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My job is “stressful”? Well no kidding.

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Greg Peck
January 7, 2014

I have to chuckle when our HR department provides helpful hints or sponsors a workshop on reducing job stress. Who has time for this stuff?

CareerCast released a report today listing the 10 least and 10 most stressful jobs of 2014. In the low-stress category are audiologists, hair stylists and jewelers. Supposedly, they have low demands, deadlines and dangers (I wonder how many local hair stylists might disagree).

On the flip side are military personnel, firefighters, police officers and airline pilots. None of these is a surprise. Newspaper reporters also make the list, and it's the only one of the 10 most stressful with a projected declining median salary (minus 6 percent). I serve as Opinion page editor of The Gazette, and I spend part of each day reporting so I can write our editorials. It's not surprising that this is a stress-filled job. (That beard you see in the accompanying picture once was black, and the bald spot on the back of my head is growing).

My days are perpetual races against the clock. I get up at 5 a.m. As I write this from home before many of you have eaten breakfast, I have to hurry even more this morning because I have a 9:30 dental appointment. If I'm writing an editorial for the next day's paper, I'm supposed to have it ready for editing and posting on our website by 11 a.m. so it catches the eye of lunchtime web readers. It's not always possible. Sometimes questions arise that can't be answered that quickly. Sometimes Editor Scott Angus isn't available in that narrow window of time between when I have it finished and it's supposed to be posted.

I try to exercise at the athletic club three times a week. That, too, is not always possible. If some other commitment comes up on one of my three usual evenings, that workout gets scrapped. Even getting there is a stressful race—particularly on Thursdays when I play racquetball and sometimes arrive for our 6:30 p.m. court time still dressed in my workday attire, not even finding time to swing home and toss on a sweat shirt and jeans.

Well, I'd better run. I'm posting this later today, but that dental appointment is approaching…

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.



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