By Paul Anderson
When people ask me what I do, I never know how to answer the question. Most people state their occupation. But, does that define what we do? I usually respond with something cheeky like “metabolize,” or “provide for those around me” or “go running or fly airplanes any chance I get.” But, usually people want to know what you do for a living. I usually get stumped when they ask that particular question.
I asked my youngest child what he thought I did for a living. He said “play with computers all day,” which is not entirely inaccurate. I asked my oldest, and he said “fly airplanes” (again, I do fly a lot of airplanes, but unfortunately I spend most of my time as a passenger rather than a pilot). My pets would say my entire existence is dedicated to providing them food and entertainment (obviously they have figured something out). My wife would say that I type on the computer, talk on the phone, go to meetings, and spend way too much time in airplanes and at hotels. Although accurate, it doesn’t get at the core of what I do.
When I try to explain to people what I do in any detail, after a minute or so I see their eyes glaze over. I have taken to just saying “I’m in the software business.” I can usually get away with that, but sometime people actually want to know more.