Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Friday, July 28, 2006

That Dreaded Question, "What do you do?", isn't asked in DC any more than other big cities.

Which is more annoying in a social setting?:

1) Being asked, "What do you do?"


2) Someone whining that he hates when people ask the question, "What do you do?"

Both are equally annoying in their own way.

Your nation's capital has a hang-up about this dreaded question. Many people who fall into the second category are from some podunk state and aren't used to life in the big city where people are interested in the various and sundry jobs that others do. Perhaps they're frustrated by their own self-perceived inadequacies, or are insulted by others' quest to find out how much money they make or how powerful they are. Either way, in DC there aren't many propane salesmen, so the question will remain.

But I find that most people ask "What do you do?" to find common ground in social situations. For christ's sake, what the hell else should strangers talk about? Finding out what one does for a living is a default conversation starter. The question is a tad gauche, but it's one of the least offensive things someone could ask me. And I usually don't fault people with poorer conversation skills than me.

Washington DC is the only place where people ask the "dreaded question" just as much as any other city, but bitch and whine about the existence of it like sorority girls waiting for a limo in the hot sun. The reason goes back to the nerdly character of the DC populace, of whom 60% have law degrees because they didn't know WTF else they wanted to do, but knew they wanted to make money. Therefore this 60% is stressed and paranoid about the money they make; hence, the obsession with that dreaded question.

Yea, that's it. All the annoyances and problems of this city can be blamed on lawyers. But be nice to them: they are the offspring of anal sex, after all, so have some pity.
Indeed. I was in a rural part of Assfuck-Banjo Virginia a few months ago. That question came up within the first four lines exchanged with everyone I conversed.
Absolutely. When I moved to DC, I never noticed an increase in what seems a perfectly ordinary conversational question. Maybe your bumpkin theory is right, but whatever the reason, the complaints are annoying.

Heh, the verification word seemed to be "evilhyx" (which definitely supports your theory), but I guess it wasn't since it's now presenting me with another one.
I'm retired. But a sailing buddie who knows I'm retired still asked me the dreaded question. I guess in this case he was asking not, "What is your job?" but, "I'm green with envy, what do you do in all those hours while I'm slaving away serving the god of mammon?"

I should have answered, "I do whatever I damn well feel like doing."
Well said. I don't see the big deal about asking either. It's better than talking about the weather.
I usually tell people that I'm a fry cook at McDonald's, but I'm starting to look at the Assistant Manager position because I'm tired of pulling rats out of the fry grease.
One day I finally admitted aloud that instead of pursuing interior design for my career, I would probably just marry an interior designer.

That night I went to a party and met a really hot girl. We hit it off right away. I postponed asking, "What do you do for a living?" for a long time because, "What do you do in your free time?" is such a better question.

But when, "What do you do for a living?" came up, she replied that she's an interior designer.

We plan to marry October 2007.
Congrats, Capt. Jack!

It's interesting that you mention the question, "What do you do in your free time?" It's similar to getting the question, "What do you do to occupy your days?" This type of question is a way for people to fish for information about your job, in most cases, without asking directly. They should get over their paranoia against asking what one's job is, and just ask, for god's sake. It's now become a taboo to ask what one does for a living in places like DC, and it shouldn't be. Who cares, anyway.
I used to hate that question, When I was in Stable Isotopes, You can imagne the long drawn out explanations I would have to give and the blank looks returned, Now that I am doing Real estate I can welcome it, Sometimes it leads to business! Which is a great point for why people do it, Usually they are looking for conversation or iformation that may be invaluable when it comes to career prospects or business oppurtunities. Although I do miss haveng a job that no one understands.
Work = 33% and to/fro work = 5% for a grand total of 38% of your work week. Sleep = 33%. Eating = 10%. That only leaves 19% of the 24 to talk about. Having now worked for roughly 50 years of my life, the key is to enjoy your work well enough to want to talk about it. That solves one helluva' lot of life's problems.
You know, there's no way around that question. It's how you spend your time. Period. Whenever I ask it, I really want to know how closely one's work is aligned with one's soul or desires. I spent some time working as a banking researcher (bluuuayawn) and whenever people asked me I said I was a freelance writer and had a day job as a researcher.

People in this town, generally speaking, have so many sticks up their asses that they look like a cord of firewood when they pick a nickel up off the sidewalk.
why not start a new trend in the intro question? some options:

a) when did you lose your virginity? in what position?

b) what illicit drugs do you take? have any on you?

c) what country would you want to be dictator over? what color would your uniform be?
I like those questions:

1) 18 years old, Scared postion
2) None
3) Easter Island, Green w/ Crimson tiger stripes
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