Friday, May 20I Am The Treasurer - Part 3 Of 3.
I used to work with a good friend named Cameron. Cameron is, on the outside, the model of a perfect businessman. He’s tall, handsome and speaks with purpose. He’s married with 2.5 kids, consistently shows up to work in a nice suit and always walks around like he knows where he’s going. Outside of work, he’s a beer-brewing, BSG-watching, Carl Sagan-reading atheist nerd of the highest order. On the inside, Cameron and I are very similar. On the outside, we are very much not. Because of this, Cameron taught me something that I’ll surely never experience: The Plight of the Unintentional Businessman.
Basically, the way Cameron explains it, people always assume he knows exactly what he’s doing at all times, solely because he looks the part. People trust him with things they shouldn’t, they confide in him with secrets he shouldn’t know, and he’s hundreds of times more likely to land a job than someone who looked more mediocre but shared the same exact attributes (he explained this in the most self-aware and humble way possible, I should add). Cameron understands that he’s been given a gift from a God he doesn’t believe in, and as long as he keeps his head down, flashes a smile and periodically makes a joke about golfing or his wife, he’ll have a leg up on nearly every man that isn’t over six feet tall.
For some reason, this weighs heavily on his conscience. Cameron is a complicated guy. That’s why I like him.
He doesn’t want to be a businessman. He wants to watch Smallville and talk about India Pale Ale and watch his kids grow up, not give lip service to smug assholes and vice-versa. It appears as if the very thing most men (like myself) would be jealous of may have pigeonholed Cameron from the start. I doubt he’d ever want to switch places with a guy like me, but now that I’m aware of the Plight of the Unintentional Businessman, I don’t think I’d want to switch places with him, either. It doesn’t sound very fun if it’s something you generally don’t want to be doing.
I suffer from the worst of both worlds. I don’t look like I should be trusted with any responsibilities, yet everyone around me insists that I can because they know I refuse to fail. I don’t make eye contact, I’m thin and short, I blend into a crowd with the greatest of ease and I look like a child when I’m wearing a suit. My glass ceiling ends at $40k a year, and I know this implicitly. Yet, I’m always trusted with things that should be deferred to guys that look like Cameron.
I don’t look the part, I don’t live the part and I’m certainly not paid the part, but I’m always given the part due to some weirdly positive reputation. Cameron could never go to a Sci-Fi convention, because he’d be mobbed (everyone would think he was Nathan Fillion). I could never lead a business meeting surrounded by millionaires, because they could smell the fraud on me from a mile away. Because of seemingly positive attributes, neither of us are able to do the things we truly want to do. Such woe.
I’m not going to bankrupt my Condo Association. I’m not going to send us spiraling into debt. I’m not going to blow our community surplus on a retro arcade or adults-only sauna, even though I look like the kind of person who would. I’m going to do my job, earn the $125/month stipend and once again accept another adult responsibility that I so often try to avoid at all costs. What started out as a chance to save some money has turned into yet another example that I am not nearly as much of a slacker sadsack as I claim to be.
For some reason, this weighs heavily on my conscience. I am a complicated guy. That’s why you like me.