Are you wondering if you're in the right gig under the new normal that is life under Covid-19? Here's The Country's Jamie Mackay with his thoughts on the best and worst jobs on offer.
1. National Party leader. At the time of writing, this perilous position belonged to Simon Bridges. By the time you read this it could well be Todd Muller's. What happened to the good old days of Kiwi Keith Holyoake or even Jocular John Key? Back then the gig had real job security.
. Chief executive of Air New Zealand. So you're Greg Foran. Life's good. Your son Kieran is an NRL superstar with the 'Doggies'. You're the top dog at Walmart making mega-bucks to the tune of NZ$20 million. Then you decide to leave all that behind to take the job of someone who wants to be a backbench Botany MP. Your timing is impeccable (not). You arrive on the scene almost the same day as Covid rears its ugly head. Hindsight is 20/20 vision.
3. Tourism business owners and workers. Through no fault of your own you no longer have a job. Your only crime was working in a darling industry, a sector that was destined to consign agriculture back to the future, as the sunset industry David Lange decreed it to be.
4. Aged care and supermarket workers. We simply just don't pay you good folk enough.
5. Diversity officers, chief ethics officers - or any corporate puff-piece officer for that matter. Yes, you're a 'nice to have' but in these tough times you're not a 'must have'. Covid is a compulsory reset on what's really important in life. People who make, create, build or grow things are important. You are the future of our economy.
1. Epidemiologists. These guys are the rock stars of the Covid crisis. No longer are they pointy-headed, academic geeks in white coats, banished to a back room laboratory cultivating petri dishes. Aside from Jacinda, Grant and Ashley, was there anyone whose daily lockdown words we hung off more?
2. MP-in-waiting for Botany. Christopher Luxon, you took a huge pay cut when you jettisoned the Air New Zealand top job but in the long haul (no bad airline pun intended) that could well end up being a smart career move.
3. Government employees. No corporate pay cut for you. Especially if you're one of those doing God's work! And you know who you are. Doctors, nurses, police and teachers. If Covid has taught us one thing, it's that we don't pay you guys enough (with the possible exception of doctors). You are at the front-line fighting Covid. You are heroes.
4. Aged care and supermarket workers. For a brief spell, while we were under the evil spell of a Level 4 lockdown, we really valued you. We even paid front-line supermarket workers, looking Covid squarely in the eye on a daily basis, a massive 10 per cent bonus. Not a living wage. But a bonus none-the-less, with an emphasis on the less.
5. Farmers. Never has the primary sector been more important to our economy. And never should it be more valued or valuable than right now. No one said it better than the conservative American radio broadcaster Paul Harvey in 1978. I'll leave you to ponder a sample of his well-crafted words:
And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer. God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer. God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbour's place. So God made a farmer.