Robservations | How To Sell Out

Rob Lee has a lot of opinions, many of which can’t be contained to Robcast so here’s Robservations.

To paraphrase the great, Patrice O’neal: “Jobs only give you enough so that you don’t lose your plantation hut.”

That couldn’t be truer. So diving back into my beef with the accepted ideas on work/jobs/corporate culture. So my story was that of least resistance – low risk, a-to-b. I went to a college that was walking distance from both my high school and home. I was a scholarship student so if I pushed myself I would have went to a different school and been OK. I could coast and the funding situation was set so that I would only need to focus on grades.

That worked for me. It was comfortable and of my planning.

Get a job!

My first job out of college I secured as a ‘happy accident’ while in college. I worked for Verizon Communications and I met the recruiter a few times and she felt I was a ‘natural marketer’. I never really put much thought into it, much like choosing which high school I’d attend. Someone told me it would be a good idea and I didn’t have an idea for myself so “sure, that makes sense.” I didn’t have to stretch too far for a job’s benefit and with that I was allowed to succeed and stretch in ways I actually wanted to stretch.

Can you hear me now

Once the Verizon job ended, the bullshit began. I signed a non-competition agreement which essentially killed my professional ascension. I was promoted each year at Verizon and it was easy. No adversity. I couldn’t work in my field for years – it did allow me the opportunity to try other jobs, to try other types of jobs. It was a good experience. However, getting to that point was difficult – not having a job when “you should” is a red flag for employers. I’ve been told in interviews that I wasn’t “bubbly” enough or that “I must have a record.”  I had to bite my tongue and be at the mercy of these gatekeepers.

Contractual Slave

One day I was employed with a long-term contractual position, I had an interview. This interview was with a place where I would later work in a different position. The position in question was a marketing position with podcasting responsibilities. I felt very confident. I wanted to look the part so I made major league changes to my appearance – I cut my hair and shaved. I sold out. I felt miserable but told myself “it was only temporary.” I had to buy new suits as I lost so much weight during the time between leaving Verizon and this interview. I went to the interview and I took a picture of myself with my new suit and new banal yet austere demeanor. I hate the picture.

I did well. But ultimately, I didn’t get the job, I was strung along for weeks when a decision had already been made. I was devastated. However, it was a lesson – understand what selling out is for me and don’t sell out.

To be continued.

About the Author
Rob Lee, the King snake, Thulsa Doom, Lord Lee and the list goes on. The man has as many aliases as Method Man. He's also man with many interests from pop culture to human behavior. He's patterned his life after bolsterous comedians such as Patrice O'Neal, fictional lovers such as Lee Plenty and Japanese weirdo wrestlers like as Shinsuke Nakamura. If you know who any of these people are, Rob Lee is for you. Check him out on Robcast and Mtrocast weekly on
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