7

In the pilot episode of Futurama, Fry doesn't want his pre-selected job, a delivery boy. Leela informs him that:

You're assigned the job you're best at.

There are severe punishments for not doing the job you were assigned:

Fry: But I don't wanna be a delivery boy!

Leela: You'll be fired.

Fry: Fine.

Leela: From a cannon. Into the sun. You've gotta do what you've gotta do. It's the law.

In the same episode, several characters repeat the same 'You've gotta do what you've gotta do. It's the law.' phrase.

In several episodes, characters quit their job but are re-hired in another industry, most notably:

  • Leela- Real Estate Agent (previous job: ship's captain)
  • Fry- Police Officer (previous job: delivery boy)
  • Zapp Brannigan & Kif Kroker- delivery boys (previous jobs: captain & first officer, should be noted that they were dishonorably discharged from their previous jobs)
  • Fry & Bender (and unofficially Leela)- soldiers (through trying to get military discount)

Scruffy also appeared to have been a shipman in the 'space navy', but I'm unsure where this quote is from so I'm unsure if this was from an episode:

Space-Navy taught me ever'thing I know 'bout janitorial work. Mm-hmm. Five hunnerd men in a tin can, one terlet per species... Them spaceships is more clog than ship. T'ain't nothin' I look back fondly on neither. 'Cept fer the hookers. Wasn't fer the hookers, I'd'a killed myself long before I made Admiral.

This plot point appears to have been dropped somewhere in the earlier seasons, without there being an actual episode involving its abandonment.

Is there any canonical record of Earth abandoning job selection?

4

Becoming a policeman or a Soldier/Naval officer appear to be careers that anyone can undertake. It's certainly possible that Delivery Ship Officer and Delivery Boy were actually Zapp and Kif's likely professions before they joined up. It wouldn't have been a case of them changing careers, but rather returning to their formerly assigned careers.

This would also take care of why Smitty (the policeman) was able to work in his father's restaurant, how Scruffy (the janitor) could be ex-Navy and why Bender and Fry were able to enlist in the DOOP military.

Other relevant stuff.

  • Fry lost his hands in Season 3 (when attempting to feed a dinosaur). It's possible, if not downright likely that his career chip was also lost in the process.

  • Leela was responsible for inserting the chips and remains on very good terms with her former boss. He may be providing the crew with fake chips on an ad-hoc basis or she may simply have the ability to reprogram them. If anyone would know how to fix a chip, it's her.

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