It’s the moment I least look forward to every month – going to the barber shop and getting a random barber. Inevitably, the first words out of his mouth are, “So what do you do?” Here’s where my problem begins.
You see, the correct thing to say is “I run an interactive agency.” But barbers never understand what that means nor do most people in the general public. When you say interactive, most people think video games, although some people have less wholesome thoughts. One person thought that an interactive agency meant that I made adult films. So clearly, telling my barber that I run an interactive agency is not the way to go.
The most logical next thing to say would be “I run a web design company.” Most people understand that these days. But the problem is as soon as I say that the conversation ends. I’m instantly classified as a total geek, some techno dude that the barber doesn’t understand. It’s like the barber thinks I can’t speak English because my primary language must be binary code.
So I think I have figured out the solution. From this day forward when my barber asks me what I do for a living, I’m going to tell him “I run an advertising agency.” Advertising is universally understood, and it’s not considered nerdy or geeky. Some people relate advertising with Hollywood, which can only add to my “cool” factor if I tell my barber I do that.
Of course, those “in the know” understand that running an advertising agency is much less exciting than running an interactive agency. Interactive media is truly where the future is going, and really where the future already is. But nonetheless, my barber doesn’t understand. From now on I’m Geoff Wilson, president of an advertising agency. Either that, or I can just stop getting my hair cut.