"So, what do you do for a living?"

"So, what do you do for a living?"

We've heard it many times, especially in the workaholic United States, where it's the first question many people ask when they meet someone new:

"So, what do you do for a living?"

Here are a few creative suggestions from CLAWS members for unconventional replies to that dreaded question. If you use these, you can probably count on some strange looks from people who are just trying to make casual conversation, but the point is to get people to question the knee-jerk thinking about the work ethic, is it not?

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"I try to avoid selling my labor hours in the 'free' market wage economy. I prefer to work for love, not money."

- submitted by D. JoAnne Swanson

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"I am presently too prosperous to work."

(If the questioner persists, asking if you're independently wealthy or have an inheritance - which is, we think, quite an intrusive and rude question - you can reply "I meant that I am too MENTALLY prosperous to work, not too FINANCIALLY prosperous.")

- from Ernie J. Zelinski's book The Joy of Not Working


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"What do I do for a living? Why, I live, of course!"

- submitted by Quinn Norton


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(said with a pensive look, as if you've pondered the question deeply)
"I'm making my contribution to society by learning how to handle being without a job indefinitely. That's a difficult thing in a society so driven by the work ethic, wouldn't you say?"

- contributor unknown


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"1) Breathe.
2) Eat well and get plenty of excercise. Just what the doctor ordered.
3) Watch the sunset and listen to the sounds of the birds and the children as they play.
4) Try to stay healthy, act with honesty, honor the earth and life thereon,
and be as helpful as possible.
5) I live to give and give to live. Ancient Indian secret."

- submitted by Glen


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"I need so much time for doing nothing that I have no time for work."

- submitted by Pierre Reverdy


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"As little as possible."

- submitted by Will Skinner


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"What you should really be asking is Who I Am. Not what I do."

"Me? I'm a hunter/gatherer!"

- submitted by Tristan Smith


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