It has happened to me so many times now I think I’ll just have to accept it and just go with the flow.
Trying to explain what a software engineer does for Yahoo! News to people I meet or family members has been interesting. Here is a sample conversation with a friend I met.
Friend: “So what do you do for Yahoo!?”
Me: “I’m a software engineer for Yahoo! News”
Friend: chew on some noodles..
Me: “Well, I write instructions for the machines so that everything is automated and even when I’m not at my desk the web site is updating”
Friend: “oh! you don’t type up the news for them?”
Me: I start cracking up.. No no, I don’t. News comes from satellite or from the internet, I write…. I see the blank stare..
Me: Here is my usual answer: You ever watched The Matrix? You know that green screen where all these non sense characters are flowing by? That is the screen I usually stare at all day long except the characters does make sense
Friend: Hmm, ok, continue chewing noodles
Me: I’m a highly paid equivalent to a VCR programmer. Thought bubble: “It’s not that hard to understand, someone has to write the software for you web surfers to use web site”
Friend: I’m sure you are good at what you do. Is that your pager going off? Are you tech support or something? I know what they do, they fix my Windows machine
Makes for funny conversations if the blank stare doesn’t come on too early.