Where Do You Work?
When traveling around Europe we often hear how Americans work too much. That we don't get as many vacation days each year, that we work more hours in day, and that when we go out our conversations revolve around our jobs. And to be honest, this is a true statement. I get half as many vacation days a year as my European counterparts, and when I am out of work, one of the first questions someone asks me when I meet them is what I do for a living. At which point I have to engage with them on the subject of my job. A subject I don't want to talk about when not at work, because I'm not working.
I travel, I meet people, I engage people in conversation, and I have this expectation that our conversations won't revolve around our jobs. Unfortunately, this turns out not to be the case. Experience has shown that when sitting at a pub somewhere in Europe having a conversation with a group of people the conversation always turns to what I do for a living. I never bring it up, I never ask someone else that question in the hopes that not asking them will result in them not asking me. But they do, and I respond, then I have to explain what I do, and listen to them go on about the company I work for as if my life revolves around it. In the past there were times my responses consisted of lies and making up some job, but that never seems to last long and it gets back around to my job and the job that person does. As if we have nothing else to talk about in the world.
Maybe I will change my fake job story to a new one, telling people that I am a professional blogger and send them to this post. And after reading it, we can't start talking about interesting stuff, not how many hours I spend sitting at a desk each day.