Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Career for the Disingenuous

Aunt Becky of discusses many provocative topics on her website. A  recently covered  topic at her site was  life coaching. Life coaching as a profession is not new to our culture. Somewhere around the late 1980's it came into existence in urban areas. Now it seems to be everywhere. Anyone with a few dollars to spare can usually find another person willing to take them off his or her hands.

While life coaching now has various certifying agencies and programs, at this point the term is not protected, and anyone who so desires can declare himself or herself to be a life coach, with or without a self-printed and elaborately embossed certificate. Many have done just that. I personally know two life coaches. in both cases, I am more qualified to dispense advice on how most productively, profitably, ethically,  morally, and enjoyably to live one's life than is either one of the two life coaches with whom I am acquainted. Allow me to elaborate.

Life Coach Number One recently moved into her own home. Despite being in her early fifties, it's the first home she has ever owned. For the pst six years, she, her life partner, and her turkey baster-conceived child have moved from home to home, bunking with friends. Life Coach Number One's partner is a dentist, but she is not content to be a conventional dentist. Instead, she treats animals, people, and even babies who do not yet have teeth. It's amazing just what insurance companies can be compelled to cover. unfortunately, insurance carriers typically cannot be persuaded to cover dental treatment for dogs. Equally unfortunately, many human patients are wary of being treated by a dentist who sees feline and canine patients in her office, presumably using the same instruments on both human and pet populations. consequently, Life coach Number One and her dentist partner  were, despite at least three college degrees between the two of them,  not in a position to buy a house, or even to pay rent on a consistent basis, until recently, when her mother was declared no longer competent to manage her own affairs. Life Coach Number One was granted power of attorney over her mother's finances, and  was finally able to purchase her own home. This is a person who should  guide others to make financially sound and ethical decisions to impact their future. Right. And Scott Peterson should teach Sunday School.

Life Coach Number Two, who may [or may not] be related to me, has six children. None of these children make a habit of doing what either of their parents or any of their teachers tell them to do. Their parents deliver plates of food to them while they are seated in front of TVs, X-Boxes, or computers at various points around the house, then pick up the plates forty-five minutes or so later. Homework? It doesn't happen. Classwork? It  isn't ordinarily done, either. The children sleep a lot in school, because they're up watching TV and playing video games until the wee hours of the morning. Life Coach Number Two has toyed with the idea of home-schooling, but to home-school her children would be not to take advantage of the free babysitting provided by her local public school system. No one in the home cooks dinner, because the children only eat fast food. Life Coach Number Two had some sort of bariatric weight loss surgery about two years ago. While I am normally open-minded and non-judgmental when it comes to things like procedures that allow people to feel better about themselves, I must take issue in the case of Life Coach Number Two. She, as a temple recommend-carrying member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is most disparaging of my parents because they enjoy the occasional glass of wine [my mom] or the occasional four-beers-in-one-night binge [my dad]. The same Mormon code that would make my parents’ drinking a sin if they were Mormons, which they are not, also makes it a sin for this woman to eat her way into a much-needed Mercedes engine overhaul  for her surgeon, yet she and her almost-four-hundred-pound husband (who would likewise benefit from the services of said bariatric surgeon  but has not to date summoned the courage to go under the knife) tell any mutual relatives, acquaintances, or anyone who happens to be close enough to hear them that my parents both are absolute, confirmed,  bona fide, for real, card-carrying, no-fooling,  honest-to-goodness alcoholics. Life Coach Number Two gives everyone associated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints -- even those with only the most remote connections, which would include the Warren Jeffs branch of the fold and other various and sundry polygamists  --  a bad name.

Anyone who has legitimate qualifications to tell anyone else how best to manage his or her life typically  either is so successful that he or she has no time to devote to life coaching, or else is so successful in a financial sense that he or she does not need the paltry sums paid by clients of life coaches, and provides his or her advice pro bono. Yet still we have life coaches fleecing the unsuspecting population. Does anyone else experience cognitive dissonance with this state of affairs?


  1. Call me old fashioned, but isn't that called a friend? Someone who you ask for advice-- or a therapist, at the very most? The things that people come up with to make money!

  2. I agree, Becca. It's sad when some people have to pay others to function as their friends. And half the time, or so it seems anyway, those people they're paying are not even as qualified as is the average friend.

  3. What an entertaining subject for me. I don't believe that they are people who get paid for advising others without knowing anything at all about life. It sounds like a hairdresser going to a salon and I asked for a haircut and the rest; my regular one was gone to another place so I was offered a new one! When I saw her hairdo, I got it and said "thank you another time"
    Nice post Alexis I enjoyed it.