How my Smart Avatar saved its Job.
If you’ve been here before, you probably remember the cartoon-sketch that was employed as my online avatar.
Whenever I’d look at it, it looked worse than before. I wondered why. Perhaps after five years of hard work it was beginning to crack under the pressure of its job. I concluded that a heart-to-heart chat between my avatar and me was in order.
I invited my avatar over for a cup of cardamom-ginger tea and gently broached the topic.
“You’ve worked hard all these years,” I said, pausing a little to watch its reaction. It sat there listening intently, quirking its brow a little when I paused, so I hastily continued.
“And you never took a day off…,” I noticed my avatar stiffen. I could also see tiny beads of perspiration on its forehead. It knew what was coming. Shit! I crossed my fingers and prayed that it won’t cry. I couldn’t handle tears!
Then my avatar squared up its shoulders and looked me in the eye. “Are you firing me?”
The question hit me like a missile. That’s what I was doing, wasn’t I? Firing my ambassador, my avatar – someone who had stood by me through the thick and thin of these five years! I was a heartless harridan trying to browbeat my avatar into retiring.
“What?” my avatar was still looking at me with searching eyes, expecting a…a confirmation of its fears, I suppose.
“Firing you? C’mon, get real! The thought never crossed my mind.” I knew that my voice rang hollow.
My avatar could hear the lack of conviction in my voice. “Is it because I don’t look nice? I am rather plain, am I not?” it asked.
“Umm…you could use a little color, I suppose, but…” I answered. It was a catch-22, I’d get caught, whichever way I went.
“Then don’t fire me – just paint me to look more like you. An implant in the chin, a change of hair-style, and some color – that’s all I need to look more like you and fit in better with your work.”
I looked into the eyes of my avatar.
It was plain indeed. Just a few squiggles here and there – more of a cartoon than a caricature, but it was right. My avatar was smarter than me, and it had a solution – and it could be implemented in a few hours! My avatar had on-the-job experience of 5 years; it was recognized by visitors, readers, clients, and even my Facebook friends; and it was smart too. I would be an idiot to let it go!
And so my friends, here’s my new, improved avatar 🙂