Some friends and colleagues of mine recently had a continued conversation on Fall Back Jobs. You know… just in case what we are currently doing doesn’t work out. A Plan Z, if you will. (I know this is going to be somewhat of a shock to you, dear reader, but this idea/conversation did not originate with me. Nope. This one is all Honest B’s.)

Honest B’s back up plan is to be a VCR repair person.
Starbuck and Texas Shark have a joint back up plan that involves them opening a carnie funnel cake stand.
I, the person with contingency plans for my back-up plans, never had an adequate answer to this question.

I had an answer, just not one that fit the rules.


Yes, there are rules. Here are the rules as they have been explained to me.

1. Your Fall Back Job can’t be anything you have actually done before.
2. You can’t have any of the requisite skills needed for the Fall Back Job currently.
3. And (this one, I think, is assumed), you actually would have to live off of it.

My Fall Back Job was to be a Hack. This was quickly shot down as a violation of the rules. (All three of them, actually.)

My second Fall Back Job was going to be owner/manager of a comic book store. (Wow, does that link hit way to close to home. EGADS!) But, that job also violates a couple of the rules. (I’ll let you figure out which ones.) Sorry, Obi, but our proposed Fall Back Job partnership can never be. Sigh.

But today– today, I heard my Fall Back calling.
Like all callings, it is actually something I’ve heard in the depths of my soul before but have triumphantly ignored. Well, no more I tell you.
Today I say with certainty and pride….

My Fall Back Job is . . . Traffic Cop.

I would get to wear the cool hat, tell people where to go without actually talking to them, and would have a severly limited level of authority.

Plus– I’m called to it.

I’ve stepped in and directed traffic a few times when no one else stepped forward to do it.
Today was just another one of those instances.
A fire broke out across from the store I was parked at. The fire trucks and cops came and shut down the intersection– but not the really busy one before it. Since I was blocked in on this one-way street, I just walked down to the other intersection and started waving the other people away from the blocked road. Five minutes later, a real cop showed up and took over. He was much better at it than me. (He had the orange vest, the cool hat, the whistle, and gloves. I still don’t have gloves.) He didn’t thank me for doing my civic duty. Nobody else ever steps forward to do these things when I encounter these situations…

so, either I was a Traffic Cop in a former life,
or I may yet be one in this one.