August 18, 2005

Goals

I am a salesman. Not in the sense you think, I call on established businesses providing components they need. I have called on the same group of customers for many years. I do not get paid a commission. I like my job, and I believe I am reasonably good at it. Some days /weeks/ years are better than others. Such is life.

I never had a dream of being a salesman. Not 20 years ago, not ten years ago, not 10 minutes ago. I was offered the job because people in management saw something in me. I rewarded them for their faith by growing the business by 190% in three years. If I were to win the lottery I would not come back to work at this tomorrow.

When I first went to school I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. Then a teacher. Mostly, I just liked researching history. Not many jobs there. Unlike many people, I have never bought into the whole "goal" scenario in planning my life. The "where do you want to be in 5 years" question on employee evaluations always seemed a little murky to me. "Employed" was what I wanted to write, but smartass answers on the self assessment portion of employee evaluations tend to piss off the ER people who make up those things. My goal is to make as much money as possible for as little pain as possible. I will give you 100%, make no doubt. Notice I said for as little pain as possible, not as little work as possible. But I work for the money. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar. See how long they keep coming to the office or jobsite when they do not get that check.

I guess I am not telling the truth when I say I have no goals. I do have one. It is not something I go around telling people. I am not good looking, or smart, or artistic, or talented. I set myself a goal to compensate. I want to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation about any subject, any time. Of course, I am not there. I keep trying. 1960's music, Ok. The campaign to relieve Gordon in the Sudan -- got you covered. Life estimates of ball bearings in the mast of forklift trucks -- (heh heh) I can bore you to death. History, religion, politics, sports, can probably not embarrass myself. I am no expert, but a jack of all knowledge.

You see, I KNOW how little I know. That is why I try to keep on learning. I have said it before on this site -- education is a lifelong process, I do not intend to stammer around at your dinner party unable to talk about the role of the rifled musket in the Napoleonic Wars or the effects of too much austenite in bearing grade steel. You will not find me slackjawed when you talk about the Residenz in Wurtzburg or the latest assholery of T. Owens.

I may not know much about any of those things, but I can keep the conversation going. You can bet if you do get me in a conversation about a subject I have little knowledge, I will be prepared next time. That, my friends, is where the fun is in life. Now if I can just get someone to pay me to research, or talk, or blog, or tell jokes...

2 comments:

GUYK said...

"You see, I KNOW how little I know."

That statement alone convinces me that you are an intelligent person and not an educated fool! It is realizing how little we know that drives us to learn more and the more we learn the more we realize how little we actually know.

I read one time that De Vinci probably knew most of the scientific knowledge know to humans during his era as well as the complete knowledge of the so called humanities and social sciences of his era. If that is true it just shows how far humankind has progressed intellually since DeVinci. Yet ninety nine percent still can't make a decent cup of coffee-go figure.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. I can talk about a lot of stuff, if you leave out sports and women's fashion.

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