Help Wanted: Penguin Suit Nimrod

Help Wanted: Music Conductor. Why don’t I ever see that title in my Linked In e-mails? That’s a job I would apply for.


I was at my son’s high school jazz ensemble recital recently and there was an actual conductor. A stick holding, arm waving, page turning conductor. That is a job I think I could really throw myself into. I don’t have any relevant experience, but really, do you need any relevant experience? Maybe I spoke too soon. Actually, on second thought, I think do I have relevant experience! Let’s see….what is the job description?

1) Wearing a tuxedo. Check. In fact, I was so advanced I did that part of the job in high school at a couple proms and looked damn good doing it. I still believe that it’s one of my better skills. I wonder if music conductors actually show up for the job interview in a tux…God I hope so.

2) Wave my arms in time to music. Check. (See high school/prom) In fact, I often throw my hands in the air and wave’em like I just don’t care.  Thank God the conductor doesn’t have to move his feet in time to music. I’m still working on that skill. See high school/prom, and every wedding reception I’ve attended since then. And yes, since the link to this will post on Facebook, I believe I will have countless witnesses to act as references for this.

3) Turn pages. Hmmm….I was a little delayed in developing that skill since I didn’t crack open a book in high school, but in college I mastered page turning moderately well.

4) Be ignored by peers while doing all of the above. Check, see high school/prom. I actually believe that the 4th qualification is the most crucial. Have you ever really watched an orchestra and their conductor at the same time? The conductor is waving his arms furiously, gesturing, turning pages of music, rising and falling as if he is controlling the tempo. Then you look at the musicians and not a single one of them is looking up at him or her for the cue. Of course not! They’re professional musicians who have been playing their instrument their entire lives. They can play a freakin’ song on their own without some penguin suit nimrod waving a chop stick at them! (And yes, after reading this, at least one of you will be at some recital in the near future and will remember the phrase “penguin suit nimrod” and you’ll chuckle to yourself. You’re welcome.)

No one actually needs the conductor! He or she is like the mascot at a sporting event. They act like they’re part of the action, but really they’re just an unskilled buffoon in a suit jumping around. If a conductor was actually any good, wouldn’t they be playing the music instead of waving their arms at it like a tinfoil hat loon barking at the cosmos? So yes, I am currently updating my LinkedIn profile to include Music Conductor. While I am at it, I’m going to add conductor of all types. Really? Do we need a guy driving a train? They’re on rails. No one needs to drive! And Thomas is a talking, thinking train, he definitely has no need for a smart ass conductor. But if the job is open, I call dibs! I’ll see you at the interview in my tux.

This is just me, off the cuff. What do you think are the most unnecessary allegedly skillful jobs?

As always, if you enjoyed #ThePhilFactor please share it by hitting the Facebookor Twitter share button below. Just don’t share it with any penguin suit nimrod you may know. I have the utmost respect for them. Have a great weekend! ~ Phil

22 responses to “Help Wanted: Penguin Suit Nimrod

  1. I have played in orchestra’s for the last 20 years and the conductor is often only needed for four things:
    1. To create a show. Walk on, give an exaggerated bow, get orchestra to stand up etc.
    2. To start the piece.
    3. Time changes. These can be a bitch, particularly in 20th Century compositions.
    4. To finish the piece.

    And finally… in my experience…
    5. To shout at you in front of everyone if you’re late to rehearsals…

    On a serious note though, it’s actually a reeeeeeeally difficult job – I attempted it once. Never again.

    Great post Phil!

  2. Such a great post!
    I can certainly understand the appeal of being a conductor… It was always my favourite thing to do in music lessons… Even though that took the form of waving rulers around like lunatics and proving, therefore, to be a health and safety risk! Hehe.

  3. Lol! Classic Phil Factor!

  4. All great points, Phil. We have been to our son’s concerts as well as professional performances and had similar thoughts! Found you through Suzi81 and happy to meet you!

  5. I have had similar thoughts when going to our son’s high school performances. Well said! Found you through Suzi81 and pleased to meet you. Great site!

  6. There is a lady who is a conductor at my church, and it always made me wonder how you get that job! Now that it’s been revealed to me, I know! *Insert maniacal laughter here*

    …. I hope I didn’t cross the creeper line there.. >.> <.< *Hopes no one was watching*

    • If you inserted maniacal laughter in your comment I may just have to consider you my new best friend. I’m a big fan of the maniacal laughter.

      • I love maniacal laughter. Makes me feel sane on those days that my kids push me in the direction of a borderline psychotic nervous breakdown…. 😀

      • I have kids too. They’re the real maniacs.

      • They are, aren’t they? Such evil geniuses and yet so cute! If yours are older and have lost their cuteness, we’ll go with handsome/pretty. (I know you have a son, but daughters I’m unsure of. It’s not cool to call a girl handsome.)

        (I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, both girls. Hence..the cute comment)

      • Evil yes, geniuses? I hope not or we’re in trouble. Unfortunately mine are too old to still be cute when the perpetrate evil.

      • Hahaha! We ARE in trouble if that’s the case. Evil young genius minds roaming the earth? Very very scary!

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