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Am I chopped liver?

You know the old saying – ‘what am I chopped liver’?

Auckland bloggers

fledgling blogging industry in NZ is like pâté. Img; Flickr CC- Madame Ming.

It’s usually trotted out in response to someone of the opposite sex being wowed by a younger, slimmer, cuter model. As he  dribbles over his stylish alternative reality, you seethe through pursed lips ‘What am I chopped liver?’

Am I not enough?

Not attractive enough?

Not worthy of attention?

I was thinking about this last night at a party we went to in Auckland. It was  a friend’s 50th birthday and as I chatted with folk I started to reflect on just how hard it has been for my generation during the GFC.

We chatted about the ‘glory days’ of working in the financial markets and IT where the corporate American Express card got a thorough bashing during those oh-so-long client lunches. We reminisced about business travel and supping on fine wine and gourmet food. Our first tastes of truffle oil, caviar and Bluff Oysters by the dozen. Lunches where even humble bread and liver were whipped up into ciabatta and pâté. Same ingredients, different presentation.

And touched, briefly, on where we all are now. The rental homes, the humble cars we drive, the sense of fighting a hard battle for that next contract. We lamented over families who are doing it so tough. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Of course all of this I took to heart. It’s no secret that I’m struggling to reinvent myself and my career after being away for so long. Some days are harder than others. Some days you wonder whether you can rise out of bed, let alone rise Phonenix-like from the ashes of a stalled life.

Towards the end of the night I was chatting with an interesting man who suggested to me, gently, that the NZ market is still a little wary of ‘digital marketing’ services, let alone blogging outreach, training or workshops.

Then he said something that stuck.

He told me the story of how someone he knew came out from Australia and was demonstrating a new food product to the wary Aucklanders. Some people approached the mysterious ‘spread’ with a sense of adventure, but more often than not others shied away.

‘It’s disgusting,’ they said.

‘It’ll never sell,’ they said.

‘It’s only chopped liver’.

The woman smiled in response and lifted her head to say with gravitas;

‘It’s not chopped liver, it’s very popular overseas. It’s pâté’

Maybe that’s it. Maybe the services and talents I’m trying to win favour for are still so new they’re a bit of a hard sell. But sometime, and I hope that time is soon, my very own ‘chopped liver’ will be celebrated and recognised as pâté.

 

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  • MidlifeSinglemum

    I never realized that the “what am I, chopped liver?” question was a widely known saying. I thought it was Jewish thing. I’m surprised about our generation living in rented homes – at least back in the 1980s we could get 100% mortgages. I thought it was this generation that had no hope of ever getting on the property ladder. But I do agree that it is hard to go back to austerity after tasting the good life. As for your Pate for the New Zealanders, my gut feeling is that you can’t stop technological advances even if there is less money to spend on it. Keep at it and they’ll catch up with you in the end. Good luck! xxx

    • vegemitevix

      I didn’t realise that it was a common Jewish saying. Liver isn’t kosher though, is it. I mean isn’t it offal? Yes our generation has really had it quite tough over the past few years. A school principal I was chatting to at the same party said that each month she has parents coming in saying ‘we’ve lost everything, our business has just gone under.’ And yet I do genuinely believe that NZ is better off than the UK or elsewhere in the world. At the very least there’s a sense of community here.
      Instinctively I know that NZ will catch up with the rest of the world and I’m just going to keep on keeping on so that when it does I’ll be there. :-) x

      • MidlifeSinglemum

        Chopped liver is a very common appetizer – all the kosher hotels serve a choice of chopped liver or gefilte fish on Friday nights for hors d’ouvres. It’s also a staple in Jewish delis, in a sandwhich on rye bread. You have to ‘kosher’ the livers by salting then grilling them but then you have cheap offal that goes a long way when ground into a pate with hard boiled eggs and fried onions. Some people add a touch of apple sauce or walnuts.

  • Kathleen

    I find it quite hard to reconcile the Weta Workshop / Peter Jackson award winning embrace of technology with the apparent lack of take-up and understanding in other areas. For a nation of SMEs, I had assumed that everyone would be on the digital bandwagon. It sounds like there is still a long way to go. Perhaps your approach needs to be in the role of a teacher first (i.e. look what this can do for you) and then position yourself as the go-to woman?

    • vegemitevix

      NZ is one of the world’s earliest adopters of technology, that’s why Google and Facebook use NZ as a test market. We pioneered the technological advances in banking (EFTPOS etc) and we continue that pioneering tradition in a variety of other areas. The key is bumping into the right people. You are right, I am a teacher and I do genuinely want to help, I just have to balance that with financially supporting my family.

  • expatmum

    Yes, keep at it. It sounds like you need to change your pitch like Kathleen says. “Here – look what everyone else is doing, look where it would get you, oh and, did I tell you I’m just the person to help you”.

    • vegemitevix

      The pitch is pretty much ‘training’ oriented already, I guess I need to just keep working away at it. Maybe it’s my impatience talking? I’ve always wanted things to happen yesterday.

  • http://brightsideoflifeasd.blogspot.com/ Bright Side of Life

    My mother was just saying recently how NZ is the first place that is used for testing when it comes to technology. I never knew! Obviously I have been away from home for far too long. I know that a lot of South Africans are coming back due to the earthquakes in ChCh. They literally have lost everything. :(