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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Don't Really Do That So Well

There's a point in life where you know more or less what you're good at and what you suck at. By your 40's you know that you can say "I'll try, but I really don't do that so well." My problem is that I suck at something integral: I suck at work.

I'm not saying I don't like work, or that I don't work hard...but I'm just no good at it. I recently tried to count all the jobs I've ever had, whether it was working for one day at Burger King or several years at Children's Home Society, the number I came up with: 27. Considering that I've been working for 26 years I can only come to one conclusion: I suck at work.

Amazingly, I am extremely adept at getting work. That the longest time I've been unemployed was three months (even in this economy) shows that I have some mad interview skills. In fact, I love interviews. I love to dress up. I love to talk. I love to talk about myself. So, in an interview I can shine on about my skills at the BK broiler steamer or how I reduced asthma rates in inner-city San Diego while wearing my newest pair of Cole-Haans. Yes, I buy a new pair of shoes for each interview. Good investment? I've got 20 jobs on my resume to prove it.

So what to do? I mean in this society where you are defined so much by how you earn your living. Too bad success couldn't be redefined by how many friends you have on Facebook. I don't even have to steal Facebook friends, people "friend" me. I guess the job I most want to be paid for is "lovable loser." but it seems I'm not fat enough to get that job.

Worse yet, I don't give off loser vibes. I act competent, happy, accomplished; because I am. I shower every day and try to maintain a certain age appropriate style. I am an athlete. I am a generally happy guy. Just not too much into the work thing. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like a failure. I've accomplished everything I've ever set out to achieve. I've got a successful marriage, a happy son, lots of friends, a well appointed home, a nice car and a caring family. I even have a job. By almost all measures I'm successful. Yet, I really don't do the career thing very well.

Somebody asked me what would my dream job look like. It might have been a parent, a guidance counselor, several therapists or a personal coach and I always reply the same way: "I want to be paid to be me."

Now I don't know what that entitles but I know it means naps, the ability to be inappropriate at any time and to able to stop whatever I'm doing to post something on Facebook. Maybe be like Sarah Palin or something.

So maybe I'm not into work, but I think all the other things should count for something.