advertising manager for BGG is pretty sweet! I work from home and get to work for Aldie! I can't really think of a downside.
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24. Board Game: 1000 Blank White Cards [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:2832]
Tim Benjamin
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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Early retirement from 'see avatar' job. Had a wonderful time solving problems with interpretation of high temperature/high pressure experimental geochemical data; foreign and domestic.

Upside:

Don't ever have to go to work.

Have a good group medical plan paid 2/3 by ex-employer.

Get to play games on all 3 weekend days/night with multiple gaming friends.

Downside:

Income dropped 60%.

No resume for future jobs because even I'm no longer allowed to read the things that I wrote. Publication list is just a '1000' blank titles.
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25. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1401]
Robert Rossney
United States
San Francisco
California [CA]
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I'm the CTO of a startup developing a software product that supports real-time data collection and document generation during court proceedings.

Pros:

Equity stake in a company with great growth potential.
Total control over technology, product design, software quality, and customer support.
Enthusiatically supportive customer base.
Elephantine competitors who write terrible, terrible software.
I get to work from my home.
I get to make my own hours.

Cons:

Equity isn't income.
Total responsibility for technology, product design, software quality, and customer support.
Enthusiastic support doesn't translate into a non-glacial pace of adoption.
Having to integrate my lovely, elegant program with my competitors' terrible, terrible software.
I often start my work day before I get out of bed.
I sometimes finish my work day before I get out of bed, and it's the next day.
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