Throwback Thursday! Help Wanted: Penguin Suit Nimrod

It’s kind of ironic that Throwback Thursday fell on the first day of the new year. I know that the change in the calendar is jarring enough for some of you so I decided to keep my blog schedule the same. This was my first post of 2014 and is now my first of 2015.

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 Facebook or 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

12 responses to “Throwback Thursday! Help Wanted: Penguin Suit Nimrod

  1. I am sure I can look this up on Wikipedia or such, but if the musicians know how to read the music, then I agree, what is thepoint of the conductor?

    I always think of Bugs Bunny as Leopold in those cartoons when referring to music conductors 🙂

  2. Remembering this from last year
    I’ll still leave a comment here
    For as a year begins again
    I’m intent to hold to my reign
    Only to comment even more
    This year let’s make it 304.

    • You know how when you were a kid your mother would say “if you make that face too long it will stay that way”? I’m worried that may happen to you with rhyming. You’ll soon only talk in rhymes and the only job you’ll be able to get is as a Batman villain.

  3. I worked as a high school and elementary school band teacher for a while. Conductors are definitely needed, even at the professional level. Just imagine what a group of musicians (people who believe they are better than the person next to them) would sound like without someone to keep them in check.

  4. Funny Phil. Maestro as Mascot.
    I’ll let the hubby know (yes, this is what Jae’s husband does for a living) – and I’m one of those who ignore the conductor (you got that right!).
    If you knew how much classical musicians disagree, you might not wonder why they need someone to help keep them together. It’s like herding cats.

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