19 March 2008


I'm a professional communicator. I don't have any fancy license, but I have a college degree and people have paid me to write & edit text for the last 25 years or so. 

I am not a professional engineer, but I occasionally make forays into that world. Every time I do, I fix some typos, turn some passive voice into active voice, and learn a lot about how the world works. I take engineering classes to expand my mind & my technical knowledge, but I never think, "Any monkey could create a job design if they had the right software. Why the hell do we need these high-priced engineers?" 

Holiday Inn Express commercials notwithstanding, I believe many things in this world are best done by trained professionals. Heart surgery, for example. Soldiering. Plumbing. Electrical wiring. Bridge-building. Cooking. Cleaning.

I had a professional landscaper visit my house yesterday to plan out something wonderful for my backyard. I could go out and buy 50 plants, dig some holes and stick plants in 'em. Afterward, my backyard would be the landscaping equivalent of the newsletter that one of our engineers recently threw together using a hideous Microsoft Word template, some dark photographs of unidentifiable instrumentation, and some random text in a miniscule font that his target audience will not be able to read without a magnifier. Not to mention the black text on dark blue background. (sigh) Because, of course, any monkey with the right software can be a professional communicator. 

Or, perhaps, a professional landscaper. This evening, I told my neighbor about the landscaper's visit. He said, "Why don't you just do it yourself? I did mine..." In a rare burst of restraint, I did not say, "Yes, I see that." This is, after all, the neighbor with the naked guy on his back porch.

Irony? He's a professional elementary school administrator who complains that people think it's so easy to deal with 200 screaming kids all day long. 


1 comment:

Nick said...

Many things in this world are best left to train professionals... but, many things in this world are best done yourself. Simply for the enjoyment factor. I mean, would you really want a trained professional to diffuse a bomb in your basement?