A Poor Career Choice

The alarm clock goes off and Yanni lumbers out of bed. It’s seven in the evening. He pulls on his socks and changes his clothes. He doesn’t even brush his hair. It’s time to go to work.

Yanni’s performance at school, ever since he was very young, doomed him to this fate. He was trapped, with no way out. He had so many regrets, and he was about to head off to pull another all-night shift. He would have been satisfied as a truck driver, a rubbish collector, a postal worker… anything. Why did he have to go and become an astrophysicist?

Did you think I meant he was an under-performer at school? No, he was an over-achiever. He was the top of his classes from kindergarten until he published his PhD. It got him stuck on a career path that he didn’t want to follow.

By the time he reached the observatory the sun was setting. He had to conduct some preliminary checks to the optical telescope before he could perform tonight’s tasks. It would be a night filled with looking for a replacement for Earth in a nearby solar system. An interstellar calamity could erase humanity in an instant, and it was up to Yanni to find a refuge. Yanni never asked to be burdened with the task of saving humanity.

The first solar system of the night yields unprecedented results. It looks like a star surrounded by an advanced alien megastructure: a Dyson Sphere. Yianni is bummed. Now he’s going to have to write a report, and not only that, he’ll have to let the astronomical community know. There will be TV and radio interviews and newspaper articles… It’s going to be a long night.

Yanni thought to himself, “if only I’d been a cleaner instead.”

T.

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