On the Form, Describe Your Occupation, Please, in One Line

On the Form, Describe Your Occupation, Please, in One Line

Box office at the theater
library desk
delivery truck
private office with a window and two guest chairs
street corner (day and night shifts
multiple categories of commerce)
real estate office
school cafeteria
swimming pool
four-foot deep trench cut into the road

Sell tickets chat about the show marvel at the actor
who is nothing like his part in real life
Check out books chat about the books shelve
the books
care for the books that people need and love
Drop off yogurt and milk without blocking the street too long
stay on the schedule never get into a traffic accident
Maneuver facts and figures and nobody knows
what else
make sure no matter what else happens that the payroll taxes are paid
Sell fried rice, sell cheap gloves to people who’ve
lost their better ones,
sell souvenirs to tourists. Sell company, sell apology
flowers, sell sell just sell
Show houses to house buyers prequalified and
ready to be entranced by trendy accoutrements
just like what they saw on that TV show
Cut servings of Jello set them in small white bowls
heavy for their size line them up on the glass shelf
again and again
Whistle out kids for rest break teach them how
to swim
keep them from drowning and running on the
pool deck
Stand below ground level in cold dirt with a view of car tires all day
connecting up water pipes or gas lines wearing
glow-green vest
over a hoodie and hard hat

What I’m trying to say is:
one line is not anywhere near enough.


2 thoughts on “On the Form, Describe Your Occupation, Please, in One Line

  1. It is so very true that a job title does in no way communicate what the job actually entails. I know, for instance, that a lot of people think my job as a preschool teacher is nothing much more than fancy babysitting and playing with kids. Whenever someone asks what my husband does for a living, I take a deep breath because it is so difficult, convoluted, and ultimately pretty boring to explain.

    • YEs, I have the same problem explaiing my husband’s job and for my son, same thing, though at least for him I can show examples on the internet. As for me, I can say, I was a commercial lender for small businesses, I made loans to small businesses. I guess those were the days, I knew where I was and what I was doing!

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