They always ask it, sooner or later. Usually sooner though. Almost always sooner.
‘So, what do you do?’
What difference does it make? What I do does not define who I am. It is just the way I earn my rent, keep the wolf from the door.
Surely what I do with my free time says much more about me. Road sweepers can read poetry when they go home. Shelf packers can play chess, browse through Wittgenstein or Maynard Keynes. Pest control workers can hum Sibelius while making lunch.
I for one would prefer to know those things about them rather who writes their pay checks.
Yet I seem to be alone in these feelings.
It is one of the first questions on each new date, often before I have time to open my menu. ‘So, what do you do?’
Then I have the dilemma of what to answer. I have contemplated lying. Going for something safe, accountant, something in IT. Not a good way to start any sort of relationship. I have even consider saying ‘nothing, I do nothing.’
So far, I have always told the truth.
There has never been a second date.