How do you commonly answer the question "What do you do for a living?"
Are you a Captain? A merchant mariner? A merchant seaman? In the merchant marines? I work on ships, tugs…whatever?

I used to start with the merchant marine route…but people always confused it with the “other” Marines, so I just say I work on ships…of course then they ask what I do on ships, and it’s a whole other can of worms.

I used to tell people “I’m a Mariner”, but got tired of them saying “No way, you’re too fat to be a baseball player.” Now I just tell them I drive tugboats.

I start with I work offshore, then either they leave it at that or ask what do I do offshore and then I tell them I’m a boat captain and run crew boats. And then if I’m still getting weird looks I tell them that I deliver supplies and sometimes people to the platforms in the gulf.

International Man of Mystery, or I am a piano player in a whorehouse.

When I was in the trucking business. I hauled a lot of oversized and over width machinery…That always seemed to spark lots of questions…One answer, would lead to 10 more questions…
.Finally, I hit the jack pot of answers…When they ask, what do you do…?
I would tell them that I am the " Greeter Guy ," at Wal Mart…That will pretty much end the conversation ,right then and there…

I always say that I’m a Captain for company XYZ.

Tell them you’re a Merchant Marine, you’re in the Marine Corp.
Tell them you’re a sailor, you’re in the Navy.
Tell them you’re a pilot, you fly airplanes.
Tell them you’re a Mate, they think you’re some Australian guy’s pal.
Then I went to work on a cable ship. I would tell people I repaired submarine fiber optic cable. They would either think I worked on submarines, or asked if we used SCUBA to do the repairs. True story.

Now I either tell people I’m a fry cook or a rodeo clown. It’s just easier that way.

I tell people I’m a guitar player who drives tug boats for my day job.

“So what do you go to school for?”
“I’m a cadet at the maritime academy.”
“Is that like the military or something?”
“No, when I graduate I will drive ships.”
“Like in the Navy?”


Lately I’ve found myself using “old reliable” - I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. It would probably go great with <strong>stellarseas’</strong> “International Man of Mystery” comeback.

II usually just say “I work on ships” which usually goes ok, but sometimes it goes more like this:
Them "What do you do?"
Me: "I work on ships"
Them "What kind"
Me "Very large ones"
Them "Like Cruise Ships or the navy? "
Me "Like the merchant marine"
Them "oh you’re a marine!"
Me pointing at my hair “Do I look like a marine?”

I cut holes in the ocean!

I’m a seaman, the rest is just fluff…

I tell people I work at the dump. Some actually feign interest and ask what I do there. “Security guard.” That usually ends the conversation. If they still persist I tell them about the “friday night rat shoots” and invite them down. If the’re still interested I’ve made a friend for life.

I was once telling a story to someone who knew I worked offshore, and referred several times to “my mate” with references to “he/him” and much later began to wonder why she seemed to think I would be so interested in the fact that they have such a strong gay community in Seattle. I then thought back and realized where the miscommunication was.

I tell 'em that I drive a tractor trailer on the water taking stuff to the oil rigs!