Monday, January 02, 2006

My Candygirl Doll and Thoughts about Jobs

elouai's doll maker 3

OMG, how cute is she? Aw, c'mon, give it up. It's five pm, I'm blowing a little time while waiting for the laundry to finish up. Make your own!

There was this guy at a New Year's gathering last night who used to be tangled up bad in drugs but now builds furniture. It's not often I meet someone who can recite lyrics by The Fall or who can sit and listen to McGovern and I dork out about some Cotes du Rhone and not zone out. I used his business card to make a point that marketing isn't all evil; for a craftsman, it is simply a tool with which to leave an impression. He told a story about this woman who brought him a picture out of a magazine of a kid's bunk bed that looked like a medieval castle and wanted him to build one just like it. He looked at the picture and realized that it would cost five or six grand to custom build it, so he asked her: if you liked the bed in the picture, why didn't you just order one of those? "Oh, because it was way too expensive," she said.

You know, here's this craftsman, who crafts furniture by hand out of high quality materials, and this idiot woman thinks she's going to be able to get him to build her fucking pre-fab, particle board bunk bed for less money. How skewed an assumption is that?

This story, along with another conversation about how much we both despised bosses who spewed out corporate policy like robots, got me a' thinkin' about what kind of job I want in the future. The bunk bed bitch reminded me of how completely done I wish I was with having to perform the duties of customer service. I've been really good at it for years. Customer service requires that you take a lot of silly shit off people and be able to grin straight through it. This is a fantastic skill to have. When I'm on my game, I can take it with the biggest lovin' smile ever to stretch between human ears. I could solve that grumpy guest's problem before they could bat an eye. It's just that...well, I don't fucking wanna anymore. And when I don't wanna, I don't do so good.

Desperate to move away from the foodservice and bar industry, I took a job several years ago, and though it was cubicle-land, you could decorate your space with any Beanie Baby or retro plastic action figure you wanted. And for a while, I really believed that I could get into the gig, perform the mandates, prove myself, and move up. I pictured myself becoming a trainer of new recruits, since I had a propensity for telling others how they ought to do things. But I could never quite follow all the little meticulous procedures for which we were evaluated. I got restless and bored, and began to tell people exactly what I thought they needed to hear.

So what kind of gig am I made for? How is it I'm smart, knowledgable, talented, and have such a lovely ass, yet am still, at my age, wondering what I wanna be when I grow up?

There was a guy named Mark who worked at the now-defunct Mezzaluna restaurant, who spent nine months out of the year waiting tables, and the remaining three in Alaska or Maine, hiking and making music. I used to think, wow, what an effin' hippie, but now I'm thinking he had the perfect gig. The restaurant grind only lasted so long, then he got to spend a nice long chunk of time doing what he loved. He was really good at the tables, too, never got riled up; I used to think he was immaculately stoned all the time, but I bet not now. He could count down the days until he left all these screechy yahoos behind for the great outdoors. Knowing that the struggle was finite, how could you not take it in stride? It's only when you feel stuck that it starts to eat at you.

I put up a map of the U.S. on my kitchen wall above the table where I blog. After a short jaunt to Tennesee, I'll begin charting my destinations for the C&D Wine Extravaganza Hootenany Tour 2006. This will be one of the best things I've ever done, I can feel it. It'll yield up amazing things. Planning it is my gig for the time being. In a way, I'm employing myself as my own opportunity scout. I'm such a kickass boss.


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