Party excess this time of year, but it's also a liberating period when one can practice all one's vices -- gluttony, alcohol abuse, and sleeping late -- with the knowledge that repentance is nigh on New Year's Day. Resolutions to eat right, exercise, and save money and/or the environment/the world provide the antidotal whiplash to holiday blowouts. I figure it's the ying and yang way to keep people in check for the rest of the year.
Today I met a former social worker who said she was so burned out with helping down-and-out folk she was going to become a life coach. To me, a life coach is a social worker for the upper middle class, but I didn't tell her that. Instead, I thought of how useless a profession social worker is -- even the description hearks back to a more caring society, when the notion of finding a job and working was considered the ultimate end...until death.
Other professions that I think will or have already disappeared within the next few years are these: customer service representative (mostly replaced by number-activated robots); bridge toll collectors (smart card activated); auto mechanics (automated); television repair person (do these still exist?); pharmacist (automated); parking meter money collector (smart card activated); supermarket cashiers (self-checkouts); and receptionists (robots).
I'm hoping programmers will disappear too because there won't be a need for anyone to write code anymore: everytime you need a software program, you'll search a software database and an intelligent cherrypicker will assemble a custom program for you.
Professions I just wish didn't exist then, now and forever are monks, nuns, priests, policemen, soldiers, high school vice principals, animal psychologists, prison guards, and executioners.