Monday, October 22, 2007

When I Grow Up


I recently took one of those online career assessments. The last one I'd taken was in High School, so I figured it was time to once again find out what I'd like to be when I grow up.

This test was multiple choice. Given four choices, with the idea that all jobs pay the same (and I guess the lines for bread and toilet paper are around the block), which would I most like to do?

150 questions that ran kind of like this:

1. Dairy Farmer

2. Detective

3. English Teacher

4. Computer Programmer

I'd actually have to put them in order from most to least, too.

(2, 3, 4, 1)

I think a more fun career assessment would have read more like a costume party quiz:

1. Pirate

2. Ninja

3. Zombie

4. Batman

(4, 2, 1, 3)

The test I took was no where near that fun. It was also pretty pointless, since I've always known exactly what I want to do.

Having spent years and years and years in I.T., I know that if the choice were made available to me -- I'd work at Starbucks.

First, coffee is awesome.

Second, people go to Starbucks, walk up to the counter and tell the Barrista exactly what they expect. When this is delivered, all parties are happy. There is no political maneuvering, no hidden power plays, no secret agendas. The customer wants some type of coffee-related something and the Barrista wants them to shut up so they can listen to the rest of the one awesome song on the Starbucks Radio Network and then go home -- I'd hope to play X-Box 360 for hours and then pass out.

Also, coffee. I have no idea if there is a discount but surely I could "mess up an order" from time to time and drink it myself so as not to be wasteful.

Lastly, there is always more money in the tip jar at Starbucks than in my jingle-free jar in the server room.

Anyway, this was my dream until Saturday.

Saturday the schooner of my aspirations was mercilessly smashed upon the rocks of reality.

We went to one of those fancy "shopping destinations" with the brick walkways and fountains and upscale shops. We had nothing to buy, but time to kill and (I was sold) there was a Starbucks.

We meandered past a fancy bath products shop, wondered aloud when the sushi restaurant might open, and questioned the need for live music in the courtyard on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

It was with much relief that we reached the end with the coffee.

I decided that I wanted "coffee". Nothing fancy. Breakfast Blend, room for cream, kthxbye.

But then we listened past Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell and heard the other customers.

"190° Chai Latte, light foam."

"Half-caff espresso americano with soy milk."

"Quad Breve Iced Venti Organic 3 Pump Vanilla 2 Pump Cinnamon with Foam and Whipped Cream Stirred Latte"

"Double Ristretto Venti Nonfat Organic Chocolate Brownie Extra Hot with Foam and Whipped Cream Upside Down Double Blended."

I don't honestly even know what that last one is, but it intimidated me into ordering a latte. Also, they had no Breakfast Blend anyway.

Listening to these people over the comforting whine of the espresso engine made me realize I'll never be the President, I'll never be an astronaut and I'll never work at Starbucks. Less than five minutes of listening to those orders filled me with the nigh uncontrollable urge to hold their heads under the stainless steel nozzle to see how long it takes to froth their skulls.

I also took an online psychological assessment. The results were weird, though. When I take an online psychological test I'd like to be given an idea what my issues are (For the record: Compulsive Hand Washing and Clowns) with a recommendation of an easy-to-find herbal supplement to correct the issue (Perhaps Stinging Nettle and Feverfew), not some generic "please remain where you are and try to remain calm" error page. "Please remain where you are" sounds like the worst fortune ever to fall out of a cookie, not a valid assessment of emotional health.

I take "Please Remain Where You Are" to mean that I should, I guess, keep doing this I.T. thing until I die. "Remain Calm" tempers that decree with the idea that the daily stresses shouldn't get to me so much. I should find time to relax. Let them wash over me and drain away instead of getting all "stabby".

Maybe I'm reading too much into it and I should never post before coffee.

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