“So….What do you do???”

The dreaded question comes up when interacting with strangers at parties.  This time of year it is on overdrive, when parties with strangers runneth plenty.

It is no longer only the smarmy guy at the bar who asks, “So….What do you do?” It feels like parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends all seem to care what people do.  More often than not the do refers to, “do for income.

I’ve never been a fan of this line.  For starters, I’ve never felt that my job really defined me.  Yes, it did a part of me, yet not all of me.  Now I like that question even less.

I never seem to come up with the right answer.  The “I don’t work” line is a firm no-go.  That leads directly to the, “No, I don’t have children,” answer.  I get the head-tilt and furrowed brow back.  Oh, if I did not have manners I’d love to unload on them.

It seems that I am not the only person who feels this way about this simple-minded question.  This article

A Kinda Snobby Question You Need To Stop Asking When You First Meet Someone

does a fine job at explaining what questions we should be asking and what answers we should be giving.





About kimmywink

I'm Kim. I've got advanced lung cancer. It sucks.
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7 Responses to “So….What do you do???”

  1. Yep! I like to say that I have the worst job now in an otherwise fantastic work history – the full time job of staying alive with hourly pay of $8.50. It usually sounds polite but makes people pause. But the truth of my reality is I dont do parties (germs) or get invited to parties (who is marcy?) or have much of my old life. Cos my new job has me in community only with strangers mainly in the medical field. I am only asked my birthdate 20 times/day.
    Marcy Westerling

  2. lillytnin says:

    This question has always bugged me too, even pre-cancer. Why do we care so much about people’s jobs? When I first met the guy who is now my husband, he asked, “so what’s your story?” I was taken aback, but thought it was quite refreshing.

    Hope all is well with you!

  3. When they ask, I think you should answer with a sweet smile, “I’m a Bad-ass Cancer Warrior”.

  4. Alison says:

    This is one of the reasons I wanted to move from D.C. I usually find that in Portland people ask where you’re from or where do you live. I liked the article that you linked, and before I read it I was thinking, ” Kim should say she’s a lung cancer advocate.” After reading the article, the only thing I’d change is to add “One of the things I do…” I look forward to hearing what you try out! XOXOXO

  5. matissebradford says:

    Aint it the truth!!!! I feel ya sister!

  6. Kelly says:

    I met a very nice woman at a party many years back who asked me, “How do you enjoy spending your time, Kelly?” I just LOVE that question! Feel free to try it out… You’ll really get to know someone.

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