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