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fries without a face
fear of anonymity
by jeff miller (@jmillerboston)
pop culture

It occurs to me, I could choose to serve french fries instead of looking for a new job in my "field." I could get off the bus now, shake off the digital dust mites of the dot com world and just simplify my whole existence. But I know I won't do that.

Having been recently laid off by a struggling Internet development company (insert snappy, incoherent, meaningless business plan here), I now have options. Yes indeed, the world is my theme park and I'm a happy child with ice cream smeared all over my chin. It used to suck to get fired, I mean, whoever heard of getting paid to leave a job? Severance? What's that, the new Burt Reynolds movie?

So, what to do now? Why not take some down time and just bum around Harvard Square or Newbury Street? Maybe take my guitar down to North Station and prop the case open - plant a couple of bills so the tourists think it's cool to throw more than nickels in there...

Ok, maybe nothing that drastic. Maybe I could get back into carpentry or housepainting... something 9 to 5 with no hassles. When the day is done, you just leave it at work. I could make hamburgers - I know I could. And someone would pay me to do it too. What could be wrong with that?

After work, I could just slip into ARTIST mode without a care for anything remotely like Team Building Excercises or Co-Branded Portals or Mid-Market Finance Vortals. I could just be plain old me, burger flipper by day, ultra relaxed producer of musical masterpieces by night.

The problem is, for eight whole hours a day, I'd have to be a servant of the public. Just another nobody with no opinions about anything, performing meaningless and repetitive tasks for The Man.

And that's scary to me.

No matter what I do, I want my opinions to matter. I can't stand to be passive. In fact, I'm completely self-centered most of the time, and I like it that way.

"What do you mean you want me to mop the floor?" I'd say. "Don't you think my time would be better spent arranging The Emperor's New Groove toy display? Why, with my design background and marketing intuition I'll have the little brats screaming bloody murder until their moms are just BEGGING us for these pieces of crap at $2.99 a pop!"

There's just no way around it for me. It's not the money, it's my unwillingness to shut up. It's the Rock Star Within, clamoring for attention at all times, preventing me from relaxing into a blissful, slacker's existence.

I'm not saying I was Born to Lead or anything like that - who really wants that responsibility anyway? I'd rather fall into a role where everybody listens to what I say, but I don't really have to tell anyone what to do. Some sort of William Shatner type of job would be great, where I just talk and smile, and everybody loves me.

In the end, I'll be interviewing for Big Companies who are planning Big Things. I'll ask for lots of money, and they'll laugh at me. "Boy, what do you think this is, the OLD New Economy? We don't pay them big-ticket salaries like we did in September!" They'll sneer. "Now pick up that mop - you're just lucky you've got a job!"

Paper or plastic?

You want to upgrade that to a Grande for just 25 cents?

How about some GUI with that Database?


Brown eyes, brown hair, bluejeans and a T-shirt. Digs loud guitars and good design. Easily hypnotized by green-eyed blondes, shiny leather, B-movies, and brightly packaged foods. He's got a bustle in his hedgerow - but he is NOT alarmed.

more about jeff miller


the elevator superhero
captain america goes to portland
by jeff miller
topic: pop culture
published: 4.20.12

the running man
so obvious it hurts
by jeff miller
topic: pop culture
published: 8.27.03


jack bradley
1.15.01 @ 1:43a

Does this mean that the entire Intrepid Staff (and Ko Ko, the wonder monkey) gets extra lettuce on our sub sammiches...at no charge!?!

Jeff, you da man!

jack bradley
1.15.01 @ 2:20a


~Blink~Whoa...how'd that happen?

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