STAGE 2 - What Do YOU Do?

"What do you do?"

A question that you've probably asked or received in your lifetime. A question, that I think when answered, says quite a lot about the recipient. So the researcher in me decided to do a batteries-in-the-freezer ghetto study, and these were a few of my findings:

Asker: "What do you do?"
Person A:
"I'm [Insert occupation here] at [Insert establishment here]."

Ah, the vintage answer to the question: This is how I make money. Fair answer; We live in a society that lives and dies by status, and that manifests itself in the way we treat people according to their occupation. So when posed with this question, many people choose to define themselves by what they do for a living. That being said, in my opinion Person A is unconsciously saying: "I hope to God this impresses you off the bat because I am a really boring person."

Asker: "What do you do?"
Person B:
"I [Insert generic activities here]."

"Generic activities" is a tricky term, so let me lay it out. If you've ever heard anyone say something along the lines of "I go to parties", "I listen to music", or "I watch [show]", then congratulations: You've identified a generic activity. However, Person B scores more points than Person A with their answer for the simple fact that they are not trying to impress anyone. This is a safe, simple declaration of interests, and I find that more respectable than a sentient resume.

Asker: "What do you do?"
Person C:
"I [Insert talent/talents here]."

Now we are moving out of average territory. The person who snaps into their talent set without certain words (more on that next) isn't trying to impress, and they want you to know that. Person C is not like Person A or B, and they'd rather you know it sooner rather than later because what they do is uncommon. Though it's a good one, the downside to this answer is that it can come off like Person C is trying to impress, which means their delivery is also important. The more nonchalant the delivery, the less of a factor impression truly is.

Asker: "What do you do?"
Person D:
"I'm an [Insert talent/talents here]."

Remember that bit about certain words in the previous paragraph? That's because despite the similarities, Person D is the red to Person C's blue. This person is actively trying to impress the asker, which is warranted if they have a passion for whatever talent they have. But by using "I'm an" in their answer, Person D is defining him/herself by their talents - which makes this the riskiest answer. On one end, you may be the red-nosed reindeer. On the other, you may be the Green Ranger.

Asker: "What do you do?"
Person E:
"As iiin...?"

What sets Person E apart from all the rest, is that they've got this thing figured out from jump street. The quintessential answer to "What do you do?" is the ability to navigate the fog of your ego well enough to discover "What do you do?" is a vague fucking question. This forces the asker to go into specifics, ergo, getting you straight to the point without a tinge of the risk (a.k.a. the coveted post-bullshit zone). Thus Person E has not just the safest answer, but the smartest.

So, here's a recap of this analysis:
Person A: You may be piloting that Gundam, but you didn't build it.
Person B: "I am, therefore I don't have to think" ain't a good look, b.
Person C: Confidence is a two-way street.
Person D: Charisma is a two-way street.
Person E: Scouting the perimeter is an advanced strategy - know it.

Amazing how a simple question can take you to the next level, huh? Well, hopefully the next person to ask "What do you do?" doesn't have my thought pattern, because the people who are usually in the position to ask tend to be the only thing standing between you and justifiable irrelevance.

Think about it.