Baby Namer

As I bend tubes, tighten screws, and glue cables for 10 hours one day, I frantically brainstorm vocational possibilities that do not involve bending tubes, tightening screws, or gluing cables. Or 10-hour shifts. Or a pervasive cloud of despair, but I digress.

After a quick elimination of every career in existence, it becomes obvious that I need to start my own business. But what to sell? A product or a service? I know, I could... no, that won't work. Hey, I could sell... no, that's been done. What I need is a specialty, a niche... what's something that only I can do, that matches my skills and passions? This line of thinking amuses me for a good portion of overtime and brings about some interesting, albeit unfeasible, results. I visualize myself serving vegan cupcakes to immigrants enrolled in my backyard English school staffed by homeless people, while ballroom dancing in a homemade pirate costume... I mean, if my backyard were bigger than my bathroom, then maybe...

While I review my interests, my long-time obsession with names stands out to me as worth exploring. I remember owning a stuffed animal named something like Sparky Bainbridge Fred Henry Poindexter. And that was just his nickname. Maybe I could do name research, like study meanings and origins and all that. But why would anyone pay me for that? Because they're going to have a baby, of course! That's it -- I'll be a Professional Baby Namer!! By golly, I do believe I have just found my calling. I'm already writing the ad copy in my head...

Are you pregnant? Too stressed and busy to even think about baby names? Tired of the unsolicited advice from in-laws? Can't agree with your spouse? Leave it to the professionals. For just $50, we'll name your baby and for a limited time only, middle names are half off with purchase!* Our services are also available for:

- Pet Names
- English names for Foreigners**
- Witness Protection Program Participants

*Ask about our special rates for twins.
** Based on your professional goals and/or current hairstyle

Yes, this idea is almost too ridiculous to work, yet not entirely impossible! Just look at Wedding Planners -- now there's a silly profession. And baby naming is the exact same idea: something you could do yourself if you weren't so overwhelmed with all the possibilities. So there's got to be a market for that.

This is the moment when my new occupation swings right over the top of the swingset, as I like to say. I suddenly realize that Professional Baby Namers already exist. They must. When have I ever had a genius idea that someone else didn't think of first? As soon as 3:30 hits, freeing me from Japanese chemicals and the American work force, I'm off to research my suspicions and am proven correct. "Baby Naming Consultant," it's called. Now I'm right back where I started, which is... not far enough from a certain factory.

I mentally thank my college degree for nothing.


Daylight Savings

Don't ask why I'm working in a factory. I'm working in a factory. My collar is literally blue. Not only am I working in a factory, I am getting up at the godforsaken hour of 3:30 a.m. to commute 40 minutes to work in said factory. My roommate is still up when I force myself awake.

As far as factories go, it's actually not too bad. What makes it truly unbearable is the people. Don't get me wrong, I get along with everyone. My fellow assemblers are friendly, hygienic, generally non-lethal. The problem is that they only come in two categories. The first kind I can deal with...

"Ah was born in this town and ah'll die in this town, mah muther worked in this factory and mah daughter works in this factory and mah husband's a truck drahver only he got laid off, so ah looove workin overtahme, nothin to do in this town but go to bed before the sun goes down inyway." These ones are simply fulfilling their blue-collar destinies, and they're OK with that. Some of them are even chipper. They don't bother me too much.

The other kind is seriously making me depressed.

"Oh, I'm just working here temporarily for 12 years before I go back to school and start my own accounting business even though I'm 10 years away from retirement." What's depressing about this (besides all of it) is that I, too, went to college; I, too, am single and childless (and penniless and clueless); I, too, insist that this is temporary, and while I may be far from middle-aged, Daylight Savings is coming up only to remind me that my life is disappearing before my eyes. It doesn't matter that I'm still on the temp agency's payroll and have solemnly vowed to get out of here before the company hires me on. I see myself becoming Type 2 and from there, condemning my future offspring (who could only be the result of factory inbreeding -- dear God no) to Type 1. For the sake of my children's children, I must get out!!!