Tuesday, August 23, 2011

If You Weren't What You Are, What Would You Be?

by Robin Allen

I've had lots of jobs over my several years of life.

When I was 15, I got my first job in an upscale toy store, answering phone call after phone call about the availability of Madame Alexander dolls and taking payments for games, plush toys, and other items on lay-a-way.

After high school, I started waiting tables in restaurants and did that all through college. Once, in the mid-80s, I was a cocktail waitress and then a bartender in one of the hottest nightclubs in the city, all dry ice and neon and Rock Me Amadeus.

After I graduated with a BA degree in English, I got a job doing sales support for a computer software company, working my way up to marketing and publicity, then eventually sales, which I was terrible at because "no" means no in my book.

I eventually struck out on my own as a technical writer, developing online Help and user guides for software applications, and doing QA work.

And then I wrote a book, got an agent, got a publisher, and became an Author.

I like working on things that have an answer that needs to be found, a problem that needs to be solved. I like working with my hands. I like creating something that hasn't existed before. And if I wasn't an author, I would be an architect, a crime analyst, or a knitwear designer.

What about you? If you weren't doing what you're doing, what would you do?

Robin Allen
Author of the Poppy Markham: Culinary Cop Mystery Series
If You Can't Stand the Heat
Now available on Kindle, Nook, and eBook
See my poem "A Friday Afternoon" in the 2012 Texas Poetry Calendar


Vicki Doudera said...

I would be a globe-trotting journalist or a motivational speaker. Something that involved writing but let me also interact with people. Looking forward to reading your poem, Robyn!

Beth Groundwater said...

When I was in college, I took the Strong Vocational Blank, basically a personality test that matched your personality to people as a group that held various jobs. Most of today's jobs didn't exist back then, but the ones I matched best at the time were dietician, librarian, and mathematician, so I'm sticking with that assessment. I am very healthy-food-conscious, since I'm always watching my weight, so that's probably my first choice of an alternate career. Lately, I've said I'd love to have enough money to be a philanthropist. Giving away money to those who need it would be such a morale booster.

Deborah Sharp said...

I'd be a forest ranger or a lighthouse keeper in a lovely, quiet spot where I could sit and contemplate and rarely have to talk to people. My dream! (Of course, not sure what my gregarious, crowd-loving husband would do shut up in a lighthouse or a woodsy cabin miles from civilization!

Robin Allen said...

Vicki - Those jobs sound like a lot of work. :-)

Beth - I'd love to be a librarian, too, surrounded by books and words and stories. Although, as things change in the publishing world, they're going to change in the library world, too. It will be interesting to see what a library looks like in 10 years.

Deb - We don't have many forests or lighthouses in south Texas, so I didn't even consider those jobs. They do sound dreamy.

Darrell James said...

I'd be a cowboy! I don't know how much they make.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I would be a fabulously wealthy eccentric, not Howard Hughes weird, but just quirky enough to be fun and sociable and centered enough to help the less fortunate. Not sure where the money would originate from, maybe a super duper jackpot Lotto winning, because gawd knows I'm not skilled or talented enough to earn it on my own.

Robin Allen said...

Darrell - The world needs more cowboys.

Sue Ann - Nice to see you around here! The world also needs more fun, sociable, centered eccentrics, regardless of wealth.

Alice Loweecey said...

*waves at everyone* I'd be waiting tables in NYC and auditioning for every possible part, large or small.

Since I recognized long ago that I have talent enough for amateur theater but not for the Big Time, I'm glad I chose writing. :D

And NO, I would not still be a nun! :P

Robin Allen said...

Alice - Publishing and acting? You do like competition.

Jennifer Harlow said...

If I could I'd be an advice columnist. I went to college and got a degree in Psych but hate school so I have no intention of going back, so Agony Aunt would be awesome.

Robin Allen said...

Jennifer - Sounds like a great idea for a mystery series: Ask Aunt Agony.