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When asked "What do you do", what do you say?
Old 01-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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When asked "What do you do", what do you say?

At more than one social gathering with folks that I have never met and will probably not see again, it is not unusual for the above question to crop up along the way. I no longer just say, "I'm retired."

My standard response now goes something like this ~ "I manage a rather large estate using passive investing techniques and privileged high-speed Internet resources."

How do you handle this "problem"?
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:11 PM   #3
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Yo! I'm my old lady's bitch.

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
At more than one social gathering with folks that I have never met and will probably not see again, it is not unusual for the above question to crop up along the way. I no longer just say, "I'm retired."

My standard response now goes something like this ~ "I manage a rather large estate using passive investing techniques and privileged high-speed Internet resources."

How do you handle this "problem"?
You know, people don't really care what others do. I think it's just a polite question to get conversation going, and perhaps gauge what you each have in common. (People who use the question to "rank" other people aren't even worth talking to, IMHO).

My husband says he's retired, but his wife is still working. Thus, turning the conversational focus to me I then say I work for the Federal government and, just before this kills all chance of further conversation, I ask the other person, "So, what do you like to do?"

Mickey's response is creative but I suspect I'd crack up if I tried to give it

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:17 PM   #5
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Where I live -and given the life I lead- Im not bound to meet new people. But if that is going to be the case, Im sure I will say that I am a retiree. Phiysically I can pass for oneIf I can help it I wont say "early" retired- It draws envy/resentment!
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:20 PM   #6
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Ha! Now that I hang around with old people all the time, this question NEVER comes up!!!!

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Old 01-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #7
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"I fix toilets for a living".

I like saying true things that misdirect, it's a perverse character flaw.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
You know, people don't really care what others do. I think it's just a polite question to get conversation going, and perhaps gauge what you each have in common. (People who use the question to "rank" other people aren't even worth talking to, IMHO).
I tend to agree with this. It's small talk, something that can be used as a "get to know you a little" discussion without getting into intimate and contentious subjects.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
You know, people don't really care what others do. I think it's just a polite question to get conversation going, and perhaps gauge what you each have in common. (People who use the question to "rank" other people aren't even worth talking to, IMHO).(snip)

Amethyst
I think so too. It's the post-collegiate equivalent of "what's your major?"
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #10
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I'm a kept woman. I'm usually laughing at my own joke so hard the conversation doesn't go any further.

(They don't need to know I'm "kept" at home eldercaring.)
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #11
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If it's a situation where I do not know the person and it just seems like a polite question, I say 'I got lucky and retired early. Play lot's of golf.' But if they know I'm retired and seem to be picking I reply 'I'm doing what I do best, nothing.'
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:32 PM   #12
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Due to a recent thread, I think I'm gonna say I measure biceps and index fingers.....
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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When asked "What do you do", what do you say?
I say the same as what my business contact card says.....I'm a "Connoisseur of Life".......plain...simple.....and the absolute truth!!!
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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"What do I do?"

If a former co-worker is asking, the answer is "As little as possible" or "Household Engineer" or "Domestic Program Manager" or a combination thereof.

If a new acquaintance and/or not a former co-worker is asking, the answer is "Retired Engineer". That one still gets a double take even after all these years (being a female in a traditionally male field).

I have some other "answers" that often pop out of my head, but I don't want to shock you all.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:40 PM   #15
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Q - What do you do?

A - Piss, moan, and complain.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:02 PM   #16
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I always tell them the truth, that I work with "electronics stuff". Quite often, they nodded as if to say that I fitted the nerdy stereotype that they had in mind. And that didn't bother me a bit. And that's that.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:16 PM   #17
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Depends on mood.

Sometimes it's "I just try to stay out of jail" or "whatever DW tells me not to do".

I once used "I manage investments for individuals", that backfired a bit and I was forced to add "I only have time to handle one account".

Usually, I just say "whatever I want to" and let them guess.

Years ago, a friend was a cab driver. I heard someone ask him this and loved the reply "I'm in the charter transportation business".
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:47 PM   #18
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I love saying "I'm retired"! The next comment is usually "but you're too young". My response is "you can never be too young, rich, or thin. I'm still working on the thin."
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:51 PM   #19
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My usual answer is, "Not much," with a smile.

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Old 01-09-2010, 06:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
"I fix toilets for a living".

I like saying true things that misdirect, it's a perverse character flaw.
My husband used to use that one all the time. He has the same perverse character flaw.
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