U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 04-17-2019, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,647,282 times
Reputation: 10162

Advertisements

One of my favorite things about living in a retirement community is that when people ask "What do you do?" the answers are no longer about work!

I hated that when you met people where I used to live, the first thing they did was ask you what you did for work. Not that I wasn't proud of my job, but I felt there was a lot more to who people are than what they did to make a salary. After 50+ years of that, I'm really happy to live in a place where people answer questions like that with things like "We're really into cycling!" Or "We're going to the beach to take sunrise photos of eagles, want to come?" or even "I sit on my porch, and watch the Nats. Feel free to stop by and have a beer."

But I have friends who take it a step further. If someone insists on talking about what we used to do when we were working, they'll simply make something up!



"I did top secret stuff, I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill ya"


"Drove the clown car in a circus"


"Professional Philatelist"


"Sponge diver"

"Underwear model"



Their theory is that if people are foolish enough to still be judging you based on what you used to do, they deserve a silly answer. Not to mention, what difference does it make any more and how are they going to prove you weren't an underwear model? I love my neighbors!

Anyway, wondering if this is common in other retirement communities or if I just lucked out in getting wonderfully quirky neighbors.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-17-2019, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
2,869 posts, read 1,399,615 times
Reputation: 10071
lol, aaah I think you're taking this waay to seriously. I think people ask those type of questions because truthfully we've been trained all our lives to ask that. whether it's a first date or the PTA meeting, the social norm is to ask a person about themselves and the number one question is always "what do you do for a living" or a variety of it.

Now I'm getting ready to retire. 9 months, 13 days, 9 hours (yep got a countdown clock on my laptop) and the number one question I get all the time is "what are you going to do"?? I don't take it personally and I love when they say I look too "young" to be retired. My basic answer is always, "whatever I want to do" and that's the truth.

but if it is said "snarky" I simply say, "I'm going to drive the monorail at WDW" which use to be a childhood fantasy of mine.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:13 AM
 
Location: WA
5,392 posts, read 21,382,389 times
Reputation: 5884
I know a guy who says... 'I was a *****... sold my mind, sold my body... never promoted to pimp'.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:19 AM
 
13,313 posts, read 25,542,533 times
Reputation: 20477
I tell the truth- "I ruined my life and health by working third shift in a psychiatric hospital."
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,334 posts, read 10,324,206 times
Reputation: 28449
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I tell the truth- "I ruined my life and health by working third shift in a psychiatric hospital."
yea. the truth is the truth.


I honestly find the flip answers rude. People are just trying to be friendly. just me I guess.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:41 AM
 
480 posts, read 322,831 times
Reputation: 1131
I don't find it at all judgmental; I think it's just about making conversation.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,534 posts, read 52,616,956 times
Reputation: 70761
I don't ask people what they do to judge them.
I ask bc other people's jobs can be really interesting.
I have met people with totally fascinating experiences from their work.
Same reason I ask about hobbies - interesting stories, learn stuff, etc.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,596 posts, read 4,674,480 times
Reputation: 27789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
But I have friends who take it a step further. If someone insists on talking about what we used to do when we were working, they'll simply make something up!

"I did top secret stuff, I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill ya"

"Drove the clown car in a circus"

"Professional Philatelist"

"Sponge diver"

"Underwear model"

Their theory is that if people are foolish enough to still be judging you based on what you used to do, they deserve a silly answer.

Congratulations. You've defined exactly what a clique is: A group of people giggling about how much more clever they are than others...and being pointlessly rude about it.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,742 posts, read 1,699,910 times
Reputation: 8515
I always like knowing what people did before they retired, but I don't tend to ask just in case, like with the OP, they don't like to talk about it. But knowing what they did gives me a clue about what their interests might be, and oftentimes, I am fascinated to hear an insider's view of a profession or area I knew nothing about. I don't really care how much they made, because to me, someone like a carpenter or the guy who was up on the roof replacing our skylights is a true everyday hero, and I've known far more nice, interesting, and intelligent people who were in blue collar jobs than the executives I've met.

If I did ask such a simple, inoffensive question as, "What did you do before you retired?" and the person gave me a snarky answer, I would know two things: 1) They were ashamed or embarrassed of their job, and 2) that I had asked the last question I would ever ask that person.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-17-2019, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,847 posts, read 54,109,596 times
Reputation: 30287
Asking the question about what you did is not rude, unless it is the usual setup for the crap that follows after. There are some people where I sense that it is an innocent question and others where it is just part of a power trip. I try to respond appropriately in keeping.

"I cared for the severely mentally ill"

"I write"

"I threw people out of movie theatres for being rude."

"I was a professional exhibitionist" (the alternate title for one who shows films for profit)

"I had my own small business."

"I wrote a computer program."

"I worked trying to manage managers."

"Nuthin much, what did YOU do." (which, 90% of the time is the real reason where people want you to go when they ask the question)
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top