That’s not a job!

Last night I was watching a football game when a State Farm Insurance commercial came on.  There was one exchange in the commercial which got me to thinking.

In the commercial Drew Brees (Quarterback for the Saints) is asked what he does. He replies he plays football and a little girl exclaims “That’s not a job”.

So what is a job?  Wikipedia defines a job as regular activity performed in exchange for payment.

So does Drew Brees perform a regular activity in exchange for payment? Yes.  Is he overpaid (IMO) they all are, but it’s not up to me to set the salary for another company to pay. If I were to  have that power, I’d start with those in government (and I am speaking of those Congressmen/women who are only in it for the money and benefits rather than there to help the average citizen)  and bankers who received those enormous bonuses while the bank asks for a bail out. But wait, I’ve gotten off-tract here.

Could there be an auto detailer position in his future?

What stood out for me in this exchange (on the commercial) was the fact that a small child was already indoctrinated enough to define what a job should be.  I know this was only a commercial, but think about it for a minute.  How many children, say early elementary age, have a predetermined idea of what constitutes a job?  Who tells them what is an okay profession to hold?

My budding artist who designed this bunny bed for me.

Let me give an example.  Have you ever gone to Wal-mart? Yes, I know hated store.  If you haven’t gone let me explain, when you walk through the doors there is a person (known as the Wal-mart greeter) who says hello to you and checks your packages to make sure you paid for everything when you leave.

Now this position of greeter would probably not be something a child would aspire to be, at least not with parent’s encouragement.  But some people love this position. Locally, you could find a disabled person who couldn’t do many of the other jobs working as a greeter rather than collect social security or welfare money or a senior citizen who is lost without a job and needs the interaction with people.  It makes them feel connected and still worthwhile.

There are all kinds of jobs out there that maybe you or I would not want to do, but those differences make the world work.    Why should the children of the world be told what is an acceptable job, and what not to aspire to, before they are even old enough to know what they enjoy doing in life?

I know a parent who upon learning what his son wanted to do with his life, sit down and show him all the things he had because the father had a good paying job.  He broke it down into every little category from how much the cable cost, the video games, the cost of housing, yard care (hired out) etc.  Then went on to show him how little of what he was used to this job he wanted would not pay for.  He refused to help with his schooling for those reasons.   This young adult was already working in the field, loved it, and never wanted to do anything else.  But he was stuck.

She also loves gardening, doesn’t matter at this age we encourage all her interests.

One of my closest friends was a gifted artist, she was selling her work in New York City by an agent while still in high school. Yet when she received a scholarship to a very prestigious school for art, her parents reminded her daily that she was wasting money and time.  She is now very successful in her chosen art field.

These two individuals were willing to give up a lot to have a job they loved.  How many people do you know who have had dreams of doing something else, but were told they could never make it in the world doing exactly that?  I know way too many.

I believe that sure our children should know what to expect from a career choice and where they could go with that choice, but rather than discourage, why not strike a conversation about how to make that choice work for them?

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the paint of all others. ~~
Marcus Tullius Cicero




  1. I guess I’d like to question the assumption that government workers do nothing and still collect a paycheck, and therefore don’t do a ‘job’….sure, there are a few people who sit and breathe and absorb a paycheck. But mostly the federal workers I see are working their tails off as budget cuts mean that each one does the work that years ago two people would’ve done. That’s not to say that I don’t think there needs to be more accountability for the people who just absorb a paycheck, because there does. There absolutely does. But the rest of us are working very hard to serve this country (if you support cancer research, then you support federal workers like me!), and I don’t think it’s fair to say otherwise. Just my two cents. I’m enjoying your blog even though we differ in opinion :o)


    • Joanna, I didn’t mean to offend. I still have a lot to learn about being clear in what I write. Okay by government workers I was specifically thinking of the Federal Government (specifically Congress). Originally it was supposed to be a show of patriotism, not a way to have a huge paycheck and retirement benefits. My son is a government employee as a state corrections officer and before that he was active Army and then National Guard. He not only works hard, but his life is always on the line in both the military and the prison.

      Anyway, thanks for pointing out how that came across, I’ll go back and rework the paragraph.


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