It's a Living. Part I: David's Saga Episode 11: Data Analyst Hero

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In the previous episode of our fictional saga, while recovering from his second heart attack, David decided to abandon underwear marketing in favor of a non-profit career. And after volunteering at Physicians for Single-Payer Health Care, he was offered a job there--although at half what he was earning as a marketer. He just had to convince his wife Susan.

And he was scared to try. After all, before heart attack two, Susan had still been urging him to "just get another marketing job. Trying to change careers will mean a big pay cut. We can't afford that."

But to his surprise, Susan needed no convincing.

Whether because of love, guilt, self-interest, or some combination, David's second heart attack made her realize that lest she become one of the 6+ widows for every widower (and early) she shouldn't force the husband she claims to love to do very-full-time work he hates and finds exhausting. She shouldn't push him back into the yoke, back to being a beast of burden.

So without a mote of observable resistance, Susan said, "Of course, David. I'll support whatever you choose to do."

David knew it was a mercy pass, like when someone sleeps with a person s/he feels sorry for. But that wasn't going to stop him, so he gratefully accepted both her get-out-of-jail-free card and the job as a data analyst for Physicians for a Single-Payer Health Care.

Although he now worked longer hours than as an underwear marketer, using every IQ point to find nuggets supporting single-payer health care amid the mountains of data, he hardly noticed the time and came home night after night no worse than pleasantly tired.

And just six months later, all his hard work paid off.

He submitted a white paper to his boss showing, convincingly, that the nation's health--from rich people to poor ones--would be better under a single-payer health plan. And with the insurance companies out of the picture, the cost would be lower. His boss was ecstatic, immediately gave David's white paper to the lobbyists, who in turn used it as the core of their presentations to key members of Congress. And just one year later---a blink-of-the-eye in government time--a single-payer health plan passed both houses of Congress and President Hillary Clinton eagerly signed it.

So David, an obscure data nerd, played a key role in revolutionizing health care in the United States of America.

His boss doubled his salary so he was now making what he had as an underwear marketer but doing work he considered vital. Next, David turned his data-analytic skills to figuring out the best ways to implement single-payer health care. All was right with his world, at least with his work world.

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