Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Grass is Always Greener

I don't remember when it started, but over the past few years I have been assembling a list of non-computer jobs that I wish I could do. I still love working on computers; don't get me wrong. But I do often think about working in one of these completely different jobs. Here are some of those jobs that I would love to be good at:

Limousine Driver - Yes, that's right. Limo driver. I've often pondered life as a professional driver. I like the idea of reading the newspaper in an idling Crown Victoria, waiting for some big shot to get to the airport, or downtown, or wherever. I like the idea of driving without having a destination. Driving for the sake of driving. I feel I would astonish passengers by my smooth driving skills, and savvy road knowledge.

When I lived in Pasadena back in college, one of my favorite things to do was drive to Los Angeles Airport. I loved volunteering to take people there, whether to pick them up or drop them off. There are dozens of ways to get to LAX, and I must have tried them all. I thought "wouldn't it be cool if I could do this all day?"

Repair Man - Some of the most pleasant conversations I've had as a homeowner were with the repair men (all men so far) that have come to our house. I do very little hands-on repair, so we pay a good amount for plumbing repair, oil burner repair, even simple appliance repair. Everyone who's been here were pleasant, and very competent.

This is a job that's close to home. My Dad was an electrical technician (and now an electrical inspector), and my father-in-law is very handy man around the house. Once, my father-in-law repaired a circuit in our breaker panel, and my Dad "inspected" the work he did ("he did a nice job"). I'm always amazed that my Dad knows exactly what wires to touch and not to touch.

Session Musician - Yes, I'm still playing guitar, but no one is going to be paying me to play anytime soon. But I enjoy fantasizing about it. And when I think about jobs in music, I always think about being a session musician. I don't need to be Eric Clapton; I want to be the guy who can play an Eric Clapton solo.

Many years ago I spent a few minutes chatting with one of my roommate's friends. He was strumming an electric guitar, and he was telling me that he wished he could play music full time. I asked him what he was playing right then, and he said he was practicing some progressions. He then played a few phrases so fluidly and easily that I was astonished he wasn't a full-time musician already. Now I know that being able to play and being able to play professionally are two different things, but I still remember thinking "I want to do that!"

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