You know my face, even if you don’t know my name. Sometimes I’ll spill my coffee at the local shop and, gripping my head in frustration I get recognized. My own wife and children forget what I look like when I’m smiling, but the moment a grimace arises, it’s “Oh, honey, I hardly recognized you.” I’m not a professional model but people can’t stop taking my photograph. I’m every photo you’ve ever seen of a stockbroker who has had a bad day at the exchange, and I wish the paparazzi would just leave me alone.
You’re killing my business, you should know. People come to me for financial advice, it’s kind of how I make my living. Sometimes, mid-meeting, I’ll drop a paperclip or jam my finger and, as I rear back in agony, I get recognized. “It’s you, right? You’re DowDrops1200Points.JPEG, yeah? Man, I’m a big fan.” They all say that, they all want a picture, and that’s all well and good until you realize they don’t even want you to smile for the photo. “Come on, sir, nobody is going to recognize you like that. Do the thing. You know the face.” Then, “So I’m guessing you’re not the best investor. I think I’ll take my business elsewhere.”
It’s not that I have no luck on the market, it’s just that people only ever seem to snap my photo after a particularly gruesome market rout. Was anybody there to immortalize the moment I turned a 20% profit on the Vanguard ETF? No! But every time I wearily hang my head into my hands and grit my teeth in frustration, there’s the media, plastering my visage on every downcast article the news can publish about stocks collapsing, articles like, “S&P 500 Plummets 800 Points As Trump Takes Action or Stimulus Package Can’t Halt Falling NASDAQ” or “Having Trouble Getting An Erection? Try This One WEIRD Trick.” That last one wasn’t about stocks at all so it’s particularly hurtful that they used a photo of me without my permission.
Things have been especially tough for me lately. Global trade is being hammered and so the news media is out for blood. They find me every time, whether I’m anxiously covering my mouth with one hand in exasperation or tugging at my hair follicles in rage—they always find me.
My old job was a lot less stressful, back when I was the meeting manager for a big corporation. We had a lot of promotional media events in the office and they always seemed to find me at my shining moment, whether I was beaming my pearly whites and clutching my opposite’s hand in an affirmative handshake or mouthing the word “synergy” as I pointed to a blank presentation screen. They always got my moments of crowning glory. Not so any longer. The days of tracing a rising line on an unlabeled chart while my coworkers applaud are over.
I don’t know how much longer I can endure this industry. When I thought I would make it big, I never could have anticipated it would’ve been for my ubiquitous sourpuss as numbers fly by in red and green on screens behind me. This was not the plan. Did Gordon Gecko have images of him on every broadside, clutching at his cheeks in anguish? Did the Wolf of Wall Street have a poster where he was biting his nails in trepidation in front of a nebulous computer screen? I think not.
Maybe I’ll switch into an industry where there’s less of a chance of seeing my image accompany every CNN Report. Is it a good time to get into healthcare?