Yeah, you’d be good at that!

The business where I work has been sold.  For those that don’t know, I have spent the last 18 years working for my uncle in a family retail business, a college bookstore that served a major university.  It’s been a good gig, but the textbook business (as well as the book business in general) has been shrinking considerably over the last seven or eight years due to internet competition, rental websites and digital course materials.  We made a mutual decision a couple of years ago that the time was right to get out and ultimately we believe it was a good decision.  He can retire and I can…..

Well, unfortunately I cannot retire… and as much fun as it sounds to sit around and blog all day, I am pretty confident that will not pay my mortgage or allow me to purchase shoes for my kids. I will be employed through the end of October, at which point the business will close down. I have an opportunity to work with a friend of mine, a collegiate apparel sales rep who has called on our store for many years and who I have known almost since day one.  Although any change is scary, it’s a good opportunity and I will be happy to get off a retail floor as it has beat me up over the years.

That’s not really what I’m here to talk about though, but I thought it was important to share that news with all of you.   What I’ve noticed is that when you are in a situation where you are switching jobs, people are of course inquisitive and the conversation inevitably goes like this

Nosy person: So what are you going to do?

Me: Well I have this opportunity, blah, blah, blah…

Nosy Person: Yeah, you’d be good at that!

That’s great and I’m glad people think I’ll be “good at that”. But I’m starting to wonder if people really believe it or if they would just say that no matter what I said I was going to do. They don’t really ever comment on why they think I’d be “good at that.” It seems to be just a blanket statement of reassurance.

But what if I said this:

Nosy person: So what are you going to do?

Me: Well I have this opportunity with this Rocket Scientist I know. You know, now that the space shuttle program is being shut down, they need people to design the next vehicles that will take us into space. I shot a model rocket once so, you know, I thought it might work out.

Nosy Person: Yeah, you’d be good at that!

Or what if I said this:

Nosy person: So what are you going to do?

Me: Well I was thinking I’d send my resume to Apple. You know, with Steve Jobs stepping down, they probably need some help over there in California. I don’t use any Apple products, but I do have a couple of Apple trees in my yard so, you know, I thought it might work out.

Nosy Person: Yeah, you’d be good at that!

Or perhaps this:

Nosy person: So what are you going to do?

Me: Well I have this opportunity with this guy I know, he works for the carnival and they need someone to run the Frog Launch Game. Since my college degree is in Biology and I’ve had to dissect a few frogs in my life, and you know, I’m personable, I thought it might work out.

Nosy Person: Yeah, you’d be good at that!

Or maybe this:

Nosy person: So what are you going to do?

Me: Well I’m going to be a goat farmer.  Except not for meat, just for milk, ‘cause there’s no freakin’ way I could ever kill a goat.

Nosy Person: Yeah, you’d DEFINITELY be good at that!


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18 responses to “Yeah, you’d be good at that!

  1. I’m always nosy and I’ll even ask, “Can you make a living from it or is it supplemental?” I’m told that’s rude.

    People think nosy people are judging them. Maybe others are judging you but I am not. I live an extremely sheltered life. I don’t get out. I don’t watch TV. I live for my family and occasionally hold down 2 jobs; one has been at the same desk for over 15 years. People have changed, true. 7/8 of us were laid off…not like I’m meeting new people here, so…

    I’m curious. I learn more about the world via others’ experiences–particularly off the cuff/ unprepared/ through conversations.

    I’m the “never met a stranger” type and unless you’re an ahole, I’m not judging you. I don’t care if you live in a shack with a dirt floor — I went to school with kids like that. I don’t care if you’re a descendant of a Mayflower family — I have friends like that, too.

    So: good luck on your new job. Since you’ve made it clear you don’t like questions, I’ll shut up now.

    • Don’t worry, I don’t mind the questions. That’s natural and most of the people who ask are truly concerned, although a guy did ask me today that I thought “do you really give a shit, you don’t even know me”. But I do wonder about the response. Of course most people are not likely to say something like “hey that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard!”

  2. bigsheepcommunications

    The opportunities are endless – you could run for president, star in your own reality tv show, get in line for the next season of Dancing with the Stars…Whatever path you choose, I wish you the best of luck and remember, even if it sucks, it’ll be great blog material : )

    • All good ideas Lisa, all good ideas… and thank you… except I can’t dance very well, and my “real” life is not that interesting… and well, the whole President thing… who the hell would want that job?!?!?

  3. I don’t know who’d want the president job, but I’d vote for you! At least you have a sense of humor, which is indispensable for any job really. Can you just imagine the speeches and press releases from a “Brown Street Chronicles” point of view?


  4. P.S. How did you manage to copyright your blog?


    • Are you referring to the “official” copyright notice, or the “unofficial” copyright notice. Well, you see the official copyright notice is there just for show. I don’t exactly remember but I think I plagiarized it from someone’s copyrighted page and then changed it a little bit. It’s the unofficial copyright notice that mean’s business… don’t steal my shit or I might have to sic my goats on you… that’s some serious threat!

  5. After spending an entire year with the only purpose being change, I can say with confidence that you are in for one hell of an adventure! I recommend listening to your gut feelings and saying yes to unusual opportunities. Then hang on tight because you will feel like an astronaut not the rocket scientist. Either way, I’ll bet you’d be good at that 😉

  6. Sorry about the place closing, but good luck in your new adventures. I am sure you will enlighten us.

  7. Margie

    Wow, big change in your life! Collegiate apparel sales rep – is this a job where making people laugh is an asset? Personally, I think running the carnival Frog Launch Game sounds like more fun, but I expect your mortgage company doesn’t accept cotton candy coupons in lieu of payments…
    Congrats on your new career, Nehpets!

  8. Yep, change is scary, even when you plan it. Wherever you venture next, Steve, best of luck. Please just don’t stop entertaining us and keep on working on your book!

  9. I’m sorry you had to sell the store, Steve…that must have been hard! Hope your new gig works out for you!


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