The Job Talker

This weekend I had the pleasure of taking the family to a local water park and to the NY Renaissance Faire (don’t knock it until you have tried it). In both places we were confronted by that most annoying of human waste, the Job Talker. Yes, even on line in their bathing suits with their big white beer-bellies covering their waistbands they still have the temerity to talk loudly about just how important they are, regaling total strangers with their Awards For Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.

We all know who they are. We all have the grave misfortune to confront them on a daily basis. They are the losers that have no social skill or grace, the blinded scum that have no ability to talk about anything but their job. You don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear it. No one cares at all, but they will simply not be deterred.

As opposed to most people that talk about their jobs, which is in a normal, conversational way to which we have no objection, the Job Talker does so to make you, and by extension themselves, feel worse about yourself and better about them because they are oh sooooo important. Their billion-dollar company with 100,000 employees simply could not go on if this reject was not employed by them. No matter how mundane the task and even if it were so easy a monkey could do it, the Job Talker wants you and him/her to think it is as complicated as the riddle of the Sphinx.

Personally, I have more respect for beggars than I do for these pathetic individuals. At least a beggar knows his place in life and is trying to make an honest living. They are not lying to themselves or to us about what they do. They are not trying to be the self-esteem vampire that we attack in this blog; pumping up their miserable, lamentable souls by making you feel worse.

Usually, at least in my experience, the Job Talkers are people that think they deserve more. They are upwardly mobile, middle-management types without the true skills to be excellent. But they think they are and miss no chance to tell you. They want nothing more that to let you know just how successful they are. If you are the CEO of your company then I can forgive you; you probably are important enough and busy enough to have to talk about your job. But most of us are not so important, and if you think that you are, think again.

One individual I know is proud of diverting co-workers with tales of how her doctor advised her to go on bed rest near the end of her pregnancy. But she was such a trooper and her job was so important that she simply could not; so she kept working. Wow, am I fucking impressed by your work ethic, surely you deserve to get as many promotions as possible!

Not quite. Actually I am impressed, but not at this work ethic. I am impressed at how fucking stupid this person is. She put her kids’ health and lives at risk just so she could be seen as hard-working. And moronically ignorant this person is for sure, since she does not even realize that such talk makes her look like a stupid cretin, devoid of brainpower and judgment. What person worthy of making big decisions makes such a poor one as to put their children’s health at risk and then brags about it? Someone that disturbed should be fired not promoted.

Another person I know is fond of complaining about how busy they are and how much work they take home. On one occasion I did a little checking when I was told that someone was “up until 10 pm negotiating” something. Unbeknownst to this person, the party with whom the negotiations were ongoing was a friend and it was on the West Coast. I asked him and he told me that they had one short phone call of about 30 seconds duration.

What is truly sad is that the Job Talker, and the 30-second negotiator above, probably really and truly believes the lies and the maudlin posing about how tough their job is and how good they are at it. In that person’s mind they really did take one for the team, and if they have to bullshit themselves by characterizing a 30-second call as “negotiating all night,” who cares?

I care. It is sickening to me that there is no limit to how much bullshit a person will believe as long as it makes them feel better about themselves. And if you want to tell me, “what is the harm?” then feel free, but the harm is when I and others have to listen to this deplorable, sad waste of carbon go on and on and on as if their mundane job where the beginning and end of the world.

Why do they do it?

  1. The Job Talker is usually a failure in life – This is why they can talk about nothing else. There is nothing else that they are good at. And the key here is that the rest of us have personal experience with success in other aspects of life that they do not, so they cannot bullshit us on those counts. If they wanted to tell us how good they are at sports, music or something else we all have some baseline to evaluate their claim. But when it comes to a job we do not know what they do in any great detail. So it is a perfect ground on which to sling the bull.
  2. They have no social skills – They cannot have a conversation about very many topics because they do not know much about anything else. They cannot start a conversation nor can they sustain one; all they know is work so that is all that they can chime in on.
  3. They are desperate for approval – They have a deep self-loathing and lack of esteem, and like the rest of us they need it desperately. We all do. But rather than get it by actually accomplishing something or doing something they enjoy, they are content merely to steal it from us by making us know just how important their job is and, by comparison, how unimportant ours is.
  4. They are not as smart or intelligent as their peers – And what is worse, for us at least, is that they know it. So if an actual analytical issue comes up they do not have anything useful to say. But when it comes to telling us just how hard they work or how many upper management/important individuals they talk to, now they are in their wheelhouse. They cannot talk about ideas or events, so they talk about people, only now the people are not celebrities but people at their job that are important in their eyes. “I get to talk to Joe Blow, the Supreme leader and Caliph of Company X, so obviously I must be more important than you,” is what they are thinking to themselves.

There are a ton more explanations, as psychology is not only complicated but we know so little about it that we may as well know nothing. I can only speak from personal experience. The truly saddening part is that they truly believe it. They are not deliberately lying, for the most part, as some people do. They have convinced themselves of their bullshit and now they believe it.

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2 Responses to “The Job Talker”

  1. Funny, the “Job Talker” sounds like everyone in the film industry – you can’t meet anyone at a party and have a conversation that’s not a recitation of their resume.

  2. Funny and True. The most annoying is listening to a person tell a story about work to multiple people and hearing the story evolve each time. I know a person that pushed up the time she woke up each time she told the story. It won’t from 6:30am to 4am. It was quite entertaining, yet annoying all at the same time.

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