In the high-octane The Losers, CIA black-ops set out to avenge their betrayal at the hands of a mysterious gent known only as Max. Good thing they work for the government. If the movies have taught us anything, it's that federal jobs come with comprehensive training in the proper handling of guns, bombs, and grappling hooks — not to mention tutorials in surviving high-speed car chases and unscheduled plunges from cargo planes (ideally without a parachute).
Or do they? Not everybody has room in their lives for Mexican standoffs and outrunning giant fireballs. (Some of us get winded just thinking about such stuff.) If you're looking to fulfill your civic duty while still getting the crusts cut off your sandwiches, never fear — turns out there are a number of government posts ideally suited to more delicate dispositions. If that's you, sit back in your well-lit room, adjust your lumbar pillow, and check out our list of career opportunities for the less resilient.
10. Anal-Retentive Health Inspector (Invasion of the Body Snatchers)
It's a dirty, dirty world out there. You know it, you hate it, and you really want to do something about it. So take time out from restocking your supply closet with chlorine bleach, disinfectant spray, rubber gloves, and filtration masks to consider bringing your compulsion — as well as your eagle-eyed ability to target the smallest bits of filth — to the public sector. A concerned populace will thank you, even as restaurant workers start regularly spitting in your food.
9. Weaselly EPA Official (Ghostbusters)
Not all of us need to be loved in our work. (Not all of us need a left pinky or a regular salary, either, but that's beside the point.) If you have a certain, smug confidence in your ability to understand any and all situations — however deficient your actual knowledge of said situations may be — and no trouble heedlessly wielding the power granted to you by law, then the Environmental Protection Agency has a place for you. Pack your bags, New York City is waiting. As are the various and diverse minions of the netherworld.
8. Clearly Unhinged Extraterrestrial Researcher (Independence Day)
Turns out your mother was wrong: The obsessive stockpiling of comic books, action figures, and late-'70s lunchboxes wasn't a complete waste of time. If you can will yourself out of your room long enough to get your PhD, the government would love to spirit you away to a secret location. There you can administer its rather singular and highly classified collection. Sure, you may never see the sun again, but the break room has all the latest video games, and you can munch on the last-known supply of Space Food Sticks (just like the astronauts!) to your heart's content.
7. Overworked Custodian of Untrustworthy Whistle-Blowers (The Informant!)
What is truth, anyway? When you think about it long enough (or spend any time listening to Stephen Colbert), it's all pretty subjective. If you can appreciate that outlook — and are not already holding down a gig at Fox News — please consider taking a job handling government witnesses with a crucial, inside-perspective of corporate corruption … and a somewhat tenuous grasp of reality. Remember: Government health insurance will cover 100% of your Valium prescriptions.
6. Power-Desperate Assistant Secretary (In the Loop)
Sure, middle of the totem pole is never a fun position, but somebody's got to hold the spot. Why not you? Especially if you know how to requisition reports, have an acute ability to assess the pecking order, and possess a compulsive need to be in meetings. (You don't have to actually contribute anything to those meetings, just be there.) One caution: This is not the job for people who think the government should actually get stuff done.
5. Degenerate Judge (Sweeney Todd)
Who says you need to separate business and pleasure? Indulge your inner sadist by imposing inequitable retribution on the poor and powerless, then come home to relieve your carnal desires with your fetching young ward. Just be sure that, before you begin deploying your depravities, your look is befitting of a person of your elevated station. To that end, a shave would definitely help, so long as the shingle of the man you go to for your sprucing up doesn't read "Demon Barber."
4. Pasty-Faced Intermediary to Demigods (The Incredibles)
In general, there's a certain amount of tact required when your work primarily deals with other people. That's especially true when those people are strong enough to punch out a moose. This job is best suited to those with a particular empathy for the super-powered; who are skilled in the latest memory-erasing techniques; and can strategically deploy a budget dedicated to fixing damaged walls, replacing the crumpled front-ends of runaway trains, and re-rooting lampposts.
3. Ambassador with Side-Career in Espionage (Dr. Strangelove)
Some people are just natural multi-taskers (or at least have the ability to pat their heads and rub their stomachs at the same time). For them, what could be better than a post that allows them, on the one hand, to present the face of international cooperation, and on the other to make sure their superiors are fully informed of the military status of the bourgeois capitalists? Big plus for gadget geeks: You get to play with the latest in miniaturized photo equipment.
2. Ineffectual Mayor (Batman)
You say you have no real skills and no desire to obtain them? No problem! Just be willing to deliver the occasional, pointless proclamation, and to let the city's criminal element run roughshod over your populace. It's easy and non-stressful. It's also just a little depressing. But, hey, it beats moving back into your parents' basement.
1. Corrupt President (Dick)
Yeah, okay, opportunities for this gig are limited, but if you're the kind of person whose morality is determined on a case-by-case basis, there are few jobs that are so well suited. Key advantages: Paid room and board, the opportunity to indiscriminately bomb neutral nations, and the power to revoke the Bill of Rights at whim. Being able to snow a couple of gullible teens? That's just the icing on the cake.