“So, what does your husband do?” My good friend, Anu, is asked this question not at a kitty party or some informal gathering but at a job interview.
Some how, for some reasons that Anu could never fathom, what her husband does or does not do for a living seems to speak a lot about her talents and abilities.
Many a time,such a question is followed by raised eyebrows which ask ,’So, what are you doing about it?’.
Really! thought Anu, what can one adult do about another adult who suddenly becomes a champion of ideas of ‘non co-operation, it’s a bad world outside, I can do only so much etc.?’
Isn’t it supposed to be commonsense to know what is to be done?
Initially Anu loved making up stories about the many talents of her ‘maverick’ spouse who can just about do anything. She loved painting interesting pictures, imaginary, of course, of the wonderful enlightened thoughts and ideas that emanated from that increasingly escapist skull!
The trouble began only when Anu sort of forgot what she had told earlier to someone. It created serious difficulty in giving her ‘my spouse is great even when doing nothing’ story the necessary build up. Some how, her friends and family seemed to have an elephantine memory in this regard and they always caught her off-guard.
“But last time you said?” “Oh, did I?”
Anu realized the difficulties inherent in making up a new story every time. She decided to keep it simple and just be honest.
Definitely, unemployability was no sin.
When the questioning became repetitive and probing, Anu was upfront, ‘Hey, no, he is not working’,a heavy silence ensued from the other side, this was followed by a consolatory, ‘it’s ok, it happens’ .
Anu laughed to herself. ‘What else could you even say?’, she jeered in silence.
But conversation never ended there. Outpouring of suggestions, plan of action, experts’ advice, novice’s guidance, I am not sure, maybe you can try this etc. always followed.
Until, Anu sighed resignedly to announce, ‘So, it’s like this. The situation is grim, but as you can see, I am pulling along”, with a ‘Vote of Thanks’ sort of gravity.
This was a clear signal and the conversation was steered on to other interesting habits of other spouses on the planet and their misdemeanors.
But, what relevance does the question have in a job interview, Anu wondered.
Do men get asked the similar questions she wanted to know.