What Am I?

A new intern started in the office, and my coworker introduced me. Usually when I'm introduced at work, my job description follows right after: "This is Mo, she sits over there in the cave and does x, y and z" and it's gotta sound like the most boring thing in the world. I generally don't like telling people what I do because I feel like it takes too long to explain and I can't bare the response of head nodding and "ohhhhhhhhhhh" or, my favorite response ever, "that's it?"

(Seriously. Someone once said that. If you're reading this and you know me, don't worry. It wasn't you.)

Ok back to my story. SO, new intern in office, my coworker is making introductions, and she says, "This is Mo. She's an artist." And then I protested, something along the lines of "Oh, no, I'm not an artist," and then coworker insisted "But you make things. And you work on the art for our company."  These are both true. Does this make me an artist?

Instead I said, "No, I'm not an artist, I just do x, y, and z." Well, I just basically made myself sound so much more boring. I probably should have left it to my coworker to describe me. This happens when someone calls me a photographer, I'll qualify it by saying "I'm not a photographer, I take pictures." When I was doing production design, I'd correct someone if I was called a graphic designer. "I'm not a designer, I just do the production work."

So, when I am I going to feel comfortable enough to call myself something? I'm not even that comfortable calling myself my own title, and that's stamped on a business card. I'm eager to finally feel like I belong in a profession, rather than feeling like I'm sort of in the club. Artist? Eh, no. Photographer? Mmmmm...naw. Graphic designer? Only for my wedding.


I think can handle that one.

Does anyone feel this way too?


very married said...

I absolutely feel this way about calling myself an attorney. I mean, I guess that's what I am now. but, doesn't that sound formal? pretentious? i dunno. it'll take some getting used to!

ruthy ann said...

i would love it if someone called me an artist!...but i don't have a single artistic bone in my body--everyone just calls me a salesperson, which is super annoying

Mrs. A (aka Katie) said...

I almost feel the opposite as far as title goes. I hate admitting that I'm an admin because I went to college, I have a degree for crying out loud - I was supposed to do more than this! Obviously, I feel really self conscious about it, so I usually tell people I'm an administrative coordinator (my offical title) or that I work in IT, hoping they won't just think I'm a secretary (which I'm not). As far as talents though- I'm very humble about that. People will intro others to me and say "anything you need she can help you, she's an expert" and I'll be all "aw, no... i do what i can- hardly an expert" kind of stuff. I don't know why we feel so uncomfortable giving ourselves credit!

Pippa said...

I most definitely feel like this, whether it is because of I am unsure of the direction or belonging in my current position in life or if it is because of not liking being called something im not like you said! Makes you really think about it :) Great post! www.clashingtime.blogspot.com <3

julia said...

Oh yes. I hate calling myself by my profession, because I know so many people who are far more educated and experienced, and I don't want to act like I'm in their league.

Mo said...

So, what I've found with this post is that I have another tangible example of how awkward I can be! But I'm glad y'all chimed in so I don't feel so alone. :)

@very married: Hooray for having your JD! I hear ya though, one reason I don't say my title is that it just sounds pretentious. It's been 4 years, you'd think I'd be okay with it by now.

@ruthy ann: I get annoying intros too--dontcha just wish you could give people the stare down when stuff like that happens?

@Katie: I don't know why we feel uncomfortable giving ourselves credit either--out of being humble? Fear of being seen as snotty and unlikable? Uncertainty of our place in this world? Although I do know people who proudly say what they do, and I envy the certainty in their voices.

@Pippa: Ah yes, I can definitely relate to the uncertainty of my direction! I'm guessing years of experience in the same profession woul help alleviate some of my anxiety. In the meantime, I'll just feel awkward. Thanks for stopping by!

@julia: Yes, yet another reason I feel uncomfortable--I feel that there are other people out there who are far more accomplished with the same title.

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