There aren't too many songs written by people who love their jobs.
On the other hand, there's probably enough numbers about people who hate their
work to issue a box set geared strictly toward disgruntled employees: Disc One,
"Take This Job and Shove It," the country perspective; Disc Two, "We Gotta Get
Out of This Place," the rock 'n' roll vision. For "Career Opportunities," the
punk volume, they'd have to include the Descendents' "This Place," an ode to
singer Milo Aukerman's years in the lab as a biochemistry researcher.
was working on corn," says Milo, who recently returned to the band to record
Everything Sucks after an eight year absence from punk. "We were
studying how to improve it as a nutrition source."
Despite the sentiment of
"This Place," Milo is more judicious than your average songwriting malcontent.
"No, my boss isn't a jerk," he sings, "it's just this place sucks... I haven't
found a single thing to call my own."
With one eye towards an eventual
return to science, and one eye toward his own role in his unpleasant situation,
Milo cautions that the song is not ripped verbatim from his own life. "It's
pretty much autobiographical," but, he adds with a laugh, "I guess what I would
say in order to add some protection for myself, is that it's about my lab
environment, but not about specific people. I have a tendency when I write,
when I'm trying to get some frustration off my back, to lash out at my
environment, and lash out at the people around me, when in fact, you know, you
make your bed and you lie in it."
Only recently did Milo decide that he had
to follow his artistic and scientific muses separately...
"Continued" icon for the rest of this story.]