Well I'm a financial consultant.
I work for the blah blah non-profit.
Sometimes I moonlight as an independent contractor for the government run company x,y,and z.
Right now I'm just temping, but I was to be on the hill.
I'm on the hill.
Research and Development for the such and such law firm.
All very acceptable answers to the question "so what do you do..." in the District of Columbia.
Dog Walker, Filmmaker, Writer, Painter, Designer, (insert sad low paying job), etc...
Are not acceptable.
As a girl from the country where the simple life rules, having to answer questions about my employment history on a first date/at a bar/online gets very annoying. I'm just going to start responding with, "I'm sorry but I know no one or nothing that can help you advance your career, but what's your favorite color?"
If you've lived in DC for longer than 2.5 seconds it's happened to you. If you're still in college it's usually the same question but directed towards your major or intern history.
So for the next month, I'm just not going to ask people their job titles and instead ask where they grew up, if they know any great places to go, or if they have seen the new exhibit at the Newseum. Because who am I to judge Joe Schmo based on his job, because let's be real... we all do it.
The reason in particular that it occurs more often in the first 30 minutes of meeting someone here, versus say, bumblebutt minnesota, is due to the transient nature of the District as a whole. No one is truly a citizen of the District because by anthropological definition if you were a citizen, you'd call it DC. (LEGIT STUDY I PROMISE). An anthropology professor at American University has been studying the ever changing/rotating population and the ever steady population of the District and those who live here who are not intending to stick it out for the long haul, typically call the district by the full name, Washington, DC or just Washington. But I digress...
So the idea is that because DC is so transient, people are constantly trying to vy for top positions here or figure out a way where they can get top positions elsewhere through constant networking and smarmy politico dealings. And since this new potential knows nothing about you past your yellow shirt and great smile, there's a likelihood that you could assist them in climbing the social ladder through a better job and your close circle of Senator buddies. It's due to this six-degree of separation idea that YOU can now help THEM meet more people and allow them to climb the rungs of prosperity and new contacts.
So as a single lady out there fighting the good fight, I'm going to come out and say it. I'm. So. Over. Networking when trying to meet a potential dating partner. Personally I'd like to be liked for being me, not for knowing Senator Cornyn or being besties with Congressman Poe. Because if that's the case and they're using you solely for your connections, as soon as they get in with the person they want, you'll be dropped faster than an egg into a skillet.