Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Work and Identity

I work in theater. When I tell people where I work they usually ask lots of questions. Then one of three things happens.
Thing 1. My job is not interesting or important enough for them. They have to mend this in their mind. Next time I am introduced by them they say "This is Carrie. She is in charge of all the costumes at _________. " Then I have to say oh no and explain my job for real so people don't get the wrong idea about me or my duties.
I have often wondered about this need for other people to elevate me from mere Wardrobe Girl to some sort of Super Costume Woman. Over the years I have decided that it has more to do with people needing to feel more important. If they know someone who works somewhere cool it sounds even cooler and more important if they have a cool job.
Thing 2. When people know where I work I often get introduced in terms of my work. "This is Carrie. She works at _________."
This is a little less annoying because it does sometimes prove a good icebreaker for me to talk about what I do. People ask me lots of questions. But sometimes it makes me wonder because I don't always introduce people in terms of where they work. I also wonder if I would be half as fascinating if I worked in an office filing TPS reports. It is good because it pulls me out of my shell.
Thing 3. Sometimes discussion about my work leads to lots of questions and I end up feeling like I unintentionally derail the normal set path of something like a writing class because people want to talk about my job for way longer than they would want to talk about me if I was a waitress or something.
I start a new writing class on Monday which will mean meeting new people and lots of new conversations about what I do. I'm looking forward to my class and will have to send them here if they want to know about my job.

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