“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
That’s a question I’m still trying to answer. Maybe it’s easier as a kid, before limits are placed and doubts set in. And bills accumulate.
The easier question now is, “What don’t you want to be?” I’ll tell you what—but it’s too much for a single post, so here’s a selection:
A plumber. On good days you’re elbows deep in someone’s grease. On bad days you’re elbow deep in…well, you’re just elbows deep. And don’t get me started on emptying septic tanks. Once as a kid, my family was camping and it was time to empty our camper’s waste holding tank. Dad pulled into a gas station with a waste disposal—I don’t know, pit, I guess—and hooked up the 4-inch diameter hose, only to have it pop off in the middle of the process. Pretty sure Dad threw those shoes out.
An electrician. I have utter confidence I’d electrocute myself, in no small part because there’s not much I find less interesting than electricity—or wires—so I may not have paid the closest attention in school.
A carpenter. I don’t like splinters, I don’t like loud noise, and I do like Pottery Barn. And Ethan Allen. Oh, and there may be one thing I find less interesting than electricity: wood.
A mortician. Too many frozen expressions reminiscent of those Januvia and Botox ads.
A butcher. I. Just. Couldn’t.
A grocery store cashier. It’s not the worst job available, but I’d get fired. Someone would use their food stamps EBT card to buy Dreyer’s cookie dough ice cream and get cash back, and I’d say something; I know it. Same goes for the customer who could pass for the star of My 600-lb Life pushing a cartful of Ho Hos, Cap’n Crunch, and Pepsi.
A Barnes and Noble employee. It could actually be my dream job, but again, I’d get fired—not for sassing the customers, but for getting nothing done. Still, what do they expect with all those distractions?
A teacher. My hat’s off to them—I couldn’t do it; see grocery store clerk above, substituting “unfinished homework” for the groceries and “mouthy kid” for the customer. Add helicopter parents and jail time to the mix, and I’m just better off not. So are the kids.
A Lowe’s/Home Depot employee. Fired again, I’d be. Not for sassing the customers, not for reading the books (if they had books), but because the first time some guy put down a fistful of loose nuts or bolts or washers and I had to figure out what they were, I’d tell him just to take them.
Looking at that list, I’m sure any aptitude test I’d take today would recommend I not work with the public. Probably a pretty good call for both of us.