Sometimes the strangest talents can be profitable....

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Sometimes the strangest talents can be profitable....

Post by Maelstrom » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:14 pm

Has anyone else here ever had a "fun" talent pay off in an unexpected way?

Generally it's the more mundane things that pay our way through life. There are the fortunate, talented ones like Bamfette (whose fine art skill is such that she can make a living at what others would consider just a hobby), but the rest of us must content ourselves with manning computers, cash registers, and forklifts to bring home the figurative bacon. (When I belonged to a writing group, almost all of the professional, published authors there had a secondary job to pay their rent, because the income from publishing fiction alone just wasn't enough.)

But sometimes, our "non-marketable" talents can be financially useful as well. In this case, my thirst for trivia and neat but useless tidbits. My case in point...

The set-up: IDT's 25th anniversary.

My workplace, Integrated Device Technology, has been around since 1980, which is an incredibly long time for a semiconductor company. We recently celebrated with a half-day off (with pay), where we all gathered in the grassy courtyard of the new campus to hear speeches, eat somewhat tasteless (but free) BBQ, play bocci ball, basketball, and volleyball, and have water balloon fights. (Not all at the same time, mind you.)

One of the speakers was a "founding father"-esque figure. How long had he been there? Well, my employee number is in the 4720s, and others are in the 5000s by now. His was 9. He was the unofficial company historian as well as founding engineer. He opened up his speech with a trivia question: What is the oldest living organism on Earth?

I immediately flashed back to my 7th grade education and muttered "Bristlecone Pine". (I remembered reading they lived over 1200 years, but on a quick Google search, I see my knowledge was slightly off: they live over 4000 years!) No one else spoke up, and he said "$50 trivia question. Anyone?" Okay, nice joke. I alone on the grass raised my hand, he called on me, and I shouted out "Bristlecone Pine!" I was right... and the speaker promptly ran from the poduim onto the grass and handed me two $20s and a $10 from his wallet! The guy was serious about it! :D

Has anything remotely similar happened to anyone else here? A pinch pot you made in your spare time in art class winning an unexpected prize? A strangely deformed, "unusable" pumpkin from your patch being *just* the thing an artist wanted for his carving?
Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into the intake of a jet engine..... :evil

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