What Do You Do For A Living?

Well go on. Tell me! What do you do for a living? See, I’ve lived a little many years and this is one of the questions that I find most of us have the hardest time answering. Unless of course you are the Managing Director of a huge corporation that does not exploit workers and is probably on it’s way to getting listed on the Stock Exchange. Or, you are the Assistant Manager of the corporation, or you are the Accountant…. You get my point.

But what if you are in business? And not just any business, especially not the business where you have a well established office near some green leafy suburb? What do we call you? Yeah! I know, hustler! That’s what you will want to call yourself when throwing conversation around among friends, acquaintances and a few strangers. But you have been invited to this huge event, where suits and drop dead gorgeous dresses will be rocking the place. That awkward moment will come. Hey! I’m so and so. I’m a Financial Consultant at bla company. What do you do for a living?

Ok. Let’s see…. I’m self-employed. You say. And the response is wow! That’s wonderful! I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. It must be the best thing ever! What exactly do you do? Aaaand this is where you start mumbling. The perfect lady or gentleman is reduced to a babbling idiot. And this is because? Well, between selling stationery door to door, you are a dealer of the stock exchange, only that you do it as an agent of some company, o and you also, develop websites for people and put content together for those who are busy handling their core business to remember to keep their websites up to date. And did I mention that once in a while, you handle company registrations but you also like writing? No. You can’t just spew out all this to the poor guy.

You do the next best thing. You do a head to toe scan, analyse what your interrogator is wearing. From the weight of his suit, his watch, hair trim, and not forgetting his shoes. Then you run through your hustling list and determine which one will impress this clean cut guy and blabber it out. He is impressed. You thank the lord for the invention of smart phones since you do not need to unleash some well curved out business card. Numbers get exchanged, then it’s ‘nice to meet you’ and you quickly move on to ‘mingle’. 1 down, 88 to go.

Disclaimer: This did not happen to me so quit with the giggly faces!

Reminds me of this very nice, very watchable series. This lady goes to hospital and of course they always want to take down your details. And the doctor’s assistant asks her what she does for a living. She goes: Model/Actress/Physical Therapist/Counselor/….. The doctor’s assistant nods knowingly and goes ahead to write Self-Employed. The lady in question is an Escort.


16 thoughts on “What Do You Do For A Living?

    1. Isn’t it the hardest most awkward situation you’ve ever experienced?

      Ps: Yep! I don’t doubt for a moment that it didn’t happen to you! 😀

  1. It is especially difficult when my mother asks me on the phone what I do for a living. I know what I am doing but it cannot be summed up in one word, nop even one sentense.

    1. I know! Then she’ll say to you ‘honey, why don’t you get a real job’? And you are left muttering unsayable words! I just prefer to tell my mother I’m doing computer stuff. That impresses her enough. Not sure how long I’ll keep selling her that one though 😀

  2. I have this friend. Not me, of course. This friend of mine has two answers for that question that she uses when she is tired of explaining – usually 99% of the time
    – I am a Mtu wa Mkono
    – I an a Con Lady
    Hmm … I think I’m beginning to see why she doesn’t get as many calls as she thinks she choud

    1. So this friend of yours (not you of course) has she tried business cards? Reading ‘Mtu Wa Mkono’? It might work better! 😀

  3. I was once in a similar type of situation – confrontation where the chap with the fattest watch – (he was a “junior Mp”, I later learned) was asking everyone around him what they were did for a living. A chap nearby had given the polite “businessman” answer but fat watch wasn’t satisfied – “Yes, but what do you actually do? he asked spreading out his arms to show the rings on his seven fingers. The polite man said : I mind my own business…..

    1. I don’t have a favorite. Can you believe that? Course you can. 😛 Depends really on how the day has dawned. One day I’ll listen to classical and the next I’ll do hip-hop for 2 days. I’ll switch to gospel and do neo-soul the next. 🙂

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