Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, March 4

Gapers Block

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Joe / April 4, 2005 6:48 AM

I'm on the take, 'cause working is for chumps.

steven / April 4, 2005 7:12 AM

Web developer

Shasta MacNasty / April 4, 2005 8:16 AM

Executive Slave, i.e., Administrative Assistant.

Erica / April 4, 2005 8:25 AM

I'd better answer this one since I asked for it!
I work for a publishing firm downtown where I'm an editor for about seven trade magazines (thrilling). Typing Monkey is the unofficial title of this position.

On the side, I'm the editor for Love, Chicago, the only zine dedicated entirely to local independent bands, artists, retailers, nonprofits and events. Next ish hits streets later this month! (Had to plug it ... again).

Veronica / April 4, 2005 8:38 AM

Writer by night, retail whore by day.

Ian / April 4, 2005 8:46 AM

Freelance Web Developer. My sofa is my corner office...

Mike / April 4, 2005 8:48 AM

Chalk me down for trade magazines as well. No editing though, I'm a lowly reporter (we can barely read).

Adam Verner / April 4, 2005 8:55 AM

Define "living."

My day-job of online marketing pays the bills and feeds my body - but my work as an actor feeds the soul.

Pete / April 4, 2005 9:19 AM

I sell my soul to the corporate beast. Oh, do you mean specifically? I'm a credit manager for a commercial real estate company. I'm not setting the world on fire, but it pays the bills.

eep / April 4, 2005 9:23 AM

I work as an illustrator/layout person for a very small textbook publishing company. Lots of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign for me. Woo?

salty / April 4, 2005 9:31 AM

I'm an office coordinator.

So right now I'm sitting at my desk making sure everything goes smoothly. No riots yet...

In the meantime I'm listening to BBC 6 Music and reading Gapers Block.

Anthony / April 4, 2005 9:40 AM

web application designer, though i've been opting for the term 'Interaction Designer' because it has less of an association with Times New Roman, repeat backgrounds, and font/center tags.

Alice / April 4, 2005 9:41 AM

Librarian. But you knew that already, didn't you?

Brenda / April 4, 2005 9:45 AM

User advocate, cat herder, sensemaker of chaos.

Laura / April 4, 2005 9:55 AM

Archivist at professional association

robin.. / April 4, 2005 10:03 AM

sales associate (executive stapler, honorary tea-orderer, paper shuffler, database miner...) for a large independent book distributor. viva the printed page!

i would, HOWEVER, love to know how travel show hosts get that gig...i could do what that lady on "globe trekker" does...

Thurston / April 4, 2005 10:04 AM

I am a pedantic functionary. Really, I am a technical writer and reinsurance broker, and I find it less than satisfying. We actually have something called TPS at my work, though I never have to read such reports. Alas, there is light at the end of the tunnel: I will be quitting soon.

miss ellen / April 4, 2005 10:16 AM

in title, i'm a manager at a small real estate consulting firm. in reality, i'm an analyst. i crunch numbers.

Roni / April 4, 2005 10:35 AM

Professional feminist

I'd tell you more, but since it's too easy to track me down, I'll play it coy.

Yet another Jen / April 4, 2005 10:43 AM

Roni - you beat me to my line!
My occupation, as listed on my marriage license: feminist.
These days Iím an extremely rare variety: government feminist.
I know, I know it sounds like an oxymoron but itís not.

Andrew / April 4, 2005 10:50 AM

PR flack by day, GB editor by... well, also day, but a good portion of the night, too.

craftymonkey / April 4, 2005 10:54 AM

starving artist.

I devote as much time as possible to my jewelry design company But if I start eating too many raman noodles, I freelance graphic and web design (that is, the kind that anthony describes above as graphic design for the screen, not the programming kind).

jima / April 4, 2005 11:17 AM

My business card says Developer, so I guess I develop.

Todd / April 4, 2005 11:26 AM

I'm a case manager for homeless people. It's a good job, but it's not very sexy; when I tell other guys what I do, they usually get turned off. Once on a lark I entered an amateur "stud contest" at Splash in NYC. When the MC asked all the contestants what they did for a living, they replied, "lawyer," "student," or "porn actor." When I replied, "social worker," the audience booed. I couldn't believe it. I guess I was supposed to lie or something; "social worker" is a real buzz kill. (But then I won second place.)

roderick / April 4, 2005 11:31 AM

My business card says "Account Executive."

Scientific and medical writer, and then some.

Naz / April 4, 2005 11:43 AM


And Creative Director for this here publication.

Fortunate enough to be doing what I love for a living. Though I secretly want to change things up.

I'm often intrigued that when I ask people "What do you do?" meaning more along the line of what do you do for a living, I get instead the what-I-do-to-breathe/feel passion/live response instead. I'm always plesantly surprised by that. Much more interesting.

Blake / April 4, 2005 11:48 AM

My card says associate, but I'm very particular about who I associate WITH.

Leah / April 4, 2005 11:51 AM

I manage an Ice Cream Parlor! I used to work in international education, but left it to manage the store.

My worst job for first date conversations was when I was in a small town and managed the rape crisis hotline. Guys really shut down when you say, "Rape." even if you are just talking about work. Saying sexual assault doesn't get you any more dates, either.

Ron / April 4, 2005 11:52 AM

I am proud to say I am a junkman.

e_five / April 4, 2005 11:56 AM

I'm on my fourth career.

This time it's Public Relations.

kerry / April 4, 2005 12:01 PM

I collect and process human tissues and fluids (and associated byproducts) for medical research purposes. I also collect (and keep confidential) patient information for some of said research.
My primary function is the development, maintenance and management of a prostate tissue bank, but I also do other prostate and non-prostate related projects.

jen / April 4, 2005 12:05 PM

currently, i bounce around from ad agency to ad agency, where i coordinate _______.

nothing would please me more than to 1) relive my days as the esteemed popcorn girl at the drive-in theater, 2) SCUBA dive and maybe teach others or 3) watch puppies at play.

needless to say, advertising has done nothing for me but make me wonder what better things i could be doing from 9-5.

rob / April 4, 2005 12:05 PM

barkeep. film and digital video producer on the side.

would like to think that some day the two could switch.

Toni / April 4, 2005 12:12 PM

Development researcher at a university.

lacey / April 4, 2005 12:24 PM

I say "graphic designer" to this question usually, but I also am the Youth Desk Coordinator for the Baha'i Faith in this country. I really love working with/for Baha'i's not what I expected to be doing (I design stuff about 25% of the time) but I do like it alot.

jen*nee / April 4, 2005 12:26 PM

Dedicated daydreamer and planner of escapes.

elliot / April 4, 2005 12:26 PM

I'm an economic development director for a local municipality. Depending on how the election goes (ain't it always like that), I will be setting the world on fire... at least this little corner of it.


Ted / April 4, 2005 12:34 PM

That's a rude question. I am not my job. Don't judge me or identify me that way. Instead, let me impress you with my witty conversation and my hazel eyes.

emily / April 4, 2005 12:35 PM

admin/personal assistant/office coordinator for a major university. i love working in education, but it's time to stir things up. there is no creativity here.

Jeremy / April 4, 2005 12:38 PM

Civil Engineer

I get to laugh maniacally as I wipe out trees and entire neighborhoods to erect highways and parking lots.


Cinnamon / April 4, 2005 12:42 PM

To pay the mortgage and buy food I work for a textbook publisher in Evanston as an Electronic Production Specialist. This means that I take words from editors, images from designers and put them in their predetermined "appropriate"place on the page and then I get to figure out what all the nit-picky problems are with the pages so I can make our designers lives hell and so we save money when we send it to the printer.

To pay (one of) my credit card bills, I make purses. This makes me very happy.

Alex / April 4, 2005 1:01 PM

I work in a not-for-profit, private elementary school in their development department and I also do in-house graphic design for them, in addition to designing and updating their website. But in real life I am an artist/poet/mother who really doesn't get paid for real work and hard stuff.

paul / April 4, 2005 1:10 PM

When certain people ask me that, I reply "Web Designer" so I won't have to go on about it. In reality, only half my work is on the web and I don't design all that much. At least other designers tell me that I shouldn't design all that much. Basically I'm an all-around freelance Production Grunt for Web, screen or print.

Rich / April 4, 2005 1:11 PM

By day I work as a technical writer creating user guides (printed and online) for a multinational corporation that makes printers and scanners.
By night I write fiction.

"There is hope in honest error; none in the icy perfections of the mere stylist." - Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Michael / April 4, 2005 1:20 PM

I'm a prosecutor @26th & California.

JT / April 4, 2005 1:51 PM

My job is to find fault with everything I see, but not to fix it; I'm a QA analyst at a retailer's headquarters. It's a very strange career.

I'm also a mom, which explains why I have a soul-less job -- it helps pays the bills so my little boys don't live in a Dumpster.

Is the next question "What would you rather do for a living?"

davin / April 4, 2005 1:58 PM

arts education administrator.

it's funny how you come up with those things you say when you have to explain your job to people.

i say: "i place professional artists in schools to teach their art in a classroom setting."

which is true, but ya know, it's funny how i just always say that.

CE / April 4, 2005 1:59 PM

Regional Trainer.

I used to sell toy soldiers for a living. Now I teach people how to sell toy soldiers for a living...

Jordan / April 4, 2005 2:20 PM

I'm a particular kind of superhero known as a historian.
Ok so I'm a research assistant at a museum, while djing and kinda attending grad school at night.
I've decided that the more you actually like your job, the less you get paid.

Emily / April 4, 2005 2:30 PM

Bond Girl.

Tom / April 4, 2005 2:46 PM

I come in at about 8:30 each day, not one minute early or late. If I arrive early, I remain in my car in the parking lot and doze off or listen to the radio. If someone I know walks by I pretend that I talk on my cell phone as to not be disturbed or have someone wait for me to get out of my car to report to my cube.

Upon coming into the office, I attend a daily meeting about nothing relevant to my job. It eats up a half hour or the better part of an hour on some days. We have a nice view of the Kennedy Espressway from the meeting room so I often count cars. Somedays I count the blue ones, other days the red ones. Sometimes I change it up and count semis. Upon completion of the meeting I proceed to the menís restroom 3 floors below mine and spend 15-20 minutes on the throne. That adds up to about 87 hours a year on company time I am taking a crap. I love it. There are a lot of women on the floor I go to so I am often left uninterrupted as I read the sports section while pooping in peace.

From that point I take the stairs (wastes more time) back up to my desk and hold the phone up to my ear dialing numbers I know are not in service while having one sided conversations with myself. For variety, I will often scan old e-mails and compose fake replies to myself. I then break for lunch and take the full hour. For the afternoon, I again start with another session on the pot in the menís room. I then proceed to surf the internet for several hours while keeping boring spreadsheets of useless data ready to make full screen at the first sign of the boss. For the last hour of the day, I am usually tired from all of this hard work. I simply space out from 4-5 PM.

I repeat this for the remaining 4 days of the week.

Thatís what I do!

Benjy / April 4, 2005 3:07 PM

I'm a web designer for a dot com. Not nearly as sexy as it sounds.

Tom's boss / April 4, 2005 3:10 PM

You're so fired, buddy.

tony / April 4, 2005 3:30 PM

My business card reads "MR Applications Development Engineer." I make MRI scanners go.

Erica / April 4, 2005 3:40 PM

I'm with JT about doing a fuel on "dream job."
Mine would be a lot like what I do on the side (zine editor), but I'd get paid enough for it so I could afford mortgage, food, insurance and an occasional night out. Now it's just out-of-pocket and for the love of it.

Emerson Dameron / April 4, 2005 3:41 PM

Freelance writing, office/clerical temp work, guarding the door at a local drinking establishment, etc.

heather / April 4, 2005 3:56 PM

I'm a freelance web designer, writer, model, film producer/editor, and muse.

nothing wrong with judging me by my work - I spend more time doing my jobs than I do at anything else.

Maggie / April 4, 2005 4:02 PM

PR flack, and I'm the daughter of a car salesman, so I cpompletely understand why people don't like to be judged by their job. I also wish I had a cool side job... is reading blogs and watching RealProWrestling considered a side job?

waleeta / April 4, 2005 4:13 PM

I am a singer of songs for His Majesty the King.

LeahW / April 4, 2005 4:45 PM

I'm a Pension Administrator. I administrate pensions... for the Methodist Church.

It's a little dull, but a nice job with really nice people. Planning to someday teach the kids the calculus. Also, I suspect I pass Cinnamon's day job every day when leaving my El station.

Brandy / April 4, 2005 4:49 PM = my work.

I've got no problem with the question, as long as the asker doesn't mind getting about 25 answers. Most folks want a pat, simple answer.

Recently, I was at a party and was asked this question. I answered, "I'm and artist and an entreprenuer." That sorta ended the conversation. I assumed that it was because the asker was in business and couldn't imagine the overlap. Instead the asker was a poet, and couldn't imagine the overlap. C'est La Vie.

Mister C / April 4, 2005 5:29 PM

I'm a freelance Chicago Tour Guide and a homemaker for my IT exec spouse. I also dabble in various and sundry forms of writing and performing. I was a professional stand-up comic for many years but fell prey to the inherent burn-out factor. Now I occasionally hit an open mike when I find myself yelling at the television too much. I'm more into narrative storytelling stuff these days, but my style has always been a hybrid of stand-up and performance monologue, sort of Bill Hicks meets a butch white trash Spalding Gray.

Mister C / April 4, 2005 5:35 PM

I seem to have screwed up the links on my previous post. Go to and/or if you care to.

Leelah / April 4, 2005 5:43 PM

High school English teacher by day, high school English teacher by night, travel writer on every extended vacation!

kk / April 4, 2005 8:42 PM

i'm a marketing/communications geek with lots of time spent i branding and site design + management. so i push a lot of pixels in both word and image form, and groan about the bad
coffee, thank my lucky stars i can pay the bills and do visual art and writing on the side. i tell my cats they should be glad i'm away during the day, bringing home the bacon instead of i working freelance from my basement and interrupting the kitten napping that occurs all day. i listen to tons of music, at work and otherwise, and process and file away all of my experience at work for a return to gradschool fall of 06. seems far away, but i suppose the simple pleasures~ and wads of reading keep me tide-ed over... or at least that's what i tell the girlies...

kk / April 4, 2005 8:43 PM

i'm a marketing/communications geek with lots of time spent i branding and site design + management. so i push a lot of pixels in both word and image form, and groan about the bad
coffee, thank my lucky stars i can pay the bills and do visual art and writing on the side. i tell my cats they should be glad i'm away during the day, bringing home the bacon instead of working freelance from my basement and interrupting the kitten napping that occurs all day. i listen to tons of music, at work and otherwise, and process and file away all of my experience at work for a return to gradschool fall of 06. seems far away, but i suppose the simple pleasures~ and wads of reading keep me tide-ed over... or at least that's what i tell the girlies...

Anthony / April 4, 2005 9:06 PM

you know, there is a shitload of web designers on this forum. maybe we should get together at some bar and compare notes?

just a thought. email me at if anybody is interested.

Alan / April 4, 2005 10:19 PM

I am a writer. I write things.

I enjoy immensely being able to describe my work this simply. Before I quit my job last August to become a freelance writer, I could not explain to my mother what I did for a living, because it required me to use terms like "professional services" and "infrastructure". My job title included a small "e" in front of one of the words. I "architected" things.

Now, I write. Sometimes, I even get paid for it.

Steve / April 4, 2005 10:33 PM

LeeLAH's best work is her travel writing. Even if she does help kids get into the Ivy Leagues sometimes!

Onid / April 4, 2005 11:43 PM

Production Specialist for a Legal publishing company in the northern suburbs. (Please see Cinnamons job description above minus the purses.) I am looking for a second job or maybe a primary job that pays more. I want to get back downtown. Four years of the suburbs is quite enough thank you. I never imagined that I would miss the EL...

Rebecca / April 5, 2005 12:27 AM

I'm a sex educator. I always have to pause and say "really, that's my job" whenever people give me that 'are you messing with me?' look.

I'm also a flirting coach and a wingman on occasion.

...really, that's my job.

Brett / April 5, 2005 12:44 AM

Stage Manager for a major non-profit theatre. Also a sometimes carpenter, electrician, caterer, data processer. Full-time cat wrangler and homemaker. Or something.

andrew / April 5, 2005 1:05 AM

I tell people that I'm a freelance web designer, and this usually seems to satisfy the person asking the question. Except my wife's grandmother. She nods politely and smiles, but she may or may not be thinking about pie the whole time.

About two months ago a few friends and I started Cubscast, a podcast about the Chicago Cubs, and since then it has totally taken over my life. That's been a good thing, though.

Now grandma can think about pie for twice as long when I explain podcasting to the extended family at ye olde Memorial Day picnic.

Hobbzie / April 5, 2005 8:47 AM

Throw me on the big ol' heap o' designers. Been one so long I can remember the days when you had to explain to people what a "graphic designer" even was.

These days I think it's supplanted the coolness that was once reserved for those lucky enough to work in a record store.

Anthony, does have a Chicago group that attempts to organize a meetings and such although it seems like a fruitless venture, we're all too busy to get out of the house!

spudart / April 5, 2005 9:34 AM

designer and web architect for a company that syndicates comic strips.

jenny / April 5, 2005 9:44 AM

College Admissions Counselor.

Which means that every mother with a teenager wants to talk to me ad nauseum.

j3s / April 5, 2005 10:34 AM

Technical writer. I write manuals, help, and release notes for software.

melissa / April 5, 2005 11:01 AM

so many other cooler jobs than mine...I'm a patent agent/technical advisor at a downtown Intellectual Property law firm. I'm not a lawyer, but I play one at work. Really, you don't have to be a lawyer to practice patent law, just need a technical background. I have a Masters in Genetics.

Eben / April 5, 2005 11:36 AM

I'm a love artist.

da<e / April 5, 2005 12:04 PM

what i say: artist
what i "do": game developer
my title: technical director
my sig: pixel poet / media assassin
my alter ego: activist
freelance hobby: web dev
hobby: community organizer
what my friends and family think i do: "computer stuff"

waleeta / April 5, 2005 1:04 PM

Oh! Oh! Also a breaker of hearts and a destroyer of men. Makes you wanna meet me reeeeeal bad, don't it?

I occasionally also moonlight as a graduate student, wondering what a Masters Degree in Public Policy will really do for me once I graduate.......

rose / April 13, 2005 10:33 AM

i want rebeccas job

vincent / August 20, 2007 8:26 AM

I want a porn acting job, my telephone number is 0720 760 321

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