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To be fed up of social conversations going like this...

(214 Posts)
nevereverhaveiever Mon 16-Nov-15 01:27:01

To DH: what do you do for work? Oh that's very interesting. And where do you do it? And do you incorporate x and y in your work? Oh we must meet and chat about what our professions have in common. Did you see X story in the news regarding your profession? What do you think about it?

To me: Do you have any children? How old? Enjoying school? Good.

I work too! Nobody ever asks me what I do. I actually do a more objectively interesting job than DH. I am dying to tell someone about it but if they only ask me about the kids, I can't just volunteer it.

Any suggestions as to how I might steer people away from the children topic and be able to talk about my job with them and get a fully, fledged, interactive conversation at social occasions?

SingingSands Mon 16-Nov-15 01:30:18

"Nice to meet you. I'm Neverever and I'm a systems analyst* for XYZ".

Then offer a big grin grin

*insert actual job title

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 16-Nov-15 01:32:18

Ask them about their job and take it from there. Be more forthright with topics you want to talk about.

Monstertrucker Mon 16-Nov-15 02:27:08

I was at a school parent group meeting the other day and one woman introduced herself to the whole group as xxx, HR exec with 14 years experience in a global blue chip company. It didn't go down well at all - please don't do as SingingSands suggest unless you want to sound like a complete knob smile Much better to ask someone what they do then introduce your career after that if you feel the need to.

rageagainsttheBIL Mon 16-Nov-15 02:42:18

Better that than to tell someone your job, get an "oh" and a glazed look in return!

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 05:23:06

Ask them about their jobs

It's funny because sil was complaining last week that people ask her what she does and it offends her as she is a sahm. Rather than answer she is a sahm she gets shirty with people about how having a job isn't the be all and end all.

Personally I avoid asking anyone what they do unless it comes up naturally in conversation. Not sure why I do. I just do.

There are quite a few parents I know from the kids hobbies. I have no idea what any of them do or even if they have a job.

aurynne Mon 16-Nov-15 05:38:54

Come have dinner with me and my DH! We don't have kids and get bored shitless when couples we know talk endlessly about their kids :P

WhatamessIgotinto Mon 16-Nov-15 06:37:01

I detest when someone asks me how my 'little job' is going, normally accompanied by a head tilt. I'm nothing fancy; I'm a TA for children with special educational needs, but it's a valid job that I love and I'm bloody good at it. It can also be very hard work.

DH's colleagues seem to think I spend my time trotting around handing out pencils.

I never mention having children until I've known someone a while, otherwise interaction tends to go as follows:
"Hi everyone else, lets have an Interesting Chat about politics/music/travel! Hi Gilbert, how are The Kids?"

Doesn't help your situation at all.

SarahSavesTheDay Mon 16-Nov-15 06:49:40

I sometimes get nervous about asking mothers with young children what they 'do' because in my experience they tend to be SAHMs, and if you might put someone on their back foot this way.

I avoid 'what do you do' for as long as possible because I think it's a minefield.

SarahSavesTheDay Mon 16-Nov-15 06:52:30

Come have dinner with me and my DH! We don't have kids and get bored shitless when couples we know talk endlessly about their kids :P

I agree - this modern child obsession is a scourge.

LordEmsworth Mon 16-Nov-15 06:56:33

Why can't you just volunteer it? "I have 3 kids and it's hard working full time as xyz with kids, but fortunately DH isn't one of these people who thinks bringing up kids is the little woman's job, ha ha ha!"

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 06:56:56

Actually just thinking about this, me and dh own a business together. I get 'so do you answer the phones and do a bit of paperwork?'

Or people who ring and always ask to speak to dh, despite the fact that he ends up handing the phone back as he cant help them.

Dh has actually started challenging them on it. He is appalled how many people assume that it's his business that he has been ever so kind to find me a job in.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 16-Nov-15 06:58:18

I will sometimes ask what do you do when you're not doing X. That allows people to tell you about work/family/hobbies without presuming anything.

putcustardonit Mon 16-Nov-15 07:00:48

Sympathy from me op. Round here it's
Where do you live?
What does your DH do?
Where do your DC go to school?
Apparently that's what defines me shock

Francoitalialan Mon 16-Nov-15 07:01:26

It's just one of those things that you have to handle carefully. That's why people don't ask. We have a mum at school who literally in every interaction talks about her job, and clearly defines herself by it, and it comes off as dreadfully superior and patronising.
There's similarly another who makes a huge deal about being a SAHM and she delivers this in a "well I don't have to work so why should i?" fashion. Equally grating.
It's easier to avoid rather than risk coming off as a twat.

SarahSavesTheDay Mon 16-Nov-15 07:03:22

And, you might be unemployed, or underemployed.

mewkins Mon 16-Nov-15 07:06:15

I ask everyone what they do. If they say that they are a sahp I ask what they did before kids. That usually gets them talking and I have recently found out that mums in the school run have done some really interesting things! I have always done quite interesting jobs and everyone always has something to say about what I do so it's a good ice breaker.

LillianGish Mon 16-Nov-15 07:11:56

Can't you just say "Actually I'm a bomb disposal expert (or whatever it is that you do)" when asked about kids etc if you want people to know that. Though you need to accept that with some people the fact that you have children will be what you have in common with them.

Ememem84 Mon 16-Nov-15 07:12:05

I hate this. I get it a lot too. Mostly from family though. They seem to assume that I have a "little job" and am wasting my fluff brain trying to study (sitting my last law exam in 2 weeks...so not exactly just coasting through...)

I was at an event a while ago where I asked someone what she did (both our Dhs/dps were chatting) her response "oh, dp is a partner in X firm" yes I know that but what do YOU do??

Kr1stina Mon 16-Nov-15 07:16:50

I agree . People always ask my DH at length about his interesting job . Then they ask me, with a head tilt , if I work .

When I reply with [ job title and company], which is exactly the same as Dh, they look puzzled. Then the light dawns in their tiny brains and they say " oh so you help out with the typing at your husbands office ? "

I always return the head tilt and explain that actually I'm his boss This last bit is a lie. But no one ever believes me anyway. Because obviously it's impossible for a person without a penis to be the boss of a person with a penis. Having a penis is an essential occupational characteristic of working in science and technology, dontcha know . Or maybe it's the testicles of objectivity, my tiny female brain can't remember .....

LumpySpacedPrincess Mon 16-Nov-15 07:18:15

Smash the patriarchy, then you might be treated as a fully functioning human being! grin

Kr1stina Mon 16-Nov-15 07:21:59

I agree that itn some situations it's not relevant or appropriate . If I'm at a social event at my running club I'd expect to be asked about my latest race, not my job. Or at PTA to be asked which class my children were in and if they liked their teacher .

But when it's a more general social event , men are always asked first about their job . I always enjoy asking men who have children how they manage to combine work and family, if they have a nanny / childminder, how they cope in school holidays etc. They find it so confusing - some of them ever answer " oh I'm married " , as if their marriage certificate came with free full time housekeeping and childcare for 20 years hmm

Duckdeamon Mon 16-Nov-15 07:24:08

It's everyday sexism.

suchafuss Mon 16-Nov-15 07:30:08

After i gave birth the midwife said 'and what do you do?' I responded 'Im an account manager" dispite having just delivered my baby i wanted to pull her head off when she said dismissively 'oh not you, you'r e a mum. I meant your husband'

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