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Beverly finally finds a job
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"How's the decorating business?" I asked Beverly on her last visit.
"Oh, didn't I tell you?" she said. "There was just too much running around, and the customers were driving me crazy. I can't deal with people who can't make decisions. I got so sick of people changing their minds. On Tuesday they'd want granite counters; on Friday, they'd want soapstone. I've moved on."
 She handed me her new a business card. It read: "BEVERLY FERGUSON Social Media Consultant."
Beverly doesn't know any more about social media than I do. But she has a business card. It reminds me of that scene in "The Wizard of Oz" when the Wizard tells the Tin Man that he doesn't need a brain, he needs a diploma. Beverly doesn't need to know anything about Twitter or cellphone plans; she just needs a business card that says she does. It means she can now charge for the advice I can only give for free.
I added her latest card to a stack of her other business cards, which I have been collecting for the last few years.
Beverly's never had the same job twice, but she's always working. I have business cards touting her as a "Mentor for Professional Women." One says she's a "Personal Shopper," while another one proclaims her a "Color Consciousness Coordinator." In the past four years, she has been a "Proactive Self-realization Facilitator," a skin care expert, a personal motivator, a public relations executive, a real estate appraiser, a voice coach, a window treatment specialist, a stock club organizer, a grief counselor, an interior decorator and an exercise-clothes designer.
Her business cards were things of great beauty. The thought and precision that went into them was breathtaking. The one that said "Ciao Down: Contemporary Italian Catering" screamed ultramodern. It was printed on clear plastic, in a typeface so space-age you'd think she had just been beamed to this planet from the distant future. That venture, too, tanked.
Beverly may have been totally unsuited for all of the jobs, but her business cards were quite impressive. Still, she was becoming a menace to society. What if some poor sucker actually hired her? Would it be my ethical duty to follow her around with another business card that said, "Please ignore the previous business card"? Should I become a one-man Better Business Bureau?
I decided the next time Beverly handed me a new card with some new fly-by-night venture she'd got herself involved in that I was going to say something. Sure enough, she showed up last weekend and announced she was out of the social media consulting business.
"So now I've found something I think I was meant to do," she said, handing me a brand-new, beautiful business card.
I was getting ready to tell her she had to stop this nonsense when I read what was written on the new card.
Business Card Designer."
I wonder if she'd do one for me?
Contact Jim Mullen at