June has been a rough month. This weekend will be my first weekend in DC in six weeks. Most than any summer past, I find myself pondering the proverbial and cleche “where did the time go?” Combined with a rough economy and skyrocketing unemployment, I figured today is appropriate to unveil a blog post that I’ve sat on for oh probably close to a year.
I’ve found that asking for help isn’t easy and delegation is probably the most underrated difficult skill to learn. Most of us are taught from an early age, directly or indirectly, that independence is a virtue and that saying “yes” to everything is the best way to advance your career. Well, a while ago I read an article about when to hire someone to do a job you can do. It came at the exact time my friend Sara recommended a cleaning service. I bit the bullet and hired someone to clean my house, which I highly recommend by the way. This sparked lots of thinking and discussions about what other jobs I could hire someone to do.
So after a half dozen very funny and creative conversations on this awesome conversation topic, here are job positions I’ll be opening some time around 2028 (or sooner if I get applicants). What job would you hire out if you could?
- Senior Concert and Event Watcher: I am an avid concert-goer and have frequented most of the major venues in DC - Jammin Java, Wolf Trap, DC Improv and 9:30 club being my favorites. While I get all the weekly emails from these places, I usually only spend 4 seconds scanning for a name I know. Unfortunately, this means I probably miss lots of up-and-comers which are usually the best shows. For example, three years ago I saw Eric Hutchinson open at Rams Head Tavern (after which he signed a CD for me) and now he has the theme song for this summer’s hottest movie Away We Go. My Watcher would know my taste and budget and make recommendations on which concerts - or comedians, performances, musicals, etc. - I should go see.
- Associate 100 Calorie Snack Packer: Have you noticed that candy like M and Ms and Swedish Fish are now being packaged in 100 calorie packs? WTF? It’s still candy. But I must admit that I think it’s marketing genius since these are simply Halloween packs decorated for the other 11 months of the year. It seems like every food is being sold this way - Pringles chips, granola, hummus, etc. Of course I buy these for weight control and convenience, but I feel like I’m being consciously tricked into ruining the environment and paying a premium for being too lazy to look at serving size. My Packer would ration out my snacks for me into reusable tupperware containers so I could buy economy at Costco, save money, be green and watch my waistline at the same time.
- Facebook Statustician: Not to be confused with a statistician, my Statustician would monitor my friends on Facebook and keep me abreast of key life changes, interesting articles posted, pictures worth looking at and birthdays. (Plus, he or she would know which friends are friends and which are “friends.”) Imagine the time savings of someone filtering information overload to only what you might actually care about and not being sucked into the ‘book on a daily basis. Maybe I could spend the extra time reading a real book.
- Director of Smoothie Blending: There’s little more refreshing that an icey fresh fruit smoothie (with an immuni/fiber/vita boost mixed in of course). But smoothies require having fresh fruit on hand, making a mess and knowing the right combination of juice/ice/fruit which I always get wrong. Robeks makes a tasty light, banana mango but they are expensive. I would like someone to be on hand to whip me up a healthy breakfast smoothie every day.
- Executive Googler: My EG would follow me around and every time I had a question, he or she would provide me with the answer. In some ways, this is sort of a 21st Century personal librarian so skills may be transferable. Of course, I didn’t know about kgb, ChaCha or Aardvark when I first thought up this and they all provide a pretty similar function. You should check them out if this is a job you’re also looking to fill.
- Home Florist (with possible promotion to Gardener): I want someone to help me take care of my plants, put fresh flowers around my house and, possibly grow me some basil and tomatoes. This profession might in fact already exist since these people work in office buildings all over the city keeping live plants looking glorious in lobbies. It would probably be a part time job and I’m pretty easy when it comes to flowers I like - can’t go wrong with gerbera daisies and purple hydrangeas.
- Efficiencist: Speaking of limited time, are you like me trying to squeeze more out of every day? My Efficiencist would shadow me and every week would make recommendations on how I could do things faster. For example, these could be as simple as keyboard shortcuts or readjusting my schedule like doing laundry before going to work. This highly skilled professional would then monitor my progress and help me readjust habits to implement the recommendations.
- Personal Tailor: Have you ever gotten a pair of pants taken in? It costs a whopping $14. Wouldn’t it be amazing to pick out what you want to wear and have someone there to make sure it fits you perfectly all the time. With all those pounds you’d shed from your new portion control thanks to your Packer, you could drop LBs and not have to worry about buying new clothes, or alternatively, come back from Fourth of July BBQing and not feel guilty that things are a little snug.
- Blog Poster: If you’ve gotten this far, you’re a super fan of this blog so you’ll understand this one. I’ve sort of fallen off the wagon on posting. My BP would be like the BP across the street - I could just drive up, plug in and get a fresh dose of inspiration and fuel to keep AliBytes going strong.
Honorable mention jobs others have mentioned they would hire: Ironer (I second this but dry cleaners serve this function), Pool boy trained in lethal arts, Baker, 50s-era House Wife, Match maker, Cleaner (which of course I told them is pretty affordable), Laugher and Masseuse. Very belated shout out to Geoff, Tim, Sara, Dave, Elizabeth and Lisa for their contributions to this post.