Sunday, July 09, 2006

Post ER denial & cool jobs that suck

I am dealing with post-ER life in my typical mature and reasoned manner:

Friend: “So are you going to be getting a pacemaker?”
Me: “What? No! Why would I get a pacemaker?”
Friend: “Well, you said they think something is wrong with the electrical with your heart and a pacemaker....”
Me: “I’m not talking about this.”
Friend: “Has your doctor said what....”
Me (sticking fingers in my ears): “La la la la I can’t hear you la la la!”

So that’s enough on that topic. But the last couple days have me thinking about how things don’t always turn out as expected. In fact my life is a lot like ordering that chocolate cake which looks so moist and delicious that I start pre-salivating just by thinking of ordering it. And when it comes it is so dry, & nauseously sweet that I gag it up into a napkin and start scraping my tongue with a fork. Some jobs are like that: they look great, they sound great and then when you do them, they ain’t so great. These are my top six jobs that didn't turn out as great as they sound (please share yours):

1) Detective: I was prepared; I had read every Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, Hardy Boys and Encyclopedia Brown book I could get my hands on, I had even read Harriet the Spy. I had a magnifying glass. I had a table and a sign reading “Detective for hire.” The problem? No one would hire me. I just sat there hour after hour waiting for clients. Okay, I was 10 or 11 but Nancy Drew never had this problem. Encylopedia Brown never had this problem. Why couldn’t MY Dad be police chief? Time lasted: Probably a week.

2) Librarian: This should have been my dream job. I love books. I loved the idea of being a librarian so much I even set up a “private library” of all of my books as a kid, with date stamps and everything. At 15 I got a job as a library page. But I didn’t get to read books. And I didn’t get to talk to people. I got to alphabetize and learn the Dewy Decimal system. My excitement for the day? Finding a book labeled 808.23 in the 808.64 section. Plus, as I worked in a Christian library, all day long I had a giant poster facing me which said “God is watching you.” Thanks, really needed reminding. Time lasted: All Summer

3) Used book store owner: Dream come true, right, I get to buy all the books I want and read them all day. Yes. But I also get to deal with every lonely and unmedicated soul in a four mile radius who is bored and wants to talk. I can’t leave, I can’t escape. Plus these were questions I would asked get on a weekly basis:

*Do you sell computers? (The shop is called “Secondhand Books”)
*Do you have a first edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost? Or Frankenstein? Yes, let me call my storage over at THE SMITHSONIAN.
*Do you have the 1923 T.S. Eliot book of poetry by Faber & Faber? Yes I do. Oh, I wanted the one with light blue instead of the orange jacket.
*Do you sell books here?

*Is there a lot of killing in this book?
*I need three to four feet of leather books to go with my couch, do you need a picture of the couch?

*This first Edition Dicken’s has $400 on it, will you take $10?
Time lasted: 2 years

4) Model: Yes, I was a youth model for Christian magazines for those stupid “group shots” with kids “having fun” in parks or going on a hike or shooting each other with water pistols. Want to be a model? No problem, just learn how to smile for hours, learn to use gel, point at things that aren’t there and listen to: “Big smiles this time, okay, you in the back look worried, okay, and again, now remember, fun fun fun.” My nightmare; a photo of me in late 80’s clothes appearing in a booklet by Exodus International. Time lasted: 1 year

5) Church Associate Pastor: I wanted to make a difference and I believed that Christians cared about making a better life for themselves and others and wanted to be part of that. One problem was that while I liked people in general, I didn’t always like them specifically, and since listening to people and visiting them was a major aspect of the job, I just kept repeating, “With God all things are possible.” The other problem is that I couldn’t say something I didn’t believe whether it was popular or not. So when I started giving messages on the divinity of all humans, there were some uncomfortable looks. When I started talking about the bible not condemning homosexuality people attributed it to my overly generous nature. When I came out of the closet: end of job. Time lasted: 2 years

6) Writer: When I was a teen being a writer seemed the best thing ever. As time went on, I begun to realize I was not a naturally talented writer. I also found out improving took really hard work. I then noticed that all the writers I liked and compared myself to were really, really unhappy people who more often than not were broke and alienated in life. That sounded cool when I was 21. When I was 30 it sounded a lot less cool. I also learned that being a writer isn’t about writing notes on bar napkins but about sitting down, writing and editing EVERY DAY. It is about worrying that maybe I just don’t have the skill and capability to make people see and care about the world only I see, and forcing myself to try again and again anyway. Time lasted: 20 years and counting

5 comments:

The Watcher said...

After readin' about your unforgettable Zed in book by th'same name, I believe that ye've found your niche in Job #6, m'dear! It skews life for th'average human--which is what it should do.

I LOVE IT! Well held; ye've definately earned your title on me ship, Poet Laureate!

P.S. If ye want t'start a detective agency again, I'll be here. We could call it McClung & Dyke or Zed & Dyke! I'll bring th'spy-like music an' th'1930's hardboiled American accent.

Wiccachicky said...

Good list -- I could probably add professor, but despite the flaws I still love it. :)

elizabeth said...

Well - I'm encouraged somehow by taht. Does that bode well for me?

Elizabeth McClung said...

I'm not sure why MY not so great job are encouraging to you? Are you a dectective?

And how come no one comments on the pissed off librarian picture - I laugh every time I look at it.

elizabeth said...

I was encouraged by the fact that you say writing doesn't come easy to you - yet you appear to be so good at it.

Pissed off librarian is funny.