I have the sort of job where my family and friends have essentially no idea whatsoever what it is I do. If you also have this sort of job you'll feel my pain right now. (If you're something like a teacher or a proctologist you might think you know what I'm talking about, in a 'no one knows all the shit I have to put up with' sort of way [he he he, proctologists], but really you have no idea what I'm talking about so it's time to stop nodding now.)
My dad doesn't drink much, but once a year or so he'll get a few too many shortbread cookies or something in him and will summon up the courage to suffer another convoluted explanation from me:
'So, sweetie, how's that... job of yours... that you do?'
'Oh, pretty good, Dad, thanks for asking.'
'They're, uh... paying you good and stuff?'
'Yup, can't complain.'
'So, uh, what is it that you do again?'
When I reach the lame conclusion of my latest poor description, he'll nod and say, 'Oh, yup, yup, for sure,' and chuckle his patented Dad Chuckle and teeter back to the kitchen to work back up his cookie buzz that I just killed. 'Yup, for sure,' by the way, is parent speak for 'I'm pretty sure you're actually a prostitute because there's no way anyone could get paid that much money for a job that doesn't actually exist.' (Hi, Dad. Still not a prostitute. Just sayin'.)
Admittedly, this is a pretty piddling irritant compared to greater whole of a decent job, but still there's some small part of me that wishes I did something more... tangible with my life. Something you could really put a word to and people would instantly understand, and maybe even sympathize with ('Oh, wow - I can just imagine all the shit you have to put up with!').
* * *
Our office kitchens (and, hence, employees) suffer
from a grievous dearth of cutlery. No word of a lie, I saw a coworker eating his lunch on
Wednesday with a sort of chopstick-spork contraption he had crafted out of coffee stir sticks. That is how bad our cutlery problem is. Interestingly (due to a complex chain of events involving an office move, a timely staycation and a certain cinephile-slash-botanist), I happen to be the proud - if unlikely - owner of about five dozen (matching!) forks. They live in a vase in my office.
Now, unlike other famous distribution problems (world hunger, say), solving the cutlery issue at my workplace would be as simple as moving my massive excess of forks from my office to nearby kitchen drawers. In fact, I've been meaning to do so for a few weeks now. But seeing B. trying to wrangle a stir fry into his face with a chopstick-spork made me realize the power inherent in my situation:
I have a complete and total forkopoly.
O, the power! The responsibility! The happiness I can produce and the suffering I can engender with my every whim! The shit I have to put up with!
I am a Cutlery Don.
* * *
Finally, a job people can understand.