We live in an era that was compelled to invent the term “dizzying array.” Do you think your great-grandparents ever witnessed a dizzying array of anything? Heck, friend, our ancestors were lucky to see an array in their lifetimes. An array, now that was big news. They’d all stop churning the butter or tilling the fields and come gaze at the array. It was like a solar eclipse or a comet. And then, once they had gotten a good look at the array, they trudged back, exhilarated but not at all dizzy, to those jobs they did not choose.
But you, today, now, face an array of arrays—of chocolate cereals, sandals, cooking channels, antidepressants, paint shades, conspiracy websites, cell-phone ring tones, and, yes, high-tech careers—many of which leave you bewildered and whirling, or feeling as if you had an inner-ear disorder that might make you spit up. There is a tendency to fall down. There is a tendency not to get back up. There is a tendency toward beer and poor hygiene. Sweatpants, yes. There is a tendency toward self-loathing combined with an inflated sense of your own untapped potential as a moody actor, power-pop front man, or edgy standup comic. There is a tendency toward nonchalance, punctuated by bouts of big stupid weeping. Above all, there is a tendency not to pick anything—not one damn thing—from the dizzying array, and then, get this, to pretend like it’s all cool, like you’re a pioneer, a trailblazer, like this is exactly the life you imagined. Note: But yes so why are you crying at the $200-million tornado movie? Why?
Well, listen, and not to even mention that other pernicious strain, the dazzling array, more widespread, according to an array of search engines, than its dizzying counterpart. Do not look directly at the dazzling array, friend. Melt your retinas right down your hairy face.
You need a path. And yes, you need a job. Don’t sell yourself short, friend. Look, using only simple couch cushions, you have created a bed on the floor! Employers line up for that kind of creative vision. Virtual Sherpa® can lead you right to their comfortable reception area, where you can take a seat and fill out a few forms on a clipboard that has a pen tied to it with a piece of shoelace. You’ll see: It’s an exciting time to be a clever, aimless American white guy with hilarious dance moves. Just answer the 10 simple questions below. VS will use your answers to guide you toward your ideal career.
1. Do you enjoy being outside?
b) Who would say no? Who would say, “No, I don’t enjoy being outside”? Only someone with a rare skin disorder would say that. But even that person would probably enjoy being outside; it’s just that he can’t go outside because it’s dangerous for his skin. Who doesn’t enjoy being outside? Maybe not if it’s super humid or if it’s raining or if it’s really cold. Or if you have to do some crappy yard work. Or if there are a lot of mosquitoes or bees or a dog that just won’t stop barking. I’m not like a big “nature” person. I’m not all into hiking or mountain biking or trail mix. I had a couple professors who would always want to have class outside when the weather got nice in spring semester and I always hated that. The ground was still kind of damp and there were ants crawling everywhere. And then of course, big surprise, some university photographer would just happen to stumble across our class with all of his equipment right when we’re out on the quad discussing literature in spring. And we all just acted natural and before you knew it, we were on the cover of the course catalog. But I do enjoy being outside, generally speaking. I guess it depends.
2. Do you own a reliable and insured automobile?
b) The turn-signal wand in the boxy American sedan doesn’t stay depressed, so you kind of have to jiggle it manually when you’re turning. And there’s this terrible screech sometimes when you run the AC. But it runs fine. But I’m not delivering any more pizzas if that’s what you’re getting at.
3. What is your education level?
a) I have an undergraduate degree.
b) I have 21 credits beyond the undergraduate-degree requirement, but not enough credits in any one major. I kind of dabbled around. I just need two summer-school classes. So anyway I didn’t graduate. So I guess I have a high-school education.
4. How far is it, in miles, from the earth to the sun?
a) 20,000 miles.
b) 20,000 miles? That’s a bad answer. My answer is “Not 20,000 miles.” Think about it: the country is 3,000 miles long. If the sun were 20,000 miles away, the planet would be a crematorium.
5. So what’s your answer then?
a) 500,000 miles.
b) No, my God, more than that. I’d say 800— Wait. I’d say 10—no, hold on. Shit, I’m not guessing. More than 500,000, that’s my answer. The sun is a gaseous ball. Very hot, nobody lives there. I don’t know. Ask me anything about Pluto. Pluto I know.
6. Are you a team player or a lone wolf?
a) Team player.
b) The wolf is terribly misunderstood. It is actually a very social animal—all the nature programs are clear on this. I prefer the term “maverick.” I have my own code.
7. As a boy did you once rip an alligator off an old, ratty Izod shirt in a thrift store and then ask your mother to sew it onto an $8 non-Izod shirt?
b) But she sewed it on the wrong side of the shirt and kind of crooked, but I decided to wear it to school anyway. Not good. Not good at all.
8. Did you just hide from the Girl Scouts who came to your door?
a) No, I bought some Thin Mints.
b) There is just no way I can face those people right now.
9. Are your best dance moves really just ironic, cowardly imitations of other people’s bad dance moves?
a) No. (I believe dancing is an expression of individuality.)
b) Ask about Pluto. Anything. Come on.
10. Are you willing to relocate?
a) No, I have deep roots in this community.
b) Do you mean move? I have moved, on average, once per year since I was 8. I still have unpacked boxes from three relocations ago. So yeah, I’m willing. Move me.
Now give yourself one point for each time you answered “b” and zero points for each time you answered “a.” Consult the chart below to learn the career that is perfect for you.
0-2 points: Supreme Court justice, edgy standup comic, scientist, priest, cabinet maker.
3-6 points: Firefighter, psychologist, shortstop, barrister, chainsaw sculptor.
7-9 points: Caterer, soldier, astronaut, nurse.
10 points: Virtual-tour photographer. (Click here for more details.)