What do you do for a living ?

I had originally posted this last summer, but this question has been on my mind all day.

What do you do for a living ?  In any conversation with a new audience,  this question is bound to come up right after you find out their name is Jack Bytheway.  I had no idea that many people had the last name of Bytheway.   Pay attention in the future, you will hear it used soon…

But what do you do for a living ?  It feels like it has to define you.  The answer encapsulates all that you are and have ever been.   And depending on how someone answers tell you how much they believe what they say.   I am the perfect example.   For years I have given the corporate title, trying to word it in such a way that would not want my audience to collapse from boredom.   But that is not what I do for a living.

I am a writer.  For as long as I can remember.  Pulling ideas that float down from the clouds and letting my imagination put them on paper.    THAT is what I do for a living.

If you are not sure what yours is :  Use this one.      “I breathe for a living. Try not doing that and the living part does not last too long”   

Pretty sure that will confuse the hell out of your audience.

One of my favorite movies and movie lines comes from Castaway.    “I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring”

Never stop searching for what that “thing” is that you do for a living….   For some lighter ideas from my post last summer ,  read below.   And my name is Tom Bytheway……


Some job titles you can use at cocktail parties,  they are on me……..

I discovered a cure for boredom. Unfortunately it only works when I am done talking to you.

I invented sand. The ocean used to roll up to concrete, and nobody went to the beach. Yes, you can thank me as you enjoy your vacation.

I did not invent water, but I am responsible for the 2 in H20. It made water taste a hell of a lot better and you don’t want to know what H7O was like.

My great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grandfather wrote a book in the Bible. His name was Larry Leviticus. He lived next door to Dexter Deuteronomy. We get royalties for every hotel room.

I inherited the family business. We invented food. You may have seen some in grocery stores.

I am a lion tamer in the circus. I get paid huge sums of money to be flown around the world, tame the lion, and then fly back. I must leave in 12 minutes so I can no longer speak with you.

I created a sub electronic cathenater to put into vehicles that will help with gas mileage and the air conditioning. It works by fusing the lower ractigon with the engine block to propel the ductiphone into the wheel vectors. (If they are still listening that this point, I tell them it works for 5,000 miles and then the car explodes. By then I am a rich man and living in Tahiti)

My family created the indoors. It started with a Denny’s restaurant. We felt people needed a place to eat late night.

My passion in life it to discover a new species each week. Last week I found a new species in Aisle 7 of the Food Lion. If you saw how it was eating you would not argue with me. I only have about ten minutes left this week, and brother, you ain’t it…

I just started a new job inspecting all the elevators on the island. I have to make sure each elevator has all the number buttons. It is hours of hard work but I find it extremely fulfilling. It helps to be able to count to 3. I was recently promoted to manager of the 4th floor elevator of a major hotel.

That’s all for today. Always keep people guessing. If getting to know you involves people wanting to know how you “fit” into the system, let them think you are in on a secret no one told them about. More than likely they will leave you alone, or at least avoid you at the post office.

One thought on “What do you do for a living ?

  1. Thank you Tom. I once went to a college reunion. None of the more interesting people showed up. At one point we were to go around the circle and say something about your life. Everyone was talking just about their great job, position, award, kids, etc. By the time it was my turn, I had had enough, so I stood up and said “I live near Marysville, PA in the country with 3 cats and 2 dogs and I am on welfare.” then I sat down. Eventually I smiled. The sharing then greatly improved with much more real comments and humor. Daniel

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