Job satisfaction or people’s satisfaction?

Here’s a question: Do you love what you do or do you just love people loving what you do?

It’s no secret that there are jobs in our society that people respect and value and are interested in, and others that are seen as just a way to make money. Almost exclusively, the people that are proud of their job are the ones that do cool, important things that make good conversation (i.e. musicians, doctors, writers, police, etc.). This is not to say that other people don’t talk about their jobs or aren’t proud of their work, but I would be willing to bet that a journalist talks about their job a lot more than an administrative assistant does.

There is no shortage of kitschy phrases about this: “do what you like, like what you do”, “follow your passions and you’ll never work a day in your life”, “follow your passion, it will lead do your purpose”, “if you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion” and so on. I’m not sure how many other people are like this, but I am driven largely by peoples perception of me; particularly that they perceive me as successful. This impacts how I view my future and what I want to do with it. I think about the next job I want or my long term career path and think about the things that I like and would probably give me the most satisfaction in my day to day life, but a lot of them don’t sound glamorous or interesting. I know this because frequently, when I tell someone about what I would really like to do, they respond with something like “really? well good for you! I guess someone has to do that…” and there aren’t many follow up questions.

I have seen this struggle between passion and perception of career success a lot in people younger and older than me. It isn’t just something that you have to get over or learn to accept. It is a conflict that doesn’t have a right or wrong answer and will require a sacrifice of either true fulfillment of career passions (which isn’t everything in life anyway) or other’s opinion and reverence for what you do.

If you are one of the lucky few who are passionate and good at something that the whole world loves and respects, then good for you! But just chill out about it for a sec. There are a whole lot more construction workers and secretaries than there are CEOs and doctors.

Like what you like, do what you do.


Buy that Jerk a Beer

We need terrible people. Don’t try to make them better.

I was at a fast food place yesterday (one that has a lot of meat and not a lot of anything else), and the guy taking my order started out well enough, asking the two other people that I was with what they wanted. The first ordered a sandwich combo, the second ordered the same thing, and when it was my turn he looked at me and said “make my job easy, order the same thing”. Now that may not sound automatically terrible, but he wasn’t kidding. He was asking me to forgo my choice so that his job (which I don’t think is too incredibly stressful) could be easier. And you know what, that sandwich looked good so I got it. Later, one of my friends was asking for potato cakes instead of curly fries (okay fine it was Arby’s) and the guy asked him if he wanted a small, medium or large. My friend said small and the guy tried to up sell him, telling him how it wasn’t that much more money and how he could probably afford to splurge a bit (does this guy even benefit from selling 90 cents more fries anyway?). My friend pointed out that it was a matter of fat, not money and the guy looks him up and down and says “yeah, thats a good call”.

Now my friend is a really nice guy so he just laughed it off, but the Arby’s guy was pretty rude in my opinion, especially for someone who’s job it is to serve us. (And I’ll have you know I did NOT ring the bell as I was leaving) Later, as we were eating, the guy got off his shift and sat down at a table near us with some of his friends, and they were all jerks too. From what they were talking about, it sounded like they spent a lot of time together and a few of them might even live together. As I listened more and more I began to feel thankful for this guys jerky friends for occupying a lot of his jerk time. While his and other’s jerkyness may spill out into the world sometimes, I appreciate when they hang out with other jerks and let it all out on each other instead of me.

We need jerks so that the other jerks can have someone to hang out with and understand them. In a perfect world no one would be rude to others, but we all know that is impossible. In fact, you have probably been rude to a stranger in the last week, maybe without even knowing it. I do not wish for jerks to disappear or even for rudeness to leave our society. I only wish that those jerks find other jerk friends to hang out with and stay the heck away from me.

Jerks of a feather stick together.


Lets Hear it for the Groom

Brides need to chill.

It has become pretty popular to assume that in a wedding, the bride is the only one with opinions that matter. The planning and type of wedding is usually decided by the bride almost exclusively and the idea that they deserve whatever they want is almost universally accepted. Moreover, people think the groom is just like “whatever gets me to the honeymoon fastest”. And while that is certainly something to think about (and both the bride and groom do), the wedding and all the things that surround it (wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, etc.) should be an equal collaboration from both the bride and the groom.

I know, I know. Girls think about their wedding day all the time and it is the most magical day of their lives. And they totally deserve to lobby to get everything they want. But this does not mean that men never think about their wedding day or don’t have any opinions about their wedding; on the contrary! If the relationship has been societally standard, the man has probably initiated a lot of the progression of the relationship (not all and not in every relationship, but enough) like asking out the girl, asking them to move in together (if applicable), and most importantly, proposing. This being said, I think the man deserves to have his opinion voiced and respected as an equal of the brides. Ex. if the bride has always dreamed of a small, intimate wedding, but the groom wants a large, party-esqe wedding it should not be instantly dismissed. A reasonable solution should be reached. One that both people are happy with. (Hint, if a compromise can’t be met, that is gonna be hard for a lifetime of holy matrimony) And if the dude doesn’t have an opinion then sick! No problems there! I’m just saying it should be equal and the idea that the bride is always right – I’m lookin at you Bridezilla – needs to die. It certainly wouldn’t fly if the groom were always right, yeah?

Listen, I’m not saying that the bride doesn’t matter. I just mean that the groom matters just as much as the bride and people should act as such. This also applies to the amount of excitement people exhibit toward the groom about their marriage and not treating it like a punishment (i.e. “aw dude, the old ball and chain finally tying you down?” “she finally got to you huh?” “dang, is she not puttin out till after the wedding?”). Men are pumped to get married, just as much as the bride, even though they may not show it the same way as the bride. Lets let the groom have their day. Lets hear it for the boy.

Down with #adulting

There is one thing I hate. Actually, I hate a lot of things, but one of the things that drive me up a wall the most is people grasping for attention for something that isn’t really that special. For example, making yourself breakfast isn’t worth celebrating. Actually doing (or worse, having someone else do) your taxes isn’t worth celebrating. Going for a run twice a week isn’t worth celebrating. Just do it (not in an inspiring Nike way, just in a get it done without making a big deal way). I’m tired of people posting about mundane, mildly productive activities and fishing for congratulations and compliments. To be fair, I am difficult to impress, but maybe the world is too easily impressed now a days. Down with #adulting and just start adulting.

You never see actual, successful adults posting about them taking care of the normal things humans do, and I am more impressed with a person simply being successful and taking care of themselves and not bragging about it. Also, I wonder how many other normal things people should do aren’t being done, or are being done poorly.  I don’t see them posting about driving to work successfully or cashing their checks on time, maybe they aren’t…

Also, sooooo many tweets or other public statements about #adulting are about semi-personal things (i.e. Paul Yates business taxes, look it up @PaulCoffeeFreak. That’s right Paul Yates, I’m calling you out specifically and I am disappointed and angry at you in particular). Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think that parts of your life should be shared, not only because they are private, but because they are boring! You are not ShayCarl or DailyGrace, and 97% of people who know you don’t care about every part of your life and how successful your homemade brunch was or how you took your car into the shop when the check engine light came on.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t be the only one that doesn’t care about your #adulting life and the minor successes highlighted in the jumbled mess that everyone’s life is. Sound cynical? Good.