We attended a party last night. It was a kids party, so there were a lot of little people along with their taller kinfolk. Most of the adults congregated around chairs and tables sipping alcoholic beverages and talking about adult things while the kids raucously played in the pool. I don't usually do well at these things because most adult conversation bores me since it always turns to work. And almost no one knows what I do for a living when I tell them.
Last night was no exception. Near the end of the party I got sucked into one of those 'what I do for a living is very, very important' conversations with the father of three of the children. This particular guy was a scientist who works in the environmental field. He spent a good twenty minutes talking about the finer details of his job before he asked what I did. In his defense, I was asking him some pretty good questions – so it wasn't like he was a narcissist. Anyway, I said, "I'm a copywriter." His initial response was typical, "So you're a lawyer then?" I explained what it meant to be a copywriter and he didn't get it right away. For some reason he continued to associate copywriting with trademarking. I then told him, "I'm in advertising. I run a virtual advertising agency. I just happen to be a copywriter. I write and execute communications concepts."
Then he said, "Oh, that's cool. I always thought that if I wasn't in science, I'd be in advertising. In fact, I have great ideas all the time." I smiled, nodded and said something cynical which he didn't pick up on (thankfully.) Then, his wife told him to round up the kids. I found out that all of their children had the same three initials – reinforcing his status as a 'high concept' guy. Then he said it – "Look, if you ever get stumped on your advertising stuff, I'd be more than happy to help you out over a couple of beers." I smiled with clenched teeth. He continued, "Hell, I wouldn't even charge you for the advice!" Then he and his wife left with their little clones.