Have a piece of advice pie!

(Please excuse all typos, my poor grammar, etc. This was written at 30k feet with some wang in front of me who insisted on pushing his seat allll the way back, causing my computer to rest in my crotch. It’s tough to type when your elbows are in your nostrils, fyi.)

A year-and-a-half is a long, long time to be unemployed.

Especially for someone like me.

I’m starting to get bored and restless. Soon, I’m sure I’ll consider partaking in some sorta-middle class white woman WASPy adventure somewhat along the lines of “Eat, Pray, Love.” However, my outing would involve more cacophony and box wine. And dudes named Braulio, Hank and Cash. I’ll give it some clever title that will help my “brand” — “Binge, Douse, Snark” — or something. I’m still toying around with it and as always, suggestions are welcome.

One of the many downsides to being job-free for this long is allll of the unsolicited advice I’ve received. Yes, I’ve touched on this before but one particular piece of advice keeps coming up — kinda like the gag reflex you have when you think of what it would be like to fuck Bill O’Reilly. (Sidenote: I wouldn’t fuck him with Ann Coulter’s snatch. Wait…I’m not even sure she even has a snatch. You know what though? I don’t wanna know because I believe that knowing would scar me for life.)

Carry on, Julia, and START YOUR OWN BUSINESS. YOU’LL MAKE TONS OF MONEY.

Yes, that is the sage advice I’ve been getting from folks as of late. And, here’s a version of this conversation.

“You know what you should do, Jules?”

“What’s that?”

“You should start your own business!” Advice guru puffs her/hisself up, as if he/she has solved allll of my problems and then some. Smug facial expression takes over.

“Um, well. No.”

“No, why? It’s a great idea!” He/She gets more animated.

“Well, first of all, I’m not a business woman. I’m not an entrepreneur.” I say, with an exasperated sigh.

“Oh, you can go to school for that!”

“Yeahhh…I don’t see that happening.”

“Why? It’s a great idea! Start your own business!”

“Ok, if I should decide to do this, what type of business should I start?” I ask, eyebrows raised, jaw set, arms crossed over my chest. Waiting. This, I gotta hear.

“Well, what do you like to do?”

“Ok, first mistake. This isn’t high school. This is not ‘What Color is Your Prison Jumpsuit” or whatever that half-wit philosophy is.” I calmly reply.

“But, it’s a business, you’ll make a ton of money!” Arms raised! Smile huge!

“DOING WHAT?” I really don’t want to be Captain Obvious here.

“Well, you like to write, correct? And you worked in the movie business? And you taught film once upon a time?” Now, they’re looking at me like I’m touched in the head.

“Yep.” I say. Well it is true.

“You could start a business doing all three of those things! But just START A BUSINESS YOU’LL MAKE TONS OF MONEY!”

“Oy fuckin’ vey,” I say, sotto voce. I squeeze my eyes together tight and let out a big-ass sigh. The imaginary wall I’m banging my head against is causing me a real headache.

“Look, I appreciate your help. I do. You’re very kind. But you’re missing the point here: I have zero interest in starting a business. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch.  Not interested. I’m not an entrepreneur….” I get cut off yet again at this point.

“But… but you’re smart! How do YOU know you’re not an entrepreneur? You could go back to scho-”

“No, no more school. ESPECIALLY in a field that I have absolutely no interest in. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch. So going into even more debt for yet another ridiculous degree ain’t in my cards.” I’m exhausted by this point. I’m met with a snippy hand gesture and an even snippier head bob. The guru is also bored by this point and is starting to inspect one of the many pieces of David Yurman joo-ree she’s wearing, or pondering which Tory Burch flats she should purchase next. If the guru happens to be a guy, he’s slowly stroking his soul patch, pulling out his iPhone or contemplating which micro-brew he prefers with brauts.

By this point, the advice guru lets out a little sigh of disgust and a pitiful ‘Well, I tried to help’ look and writes me off as a failure. Soon, he/she and their Earth-shattering advice is gone, but not without a few more words of advice.

“I hope you’ll take my advice seriously and start your own business. It could be good for you!”

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

I don’t mind advice. In fact, I welcome it, but it has to be good advice.

Let this be a lesson to those who are into dispensing advice: Know your audience. If the person you’re talking to is someone like me, telling them to open a business isn’t helpful. It’s dismissive and rude. It also shows you know absolutely nothing about the person and what he/she is going through. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, and just because we aren’t entrepreneurs, that doesn’t mean we aren’t intelligent, savvy, creative, interesting, innovative, etc.

We’re just not interested, see. ‘Tis not our thang.

Next up–those who insist that I get back into teaching. What’s that word again? NO.

11 thoughts on “Have a piece of advice pie!

  1. Well, to be blunt, you keep forgetting that before the advice probably came a very loud, painful rant about how miserable it is to be unemployed for so long. Sometimes in CAPS!!! Are we supposed to ignore these outbursts and do nothing? We feel pain too, that you are feeling so much pain. Its only natural to want to help. Maybe the problem is always saying NO to every suggestion. 😉 Personally, I don’t believe that we are supposed to spend our lives doing exactly what we want. We need to make a living doing whatever is available, do our best at it, bring our own creativity to it and pay our bills and feed our families. And, do what we love as much as possible while we are working like hell to make ends meet. My rant.

  2. i have tried really hard to come up with sage advice for you. i really can’t. anything that comes to mind is immediately filed under, ‘things that would really piss me off if someone said them to me.’ i’m just going to keep mentioning you in my prayers, and hoping some 20-something starts his own business so you can have his (likely unappreciated) job.

  3. Outta work since Arpil 2010. Not one person who has suggested that I start my own business — and there have been many — has started one himself. Not surprisingly, these same people (some of whom are quite successful) know absolutely nothing about the work I do, so their suggestions as to setting up and advertising and finding customers are laughably off the mark.

    My current plan is not to take this too seriously, and just die sooner than I’d counted on even 3 years ago. This also relieves me of worrying about these things on my neck getting bigger and the blood in my pis.

  4. Americans are brainwashed into thinking everyone is a capitalist. Some of us do not want to be in that world. Shoot us. We are creatives, and we like it that way.

  5. About 20 years ago my brother, who loathes working for anyone, opened a small business. I don’t think he’s had a day off since. Just keep writing and keep searching. There you have it, my pearls of advice.

Push it out, shove it out, waaaaay out...

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