Saturday, October 24, 2009

Career / Life Complex

I've always been opposed to having a career; I'd much rather work many different jobs in a number of different places. It sounds commitment-phobic and this fantasy might reveal my aversion to complicated/stressful work, but I think such a life-style would be a rewarding adventure. But that's just fantasizing. That would never fly with my family, and I'm too attached to the idea of (relative) career and economic security.

That aside, I was thinking about how careers tend to influence how we are as people. Thinking of the preceding spiel actually didn't temporally precede what led me to think of this topic in the first place...

Today I got my hair cut. TFS, right? No, shush. Anyway, so I go to the hair salon with my brother and I'm up first. It's obvious Grace ajuma remembers cutting my hair before, as she asks me if I want it cut like last time. But the funny thing is she doesn't remember me; she just remembers my hair. Grace knows how long each area on my head was cut, and can remember roughly around when she last cut it, but she doesn't know a goddamn thing about me. In fact, she asks me if I'm Alex or David, and if I'm the one who just finished Law School.

Obviously it's understandable that she can't remember personal details about the dozens of people whose hair she cuts. However, what I found interesting was the extent of her knowledge of my hair. That got me thinking about jobs in the service sector, and how professionals must remember people mostly through the way in which they serviced them. Hair cutters remember hair, lawyers remember cases, dentists remember teeth, prostitutes remember penises (I'm only guessing so), etc.

Then do doctors remember illnesses? As someone considering a career in medicine, I felt a little depressed at the prospect of remembering people in my life by their ailments, benign and fatal. Tom? Oh the guy with heart disease. The woman paralyzed from the waist down. Leukemia kid. Tasty Coma Wife. I wonder if this is the path I want to go down.

[Edit: I forgot to add that nobody in my extended family that I know is David; my brother, who was with me at the time, is named Christopher. He graduated from law school at UC Hastings, not me. Also if you don't get the "Tasty Coma Wife" reference, I realize that sounds really offensive. Sorry to anyone with relatives who are in a coma.]