Sometimes a guy gets tired of being asked his occupation. I mean when you’re buying a phone, why do they need that information? Don’t tell me, I know. So they can bombard you with irritating advertising they think fits your profile.
I hate this.
So when I last upgraded to a new phone, the salesman asked me what my occupation was, I said I was retired.
“What did you do before that?” he asked, his pen poised over the form where it asked OCCUPATION.
Well shit, I did a lot of things before I retired. Which occupation should I choose that defeated the waiting advertisers?
“I was a playboy,” I replied. Truth be told, I never was a playboy ‘cos I could never figure out where to start. But this guy couldn’t know that. It’s okay to lie to salespeople ‘cos they always lie to you.
He waited. So I had to embellish.
“I know I don’t look like an ex-playboy,” I said, ” but there are many levels of playboy. I was in one of the lesser ones.”
Still, his pen didn’t move.
“It was a little awkward at first, I have to admit,” I said. “I’d get invited to parties in St Tropez and Monte Carlo. When I got there, they’d all be complaining about jet lag because they’d arrived in their private planes. I’d come by public transport, so I could only complain about the bus lag.”
The guy wasn’t buying it. He was holding out until I said ‘librarian’, or ‘shark-repellent tester’, or something advertisers love.
“Also,” I added, “they’d all be bitching about their Lambos and Ferraris. I told them to get a Camry. I had a ten-year-old that ran ever so sweetly. Started every time. No electrical issues, unlike their fancy Italian speedsters. But they didn’t seem interested in my opinion, although I reckon I knew more about cars than them. I’d owned a lot of real bangers.”
The guy’s eyes narrowed. I went on. “Eventually, somebody explained I didn’t quite fit in, that I was a nice guy and all, but maybe this wasn’t the right circle for me. So, I said goodbye to the yellow brick road, where the dogs of society howl.”
The salesman gave up. His pen moved, and, under OCCUPATION, he ticked OTHER.
I’d made it. No occupation meant no money, I was invisible to advertisers.
At last. Great God a-mighty, free at last.