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"How do you learn all those lines" and other bad openers

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:59 PM
Original message
"How do you learn all those lines" and other bad openers
Every profession has a phrase or two that it loves to hate. These come up again and again at parties and other social occasions where one has to mingle with strangers

Wherever actors go, they are asked, "How do you learn all those lines?"

As a graduate student in linguistics, I heard two questions constantly: "How many languages do you know?" and "Are you going to be an interpreter at the UN?"

When I became a professor of Japanese, I constantly heard, "I can't even speak English."

Math teachers hear, "I was never any good at math."

English teachers hear, "Oops, I'd better watch my grammar."

My father, a Lutheran pastor, was always told, "It must be nice to work just one day a week."

How about you? What is your profession, and what clichd questions or comments do you hear from clueless people?
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Software Engineer
And I usually get asked how to fix hardware.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. So they ask you stuff like
why their external hard drive is making those funny noises?
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. Yeah, or other things about their PCs that I may or may not know
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. securitization guru
i usually get asked to predict the dow; or, i get held responsible for every criminal use of securitization techniques.
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
4. writers:
"Where do you get your ideas?"

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BigMcLargehuge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
30. more annoying first questions for writers:
How many books have you written? Do you write like Steven King? Have you read The Bridges of Madission County... I loved that book... etc...
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. I am a fishery biologist
I either hear "What's that" a lot (clue, it's a biologist that works on fisheries) or "Where y'all stock at?".
What really cracks me up is when thay ask where we plant fish.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
21. A slight tangent
My GF has degrees in musicology and biology. She would always get the same joke. Are you learning to Tuna Fish? .... ok so it was my joke and she has stuck with me for 10 years so maybe it wasn't such a bad pickup line.
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DoctorBombay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
6. My wife is a chemist, she gets this one:
"Do you get to blow stuff up?"

Seriously, it's like people turn into Beavis when they find out what she does.

I'm a boring old cube rat, no one asks me what I do. Which is good, because I'm not quite sure either.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Your wife ought to smile diabolically and say,
"Why, no, I actually develop slow-acting poisons for the CIA." :evilgrin:
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
7. I don't even know where the on button is
Oh, could you build me a website?
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FarmerOak Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
8. In my hotel manager life,
I would always get asked "can you get me a good deal?"

In my actor life, I would also get asked "were you nervous?"
(Um... do you get nervous when you go to work? It's work! Just do it!)

In my bookseller life, I get the best questions:
"Have you read all these books?"
"What book should I get for my Aunt Gertrude? She doesn't like anyhting too sexy."
"Do you have that book, by that guy, who wrote that other book? The other book was blue, but this one's not."

And writers always love the question, "where do you get your ideas?"
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. A better question to ask anyone in an unfamiliar profession:
"What's your main area of interest in that field?"

If you meet a clergy person, you can always ask, "What issues are facing your congregation?"
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FarmerOak Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Um, best not ask a Catholic priest that...
Sore subject. Ask him where he gets his collars bleached, instead.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. But what if he's just looking for an opportunity to vent?
:-)
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FarmerOak Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. That's the problem...
They aren't allowed to vent. They repress everything. That's why they get that way.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. One that I forgot:
Now that I'm a translator, I get "Are you fluent?"

It's sort of like asking a doctor, "Do you know biology and chemistry?"

Not all people who are "fluent" ("proficient" is a better word. "Fluent" just means that you can talk fast.) in a language are translators, but it's awfully hard to be a translator if you are not proficient in the source language.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #11
23. Just shake your head and mutter
dame, dame. :evilgrin:
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pagerbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
14. Don't get me started!
I'm a typesetter ("Do they still do that?" "Isn't that all done with Quark/desktop publishing now?")

-slash-programmer ("Oh, it must be easy for you to find a job with yoru skills!")

for a financial printer ("Do you print money?")


I used to work for a different company that did PR/advertising in the mutual fund industry ("Then you could tell me where to invest?")


Is it any wonder I wince when people find out I sing, too?
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Elidor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. "Oh, I've always wanted to be a designer."
Oh, yeah? Too bad no one ever pointed you toward college, then. No, I won't design a flyer for your yard sale. No I can't tell you how to use Photoshop. No, Microsoft Publisher files are not suitable for ad submissions. (And on, and on...)
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sleepyhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. yep - similar one here
Ooooooooo, I always wanted to be a veterinarian because I love puppies and kittens! Oh, and do you need to go to school for that? (no, I spent 4 years and $100K just for the sheer amusement of it all - sigh)
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'm a musician
all I hear, over and over and over is:

"Freebird!"
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furrylitldevil Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Here, here
That and "stairway"!
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. and "Margaritaville"
Oh well.

Beats hearing "I have this toilet that doesn't flush," I guess.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
19. System Administrator: Can you tell me whats wrong with my computer
Ssy Admin is one of those favor professions. Someone always needs help with a messed up computer. And who better to ask than the guy that knows all about them.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. Historian here. Students who say, "History's boring."
History is NOT boring. The kids who think it is never had good history teachers.
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Pithlet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
24. "It must be great to sit home and watch soaps"
I'm a stay-at-home mom.
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rhino47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
25. Antique Dealer
"How much is this worth?"
It is kind of hard to tell the person that their prize piece is
without value.Most times that is the case.
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Donkeyboy75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
28. I'm a chemist. I get
"Wow, I HATED chemistry."
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
29. When I worked for the cable company
It was "Can you get me free HBO?"

Sure, we love it when people steal from us!
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SPICYHOT Donating Member (345 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-17-04 02:57 AM
Response to Original message
31. you too!
working in japan as a language teacher, than seems to be the only choice that we foreigners have here, can hear that only stupid oh! you too! :hangover:
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