I never had a favorite childhood toy. Choosing just one would be wrong. I’d feel like a parent preferring to treasure one child over the others. And the sheer amount of toys I had would make it about a thousand times worse. Imagine having a thousand children (somehow) and they all knew you favored just one. You’d be the worst parent ever. And I’ve gone through bins of miniature super heroes and WWE action figures. And they all occupied a special place in my little lonely heart.
However, I only handled action figures built to my meticulous specifications, none higher than the articulation points. For you regular people, those not obsessed with action figures, articulation points are a toy’s flexibility. Some toys simply axle at the waist, elbows, knees, or head – the basics. My figures bent at practically every joint. This allowed me to perform complex maneuvers with them such as suplexes and power bombs or fight off endless hordes of henchmen in my imaginary world. I wouldn’t let my parents buy me a toy with limited points of articulation. I simply couldn’t work with them. That was child’s play.
As a semi-mature adult scratching his way through a career path, I’ve noticed the very same traits I admired in my little men are what these employers are seeking in their subordinates – supreme flexibility. You need to have a college degree, adequate experience in the field, familiarity in whatever programs the company uses, low salary expectations, and a very sacrificial social life. You need to be a team player who doesn’t mind working independently; follow directions yet know when to take the initiative; be ready to put in extra hours and provide additional support when the need arises.
Unfortunately, I’m just not that flexible. My college education proved rather fruitless. A limited work experience shortened my knowledge of various programs such as QuickBooks and Adobe which many quality jobs use. I live on my own with my girlfriend and stepdaughter so my salary requirements aren’t allowed to be low. And as far as my social life, well, I really don’t have one so no gripe there.
Consequently, here I sit, neatly packaged on the shelf, hoping someone will give me a chance to develop the requisite qualities. I watch the other toys get picked for their inherent advantages. I see the smiles they produce. I envy the mutually beneficial relationship. A flame ignites within. I know it only takes a single owner, much more open-minded than I was to notice the potential. I regret looking past other figures. I realize now they too had a place in my collection. I practice patience. I cling to faith. I visualize the day where I’m given the chance to flex.
Oh, what a beautiful day it will be.