For various reasons I will explain elsewhere this post by Dan Sinker, which I read this morning, was particularly important to my life. Dan is awesome, and am thankful for his candor.

A month or so ago I was at a cookout for an old work colleague and friend. It was 100% people who I haven't seen since at least the pandemic hit, and most of them a few years even before that. And so, obviously, the first question anyone would ask is "what are you up to now," and, well, that's sort of a hard question for me to answer. As has been established on this blog before, I do a lot of things. Some of them are job-shaped, while others look, well, like an entire fictional town in Ohio. All of them are important to me and all of them are a little hard to explain.

And so it was on that night that my brain—sometimes a friend, other times an enemy—responded “Well, I’m marginally employed,” before launching into a full-throated explanation of the wild world of Question Mark, Ohio to increasingly concerned onlookers.

I left the cookout feeling pretty weird, if I’m being honest. Since I’d last seen most of the folks that were there, they’d moved on to really incredible work. And here I was cobbling together bits and pieces of job-shaped things while spinning a yarn about a town plagued with disappearances. And then there was the term I used: marginally employed, which felt right but also felt a little embarrassing.

And then something happened. I talked about this on Says Who afterward and I heard from a bunch of folks who said, basically: Hey, me too. And I realized like, wait a second: I want to be doing work like I’m doing. Work that’s weird and exciting and, admittedly, hard to describe to people while also gnawing on some ribs. I don’t want to be doing a 9-5. I want to be marginally employed.

And so I made a patch. It’s really simple, just maroon on white and set in Cooper Black, my very favorite typeface. It reads, simply, “Marginally Employed.” No apologies, no frills. I love it. You might too. It’s $10 and ships free in the US.

Source: Best Laid Plans |