On Professions and Conversations

On Professions and Conversations

A recent conversation with a school classmate made me realise how deeply a profession influences an individual’s life , the behaviour, the conversation ,the body language among other things.

As long as we are in school or college there is uniformity but as soon as individuals diversify into different fields they get moulded by the environment they work in.

Decades ago, on my return home from school where I was working as a teacher ,my mom asked me ,why are you talking on top of your voice , am right in front of you, isn’t it?Talk in a low voice at home, this is not your class, she said with great amusement….And that was a moment of revelation.

In addition to raising the voice in a teaching profession, even a meek person develops leadership qualities… A prime example of this is…..Yours truly. They are always leading…And so they get used to being dominating by nature which shows in their behaviour too.

My doctor husband has a constant observation about his patients who are teachers, he says that they have maximum questions to ask him and it is not as if they don’t know…It looks like as if they are testing me….

My Dad being a mechanical engineer incharge of Automobiles in the Defence Sector..I have grown up with a vocab of screws, gears, wires and the concept of “Repair”. When I look back today I feel my mom was very lucky coz every little thing to a big damage could get repaired in a jiffy. That concept influenced his life as well…he has been a great conflict resolver and in the process repaired the lives of many. Now you see how a profession influences life as well.

Another case in point being a part of a medical family . Conversations carry a lot of medical vocab….and at first I was stumped. The conversations invariably revolve around diseases , patients and death.

The other day my hubby in the course of a conversation told me how the heart of an old man had just stopped beating during the course of the scan and I was like “Oh My God , really!” “and then” I ask….”Then nothing” he says casually.Well Death is a big issue in one’s life and one can’t be casual about it at all, but for doctors it is a part and parcel of their life.

What I find most amazing is Medicine is one profession which is absolutely gender neutral…Am amazed at the conversations of the father and daughter at my home discussing pregnancies, menstrual cycles, forensic discussions on rape…topics which for others are a big hush hush kind …a taboo.

People find it absolutely awkward when I kind of discuss the same topics with the same acquired casualness with non medical friends. They squirm and change the topic.

Another field to which I had an access for a very short period of time during my career is the Corporate Sector. Shaking hands is an accepted and casual norm during introductions. People working in this sector dress differently as the look is very important. Their body language is that of Confidence and vocabulary consists of words like , chill, cool, hang outs , take a break, etc.

Addressing is by first name transcending hierarchy and age. Other than people in this sector I have observed how others are reluctant to shake hands if it is cross gender. Whenever I have extended my hand confidentally for a hand shake , men have held my hand gingerly and dropped it immediately.

Having listed out various experiences I would definitely like to end my post with the talk I had with my old school classmate. He has joined our what’s up group recently and so had a chance to observe his language ,which was very very formal . Then his profession gave me the answers . He is a CBI officer . And his conversation carries lot of official terms . At the end of a one to one conversation with him, he ended by saying ,”thanks for your cooperation”.
When I asked him why he was being so formal,he was puzzled and said that was just the way he spoke .

And that conversation gave me the seed for this musings my friends.


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