I'm too busy to bother with this "first seven jobs" meme that's going around—garden weeder, caddy, hardware store clerk, office assistant, greenskeeper, night waterman, door-to-door stuffed animal salesman—but I know what I'd like my next job to be. I'm going to be a shrink. Why? Because I like people.
But I'm not going to be just any kind of shrink. Two of my sisters are shrinks. They had to go to school for it. What's worse, they're always going to school for it—taking workshops and seminars and attending lectures. Lifelong learning may be for some people, but the very thought of it just tuckers me right out. (Like "continuous improvement." Ugh!)
No, I'm going to be the kind of shrink who doesn't need an education. Because I'm not going to cure people. I'm only going to diagnose them, and refer 'em to my sisters, for curing. I'm going to specialize in three areas.
1. Diagnosing people with Asperger's Syndrome, which I do at least once a day without any education at all. If I have an awkward conversation with someone, that person has Asperger's. (If I have two or more awkward conversations with the same person, I diagnose a more severe disorder: Asperger's with double cheese.)
2. Diagnosing alcoholics, which I do every time someone drinks, and becomes mean. (You're supposed to become obnoxiously friendly, dummy, like me!)
3. Diagnosing narcissists, which is even easier than diagnosing people with Asperger's, because you don't even have to have an awkward conversation. Usually you don't even have to have a conversation at all. Often, a single sentence spoken by the narcissist is all the evidence you need.
A particularly self-aware narcissist I knew said he didn't like to travel, because he didn't like to see loads of people getting along well without him.
An employee at a company I worked for told the boss her uncle had died, and he said, "Yeah, that seems to be going around."
A guy I know once said he'd like to have me come to a party, because, "Dave, you're always great."
And during Donald Trump's Wisconsin speech Tuesday night—(you know, the one addressed to inner-city blacks but delivered to an all-white suburban audience)—Trump uttered a couple of sentences that could never be formed by the lips of anyone within the spectrum of the sane. "I have gotten to know the people of this country and let me tell you there are no people like the people I've gotten to know. No people."
Mr. Trump, my sisters will see you now.