"So what do you do?" is a good question everyone asks and no one would hesitate to ask (like it was a right deemed upon them) in India once they think they know you quite well (and that takes just 3 seconds after you have told them your name). With the unemployment rate hitting 10.8% (according to http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=in&v=74) and steadily growing, this is a question that often erupts people into regressive babbling. However, not to sideline the Indians alone, I think this is a common feature with people all around the world (Now that everyone is included and the topic has thus been universalized, let me continue...). People tend to judge a woman by the way she keeps a house and the food put on the table and the man by the job he does... traditional, cultural and natural (irrespective of whether I support it or not). The reflective dignity and respect depends on this (Remember, that "respect commanded, not demanded" stuff?!).
So what comes after the comma? A regular conversation would go something like this:
"Yes Sir, my name is... duh. duh, duh" and then the real-life situation question that is soon to follow would be: "what do you do?" and then begins the line... , ("comma", cos the sentence never ended, you see, in the first place) "blah, blah, blah" or "well, hummhumph, (look away distracted)" as the case may be. Suppose you have blah-blahed as you mentioned your job, then trust me even if you were the messiah in your own company or a arse-nibbling corporate rat, you will be looked top to bottom and asked, "not government job enh?" Suppose you had said that you were actually a government "servant", the next question would be "What was your name again?" Duh!
As one of my friends who wanted to enter the Government Office gates put it, "Even if you are a sweeper, make sure you sweep a government building... Government job matters!" Yeah, it does matter especially when his folks were out looking for a girl for him. How safe we want to be enh?! Government job, arranged marriage, pension, no tension. This is a place where we would not remove the plastic covers from our new car seats till it wears off right? Playing safe all the way...
Somehow, I have felt that government job is something where people work really, really hard to enter and relax the moment after... it is like as if they retire in their minds as soon as they get their appointment order and get ready NOT to work.
Still, a man's got to do what a man's got to do. Jobless, and your arm is bleeding... no one would care (friends or family... standard rule stands... no one cares); have a job and a pin just pricked you and you hardly bled, the world will stand upside down to take care of you lest it hurts; sarkari naukri (government job) and you just farted, still smells good for those around. That leads me to ask... so who/what do people see?! if it is not you, is it what comes after the comma?! Then how worthless that "you, me, I, we."