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The work files

On "what do you do" in Ireland

I always noticed when the non-Irish in Ireland asked me "what do you do?" because I never heard it from the Irish.

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.

The Irish might ask "are you working?" 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 as part of an initial conversation. This is uncommon among 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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