Have you ever been at a party, maybe work related, maybe something for the holidays, and someone asks you that dreaded question? The question that is so inevitable, we can’t seem to escape it. The Big Question. Like, the future of the universe depended on someone knowing the answer.
“So, what do you do?”
They’re obviously asking about your job. Our jobs do not necessarily define us. They can if we want or need them to. But they don’t have to. Maybe, it’s because statistically, we probably spend more time at work than with our loved ones.
But that’s a whole other story.
I never answer “The Big Question” with anything expected. I’m more prone to say something like, “I dream about being the last person boarding the final space ship from Earth before the big asteroid collision. After me, there’s only enough room for one more animal. It’s either going to be a snake or a tiger. Which one do I bring with me?”
Usually, the look on my fellow party goer’s face is quite bewildered. They stare for a short moment, then add, “I meant, what do you do for a living?”
No More Work
I’ve heard rumors of the impending robot takeover. It’s coming. Nobody will work. We’ll live in a utopian future where benevolent machines watch over us, feed us, love us, and also, work the jobs humans used to.
Humans won’t be employed anymore. We won’t have to be.
Our waiters, our bartenders, our checkout clerks, our taxi drivers, will all be robots. And that’s fine.
It’ll free up so much brain power for the planet. Think of all the humans suddenly not having to sell corn chips all day long to angry customers tired of waiting in long lines. Perhaps that checkout person could figure out how to terraform a distant planet if we only gave them the free time, away from work, to dream up the techniques?
Again, I’m dreaming, really, and I’m totally ignoring so many other questions of economics, society, plausibility, etc. . . to get to my even bigger point.
In the future, when there are no more human jobs, you’ll likely go to a party. Maybe even a holiday party. I’m sure holidays will still exist in the future.
And someone will probably ask you the Big Question: “So, what do you do?”
You may have to think about your answer. What do you do in the post-everything robot-controlled future? It will finally be an interesting question to ask people.
Hopefully, your answer will be something like, “I help people. I create a greater value for the planet than when I first arrived. It was worth it that I consumed all those non-renewable resources for all those years in order to feed my brain. Because look what I do with all that mental power. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Hopefully, the other person will just shake their head in agreement and astonishment.
Here’s the Clincher.
That answer, the one from the future, the one you’ll give at the post-work holiday party.
Think about it. Think hard.
You’ll need this answer pretty soon. In fact, you’ll need it today.
Because it’s the exact answer you should give the next time someone asks you “And what do you do?”
Stop telling people what you do for a living. Pretend the post-work future is now.
Here. Let’s get started.
“It’s so nice to make your acquaintance, faithful and intelligent reader. It’s a pleasure to meet you. And what do you do?”