The SNEWS View: Health club membership manager tops on list of stressful jobs with low pay

Think your job is stressful and pays crap? Well, you’re in good company. Apparently, all kinds of jobs cause headaches and offer less-than-inspiring pay. Is your job as stressful as a music ministry director? Find out.
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Think your job is stressful and pays crap? Well, you’re in good company. Apparently, all kinds of jobs cause headaches and offer less-than-inspiring pay. We found a story from CNNMoney.com titled “Stressful jobs that pay badly” (click here to read the story ) and you wouldn’t believe some jobs that made this list.

How about music ministry director?

Say what?

Yeah, according to the article, 67 percent of music ministry directors say that their jobs stress them out, and their median pay is $40,800.

"Every now and then you'll get a strange request," Dan Fenn, music ministry director at St. John's Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minn., said in the article. "A couple of years ago I got a request to play the Beer Barrel Polka at a funeral. You have to ask yourself, is this appropriate for a worship service?"

Whew! The great Beer Barrel Polka controversy. You can just imagine the tension.

Now, here’s one we can understand: membership manager -- you know, people with the thankless job of calling existing members of fitness centers and health clubs to sign them up for another year. Impossible sales goals loom like the blade of a guillotine, and people hang up on you all day. No wonder 67 percent consider their job stressful, and the median pay of $42,600 barely justifies the abuse.

Turns out us reporters have the most reason to bitch. Our median pay is just $32,900, and constant deadlines spark 62 percent of us to claim that the gig raises our blood pressure. Heck, I’m on deadline for this right now, and feeling more stressed by the minute.

At least I’m not a marriage/family therapist. For about $44,000 a year, they get to listen to couples complain about each other. “A new couple I was seeing for the first time told me to shut up and let them fight!” a therapist in New Jersey said in the article. We’ve seen New Jersey road rage, and if people argue with the same passion they navigate the Turnpike, we’re hoping therapists get danger pay.

Speaking of which, our big beef with the list is that it left off some obvious choices, like infantry soldier. We doubt anybody gets paid enough for enduring small arms fire or disabling improvised explosive devices. Those people can complain all they want, and will get no beef from me.

But, museum curator? Really? Apparently, 89 percent of museum curators feel like they need a long vacation, despite their salary that tops $46,000. OK, I guess if someone drops a Ming Dynasty vase your butt is in a sling, and there are those “fights with private collectors,” as one curator mentioned. Yeah, when I think about tangling with a rowdy art collector, two words come to mind -- "Dirty Jobs." Hey, anybody got Mike Rowe’s phone number?

--Marcus Woolf

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