Thursday, November 15, 2012

Plan B?

Auto-Rickshaw and driver in India
I am a pretty lucky guy. I have a great family, good job, terrific friends, and get the opportunity to travel internationally.

On several occasions I have been to India and have always been amazed by the culture ... and the traffic.

While I would NEVER drive in India, I have had the pleasure to ride in an Auto-Rickshaw for short trips around Bangalore and always wondered what it would be like to live that life.

Well, enter M B Santosh Kumar who is living that dream. FIFA referee and Auto-Rickshaw driver. Take a look at the full story here, from The Times of India.

It is a stark reminder that refereeing is really a hobby, not a vocation. Anyone who choses this path generally knows that going in, and that it is a brutal balance of work/life/refereeing.

Some are fortunate to have careers that pay well, and allow flexibility, such as medical doctors, lawyers, or independent business owners. Others, like me, who were career minded, have a tough time balancing the work/refereeing scales, as the more responsibility you get in your job, or in your refereeing, means more time you need to put in. A vicious circle.

I was really reminded of that fact in this article when Kumar hopes for a job when he retires from FIFA, in recognition of his service to the country of India.

Be assured, there is no such tribute here in the US. When you are done, you are done and left to your own devices. 

Like my dad used to tell me, "You are not going to be able to make a career out of refereeing in the US. Do it for fun ... but have a career."

I'm glad I listened.

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