Much as we felt toward the lawyer who was paid $80,000 to take a year off, we can't help but resent Ben Southall, a Briton just awarded the so-called "Best Job in the World" by the Queensland, Australia, tourism department. As the new caretaker of the tropical Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Southall has been assigned to "swim, explore and relax ... while writing a blog to promote the area." Which is our job, except without the swimming, exploring, or relaxing. He's also being paid $111,000 for six months of "work" and will be living "for free in an airy, three-bedroom oceanfront villa with a private pool and sweeping views of the surrounding islands" as opposed to, say, living at great expense in a cramped apartment without a private toilet and with unpleasant views of the brick buildings directly outside the window. But even more than the jealousy thing, it's that in this economy, with so many people just scraping by or desperately looking for work, Australia is rubbing everyone's face in the absurd fantasy job that this dude fell ass backwards into. Does that make you want to go to Australia, or avoid it all costs so you never, ever have to meet him?
Photo: Courtesy Queensland Tourism