Uneasy Lies The Head of The Confidence Man is the title of a song on Daniel Amos’ Songs Of The Heart
A “Confidence Man” is a man who swindles his victims by using a confidence game (a game in which the victim is defrauded after his confidence has been won).
I find it very unsettling that during the week I am to write an essay based on this song, I am traveling from a customer’s site after a sales pitch for our product. Coincidence or a cosmic finger pointing at me and the absurd work that I do? I’ll let you decide. I am writing this from O’Hare Airport in Chicago, awaiting a flight that will take me back to what I’m familiar with and where I’m home. I’m taking a circuitous route home and I’m left wondering if it would’ve been faster to just drive. No matter, I’m not footing the bill for this trip, so I go where I’m told to go and fly where I’m told to fly.
I am an astounding paradox of brilliance and stupidity. I never cease to be amazed at how I possess the unique ability to do something amazingly creative or intelligent, and then follow it up by doing something amazingly knuckleheaded. I fly up to the customer location and bring the completely wrong software package with me. Stupid. I’m able to get a copy sent to me (mostly) instantly and able to orchestrate a workaround without ever alarming the customer. Brilliant. I am able to discuss in intricate technical detail the nuances of our software package and answer all questions from the customer about the technical requirements and stipulations involved in using our software. Brilliant. I promptly leave the room and leave my power cable to my laptop in the room and catch a plane and fly off. Stupid. I am amazing, I tell you.
I don’t typically do business trips, so this has been a bit of a learning experience for me. When I graduated from college, I was reluctant to take a job with a lot of travel because I felt I was ill-suited for it. I’ve only taken a very few since graduating, but I can confirm my suspicions were correct. I’m not cut out for living in hotels, taking flight after flight, going through security check, rental cars, and power lunches. I miss my wife more than I can describe and I miss taking a deep breath and looking out on the pond behind my house in the evening. There’s a little bit of Georgia in this boy that just can’t stay out of the South for very long. I’m not a very good salesman. I admit flaws in our product too much. I make promises out our product that we may not necessarily be able to keep. I’m glad there’s a place for programmers who put their foot in their mouth too often, forget things and leave them behind when they travel, and should just stick to coding.