Round Peg / Square Hole

Maybe location is the key. Could it possibly be due to my current proximity to the Great White North?

Why does it seem that if my job description doesn’t contain the words “manual labor” few men can seem to grasp what I do for a living? This is particularly disturbing when some of the guys I’ve known (for upwards of ten years) keep asking me to explain what I do.  Other guys just look at me like a dog listening to a high pitched noise when I tell them I have a desk job.

Conversations tend to go like this (no exaggeration):

Bob: So, Shane, tell me again – what is it you do?

Shane: I’m an account manager for a print marketing company.

Bob: So, you run a press?

Shane: No, no.  I manage the client’s work and expectations.

Bob:  [just looks confused]

Shane: So, like, let’s say you’re a national retailer and you’ve got a frequent shopper program. You’ve seen those, right? Well, we manage that entire project – no matter how complicated. The frequency cards, the card carriers, the mailings, the statements, the reply envelopes. Long run, short run, international programs. Everything! We do it all; and someone has to be the company contact for that client… and that’s me.  We do work for lots of big companies.  It’s very rewarding.

Bob:  [same confused look] …but your company actually prints stuff, right?

I’m not entirely sure what my deal is… but, I’m just really not into the same things as most of the men I know. It seems we have very few common interests.

For example, I have exactly zero desire to hunt, fish, camp, invest my time and money in professional and/or make-believe fantasy sports, wear flannel, fart in public, joke about said flatulence, completely dominate other men at any and all games (even poker), watch Nascar, prove my masculinity by publicly wrestling another grown man, or swim in a pond.

I also have an affinity for looking like I dressed while fully awake and sentient (as opposed to groping for clothing in the dark and leaving the house with whatever my hands happen to land on).

I realize, at this point, a certain percentage of my male readers may be wondering (some aloud): well, then what’s the point of living?!

At some point I’d like to learn to sail. We were up in Duluth a few years ago when the tall sail ships came in to harbor. One of them was advertising a working sailing from Duluth to Chicago (one way) for $800.

I’d do it in a heartbeat.

That is, assuming I had $800 to blow on a 10-12 day working vacation – plus the cash for the one-way flight home. Which I didn’t… and still don’t.

I also like tiny little highly tuned cars (the smaller, the better), various genres of video games, swimming (in pools), highly detailed work, electronics, music, electronic music, mixing music for live audio, using computers creatively (as opposed to using computers solely for data), and coffee.  I also shave with a straight razor (c’mon, how much more matcho can you get?).

Do any of my other readers have any idea what I’m talking about? Can any of you relate? If so, sound off in the comment section below.

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