Sunday, September 21, 2008

Who am I if I do not work for the big company?

I spent 12 years working at Procter & Gamble. It is funny how much work can define us. One of the first things people always ask is what do you do for a living? I used to be able to answer “I am in Market Strategy and Planning for Global Export at Procter & Gamble”. Now I say “I own a maid service.” It sort of sounds like I did not make it out of high school and I clean toilets all day. I often find myself quickly saying things like, it is a big one, we have 26 employees.

I find I do not have much to talk about with some of my old friends. They cannot understand my life anymore and I no longer speak the language. Procter & Gamble loves acronyms, more specifically three letter acronyms or, TLAs. Yes we had an acronym for the acronyms. Well in just 18 months so many of the words and phrases that are used are no longer the same. I am not one of them. And when people ask my how my day was I know they won’t care. My daily tasks sound so much more mundane than the big billion dollar brands they are working on.

It is not that I want to go back or I am embarrassed what I do now. I just find it funny that even with all the success I have had in the last year I still feel uncomfortable answering the question of “what do you do?”.