Changing Careers

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I am writing this letter to you from a place I never imagined myself in.

In the story of how I got to that place, I am hoping that you will find many worthy lessons.

Many of you may wonder what does the attached photo of an obscure corner in some mall in Dubai has to do with what I am about to tell you.

Well, you need to wait and read to the end to find out the full story.

After spending over 20 years in the field of media, I felt very tired, drained and exhausted.

The dizzying pace and wild changes in digital media left me always panting, sweating and rather confused.

You see, I belong to an earlier era: sometimes certain phrases slip from my mouth by accident and cause a sudden rise in many young unsuspecting eyebrows.

I am talking about phrases like: World Wide Web, Long Distance Calls, Intranet & Web Surfing.

I always thought that tablets are somehow related to utensils, platforms belonged to construction jargon and impressions are things we want girls to feel! Amortization was something you do to your car; a blog is something you spit when you are eating fish.

I was getting tired of chasing ratings, profits, margins, schedules, production budgets, deadlines, drop-dead deadlines, goals/objectives/strategies that are cascaded to someone else just for the sake of adding to their enormous misery, and the list never ends.

I reached a point in life where I felt I must stop and smell the roses, even if they were plastic ones!

I needed a change and I found it.

I was so lucky to fall on the profession that had everything I wanted in a nutshell.

It was a mission, rather than a job. It included the element of live interaction with live people – the thing that I always longed for since my college days.

It was glamorous, in a limited way you might say, but it was not glamour that I wanted.

It brought me the immediate satisfaction of pleasing others and making them laugh and putting smiles on their faces.

Financially it was not that great. But then again, I was not looking for the highest salary when I took it.

My new mission, my latest entry in the media/entertainment/communication world was: dressing up as Bob the Builder.

Hence the photo attached to this email.

You see, being Bob the Builder made me extremely happy, joyous and content. My job description was so easy: it involved mainly getting inside the huge costume, walking slowly and waving to innocent children who were waving back and smiling happily and lovingly.

Forget all that corporate shit I been have living in for the past 20 years.

My life changed completely. Everything acquired a new meaning to me. I was a new, happy man.

Efficiency now meant being there on time. Usually my shift starts way late in the day so I don’t have to be an early bird.

Synergy meant combining waving my hands with dancing to the loud tunes being played loudly in the mall.

P & L meant Pizza & Linguine.

KPI meant Kissing People Instantly.

Margins meant staying away from the sides of the small stage so I don’t fall on to the floor.

Sensitive Analysis meant being careful not to scare the children.

Software meant smooth diapers.

CEO meant Chief Exploitation Officer.

I can go on forever, until the unfortunate incident that shattered my dream and ended it all in one hit.

It happened last week.

I was finishing my act as Bob the Builder when a small toddler kept crying non-stop. All the other children caught up and they all followed him. I had an audience of 30 children all crying at the same time.

Upon finishing my act I went to meet the parent of that crying baby. He was with his mother, a young, beautiful, offensively attractive and obscenely gorgeous mother.

She was wearing a low cut blouse that revealed a lot of what should have been properly covered in most countries.

Out of curiosity, I tried to ask her what happened.

She turned out to be Russian or something similar.

I tried to talk to her in English to no avail. So there was a language barrier.

I tried sign language but that also failed.

Then it occurred to me that perhaps the child was hungry.

Obviously he was still living on breast-feeding.

Out of pure altruistic and innocent reasons, and motivated only by my desire to help an embarrassed young mother, I opted to inquire about the way she was breast-feeding him. Perhaps the child needed some help in that area.

Perhaps it was important for him to shadow somebody so he can grasp said function better.

Perhaps it was my media training that inclined me to “show” them and not “tell” them.

I can’t begin to describe the hellish nightmare that transpired afterwards.

A purely innocent chat was rolled up to a sexual harassment case and I ended up behind prison bars.

I lost my career as Bob the Builder forever.

The company still owes me the taxi fare for that particular assignment and management is still dragging their feet about it, despite my repeated pleas for settlement.

My lawyer advised me to claim mental illness and to act like a madman inside the court, in order to get a reduced sentence So I am currently practicing on picking my nose in public while making silly noises.

I asked my lawyer: how can I pretend that I am crazy when I spent 20 years in media?

He answered: A 20 year old female can get more attention in social media sites these days by taking off her clothes, way more than you can show by your hard work and long hours. You must be crazy to have done that.

Regrettably,

Former Media Consultant/Bob the Builder,

 A.Z.

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