Thursday, March 31, 2011

Add It To The List

People always assume that if you're getting an English degree, you want to be a teacher. And that was not the case with me. I have trouble handling misbehaving children (when I'm not allowed to strike them). And I have a crippling fear of public speaking. So if I became a teacher, someone would end up crying in the corner by the end of the first hour (most likely me). But people always asked me in college, "Are you gonna teach?" And my response was always a very emphatic "NO." And the apparently obvious follow-up question to any non-teaching English major is, "So what do you want to do when you're done with college?" Most of the time I would just say, "Graduate," and they'd laugh and we've move off the topic. But some people wouldn't let it go. So I had to basically tell them that I wanted to get my degree and then just get an office job and see what comes of that. And that's not exactly the answer they're looking for when they're asking a member of the next generation about their life plan.

So my point is that I still don't have a noun answer when people ask what I want to be. All the things I want to be are adjectives. Things like "successful" and "healthy" and "immortal." But I've never had a profession to point to as my goal.

But I have started a list of things I definitely don't want to be. It's basically a list of people I've seen that do a job that I could never do successfully. And that list includes (besides the obvious one - teacher) things like "Retail Manager" and "Toll Booth Guy" and "Mall Santa." But it's nothing against those people personally. If anything, I'm complimenting them. Because they have the courage and strength to put up with more than I can handle. It's just that I've seen their jobs and what people like me put them through. So I'd like to avoid those professions.

And after my lunch break excursion today, I added another very specific job to my list: "Guy Who Cleans Out the Vacuum Hoses at the Carwash." His job is essentially to clean out the evidence of my poor judgment. I spent 20 minutes experimenting, testing, and goofing around with that vacuum hose, and it's gonna make him hate his job. I'm sure he'll have a very different reaction than I did to the things that were discovered today. Where I was surprised that the hose could handle half of a month-old ham sandwich, he'll be disgusted. And where I was impressed that an array of dirty Kleenexes could glide effortlessly into the hose, he'll be repulsed by the clog he has to remove. And most importantly, when I quickly closed my doors and sped off from the ominous rattling noise I'd initiated, he'll be furious that his entire system shut down because of one very stubborn pair of sweaty tube socks.


Jeska said...

Linguistics degrees are just about as useful as English ones.

I now work in insurance.

Alex Getts said...

I'm getting my degree in political science. So I always get, "So, you gonna be a lawyer?" No. No, I'm not. I have no desire to be a lawyer. I have a desire to be DONE with school, so why would I sign up for *more* school?

Jen said...

I'm just gonna say "Gross!"