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"what do you do" in Ireland


I always noticed when the non-Irish asked me "what do you do?" I only ever heard it amongst foreigners.

I was a foreigner. I'm American. Americans are deeply concerned about "what you do" for a living.

Among the Irish, it doesn't matter as much, and as a rule they will not be as concerned about your employment as most other peoples.

The Irish might ask "are you working?" But this does not imply "what do you do," nor does it mean "are you working today. It only ever means "do you have a job," and is a show of benevolent interest.

The people of many western cultures will often ask you what you do for a living, and it will be an important part of an initial conversation. This is uncommon amongst the Irish.
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* I worked in industrial cleaning, when I worked. Mostly window-washing, including initial-cleans at construction sites; also carpets, floors, general site cleanups, and miscellaneous related tasks.

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