My friend and I have this ongoing joke in which he always tells me that he’ll “never hire me for anything.” Let me explain a little better. I do the stupid/awkward/unlucky things that I always do– open a bag of Cheetos with a little too much force that causes them to explode all over me; trip in front of a person who I’m trying to impress; accidentally send an embarrassing text about “singing praises to the skies” for and about the object of my adoration to the wrong person. I do these things like, mismanage my money and end up eating nothing but generic Chex for the last week of the month, and he proclaims, “I’m never hiring you for anything, Carrie Laven!!” This sitcom-y line would be both hilarious and adorable, if it wasn’t for the stinging truthfulness in it.
Everyday of my life, I wish that I was one of those people who gets excited by the smell of toner, or organizing shit, or ordering fancy paper clips on the Internet. My life would be a lot easier, because then I could just settle down into a nice cubicle somewhere, and get off on Excel formulas every Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, just thinking about the smell of toner makes me feel like I’m smelling glue instead– getting stupider, killing a few brain cells, and– most importantly– not flexing my creativity muscle. But it’s not just that I’m bored by administrative jobs, sometimes I worry that I might be totally and completely unemployable. Here are a just few of my entry-level workplace foibles:
a) I’m a southpaw, so I frequently smear ink across my paper, all over the side of my hand, and subsequently onto my face. Then I walk around with ink on my face, and of course nobody tells me about it, and then I feel like a ding dong when I walk into the bathroom and catch my reflection looking like the victim of a back alley rumble. People of Earth– tell me when I have ink on my face, okay?
b) I hate brushing my hair, and getting all dolled up just to order other people’s lunches off of Seamless Web while I pilfer granola bars in the office pantry doesn’t make brushing my hair seem any more appealing to me.
c) When I worked with a temp agency, my agent would remind me not to wear “funky jewelry” to work at least three times within every phone conversation. I guess my taco earrings don’t give off an air of “Powerful Underemployed Contract Worker”?
d) I could never figure out why approximately 92% of the guys who like me are total stoners, until I compared my workplace speech patterns to that of my colleagues. While they communicate in terse, chipper sentences peppered with mysterious acronyms that go over my head, I tend to respond to most workplace conundrums with a drawn-out, “…yeeeaaahhh,” a vacant stare, and a question about everyone’s astrological signs.
Add that to my previous confessions of clumsiness, poor money-management skills, and a love of trashy food that stains my fingers, and a girl (this girl) can’t help but wonder– where the hell do I belong in the working world? As far as I can tell, my only marketable skills are making balloon animals, and walking long distances in inappropriate footwear. The obvious career path here is “clown prostitute”– I’m terrified of what kind of clientele that profession would attract, but I do really need to make money. Looks like I’m gonna have to spend my last few bucks on a red nose and these shoes.
But, you know what? Maybe I’m being too hard on little old me. Because here’s the thing– my talent in life is expressing myself. I might not be the world’s most enthusiastic filer or look like a Power Bitch, but at least I stay true to who I am… and, dammit, that’s a rare thing in this world! I’m not sure when I’ll start being able to make money off my quirks, or how exactly I’ll use them to do so, but I guess all I can do is keep tripping and Cheeto-dusting my way through various ventures until I eventually find one that fits. Quarter Life Crises are so much fun (jkjk)! Anyway, for any other weird girls out there– never stop doing you. Have the courage to express yourself, and– for the love of god!– please don’t turn to a life of fetish balloon animals and rainbow afro wigs (I mean, unless that’s your dream, or something. In that case, I don’t judge).
Photo credit: Leonardo’s Notebook