It seems to me that when you are introduced to a person for the first time you should ask them something about themselves. Something personal, I mean. Unfortunately, the most common question is, "What do you do?"
I do a lot of things. I quilt, I paint, I walk my dog, well you get the idea. But that's not what they're asking. They really mean, "What kind of work do you do?" Somehow a person's employment has come to define the person. That doesn't sound reasonable to me.
What is even less reasonable is the response most people give. "I work at ??? Company." The question wasn't, "Where do you work?" It was, "What do you do?" So now we're taking it one step further--defining a person by what he/she does and where he/she does it. If the answer to the first question is, "I'm an engineer," does it matter where? Is the question meant to define the value of that person's worth?
As most of you know, I'm a writer. Or at least that's my job. For whom do I write? I write for Central Florida Lifestyle Magazines. Would you think more of me if I was a technical writer? Or if I wrote for Vanity Fair? (Or maybe less of me, depending upon your opinion of those examples.)
Here is a link to my articles in the September issue of Central Florida Lifestyle Magazines.
My point is that people who clean toilets are just as important as the President of the United States. After all, without them, we'd all be sitting on dirty tiolets! (Anybody who was in NYC during the garbage strike knows what I mean.)