Actually, I don’t agree with your stupid logic at all. I believe what you said this afternoon was, “Basically there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who can put themselves out there and make a sale, and those who are, you know, just okay with flipping burgers their whole life.”
At the time, I responded charitably with a deep nod meant to indicate my utter agreement and the remark, “I think I have what it takes to sell weatherized windows over the phone.” But now, with all the clarity that hindsight and freedom from your faux oak-paneled conference room grants us, I’d like to question your wisdom.
The briefest of statistical inquiries shows us that the American workforce is not merely made up of salespeople and fry cooks. Rather, it seems that people are engaged in all sorts of rewarding wage-earning pursuits. For example, have you heard of teachers? How about brain surgeons? At this very moment, perhaps a cameraman is focusing the smiling visage of a starlet for a shampoo commercial shoot. Somewhere, a registered nurse is handing a puffy, demon-like newborn to its beaming mother. Still elsewhere, a zookeeper is throwing hefty cuts of horse meat over the wall of the hyena enclosure. And yes, I realize that witticisms that begin with the phrase “there are two types of people in the world” are not always meant literally, but I do object to the way they divide humankind into two discrete camps. As you put it, in one camp are all the charming weatherized window salespeople of the world, their eyes glistening, their teased hair wafting pleasantly in the breeze as they step out of their velvet tents. But in the other camp are the cursed burger flippers, the wretched throngs of greasy hunchbacks groveling in their mildewed canvas hovels, forever in the shadow of their greater, window-selling cousins.
But to be quite honest, my greatest fear is that you are right. My liberal arts education has taught me that there are not two types of people in the world, but rather 6.5 billion types, and that with appropriate persistence and the right connections, we can all aspire to be cameramen and registered nurses and zookeepers. But perhaps it is not so. And perhaps you were introducing me, neophyte that I am, to the real world law of Sell or Flip. And you were putting it gently. “Zookeeper my ass,” you could have said. “Bullshit! People don’t write short fiction for a job. You sell. Or you flip.”
And now, as I wait for your phone call, I am preparing for the Great Judgment. Will you let me join the chosen ones, the breathtaking understanders of company values and customer service, or must I be damned to die at thirty of flipping-induced carpal tunnel syndrome? Please call me. I have what it takes to sell weatherized windows over the phone. Oh, I really do.
Molly Jean Bennett