"So what do you do?"
I don't know why this question annoys me so damn much, but it does. I didn't like that question when I was dating, and the girl's friends/parents would ask me that question, and I don't like it when it comes up in happy hours, Christmas parties, and other functions.
It isn't like I'm ashamed of either one of my jobs. By day I'm a project supervisor for the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund, and by night I write for the ESPN True Hoop blog, Truth About It. Both jobs spark plenty of conversation with someone I deem worthy to share it with, but I just resent that question being acceptable fodder for public settings. Plus half the time I think it is an excuse for someone to a)judge or b) barely pay attention to your answer, so they can hurry up and tell you what the hell they do.
For example, this past Thursday I attended a happy hour with co-workers, and some friends of some of my co-workers decided to show. Initially everything was going lovely. Drinks were consumed, hookah were smoked and meaningless conversation about sports, politics and the weather flowed as easily as the alcohol. Then one of the women asked the dreaded question and the following conversation went down:
Her: So Rashad what do you do?
Me: I'm a Project Supervisor and I'm a sportswriter
Her (pausing): Oh, so you're not an attorney (she was, and so are some of my co-workers)
Me: I am not
Her: Oh, well I'm an attorney
Me: So Whoopty Damn Do (I didn't really say that)
After she realized I was not an attorney, there was the most awkward of silences, and she abandoned me to talk to someone else, and I kept on imbibing and smoking. She didn't ask me more questions, or try to strike up some common ground banter, it just was awkward. Although if I'm being honest, even if she had started asking me legitimate, pointed questions about my professions, I probably would have shut her ass down and walked away. If I'm drinking and smoking, I want to have mindless time, not thing about work.
I told my wife that the next time we go out, and someone asks me that, I'm going to just tell everyone I'm a high school janitor, and just roll with that all night. That ought to go over great...or at the very least produce yet another exciting blog.