The Meritocracy of Tiny Tower

All right; I know I haven’t posted anything in a short while, even after acknowledging my inconsistency in the last post. This can be attributed to two of my best friends tying the knot up at Patrick’s Point in California, which necessitated more travel since I had been asked to write a small piece to read at their ceremony. I’m still visiting family in El Cerrito now, and have no Internet access except for my unsmart phone and wherever I can find a wifi hotspot.

Prior to leaving Texas, I was frantically trying to put together a small resume and portfolio because of a job posting at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, a fantastic PC gaming website. I have almost completely convinced myself that I’ll never hear from them, mostly because in the short time I had to get everything together before leaving for California, the bulk of what I did manage to put together was a bit too dry, not nearly as humorous as it should have been. For a personality-driven site that asks for warmth above professionalism, this was akin to shooting myself in both feet after putting them in my mouth.

But I forgive myself. I’ve also had a variety of personal troubles that culminated in a time of introspection and (thankfully) a hopeful outlook, a reaffirmation of my God-given blessings.

So hey, things are pretty good, or at least could be a hell of a lot worse.

Enter Tiny Tower, a free game for iOS. In the frustration of trying to prove to someone that no, really, seriously, I can write well enough to justify you tossing me a paycheck every month, I’ve found myself further frustrated by watching all the denizens of my adorable little pixel-tower go about their business.

If only life were so simple: the “bitizens” move in, show me their stats and tell me what their dream job is, and if I can fit them in with a job that would make them happy, I do. Just like that. If they suck at food service but are great with retail, they’ll sell shoes instead of sandwiches; and if their dream job is working at an ad agency instead of a health club (and if I have an ad agency with which to employ them), then that’s where they’ll go. They don’t have to prove anything. They just have to be able to do the job when they show up.

Wouldn’t it be great if those were all the qualifications needed to get a job in real life? Show your stats to a prospective employer, tell them that working for them would be a chance at your dream, and bam, you’re employed. Instead, we have to put together these collections of experiences, at least three quarters smoke and mirrors, and stretch the truth as far as we’re able in order to convince someone that we’re not too incompetent to deserve money for what we do. It ends up being more about who can put together the most convincing set of half-truths rather than who’s actually best for the job.

Ah well. At least our existences aren’t limited to the confines of a tower of business that never close. At least we aren’t beholden to some dictator who’ll immediately evict anyone whose dream isn’t to fill the opening at the Mexican restaurant. Who wants to work for an awesome PC gaming news outlet anyway? Who wants to get paid to play and talk about games, cover exciting press events, and bitch about the deficiencies of the industry?

I think I just made myself sad.

[This post originally appeared at]


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