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