Last weekend I did a job I’ve never done before. My father-in-law was producing the annual Doo-Wop concert in Bristol, Pennsylvania. I’ve worked this show in years past as his photographer, but haven’t been to the show in the last few years.
This year one of his usual helpers was unable to attend, so he asked me to fill in. My job, he explained, would be to drive the stars from the hospitality building to the stage and back again. So over the course of the day I drove them back and forth a few blocks for soundchecks, then showtime. I was outfitted with a two-way radio and a flashing red light for my truck.
The talent, as my father-in-law calls them, were the Street Corner 5, The Excellents, Charles Thomas and The Drifters (in the photo above with me and my stepson’s friend), Shirley Alston Reeves of The Shirelles, and The Happenings. All are comprised of marvelous people. We talked, we joked, we laughed.
Charlie Thomas greeted me with a hug. Ms. Reeves said, “Thank you, baby.” The Street Corner 5 (an accappella group) sang me two songs while riding in my truck. The Excellents gave me a CD and a signed photo. The Happenings looked for me in the crowd while singing “Sherry Baby” (because, you know, I’m Sherri). See what I mean? Really stellar people.
When all was said and done my father-in-law praised my professionalism and joked that I could add this to my resume.
Which got me thinking.
For all the time I’ve spent over the years trying to affix myself with a nice, neat title – something that tells the world what I do – maybe I’ve been missing the point. Because I don’t do just one thing.
While working with the awesome creative living coach Jamie Ridler several years ago she said, “What if your thing is not a thing, but things… plural?” It felt so messy, so ugh-how-am-I-supposed-to-explain-that-to-anyone.
But here I am…
- New farm owner (Oh, I haven’t really mentioned this yet, but I will soon. Surprise!)
- Web coach
- Oracle card reader (I’m adding this offering to the site as soon as I get my Paypal buttons worked out. If you want a reading sooner, send me a message.)
- Functionality curmudgeon (I like things to work in a way that is useful and simple.)
- Amateur photographer
- Home and community gardener
- Fast typist
- Watercolor newbie
- Introspective explorer
- Self-improvement reader
- Driver to the stars
That’s probably not a comprehensive list either. It doesn’t take into account that I get all giddy when I see a butterfly, that I used to have a conversational level of sign language that sometimes comes back to me in little bursts, that I can write one heck of an instructional document, that I can make hot chocolate at a perfectly drinkable temperature, or that I most definitely cannot be trusted with glue.
I don’t do just one thing. I do things. I do them well (except glue). So maybe my title could be “thing doer.” Hmmm… still needs work. The problem is that social media almost demands a short and snappy role. LinkedIn wouldn’t accommodate my list above. It’s definitely over the 140-character Twitter limit. Facebook provides just one line to say who you are.
So who am I?
I just don’t know how to label myself on these platforms. I purposely left a title off my business card. “Oh, you need help with a website? Here’s my card.” Or “you want a card reading? Absolutely. Here’s how to reach me.” Or “sure I’ll look over that document. Send it here… .”
How do you put a title on things… plural? Can we have a brainstorm session? What would you suggest? Also, I’m curious how you explain yourself to others. What is your title or elevator pitch or 10-second overview?
By the way, if you want to work with me in any of the ways above, email me at smhutchinswriter at gmail dot com. I’m sure we could work something out. I’m a doer of things, you know.