08 July 2008

The questions

Brandon recently wrote a bit about his reaction to being asked about his 5 year plan. Last one I had was to attend a 4 year college after finishing high school.

Last time I was asked was in a job interview some years ago. Amidst a room full of interviewers, one guy commented how essentially useless asking about a person's 5 year plan was; I agreed and then he asked me anyway.

Though I've had a reprieve from that particular interrogation, other loathsome questions have cropped up in its stead. E.g., all the variations of "So what are you up to these days?" when it clearly means either: "What of significance to me are you accomplishing?" or "Are you failing or succeeding at what I thought you were or should be doing?"

I've heard it often enough I really should have a better answer by now, but I remain stumped, sputtering through the encounters until I recall my best too-late deflections.

What's your least favorite question? How do you handle being asked it?

3 years ago on TTaT: Somewhat better in retrospect


  1. "Did you mean for them to cut your hair like that?"

    "It's the new style. I saw it in Cosmo or something."

  2. ooh, that's a rotten question too. May be why I've been procrastinating on getting my hair cut lately. ;)

  3. "So, what do you do for fun?" I have a little bit of a thing about not being very fun.

    Also, it's hard to answer that question without sounding really generic ("I like to see movies and hang out with my friends!") or snobby ("I write novels and go to art museums!") or weird ("I like to Google old classmates and spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I'm going to wear tomorrow!"). In truth, I am generic and snobby and weird. But I'd prefer for people to take time to discover it.

  4. Yes, they should have to work for it, shouldn't they?

    At least half the problem may be that the questions themselves are so trite, or in iron fist's case leading. Why should we then put effort into a creative response?