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There have been many discussions in recent years on the need to reduce working hours. France at one point even adopted a 4 day week. Almost too good to be true, considering many companies still work 6 days a week (work-life-balance, where art thou?).

But if there was a job that only required you to work 12 minutes a day, would you take it? No this is not a trick question. The name of the role, is Medical Representative, or MR for short. It’s similar to the one Will Smith portrays in the amazing movie The Pursuit of Happyness. The MR’s role is to pitch medical products, typically new medicines, or sometimes medical devices – to doctors, so that they may start prescribing them to all their patients.

Here’s how an MR’s day tends to look like:
– The day starts at 8 am if not earlier.
– S/he must be at the office of the first doctor on time.
– Typical wait times in between patients and other competing MRs tend to be around 1 hour.
– Every 1 hour, the MR gets exactly 1 minute of the doctor’s time to pitch their product.
– If the doctor is busy, or preoccupied, too bad.
– And then it is on to the next doctor, who might be far away, so public transport, the commute, rush etc.
– The day should end at 8 pm, but often extends longer.
– Sometimes the shift can be 8 pm to 8 am as well.
– 12 hours on the job, and 1 minute with 12 doctors each equals ‘only’ 12 minutes of work every day.

This is not a bad job, but certainly a tough one. There are many worse jobs out there as well. When we get frustrated about our own work sometimes, it helps to know that things could be much worse. Using that knowledge, we can strive to do our current jobs with a better frame of mind, while also enthusiastically looking for the next big break!

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