Absolutely hate getting this question from anyone – especially strangers.
I ask you why on earth do so many people ask it?
- Does it matter?
- Does it make (or unmake) you as a person they wish to associate with?
- Is it any of their business anyway?
- Does anybody consider it invasive of someone else’s space
It hardly ever fails – you meet someone new and what is (99 times out of a 100) the first question they ask – “so what is it that you do?”
I have not thumped anybody yet but I have come close to it!
What is just as annoying as the initial question is the fact that most people could not give two hoots as to the answer you give anyway – they are not really listening.
More often than not it is simply the first question that comes to people’s minds; it is that question that people habitually ask of a new acquaintance. A habit that comes into play maybe because of discomfort from wondering what they should say to someone they don’t know?
Sometimes though it is a bit more devious – it is that person’s way of quickly sizing up your social status, your career and your financial circumstances. Are you someone that might be worth their while to become acquainted with?
I must admit that I have been answering (until lately when the question has begun to really annoy me) something along the lines of “Plenty of things – too many really to list.” Or when the mood grabs me, making up something quite outlandish.
Sometimes, I do make a half-hearted attempt to answer, saying, I;
- Am a Writer
- Am a sometimes web designer
- Am an infrequent 3 Day Horse Eventer
- Make pottery
- Am the part-time carer of a dear friend.
When they consider No. 1 above, they usually immediately ask what have I had published. Writing freelance as I do doesn’t seem to count, even though I may be really helping people who value my services!
Also, I have tried saying “I don’t have a job”. Well this really throws the cat amongst the pigeons, so to speak. People nearly always respond by saying something like “How do you stay sane” or “How can you pay your bills then” (don’t worry about getting personal or invasive!).
hey are waiting to see how, and where, they can slot me in, how they can assess and possibly judge me and my life.
Many often assume that I must then have loads of kids – I don’t – not even 1!
Am I married – do I have a partner?