Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why Is That?

“So, what do you do?” I overheard at a party.

“This is John, he’s a software engineer,” I heard at another party.

“So, you’re an attorney. What’s that like?” I overheard somewhere else.

Not many people ask me what I do for a living. And you know what? I really don’t mind that I don’t get asked. I wonder why people don’t often ask me that question. Is it that I don’t look like someone who is gainfully employed? No. It’s probably because whenever I am in a social setting I tend to talk about the things I like to do. I talk about the stupid things my dogs do. I talk about our sailing adventures and our diving adventures. Then I forget that I even have a job that I could be talking about, because I am having fun talking and hearing about vacations and listening to funny stories.

When Todd and I were at Kalahari, we stood in line at the boogie boarding ride. The line takes a long time because we have to wait for every single person ahead of us to take a turn navigating a boogie board on a perpetual wave. I struck up a conversation with the couple in line behind us. Then Todd asked me what they did for a living.

“I don’t know, I didn’t ask,” I replied. Then I thought about it some more. “You know, I don’t like asking people what they do for work. I’d rather ask what they like to do. That’s always more interesting anyway.” He shrugged and thought about it for a second and acknowledged I was right.

We rode the boogie board, and I managed to get up onto my knees before the force of the water sent me flying up to where the wave ends. The lifeguard greeted me with an outstretched towel in case my bathing suit ceased to cover up the goods. (Which I thought was great of them to do. At Schlitterbahn in South Padre Island, TX I involuntarily flashed my boobs at all of the people in line, and at all the people on the balcony of the café above. Good times.) We headed to the hot tub bar after boogie boarding. You have to enter the hot tub to belly up to the bar. Then the hot tub flows under the exterior wall of the building so that we could enjoy our drinks in the tub outdoors. A perfect situation, really.

We soaked and drank. As usual, I eavesdropped on the conversations around us. I listened to a man bitch about his job to his friend. Blah blah blah blah… I tuned out the conversation. Then they went inside after one of the men said to the other “You should just be a man about it and sleep with other women.” (What??) We took their place along the side of the tub and listened to other people talk about their jobs.

I asked Todd, “Why is it that we’re at the biggest indoor water park in the nation, sitting in an awesome hot tub on a Saturday night with these fabulous drinks in our hands listening to people talk about work? Isn’t there anything else for people to talk about?”

Is it that we’re overworked? Are so many of our waking moments spent working or worrying about work?

What do you think, Internet? Why do people talk about work so much?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think for a lot of people in this country, especially on the east coast, work is all there is. Life outside of work is a lot less important than work. At least, that's the way it seems to me, as someone who has virtually no interest in talking about her job and is always forced to at parties.

February 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

It's a sad state of affairs, C, when people think that work is all there is.

I challenge you to talk about other things at parties and not allow work to come up. I've even said to people, "It's the weekend, I don't want to talk about work. I want to have fun instead."

February 11, 2010 at 10:17 AM  

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