So, what exactly do you do?
Of all the questions, to which I should have an involuntary answer ready to rattle off by now should be, “So, what do you do?” Or it’s peskier and open to interpretation sibling, “What exactly do you do?” The first question is common place requiring an appropriate answer, though it comes with inherent challenges. At least to yours truly. But when you ask me the paraphrased version I have to do a more thorough quick assessment of the situation since these challenges just multiplied in my mind.
So when I stare you in the eye and take a deep breath before blurting any words out I might come across as someone wanting to avail all three lifelines of a quiz show simultaneously. Thinking EmojiTruth be told, I am sizing you up and the setting to foresee how much work would I have to put in on the answer and to what avail.
There are so many possibilities and scenarios, you see. Is this a social conversation over drinks (in which case how ‘happy’ a state are you in to register and remember)?; Is this in a corporate setting where I need to espouse certain golden expressions which you have been thoroughly tutored to display proficient understanding of?; Is this a person to whom I have just been introduced with a vague, “She does a lot of stuff” (?!- compliment or washing hands off – not clear) and who is now left feeling awkward at my disposal?; Is this a curious person who is dying to tell me that they do the same and of course more (there is a certain telltale twinkle and expression)?; Or is this someone seeking specific solutions that I may be in a position to competently deliver? There are more probabilities, but you get the drift – there is variety in who is asking me this question and where, so it begs different considerations before answering.
Given this wide playing field I think I have hit upon the plausible answers. “I do what is needed”. Or I could even go with, “I fix people”. (Fit, broken, old, young – I fix you – train or repair as the case may be – for your goals. Sometimes I even define them. Got it? Reign in that imagination of yours, I say.) You might respond, “Huh?!” but I think these work well. Consider all the scenarios I mentioned. For most of them, I have either given you the needed escape route or thrown the ball in your court to delve further. We can laugh and move on (if you were just being polite or enjoying your happy hour) or if you persist I give you the details as and how the conversation unfurls. Not bad, eh?
This also works well because when you ask me the question phrased this way, I am tempted to point out tongue in cheek, “I can’t answer that exactly“, as day dreaming, talking to myself, being still with myself, letting my hair down, indulging in an incorrigible sarcastic sense of humour, giving in to my whims and making grandiose plans in my head is also what I do a lot of!
The problem is (not for me, but maybe for you, if you choose to perceive it that way), as life goes on I am happily letting go of “exacts” in my life and accepting law of averages more graciously . There should be some perks of ageing and I am in no mood to short change myself. I am all out claiming them unabashedly. I am gravitating increasingly towards (and displaying all symptoms of) more madness-less method, more laughs-less stresses and more abstracts than exacts in my life. But I don’t know how to put all this in my answer.
Who would have thought what a heavily loaded question you have unleashed on me!