Disclaimer: These are dark, comedic thoughts I have on a daily basis. I am a writer and an artist, and I have a very dry sense of humor. I express my feelings through art. I am in no way promoting or glorifying murder. Murder is bad. I don't like murder. Okay? No murder here.
"So, what do you do?"
come every time I go to a social event, I am asked this question first?
Why is it even on the list of popular questions to open a conversation
with? It's usually in the top three, and it's annoying as hell.
I am asked, "What do you do?", I automatically interpret that I'm being
asked, "How much money do you make and how do you make it?" in a more
summarized and polite manner. This is not really a polite question. It's
personal and can get very complicated depending on who you're talking
to. It's also an assumption that everyone's on the same page in the
manner that we're cooperating citizens of society. What if you're
talking to an assassin? How do you know the guy petting the puppy dog at
the party isn't a hired killer? How do you know I'm not a sociopathic,
sick freak who makes her money selling bulimic porn? Maybe I don't want
you to know how much I'm worth or how I obtain the money that I have.
Of course I shouldn't assume that is the question. "What do you do?" could mean something else.. like "What are your favorite things to do?" But if it was, wouldn't the person ask, "What do you like
to do?" Or even, "What are you interested in?" And if it just means,
"What do you do, but not make money at?" Aren't they eventually going to
tell me I should try to make money at this thing that I do?
So back to square one.. If "What do you do?" does indeed
mean "What are you worth, and what is your career path?", then I am
kind of insulted. Number one: this is a very popular question, so that
tells me many, many people are interested in the answer. And that means
the majority of people are focused on status and wealth, thus tossing
their souls into the nearest trash bin and becoming empty headed
zombies. We are now surrounded by scary zombies. Number two: it implies
that you are what you do for a living. And if this is the
case, does that mean that someone over 40 and working at Kentucky Fried
Chicken is a worthless, uneducated human being? Maybe they have a
bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology, yet they're stuck in the
most economically depressed place in Kentucky taking care of their sick
mother? And if we all decide it does make them a loser, then we begin to
judge people and create stereotypes based on financial status and
employment decisions. An accountant becomes a conservative, financially
stable bore, and a filmmaker becomes a self-absorbed, over-privileged
jerk. Every insurance salesman is now a malicious, inhumane asshole, and
people who make natural, chemical free lotions are unshaven, stinky
hippies. When you think about it, we're very mean and impulsively
I have been guilty of doing this myself,
and I should work on changing my obscene behavior. It has made me a
classist. I regularly feel disgust when meeting privileged or wealthy
people, because I assume they're selfish and have ulterior motives. I
don't want to feel this way, because it just makes me a repressed killer
who hasn't crossed a boundary yet. What if this tension bursts one day
and I become a serial murderer of wealthy people? I already have an
intoxicating fantasy of being at a fancy Hollywood party, in a pool,
shooting screaming people until blood fills the water and then doing
sexual things while I watch the horror. That can't be normal.
question is never going to go away though, so the next best thing to do
is to answer it in another manner. "What do you do?" "I talk to
spiritual entities", I might say. Because I do. Or "I occasionally steal
copper pipes out of abandoned buildings when I need some extra cash."
Because that is something I have done several times before. So I'm
answering the question correctly. I'm not doing it to shock anyone. I'm
doing it because I don't really want to talk about my finances or the
fact that I don't give two shits about a job. And I don't really want to
murder people in a pool.
This is the only question I
find ridiculous. I can handle all the other small talk questions; "Are
you single?", "How long have you lived here?" and so on. Those are fine.
Not intrusive, not rude. But that horrible "What do you do?" makes me
feel like thick legged spiders are jumping and crawling all over me.
This is because it forces me to view the person asking in a completely
new way. I see wires coming out of their morphing and balding head
that's half machine, half human. They change into a cyborg from Star
Trek right in front of my eyes. They blend with that giant mob of moving
meat and metal that shares all its thoughts. It's creepy.