Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ask a Silly Question...

For the record, I work for a marketing agency right now. I'm a Digital Producer, which means that I do the following things:

1) I manage any changes that need to be made to clients' web sites, and

2) I set up any online or email-based requirements that my clients need.

In short, if my clients need anything that has to do with the local Internet technologies, I'm the person responsible for planning them out and making sure that they work. It's harder than it sounds, particularly when you take into account the fact that most people don't have much Net savvy to begin with. I often have to advise clients as to what's possible (e.g. tracking peoples' browsing history on a single click), and what's not (e.g. setting up a Google search for colored text).

That said, it's a little complicated to explain, particularly to the previous generation of adults. Most of them have heard of the Internet well enough, but their eyes tend to glaze over the moment I go into specifics. On top of that, there's the occasional acquaintance, store proprietor or barista who asks me what I do for a living — and if anything, I usually don't have enough time to discuss the whole thing.

Nowadays, whenever somebody asks me about my job, I usually make up something on the spot. Sometimes it's reasonably accurate and sometimes it's not, but it's usually satisfactory enough for people to smile, nod, and let me get on with my day. The strange thing is that I'm not even sure if they're even listening.

I have to admit, however, that it was fun to come up with some of these, which were all mentioned at one time or another:

— "I'm the office slavedriver. I have my own official bullwhip and everything!"

— "You know how they need somebody to do the voice samples for commercials? That's me."

— "I'm the babysitter for my boss's dog."

— "Oh... something that involves squids, diamonds, and asphalt."

— "I have a job? I guess that would explain the building I enter each morning."

— "I'm in charge of training the office slackers. They just finished my introduction to Bejeweled last week; I've got plans to start them on Zuma next, but not before they pass that exam on Tetris that I prepared yesterday."

— "I'm the James Earl Jones impersonator."

— "I park peoples' cars, shine their shoes, and put vinegar into the coffee cup when no one's looking."

— "Let me put it this way: Bubu, the god of vacation leave forms and missed deadlines, needs an unfortunate patsy to do his divine bidding."

— "I'm the guy who writes all those neat little taglines on those movie posters."

— "Yes, I work in radio. I'm the guy who screams into the mike whenever they have a caller who they want to go away."

— "I'm the guy they call in whenever the underwear models don't show up."

Oddly enough, most of the people I know still don't know what I do for a living. You'd think that they'd know by now.


Dominique said...

I like the James Earl Jones bit. ;-)

Clair said...

Me too! I like that James Earl Jones bit. I almost rolled on the floor laughing :P

Also the one in charge of the office slackers. Lots of online mini games out there, really. ;)

Anonymous said...

Can totally relate. My job isn't exactly one that can be described by a single word (e.g. architect, lawyer, nurse, etc.) either. And when I try to explain it, a lot of times, the person I'm talking to will simplify it and say something like, "So you're an office worker?" and I'll just agree because it takes less effort. Hehe.

Oh, and haha on the office slackers bit. Can relate to that, too. Haha!

Sean said...

The James Earl Jones bit is really old, actually, back when I was starting out work and the only thing that distinguished me from everybody else was the tone of my voice.

The slackers bit, however, is fairly recent. My co-workers tend to need a lot of ways to de-stress themselves, apparently.

Clair said...

Bring a game board or two to the office ;) My co-workers and I can be slackers sometimes too :P And when it happens we do have board games or the play station to use. Aside from the de-stressing, it also gives us the chance to bond and hang out. Sometimes we go out together for dinner and/or a movie.

Sean said...

Clair: I've considered that, and I'm on the market for a new board game. The issue is that most quick diversions tend to be word games, and I usually intimidate people away from those. That said, Guillotine might be worth a shot.

Clair said...

Use our birthday gift! Have fun with it. Have the silliest poem contest with it :P Or get 3 random words and make a sentence with all of them in it :p

Sean said...

Clair: It's probably among the stuff that my sister has stolen from me. :)