Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Please, Anything But a Quote Unquote Idea Person

Seriously. I’ve worked in kitchens and offices, served on boards, and volunteered in all sorts of employment settings since I was 17 years old, and no one—NO ONE—sends up red flags like the Idea Person™ .

At the risk of over-generalizing, the Idea Person™ is more often the Idea Man
™ , the Idea Guy™, or worse, the Big Picture Guy.™ He (and far less often, she) sometimes goes by Forty Foot View Guy™ or Not a Details Man.™ You very rarely see Big Picture Woman™ or Idea Woman™, although she is not unheard of. You certainly don’t see Idea Gender Non-Binary Person™ because THAT person has generally had to work pretty hard just to get the people around them to call them by the correct pronoun.

But I digress. Whatever you want to call them, Idea Person™ is someone you can ALWAYS count on for one thing: not working.

Idea Person™ likes to think of themselves as a visionary—someone with brilliant strategies and, well, “ideas.” Ideas that sound original but aren’t, and that they want other people to execute because they can’t be bothered with stuff like reading, shelf-stocking, inventory-taking, researching, studying, communicating, or generally rolling up their sleeves and actually working.

Idea Person™ likes to breeze into a room with their so-called “ideas.” Their speech is often peppered with clichéd claptrap jargon or sports and military idioms like “carry the ball into the end zone” or “message this from the stakeholders’ perspective” or “see the forest for the trees.” 

Especially that one, because Idea Man™ is usually a dude who thinks of himself in the mold of Steve Jobs. A grand thinker who isn’t bogged down in the “woods” or the "trees," but is just soaring over the “forest” like a vampire from the Twilight series: often quite pale, ageless in wisdom, supernatural in power, and consumed with unnamed Important Things™ which, when subjected to even the most superficial scrutiny, turn out to be bullshit that prevents him from being “bogged down in the weeds," aka "working."

The weeds, though, is where the work is, and it’s the one place you will never find Big Picture Guy™. Big Picture Guy™ is never “in the weeds.” He’s not even really in the “forest.” He’s in the clouds, thinking about whatever he wants to think about, day-dreaming up Big Picture Idea™ hay for other people to spin into reality gold like Rumple fucking Stiltskin.

You know you’re dealing with Idea Man™ when he starts a conversation with “someone should really think about doing [BLANK]." And my first question, naturally, is “interesting, great idea, but who is that someone?” Hint: it is never, ever, EVER Idea Man.™

Good old Idea Person.™ More aptly known as Allergic to Work Man.™


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