Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ticking the boxes

I've posted before about my feelings re labels and the way society attempts to push us into neat pigeonholes.

This last week we've bought 2 new gadgets - a cordless phone and a digital camera.
(Actually the camera belongs to First Born and Little Guy but I'm hoping they'll let me play sometimes.)

Along with the packaging and manuals (byebye, rain forest) both have those product registration leaflets that are used for marketing purposes.

Here are the options for you and your partner's occupations:

  • craftsman/tradesman
  • education/medical services
  • housewife/homemaker
  • manual/factory worker
  • middle management
  • office/clerical
  • professional/senior management
  • retired
  • shop worker
  • unemployed
  • student
So where does a swimming teacher fit in? Education?

And what about me - is a writer a crafts(wo)man?
If writing keeps you sane, would that put you into the medical services category?
More than likely you're also cooking, cleaning etc ie homemaking.
But if you're lucky enough to be able to churn out words, is that like working in a factory?
If you type those words, isn't that a clerical function?
But you're your own boss - senior management?
And it's vital to keep your mind open to new experiences - so maybe a student ...

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Unknown said...

Tick 'em all - I do, or I add a list at the bottom. I also tick every one in the ethnic origin box. Let them work it out!

Anonymous said...

I hate pidgeon holing it should carry a government health warning, that and lookism (sorry, I know this is not a proper word, but it covers the experience). I think it comes into one catagory though, if you look a certain way people assume you do earn your living in a certain way, ie the person in the leather mini skirt and six inch stilletos could just as well be a surgeon as a bar worker.

Find it mega amusing to tell people I work for a government agcency - giving the impression of bluetooth earpieces and water coolers, etc. Near enough - am a clerk in the NHS, have got the water cooler - no cool earpiece yet, but live in hope!

Anonymous said...

I agree Debi, I hate labels too, but.. but... what about 'middle class', what about 'men in suits', 'ladies who lunch', 'tabloid tories' (mea culpa), 'Daily Mail readers' (mea maxima culpa), 'wet liberals', 'bureaucrats' and all the rest of it.
We're all at it aren't we?
Cold compress anyone..?

Debi said...

Minx - I do so love a subversive.

Kath - lovely to see you again. Hope life is treating you well. 'Lookism' is a wonderful word. I think that's why I confuse people - they look at me and can't work out how on earth to categorise me.

Joan - you've dragged me back screaming (as usual). Though some of the labels you mention are down to choices, which is different I think.

OK - here's the deal. I can use labels but no one else can (mea culpa's maxed out).

The Wandering Author said...

I end up writing all over those things. I suspect it drives them crazy...