I stopped at a convenience store for a Gatorade this morning on the way to work (much #craftbeer the night before) and I was wearing my station polo (for casual Friday). The clerk asked me if I “worked for the news.” I told her I did, then answered her question about what exactly I did.
She went on to ask, “How do you get a job with the news?”
I gave the the extremely abridged version of my career, concluding with something along the lines of “and before that, I got a communication degree in college.”
She looked at me like I’d just kicked her puppy and said, “Oh.”
And she finished with a brightened-back-up “Have a good day.”
This woman was probably in her mid- to late-20s — old enough to have obviously missed the typical college window, but certainly not too old to do something about her professional situation in plenty of time to have a long career in the field of her choice.
(Although I might steer her clear of the news biz, personally.)
As I look back on that very brief conversation, she was nodding with a smile right up until I said “college.” Then a look came over her; I couldn’t tell if it was “forget that” or “forget it, I could never do that.”
Either way, it was a deal-breaker for her. Hell, for all I know it was an economic situation that made college a no-go for her. But it was saddening, as I raise my own daughter, to see this young woman so obviously disappointed.
When I put it on, I never thought a polo with a logo on it would make someone sad. Nor did I realize I’d spend so much time thinking about it today.