And the question is?

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A few weeks back, I read an article by Bobo Omotayo, my kilon sparkles heartthrob (I am totally in love with his wit, I wonder if I can marry his mind?)

This piece was on how the “what do you do for a living?” question is now ruining the excitement of meeting new people and good ole conversation. Then, I didn’t quite think it was such a bad thing. Maybe I just hadn’t felt its full effect. Besides, I don’t see anything wrong in asking, if I’m just meeting someone, it really is a well and trusted ice-breaker, redeeming many a floundering conversation. Many boring blind date setups have been saved from the brink of the disaster they were tottering on, just by those few words.

But I find it very disconcerting to realise that it is now how people are described!

I was going through a friend’s pictures on facebook who had just been to a wedding. Then I noticed some foiine guy in one. Quick, quick I called my friend to get the lowdown on the guy. His response to my first question “who is the guy?” was he works in blah blah. Ermm, seriously? Is that who he is? Like I thought his name would be the first point to start but apparently I thought wrong.

Same thing happened a couple of days back. I was catching up with a girlfriend of mine and as usual, things drifted to the state of our emotional lives; relationships and lack thereof. So, I ‘fessed up that there was some guy on my horizon that I really thought had potential. Her first question was, “where does he work?”!!! And there, I was thinking that the important things she’d want to know would be how we met and how serious his intentions were. Turns out again I thought wrong. What does it matter where he works?

Is that how shallow we are these days? Where people think that the sum of our being can be succinctly relayed by where we work? All I can say is, God help the person with no job because as things stand now, you cease to exist!

Miss K

Miss K

An engineer by day, writer by night. I'm a bunch of contradictions. Both the liberal and the conservative; the silly child and the prim & proper lady. Welcome to the reflections of my cynical mind and open heart as I ponder living the gidi life, my adopted city. Viva la Las Gidi!!!


  1. Honestly, i tire. I experienced it this past year while doing an internship with an NGO in naija. So irritating. Though, and i may be remiss, based on my observation it appears that “meeting one’s job rather than the person” is more prevalent amongst Nigerians. I mean i still see that in the states among “preppy/ivy leaguers” but not as bad among naijas. God help us.

  2. Welcome… Chuckle to the crazed world where your potential as a person boils down to where u work and how much you are potentially worth, it doesn’t matter if you just a janitor at Mobil, Chevron or Total… U sha dey work there…

    What do u do is better than where do you work… If na me u ask where do u work… I go tell u say I no get work…

  3. I read the same article..found it quite eye opening before you knew it my response to “So What do you do ? became I worked (fullstop) or im a 9 to 5er ..( both response seem to come across as rude, esp the i worked answer ..
    But i think its the age we are in , think back to secondary school the question was “which school did you attend, or summer lesson are you going to ”
    Who am i kidding in 9ja community we use it to seize one up ..

  4. Miss K I feel u die! It’s sad really, very sad. Worse still is ppl then helpin u ‘evaluate’ ur level of ‘involvement’ at said workplace. Eg: ‘what do u do?’ ‘I fly.’ ‘ R u a pilot?’ And I’m thinkin.. ‘No I am d aircraft!’
    Or ‘I write.’ Usually met with silence and then u see their eyes wander past u like they r lookin for some more ‘interestin’ person(s)..
    Really sad.

  5. Lol @all comments!
    Shade – well, I don’t know if its jst a naija thing o. Bt its def so prevalent in this our Lagos!
    @Lanre – as soon as u say u no get work, omo its on to d next one. Who wants to waste time taking to a man wt no paper?
    @Favre – I get dt its d age we nw are in, I accept dt. I jst don’t agree wt it being d main hinge of a person’s personality to d point dat it is how they are described!
    @Towun – talnz a bunch. I aim to please…
    @Franque – of cos, its nt jst enuf to say “I work in a bank”, so does d cleaner or d messenger. They also av to assess your potential worth nau… Lol!

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