March 18, 2008


So after a hiatus of many years, I signed up again for AOL Instant Messenger. (Stay with me, this gets better.) It was already installed on my laptop and I knew a couple sources from work who use it. What the heck.

I get an ID, log on and realize that, you know, I only know about four people on the damn thing. Which is about right. I'm forty-freaking-three years old, for crissakes. It's borderline skeevy to be using AIM at my age. I used to use it back when I worked online, but I don't really have as much use for it. (I'm serious. Stay with me.)

Realizing the error of letting AOL back into my life, I decide to maximize the pain by searching for people I know who are on it. Why should I be the only schmuck in the quicksand, you know?

I click on this magnifying glass icon in a ZoomInfo search engine at the bottom of the AIM window (AOL has always had a firm grasp of iconography). I look for my buddy Drew. To my surprise, it finds his name.

But not an AIM screen name. Hells bells. It looks like it's only a collection of Web pages where Drew's been featured. It pulls those results into a "profile" and labels him, a bit belatedly, a battalion commander.

For grins and vanity's sake, I plug in my name. And I get this result:

Jeff Houck list.JPG

Okay. Wow. There are lots more here than I expected to find.

For curiosity sake, I click through them all. Until I come to the bottom, whereupon I note the occupation and laugh a little bit.

I click, only to reveal a window with lots of links to stories I've written and blog posts and articles which have quoted my name.

Next to that list is this window:

Jeff Houck celebrity.JPG

Okay, that's funny on many levels. First, because it's patently untrue. Not untrue in the sense that Drew is no longer a battalion commander and it's inaccurate and dated, but untrue because, well, it's nearly impossible to achieve a celebrity in my own house, much less in the job which I currently occupy.

But what really sent me into a tsunami of hysterical laughter is the notion that although I've held more than a dozen jobs in my lifetime, my only employment on the page was limited to that of celebrity. As if that was something standing alone on my actual resume, just waiting to impress. What I wouldn't give to put that word alone under "PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE" on Monster or and stand back to watch the offers pour in.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for rehab. It's what all of us celebrities are into these days.

Posted by Jeff at March 18, 2008 09:04 PM | TrackBack
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