Circling Back and Touching Bases or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Job

The Prologue

Since I know you all love a good blog series, I’m happy to announce my next series that I’ll be releasing on this site over the next few weeks. I’m equally happy to announce that it is completely unrelated to my failed attempts at online dating. I have chosen instead to focus on my schizophrenic resume, my aversion to a traditional career path, and my clumsy journey to my current job and life in New York City.  It occurs to me that I haven’t properly explained the origins of this site besides the obvious Wayne’s World reference (if the reference is not obvious, I am very disappointed in you).  When I was preparing to launch this site, I was working  on the header (with the help of my talented friend Troy Griggs), and I was desperate for my blog to have a good tag line. After a few brainstorming sessions, I landed on the line you see today:

“Failing Career Assessments Since the 8th Grade”

It works on a lot of levels not the least of all being that it’s somewhat true. I love assessments of all types–personality tests, IQ tests, career assessments, Cosmo quizzes. Ok, so maybe not all assessments.  Virtually every career test I’ve ever taken, starting with the ones they hoisted upon me in adolescence, has essentially told me this:

“Stephanie Lechner, you are suited for a career in arts or entertainment. We have reserved a spot for you at your local poor house, and we wish you lots of luck in your artistic endeavors which are surely to result in a long road of anxiety, disappointment and uncertainty.”

Those tests can be such jerks.

If you knew me as a kid, though, this makes a lot of sense. When they would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, it changed almost every year. The list of dream jobs looks something like this:

Grades 1-2=Teacher. Ok, we’re off to a good start!

Grades 3-4= Veterinarian. This looks promising!

Grade 5= Stand-up comedian. This is where stuff gets weird. This is also the year where I would perform my routines on the steps of our townhouse to the delight of nobody.

Grade 6-7= Animator. I decided to hone my drawing skills, filled countless sketchbooks, and declared this my new dream job.

Grade 8=No dreams or goals. I know this sounds weird, but I woke up one day and literally forgot how to draw, like the skill had mysteriously been deleted from my brain while I was sleeping. This is also the year I got a bad perm. Not that it has anything to do with career goals, but really, who has time for career aspirations when you’re too busy avoiding kids who like to call you Howie (because they claim you now resemble Howard Stern).

Grades 9-12= Record Producer. This would be the dream that lasted all through high school. Music has always played an important role in my life, but I don’t actually know how to play any instruments. I decided that if I couldn’t actually be a rock star (my first choice), I would just work with them instead.  I was excited. My parents were not.


I think you get my point.  Anyways, this trend has very much carried over into my adult life, and I have lots of stories to share on the topic. I originally thought I could fit this in three excerpts, but I’ve come to grips with my long-winded nature and decided I’ll just keep posting until I’m done.  I’ll stop here for now, but keep an eye for Part I where I recount my foray into the food service industry!