Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Train Ninjas For a Living

Not really. Although, note to self: get a job where the jargon makes me sounds more important.

Let's say you're sitting at the bar of some suave cocktail lounge, enjoying a delicious gin martini with two olives, when suddenly an incredibly beautiful blonde woman walks up to you and asks to borrow a cigarette. You give her a cigarette and light it for her. After blowing a tantalizingly perfect smoke ring, she leans in and introduces herself. "I'm Madeline," she says. You respond with whatever your hypothetical suave name is, and then she asks you, "So, what do you do?" You resist the urge to say "you" while making grotesque pelvic thrusting motions. She repeats the question, "What do you do?" How do you answer?

Well, if you're a neurosurgeon, you say "I'm a neurosurgeon."

"Sounds important. What does a neurosurgeon do?" she asks.

"I don't want to bore you with the technical jargon," you say casually. "Basically, I save lives."

That's impressive. That woman is probably already sitting in the passenger seat of your Aston Martin waiting for you to whisk her off to a fairytale life. Now, if you're a provisioning manager at a small telecommunications reseller, what do you say?

"Oh, well, I'm a provisioning manager at a small telecommunications reseller." The words come tripping off of your tongue like it's the most natural thing to say in the world. Your eye glasses start to slip down your nose, so you push them back up with one finger.

"A provisioning manager, what's that?" she says.

"I don't want to bore you with the technical jargon," you say casually. "Basically, I'm responsible for providing T-1 dedicated internet solutions, or DS1 private line solutions to customers across the... hey, where are you going?" you ask frantically as she walks out of the suave cocktail lounge.

Not that I go around trying to pick up hypothetical people at hypothetical cocktail bars. It does occasionally dawn on me when I'm trying to explain how my day went that I am speaking an entirely different language from what the typical person is willing to try and understand. There are entire dictionaries filled with telecommunications lingo that means absolutely nothing to people outside of telecommunications. Hell, I don't even understand what the hell I'm saying half the time and I spend forty hours a week just spewing this stuff at people. Here's a typical conversation for me:

OTHER PERSON: "So Nat, how was your day?"

NAT: "It was a real pain in the ass. I'm trying to have this LEC drop off the loop to the ckl1 end of this DS1 intrastate private line order, but I can't get the ridiculously stupid LEC tech to post the DEMARC info to AT&T, so do you think they can complete out the CTA? No. So of course now I got the customer calling me because he knows the LEC redispatched today, so he's hoping to activate the circuit, but I can't even get AT&T to talk to BellSouth, which is owned by AT&T and it's just a big cluster fuck, the whole thing. And meanwhile, I can't even get AT&T to verify the ckl2 side is wired so I don't even know what's going on with that."

OTHER PERSON: "Wow. I have absolutely no idea what you just said."

Me neither. So, as a result, I've come to realize that I need one of two things: either I need to find myself a more impressive sounding job OR I need to make up something to tell people that sounds awesome, like Ninja trainer. I'm thinking this is what I might tell people from now on:

"Hi, I'm Nat Topping. I'm a provisioning manager." What, pray tell, is that? "Well, you see, I provision special weapons and highly technological gizmos for British secret agents. Like John Cleese from the James Bond movies. The Pierce Brosnan James Bond movies, though. Not the new one, although that was an awesome movie. Can I buy you a drink?"

There. Much better.


Crump said...


June said...

LMAO - Good Lord. The world needs more Nat Topping.