I actually have a lot of work to do today in the office. So naturally, I’m blogging instead.
My friend and fellow Splenda stealer, who is a publicist, are constantly talking/discussing/obsessing about people who seem to have cool jobs that we have never even heard of before. Only about a year’s worth of experience in our own industries, and so far, so good, we are just continually fascinated with job titles that people accumulate that never popped up on career/personality tests, in high school conversations with our guidance counselors, or MASH quizzes from when we were giggling 13 year olds.
But if you really think about it, everything around you was created by someone as their occupation. Take a look at your/mine desk. Stapler–someone was responsible for flipping the switch to turn on the machine in the facility of the plant that makes those things. Cough drops–someone came up the that flavor of honey/chamomile and menthol (they’re tasty, I swear). Tape–well, I’m not really sure how tape is made, but you get the idea.
On the bus this morning (see pic of my daily commute)
I was lucky enough to sit alone and I felt free to stretch out a little and look around as I pleased, rather than nod my head and close my eyes and pretend my knee isn’t really touching the person next to me. I started to think about the Charlotte Moss Townhouse that I took a tour of yesterday, after I wrote an article about how her interior design style influenced the way she designed her retail store. It was unbelievable: five floors of a townhouse that she had gutted and renovated, and each room is decorated like a home. There was a bedroom, a library, a guest room, a conservatory, and every detail in the “house” was for sale. Even the hardware she used on the cupboards in the dining room was specific design choice; she found the dainty, weathered hardware from a flea shop in Paris and knew how she wanted to use them.
This idea excited me. I just love thinking about all the decisions and inspirations and creativity it took to plan out every single detail you see in front of your eyes. Sitting on the bus this morning, I started to think of my surroundings in the same way. When I get bored on the bus/in a car, I like to think about all the labor and design that went into building the Lincoln Tunnel or highways and parkways, and so this morning I started to look at the all the details and bus doo-dads that I see everyday, but don’t necessarily notice, like the tacky fabric that lines the seats, those little turnable lights and A/C things above my head–see, I don’t even know the word for them–and how there are only handles on the seats next to the aisles. I start to think–every detail on this bus was also a decision made by someone in charge of designing a NJ Transit bus.
Fascinated by this thought, I notice the yellow tape that you touch to stop the bus had a sort of inscription on it. TAPESWITCH CORPORATION, 100 SCHMITT BOULEVARD, FARMINGDALE, NY 11735
There’s actually a company that specifically makes these things. There is a facility in Farmingdale, NY, that employes people to make tapeswitches. That is what they are paid to do. How does one find a job in the tapeswtich business? Is there training involved? How much do they make a year? What do they do when they get bored on the job? I can’t imagine what it would like to work there, but why wasn’t I ever asked? It was never brought to my attention. I never knew you could be a tape switch maker, responsible for the productivity of a mass transit bus.
It just goes to show that there are so many jobs out there that you would never know about unless you look for them. Or create them. While I love to write and report, sometimes I do think about what else I could be, and then how I need to channel that energy to make something happen, because decisions like these all depend on your own actions. Just a thought, while I procrastinate, hands shaking, during my second free coffee of the day.