Do you ever get tired of people asking about your job? No matter what your job is and whether you like it or not, questions about your work can be really annoying. It’s usually the first thing a stranger asks you when you first meet them. “What do you do?” is always a safe card in small talk after the polite introduction and name swapping procedure is done with, as if your work equals who you are as a person. Whether you are at a party or on a first date, the issue of your profession can take up more time than it should.

Like I said, whether you like your job or not, these questions – because there are always more questions that follow – can be very annoying. I love being a translator and a writer, but I don’t always love telling people about it, dreading the inevitable “Oh, really?” that is bound to come. The follow up questions are usually “So you must be good at learning languages? How well do you speak German then?” and “Are you any good at it (writing)?”. Why would you ask someone if they are good at what they do? People seem to think that it is a justifiable question when you have a creative job. If I was an accountant, they wouldn’t ask me “Are you any good at it?”, would they? Accountants get follow up questions too, I’m sure, the issue is you don’t really want to have deep conversations about your job on your day off or justify why you chose that profession to strangers.

If you are a writer and you’re really unlucky you might even get a “What’s your book called? I might read it. But it better be good!” with a sarcastic laugh. Thanks, jerk. I hope you don’t like it, that it is a complete waste of you time. Just as you are wasting my time, right now. I have actually started refusing to talk about my job sometimes, especially if I’m on a first date. There are more interesting things to talk about which will tell you more about the person; their taste in music, where they stand politically, if they like animals, etc. Once I was so annoyed by a stranger I told them I kill people for a living. “In my books, sure, but I’m kind of a psychopath. You should see my browser history,” I wheezed. Remember, you don’t have to talk about things you don’t want to with people. Especially if they are strangers, and/or jerks.