While shopping at The Purity recently, someone (who shall remain nameless, but is my only family member currently residing in Fort Bragg) called me a control freak because I suggested that he shouldn’t buy a bag of pork rinds to satisfy his whining need for a snack. “They’re not good for you and they smell like farts.”
This is the one-millionth time I’ve been labeled as such (I have a clicker on my belt) and I’m still not entirely certain what it means. I looked up the definition on Wikipedia: “In terms of personality-type theory, control freaks are very much the Type A personality” blah, blah, blah.
As a Type A personality, I get a great deal accomplished and successfully spur others into action (that is, until they stomp their feet in the middle of The Purity and start crying and calling me names).
My belief is, if you’re going to tell me your problem, you’re asking me to take control and find a solution. Otherwise, why would you tell me? Why would I listen? At a recent appointment, my therapist gently suggested that this approach is devoid of compassion. Sometimes people need to talk or do things without hearing my opinion.
Driving home, I was formulating a plan to fire my therapist when my son called.
I told him, “A member of our family (who shall remain nameless, but is the only one besides me who currently resides in Fort Bragg) called me a control freak.”
“I dialed the wrong number,” he responded. “I meant to call the Solution Architect on my project.” Demonstrating another stroke of brilliance, he hung up.
According to Wikipedia, “A Solution Architect is a very experienced architect with cross-domain, cross-functional and cross-industry expertise.”
What a perfect way to describe my skill set: very experienced at inflicting my opinion on the way others should run their lives with all of my cross-blah, blah, blah expertise.
On the website www.glassdoor.com, there is no job listing or salary compensation for Control Freak. However, the median salary for a Solution Architect in the San Francisco Bay Area is $108,000.
- 24-hours in a day minus 8 hours for sleep = 16 hours x 365 days = 5,840 Solution Architect hours/year.
- $108,000 divided by 5,840 hours = $18.49/hour
- That’s $18.49/hour more than I make as a Control Freak.
As a newly-minted Solution Architect, I will no longer dispense advice for free. The billing clock starts when the whining starts.
But I thought about my therapist’s words and another idea entered my cross-functional brain. When people share their problems, I can shut my mouth—actually keep my opinions to myself.
This will be difficult and require scientific intervention.
When someone starts to tell me their problem, I’ll take the tube out of my purse, dab a bit on my top and bottom lips, and smack them together in a kindhearted smile. This will prevent me from uttering anything more than “Um-huh.”
But the lip glue development is proving difficult. Lucy, my newest lab rat, isn’t fond of lipstick. Yesterday, after I boiled up another experimental batch, I showed her its deep fuchsia hue and she ran off. When I finally caught her, she bit me several times as I applied it to her lips.
After completing my first round of rabies shots, and waiting to see if Lucy developed cancer, I realized I should heed my therapist’s advice. After all:
(1) My belt clicker doesn’t count past one million.
(2) My friends haven’t paid their Solution Architect invoices and have stopped inviting me to coffee.
(3) Lucy’s getting quite randy. (Fun fact: Webster’s Dictionary defines the term as “a coarse, vulgar, quarrelsome woman.”) She struts about the maze with her pink lips like she owns the place. It’s time to return her to the wild where she can wreak havoc on her own kind.
When you see my lips turning blue while being pressed together between a thumb and forefinger, know that I’m sincerely trying to stifle my control freak tendencies and keep my opinions to myself. Um-huh, I really am.