Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Idiom Series IX

Jordan, Wade and The Natural rocked it so it's a good number. Then again so did the Nazgul...

"You're a....Think of something."

I hate this statement because it can come at you from two negative fronts.
Situation 1) Let's say you are a repairmen and you fix pipes. You don't necessarily want to be a pipe-fixer but situations outside of your control made you one/you are using pipe-fixing to pay your bills/pipe-fixing is a family tradition you must uphold/pipe-fixing is just there until you achieve your dream....whatever. The point is you don't want to be Mario but you are.

"I'm sicka alla da pipes, jabroni!"

So you don't like your job. To deal with not liking your job, you go hang out with some folks at, let's say, a party. During the cost of the evening, something happens with the toilet. This is sort of but not entirely in your area of expertise from work. Someone knows you are a pipe-fixer.

Random Douche-
Hey, man. You're a pipe-fixer. Think of something.


I hate my job as a piper-fixer. I came here to get away from pipes. Nintendo lied to us. There are no princesses in sewers nor giant fighting turtles with atrocious language skills. There are no pipes to even be fixed in this situation. Why are you making me do something I hate? Bastard.

Situation 2) Maybe you LOVE what you do. Maybe you are a world-class or aiming to be a world-class illustrator. You hone your craft to create elaborate pieces and enjoy the intense labor and the reward of working hard to make awesome images. It's not a hobby for you- it's your life passion.

"I'm about to paint some ill shit, bitches."

So there you are, a painter. Chilling. Enjoying a day at the park. Minding yours. A friend comes by and sits next to you about nothing like friends do. Suddenly, in the middle of the conversation....

Friend- Man, I've been trying to come up with this icon for this shitty thing/something that doesn't really matter. Could you sketch out a picture of a dog or something. I mean you are a painter. Think of something.

Excuse me.

Listen, you'll probably sketch something out for the person or fix the toilet because those are people you care about but it doesn't make the situation any cooler.
For one, they are asking you to actively engage in something you can do and are proficient in but don't necessarily like or want to do at the moment. I mean, you wouldn't ask a porn star on the street to randomly starting boning you...

Okay. Maybe that's a bad example.

But you wouldn't just randomly go up to an actor or comedian and be like "Perform a scene" or "Make me laugh, you clown." Unless you are a dick.
Are you a DICK?

Secondly, just because I CAN do something doesn't mean I WANT to do it every second of the day. Everyone needs a break, even from the things they love. Why do you think we have babysitters? It's not that people don't love their kids but sometimes you need a break from them to get your head straight. And not choke 'em.

Sometimes literally.

Lastly, especially in the example of the painter, it's sometimes insulting to have a person perform a generic task that tangentially relates to what they are doing. How would you feel if you were Shakespeare and someone asked you out of the blue to come up with a catchy jingle? Sure, you could probably do it but why are you being asked to be demeaned for your talent?

And it's not just creative professions either. You don't find out someone is a heart surgeon at a party and ask them to look at something on your foot, right?

It's okay to do this once in a while with your friends but don't make it a habit. Think before you ask someone to "Think of something." Put yourself in their position and see how it feels for a second.

You're a human being. Think of something.