I’m a Professional Communicator…

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Career, Life | No Comments

Jay at work doing what he does best ... eating cupcakes.I’m a professional communicator.

I have a “thing” about the type of pen or keyboard I use, or the type of software I use to create. Don’t get me into which Microsoft Word is better – 2010 or 2013. Just. Don’t.

I zoom beyond surface marketing messages and look impatiently for the stockholder-driven ulterior motives so I can feel above the fray and untouchable by others’ inferior psychographic profilings of me.

I have four different “breaking news” notification alerts on my iPhone. And since their installation, I have grown wary of this label and wonder what qualifies for “breaking news” anymore. The boy who cried wolf doesn’t know the half of it.

My formerly pristine “personal” inbox, where people used to write me for leisure or a personal catch-up, has become the favored landing spot of so many LinkedIn “weekly digest” missives on whatever group I halfheartedly signed up for at the urging of someone else (usually at 2 a.m. and under the influence of whatever bottle of brown elixir was on top of my fridge). Email is no longer magical, like it was in 1998 when you got AOL mails from cute girls and you were too junior in your career for emails to command the gravity they do now.

I maintain neatly stacked columns of Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Florida Trend and Men’s Health, most teetering on the brink of collapse in glossy skyscrapers dotting my home office. I will make time for them, one day, like I do my podcasts and e-books, often from the same publishers, put out there to encourage me to re-up my print subscription or upgrade to “premium online access.” They, at least, are low-maintenance distractors from the pain induced by the elliptical machine or the four-mile morning run. Their print-based brethren seethe in envy.

Closely related to the aforementioned, I am sent endless streams of email newsletters about communication and marketing best practices, most of which I never knowingly signed up for in the first place. I accept them and file them away, hoping that one day I will “slow down” and crack open that archive folder for digital enlightenment.

(Oh, and by the way, to whoever programmed the algorithm that thinks I’m a girl and sends me dozens of Coach bag blasts each week, just stuff it. Unless you signed me up for them, Amie.)

I maintain a comprehensive collection of dongles, adapters, chargers, USB drives and other wires that keep my stainless steel and brushed aluminum boxes blinking in unison with each other (and would undoubtedly make any Apple Store employee beam). That way I can always “stay connected” and use them to speak to others on my behalf, so I don’t have to talk to them in person. Seriously, who has time for that?

I speculatively collect self-help business books from Amazon and neatly file them in a bookshelf in my den. If “60 Minutes” ever interviews me about how professional of a communicator I am, I hope they film me in front of these books so I look really, really smart.

My Associated Press Stylebook is a tattered, ragged, dog-eared victim of being flung against walls one too many times (after losing bets from colleagues about how to best format magazine titles). My more cosmetically pleasing, less controversial Bible sits in serene calm, several volumes away. Both, of course, have distant cousins who live on my iPhone and iPad. They’re safe — no wall-flinging for my digital appendages!

I blather on about how social media should be looked at as a tool and vital component of a balanced integrated marketing communication approach and preach against the consequences of random postings and tactical tomfoolery. Yet still I wantonly post and secretly crave the adrenaline rush of comments. It’s digital morphine for screen junkies, and the big, red buttons are just getting prettier and prettier.

I don’t like my office phone. It’s ugly and big. And it keeps ringing. Someone, just please take it away. Don’t they know they need to email me to get my attention? Or just text me. Who has time for small talk anyway?

I’m a professional communicator who just finished a thoughtful, purposeful rant. Any other professional communicators out there care to help me continue? What would you add to my list?