Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I do for a living

Today I was almost going to blog about the horrific day of travel I had yesterday, spanning 14 hours, with nothing to eat but a biscoff cookie and some peanuts (due to the absence of any type of money), and landing in a city that was not my destination. But since my last blog was already a bit of a rant, I wanted to make sure I didn’t start to sound like the bitter black woman. You know the one…

So instead, I am choosing to write about a subject that was brought up by the person I spent the majority of my day with, the guy sitting next to me on the plane. Now, this person had the potential to make me write a rant as well, seeing as how he didn’t spend much of the time in solitude, the way I like to spend my time flying. I board a plane ready to enjoy my solo time and sometimes that can be severely interrupted by one simple question.

"So, what do you do for a living?"

There are two reasons I normally shy away from this question. For starters, it is not a short answer. I can’t simply say “I work in Marketing” or “I’m a personal trainer” (if my muscle definition is obvious that day), and let that be that. Saying you’re a professional track and field athlete comes with loads and loads of follow up questions. What does that mean…how do you make a living…when do you compete…who do you run for…how fast can you run a mile…what school do you go to (they missed the ‘professional’ part)…did you ever run the 440 yard dash…what do you think of Marion Jones…how do you train… and then the question that always gets thrown in there that is my other reason for hesitation, have you ever been to the Olympics?

Because people associate track and field with the Olympics, they figure all of us have been. I feel like it’s a lightweight disappointment to them. Or maybe that’s just my own insecurities. I don’t know. But after a conversation I took part in this weekend, I learned about the importance of talking openly and freely with strangers about what we do for a living, and being excited about it. I know that I need to be better at networking and chit chatting with folks I don’t know. All my friends will tell you this is not my strong point. But you never know whom you might be speaking with and how they might be a great contact now or somewhere down the road.

I also just need to appreciate the fact that people care at all. 10 years from now when people ask what I do and I tell them I do market research for company X, they’ll simply nod politely and go back to their magazine. At that point I’ll want to add that in my past I use to be so good at something, there were only a handful of people in the world who were better. I’ll want to explain in great detail what I do on a daily basis and how that talent has allowed me to travel all over the world. I’ll surely be flying in coach, as I will no longer be flying over 100,000 miles a year. So I should definitely be grateful for those individuals who seem interested in what I do for a living and want to know more. These people could become fans of our sport, and perhaps even a fan of me! Shoot, some might even become a loyal blog reader…you just never know.


Dust said...

Well thank you for not being the ABW (angry black woman). I come across way too many of these woman on a daily basis, and quite frankly I don't know what they are so angry about. I guess that's a different blog.....

Maybe he was trying to get at you? An attractive woman sitting next to you on the plane, that is the perfect scenario to get your mack on. The woman can't go anywhere so and you have the duration of the flight to wear her down. Opportunity knocked and he took full advantage.

You need to learn a foreign language. My japanese and italian works wonders. When someone tries talking to me I don't want to talk to, I break out the japanese or italian. Rosetta Stone works wonders.... If that doesn't work lie, say your a stripper or something out of the ordinary. At least you'll get some funny reactions and new material for your blogs.

You not the chit chatting type? I beg to differ, you were chit chatty when you got at me. lol

Brianna said...

he wasn't hitting on me. i slept less than three hours, had on sweats, and didn't brush my hair.

Dust said...

Women don't understand, that look is cute. I like the sweats & no make-up hair in a pony tail look....besides guys can tell which ladies have potential. Lol

Neiyko said...

I know what you mean. I miss telling people about my track years in college. Now that I'm in the "real world" it seems people are less interested in my engineer career than my track one. So enjoy it while you can!! Lol

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bianca said...

I'm a loyal blog reader! See, it's already working :)

PS Don't click on anonymous' links. I got several of them on my blog too and I foolishly thought it was a Japanese blog reader. I'm lame. In fact, delete it because I got some virus on my computer now :(

Dust said...

I was just talking about my japanese and looks like it might come in handy. Do i need to translate? lol

@Bianca switch to Mac they don't get viruses. Looks like I need to start reading your blog as well so I can share my invaluable insight with your fans as well. Lol

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
I don’t tell people what I do anymore; they all start asking for free stuff.

Now, of greater import, you were in Indianapolis? For the USATF meetings?
Are you on some committee? How’d it all go from your perspective?

Rob said...

Here's my airplane story: 12 Years ago i was on a plane from L.A. to Seattle. Beside me sat a young woman, about 20 years old. She asked me if she could have my window seat because she needs to get some sleep. She told me she just came from Australia and hadn't slept in 24 hours. I gave her my seat and thought that was it, however instead of sleeping she started to talk to me (i also prefer to be left alone in airplanes). And during out little chat she kept making notes on napkins, so i asked her what it is she kept writing down. She said she was making notes for her songs. So you are a singer, i said. Yes. She even had her own CD out. Anything i may have heard? She said, possibly, it sold over a million copies in the US sofar. Now i thought to myself "Right, if you had sold a million CDs i would certainly know who you are". So finally i asked the obvious question "Whats your name?" "Jewel"
And the funny part was, i still had no clue who she was, because in Germany, where i am from, nobody had ever heard of Jewel back then.

Brianna said... have no choice. :)

@daniel...yes i was in indy. mostly at the AAC meetings and I'm on a diversity committee. story! hopefully you got back and bought her cd. :)

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
You didn't answer the most important part - What do you think of what is happening with the USATF? These are large-scale changes. They can directly affect you. You must have some views.
A post maybe?

Fan #99 said...

"@daniel...yes i was in indy. mostly at the AAC meetings and I'm on a diversity committee."

Diverse? So you were the token white girl on the committee?

DustFairy said...

If you tell me that you are a track star, I will believe you. WHY? Because you look like a DUDE!

Fan #99 said...

@ DustFairy

Well, I guess that makes me gay because I wouldn't boot her out of my bed! Oh la la!

Brianna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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