Thursday, August 23, 2007

I've long enjoyed the mysterious nature of my employment.
At family gatherings I became quite adept at dodging and deflecting the "What is it you do?" questions until, after a while, people just stopped asking.
The most common deflection was generally, "You know, my manager doesn't even really know what I do." Sadly, that was almost always the truth.
Most people that know me know it has something to do with computers and that it is probably legal and that is good enough.
Yesterday the veil of mystery was torn away as someone actually watched me do whatever the hell it is I do for a solid nine hours.
I could be completely ratted out by my own daughter at any gathering from now on.
I knew I'd be bribing her into secrecy this morning with doughnuts, but on the way home I decided to see how much she had picked up . . . What details could a person learn about my actual job function if they had unrestricted access to my cubicle space for an entire day?
As we fought our way across multiple lanes of 610 trying to reach the exit we needed I asked.
"So," I said turning down the radio, "What did you learn today?" See? General question. Not leading at all.
"Nothing." She answered. Also no big deal. I've been through this line of questioning with her before and that is always her first answer. After we get past that it becomes a game of negotiation for information. She will never answer a question directly if there is the slightest chance it could be taken more than one way. Speaking with my daughter is like making a wish from the djinni in the lamp . . . Even if you think you worded it perfectly, you still might end up a Nazi.
Shana and I have gotten used to it, though. We are willing to tolerate it (and even admire it at times) as long as she invites us to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom once or twice after she is elected.
Anyway. Question two,"Really? Nothing at all?"
"Your building is very tall."
"Okay. Yes, the building is very tall," I agreed, knowing that she had picked up some subtle detail that would crack open the mystery of whatever the hell it is I actually do and expose it in some painfully public way. "What did you think about my job?"
"Your job is awesome!"
I was a little bewildered by this. Maybe she wasn't paying attention after all. "Awesome?"
"Yes," she said,"You have a spinny chair and get to ride the elevators. And when you walk on the elevators when they move it feels like you a floating a little bit."
I thought about it. That does sound pretty awesome.
But she had seen almost everything. Several people stopped by the cubicle to ask technical questions about a few different things and Gwynyth was there for my answers. My screen faced her all day and I did some seriously major stuff for the DR. Yet, the thing she admitted learning was that I had a spinny chair.
I pressed on anyway:
"Yes," direct question time. Her skills are good, but direct questions paralyze her,"But what did you learn about what I do all day?"
"You work on a computer and take meetings."
Just as I suspected. The mystery is over.
Okay. This is the last reminder for slogan entries. You have the comments section. You have Use them and use them well.

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