It all started pretty harmlessly...“I’m a photographer” I replied...
sitting on the floor at a neighbor’s house during a community dinner. The smell of delicious Italian food filled the air along with screeches and screams of wild children who were enjoying each other’s company.
“I’m a photographer.” What a simple, yet stunning reply. We were meeting some new neighbors over a community dinner our street had put together. I had asked the newbie what it was she did for a living. “Nursing” she replied. “What do you do” she asked?
What should have been a simple reply took me back a moment. Years of corporate life had me trained to reply “Marketing” but this time, as I began to reply “photographer” came barreling out of my mouth.
At first it tasted strange, coming off the tongue...
I think she could sense my nerves. “Oh, okay” she replied and left it at that. None of the standard follow up questions followed – but I’m pretty sure the bewildered look on my face gave me away as uncomfortable with my own reply.
The feelings were mixed. I was dumbfounded at what I had said. I was proud, weirded-out and a little sad all at the same time. For some many years the response had been the same. “I’m in Marketing” I’d reply. Then a flood of questions would ultimately follow as to where I was working and what a job like Marketing actually involves. “Like Advertising? Or sales?” they would inevitable ask to which my standard reply would be, “Anything and everything customer facing goes through my desk.
Advertising, graphic design, white sheets, website, sales support, I do it all.” I’d reply. Knowing full well they had been hoping for a more dramatic, Mad Men, style story.