A mouthful of slurry: on faking it

Fake It Till You Make It. That’s the best advice I got out of college, and it came from a guy selling knock-off perfume. He put an ad in the paper that got me to show up, along with a dozen others, to the basement of a church he rented out recruiting people off the street to sell perfume door-to-door.

He had a mullet, a New Jersey accent, pressed pants, and a bad complexion. But he gave a good presentation on perfume. He called it the piss in the bottle.

I did it for a day, actually sold some, and when I returned to the church he looked surprised I came back, couldn’t remember me.

Now I deal in construction which is funny, because I don’t really like construction. I see things like light poles and bridges and frankly, I don’t want to think about how they got there.

Construction is hard, because it involves digging. The digging part’s hard, but it’s what you find when you start digging that gets interesting. It’s also hard because you have to work around a lot of experts: engineers, inspectors, designers, landlords, permitting agencies, trades-people, low voltage guys, paint stripers.

I never knew about saw cuts, raceways, weep holes…or slurry. Even the difference between concrete and asphalt. But I fake it. Like when I carried a box of fake perfumes down the street, I’m faking my way through meetings (often leading them), which is a good way to feel old fast.

Faking it is a form of pretending you know what you’re doing. But how can you know what you’re doing…before you do it?

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
This entry was posted in humor, inspiration and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to A mouthful of slurry: on faking it

  1. rossmurray1 says:

    Fake it with confidence, I say.
    This post made me think about this song by a now-defunct New Zealand band, my favourite song about urban development:

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  2. Elyse says:

    Years ago I learned as a temporary secretary that every single computer system was different, designed to make a poor temp look like an idiot. I embraced that concept — and proclaimed at each new job that I was new to their set up and can you help me out here. Everybody did. Always.

    In intervening years I have continued to say “sure” to tasks, regardless of whether I had a clue of how to do them. If you’re smart you can figure them out or figure out who can help you figure them out.

    Now I work as a medical health researcher/writer. I fake it all the time. Every single day. My last relevant science class was 9th grade biology. These days you have a million resources to become well self-educated in anything you want/need to know about. And you know, people like helping if you ask correctly. They like to show off what they know!

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    • pinklightsabre says:

      It’s always best to say yes and assume you can do it. I say that now, but immediately wonder if I’m right, from past experiences. You’re right that people like to help, though…if you’re in the right place, for sure. And you don’t need to go to the library to get information, either.

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  3. pinklightsabre says:

    It’s always best to say yes and assume you can do it. I say that now, but immediately wonder if I’m right, from past experiences. You’re right that people like to help, though…if you’re in the right place, for sure. And you don’t need to go to the library to get information, either.

    Like

  4. verycoollife says:

    i was lured into “the room” to sell perfume, too. the “leader” wrote “torture torture torture” on a chalkboard, implying this is what we needed to do in order to make $100K like him (see my car in the parking lot?).

    my shining moment was getting up in the middle of his spiel in front of the whole room (50 or so other disillusioned college grads) and walking out. he started to berate me as to not lose the room, saying some people were weak. i responded with a finger and felt just wonderful about myself.

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