Listening to NPR this afternoon on the way home from Birmingham, I caught the story by Raolh Eubanks about how the Bookmobile influenced his life (see this article).  Impressive, because the librarian (in Missisippi in the 60’s) followed the law instead of ignoring it, and brought the book mobile by his home… as a black kid, he wouldn’t have been allowed in the public library at the time.

I was reminded of a bit of blue-skying I was involved in a while back. The scene involves several folks discussing the job they want. Mind you, most of these folks have high tech/computer/IT jobs currently.

Me — think I’d like to be a carpenter when I grow up. Do something I can touch.

One of the guys I worked with ( a good programmer & manager) wants to cook pancakes at the IHOP. He doesn’t want to eat pancakes, just make them.

There’s the University MIS prof who wants to be the greeter at Walmart.

Or, the internal consultant wizard at Itty Bitty Machines that thinks that driving the bookmobile would be the best job ever.

The list goes on, and on.

But, today, when Ralph Eubanks talked about the Bookmobile, I thought of our “ideal jobs” and the effect they might have. Who knew that driving a bookmobile could have such a powerful influence? And maybe the Walmart greeter is the only smile someone might get all day. A well made pancake, served piping hot with butter and maple syrup can be sheer bliss. And who knows — a carpenter might be just the ticket for helping someone get into the home they want/need.

I smile, and remember all the times when things went wrong with a server or an application and I had to remind myself that that job wasn’t brain surgery — folks might think they will die when things go wrong, but get real – they won’t. But, what a difference the bookmobile driver and the Walmart greeter can make in day to day life.

So — what will you be when you grow up?