“So… what do you do?” is probably one of the most goddamn annoying questions someone can ask you within thirty seconds of meeting you. I don’t know about you, but whenever someone does this to me in a social environment, I immediately lose any interest in talking to them.
I met some dude a couple weeks ago who asked me this immediately after telling me his name. I could kind of tell he was pretty douchey before talking to him because he was wearing a pretty douchey sweater [see picture]. I think it had leather elbow protectors too. But he was a friend of a friend so I humored him and gave him a quick rundown. It didn’t seem like he was able to size me up properly from my explanation so he proceeded to ask me the name of my company, where I went to school and how old I was. I could sense he was eager to tell me what he did for a living but I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction so I just stopped talking and forced him to sit next to me in awkward silence.
Surprisingly, that wasn’t even the first time I’ve gotten the “Where did you go to school?” follow up. Freaking SF people man.
Anyways, about six months after moving here, I started answering that question with “I work in construction.” It’s a pretty great answer because nobody knows what to say afterwards. But sometimes people would start asking me specifics about construction, which I know nothing about, so I would have to start making stuff up about filling in concrete and studying for licenses to operate cranes and stuff. It’s kind of fun, but pretty dry. Recently however, my friend told me he likes to tell people he’s a magician.
I haven’t had a chance to use that one yet, but I plan on stealing that answer. I imagine it would be much more interesting following it up with trying to show them a really shitty magic trick. I’ll let you know how that goes.
But yea, I am curious as to how the majority of people feel about having that question asked right off the bat. I can see how it is a conversation starter but there are a million other things you could talk about where it won’t seem like you’re trying to fit someone in a box. Also, if that is the only thing someone can come up with, they probably aren’t very interesting anyways. One time, I met this guy who, immediately after introductions, was like “So, Albert, how was your day?” in a super genuine fashion. It was so surprisingly pleasant. That was like a year ago and I only met him once and still remember it. I think his name was Kevin. I want to be his friend. I kind of miss that guy sometimes.