Friday, March 25, 2011

"Well, That's Easy For You To Say..."

We had just wrapped a show and my compadres and I are celebrating the occasion by getting a few drinks after work. No one was aching to get home so they can rest up for the next day. No one was counting the hours until the next meal. And no one was shooting the Director/Producers/Talent dirty looks to try to speed the day up. The stress and pressure of keeping a shooting schedule were gone, and all that was left was a few of us hanging out, having a good time and shooting the breeze.

Somehow, the topic of dealing with non-industry folks came up and I mentioned how I hated answering the "What do you do for a living?" question as there's no easy, simple and/or accurate way to explain it. In all honestly, I don't even think my own family understands what it is that I do.

"Well, I have a pretty simple answer when I get asked that," one of the guys says with a mischievous smile. "When I don't want to be bothered, I just tell them I'm a plumber."

There was a slight silence at the table before one of the other guys piped up. "Wow... That's genius. That really is. Because it's kind of in the same realm as what we do. You know, the hard labor, blue collar shit, but everyone knows exactly what a plumber does so it doesn't invite a lot of questions. I think I'm gonna steal that one."

The first guy smiles with pride. "It's yours," he says.

"Wait... I admit it's a pretty brilliant answer. But what about me?" I asked.

"What about you?"

"What would be a good fake profession for me to answer with? I can't really say plumber because that'll invite more questions since there's not a whole lot of female ones out there."

Silence hit the table again as everyone racked their brain to come up with something.

And then the night went on with my question unanswered...

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The Grip Works said...

Electrician ?

Nathan said...

You can use the plumber line.

(But they might think it means you'll clean the kitchen, so maybe not.)

Michael Taylor said...

I don't know -- if you tell some civilian you're a plumber, he/she just might call you for help next time his/her toilet clogs up and overflows all over the bathroom floor. We deal with enough shit in this business already without going straight to the source...

Niall said...

I just say I'm film set technician, it lets them know I work in films and that it's technical past that they tend not to care. It's like saying your shooting a mayonnaise commercial, they just stop asking questions. Unless they're a crazy homeless person that likes mayo.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not in the mood to chat, I'll just say that I am studying to be a funeral director. Bam! And away they go!

A.J. said...

The Grip Works - That may be usable sometime down the line, but based on all the apprenticeships and whatnot you need to go through to get certified here, my current age may give away the fact that I'm not who I may claim to be.

Nathan - haha. She seems a little too happy to be cleaning that sink...

Michael - Say you're at a bar or something and the person next to you starts making small talk and asks you what you do for a living, but you don't really feel like getting into it. What would you tell them?

Niall - Sometimes when I give that answer, they leave it as is. But most of the time, I get asked, "What's that?" followed by a, "Oh cool. Have you worked with anyone famous?"

Anon - Does that really work??

Michael Taylor said...

You're an attractive young woman, so any guy who chats you up is unlikely to be deterred from further questioning no matter what phony job you tell him is your profession. He'll keep at it just to keep you talking.

I'm rarely asked what I do these days, partly because I don't go to bars anymore, but mostly because I'm an old fart, and nobody cares what old farts do for a living.

But on those rare occasions when I'm questioned, I tell the truth -- and people rarely pursue the suybject once they hear what I really do is lift heavy objects all day long.

Hugo Fuchs said...

Tell them you're a line utility worker. "Y'know the people who work with power lines."

A.J. said...

Hugo - Ha. That's a good one.

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