I was at a launch of a friend’s new album which was a pleasure to experience. Many friends were there, some I haven’t seen for a long time, so it was good to reflect on life now and where it has taken us.
I’m a creative person. I do a lot of different things in my spare time from making some electronic music to producing some videos I think are needed in this world. I’m an avid photographer with passion. I like combining these art-forms in any way I can and for the people who know me know that I find a certain joy in it, whether it is because I talk about it non-stop, or they follow me on Instagram or Tumblr and like what they find there. These skills and passions often also integrate well and gets used in my daily grind.
By day, I’m a Key Accounts Manager for the Western Cape Region for a relatively large plastics company that’s been around for over forty years. One of the items I sell is a kind of water pipe to be used in large buildings for the supply of hot and cold water. How it works is quite cool and I really think it’s a brilliant concept.
At the launch an acquaintance moves in next to me at the bar, we start chatting and so I ask what he was doing now, as I know he’s a creative, probably an Art Director or Creative Director at an ad agency. I’m correct and ask what brands he works on. He mentions some alcoholic beverages and a fuel station brand. I respond with amusement. He then asks me what I do. I tell him about the plastics, the products and the pipe for supply of water in buildings. His reaction to the pipe concept is strange and he gives in to a chuckle. He makes some jokes about it, not rudely, but still, where exactly is the humour here? Why the laugh, I want in on the joke?
This bothered me. I contemplated why this happened and why it bothered me while listening to the band play and I had an epiphany. I came to the conclusion that It isn’t really what you do by day but rather how you do it that defines your being and whether you’re happy doing the specific tasks that make up your ‘job’ or function in society. If the pipe sounded weird, it might be because it’s something so far removed from the retail sector in the city that no one ever thinks about how the water flows to a tap in the bathroom except if you’re a plumber or builder by trade. It’s never seen, always hidden behind walls and plaster.
The products I sell might not be of a retail brand that needs TV or Radio communication to consumers. But, for the market I provide the pipe to, I can produce Youtube videos, take awesome photos of people using the products. I can share information via email newsletters which I design myself and design presentations and documents that is something the industry I’m in haven’t seen before. I get to do it all and it makes a difference – the brand gets noticed now. So I can honestly say, it’s what you make of your job and time that counts.
The point is this, we are all selling something, whether a physical product or an idea on how to communicate a certain message in a brainstorming session. In some way, when he mentioned the garage brand and the alcoholic drink brands, I thought thank God I don’t need to do that by day. So in the end, I guess the feeling is mutual. Here’s my little chuckle…