Don’t be so quick to swipe left on dating apps: If you slow down and skim a little, there’s comedy gold to be found in the “occupation” section.
We’ve all come across a “CEO at self-employed” (What does that even mean? Are you the co-founder of a successful-ish app... or someone hawking essential oils on Facebook as part of a pyramid scheme?), but that’s really just scratching the surface when it comes to dubious job descriptions.
Some job euphemisms are specific to the region you live in, as comedy writer Jenny Jaffe recently pointed out on Twitter.
“What is your least favorite LA dating app euphemism for ‘actor’?” she asked. “I keep going back and forth between ‘pretender’ and ‘dreamer.’”
The classics came pouring in: “I play make believe for a living,” writer Dana Schwartz contributed. (Relatedly, “storytellers” ― writers/video producers/etc. ― absolutely flood the market on both coasts.)
Others on the thread broadened the conversation to non-actorly fields.
“Entrepreneur = drug dealer,” a sage that goes by the handle @BorkBorkulator added.
“Just moved here from _____” a man named Aviv suggested, which, yes, Aviv, we see that all. the. damn. time. (“The School of Hard Knocks” is an accredited university, though.)
Needless to say, the thread is worth reading. In an interview with HuffPost, Jaffe said she tweeted the question after seeing cliched job descriptions up and down the coast.
“I am currently in L.A., but I grew up in the Bay Area, and when I’ve opened apps at home, it’s a lot of ‘disrupter’ and ‘rule breaker’ ― like, dude, you have an app idea, calm down,” she told us.
Another distinctly California thing? People hinting at gainful employment at a weed company.
“I work in medicine” is always suspect,” Jaffe joked.
Of course, the euphemisms aren’t exclusive to coastal cities. (Though, let’s be real here, job descriptions tend to get more ridiculous the bluer the state gets.)
Stephanie Zengler, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, comes across a mixed bag of questionable occupations when swiping in the Midwest.
“The majority are really straightforward, but there are also the lighthearted jokes and fake businesspeople,” she told us. “My favorites are ‘Employed at Dunder Mifflin,’ ‘Employed At You Don’t Need To Know,’ ‘Future CEO’ and ‘Viking/Packer fan.’ Then there are the various religious verses in lieu of job information.”
Points for creativity, but what’s wrong with just stating “waiter” or “operations research analyst”?
“It’s true,” Zengler said. “In just one sentence, you can learn more from a person than if they had written something like ‘bank teller.’”
Indeed. Nothing’s sexier than honesty ― especially if he’s “5 feet 7 with a 6′2 attitude” and “fluent in sarcasm.”
Below, more ridiculous job euphemisms people told us they’ve seen while swiping.
1. “One time I went on a date with one of the many ‘CEOs’ on a dating app and it turned out he was working at his friend’s startup. What a visionary, that guy.” ― Lauren Gorman, who lives in New York City and works in sales at Snapchat
2. “I saw ‘professional role player’ once for someone who acted. But I’m from Texas. Everyone here really speaks the same, unless they’re not from here, in which case, they’ll speak like the rest of us eventually.” ― Mike, a delivery driver from Houston
3. “In NYC, ‘actor’ means ‘future bartender.’ And I always think it’s funny when people choose jobs that they’re clearly not, like astronauts. Like, come on, Brenda, you’re 21 years old, you ain’t no astronaut. Quit playin’, you silly goose.” ― Lev Fer, the host of the podcast “Yung Daddy”
4. “If you say, ‘I own my own business,’ it means you’re an Uber driver. If you write, ‘I’m the CEO of a small company,’ it means you sell jewelry on eBay.” ― Tamer Kattan, a comedian and host of the “They Tried to Bury Us” podcast
5. ”‘Comedian’ is the only job title people love putting quotations around. I’ve never once messaged a girl on Tinder and been like, how’s life as a ‘brand ambassador’ going? But living in New York and traveling to L.A. often, I’m unsure if euphemisms even phase me; I’m too busy judging their professional headshots.” ― Dan LaMotte, a standup comedian in New York City
6. “I’m currently in Philadelphia but have lived in Toronto and NYC. In Philadelphia, the funniest was ‘Sporadic Employee.’ In Toronto, ’Extremely Free Lancer.’ In NYC, Audition Showwer-Upper.” ― Brent Black, a game creator and the co-host of the “Trends Like These” podcast
7. “I’ve swiped left on a guy’s profile on Bumble because he had, ‘yer ma would get it’ as his job description. Firstly, that’s not a job, SIMON, and secondly... no. Just no.” ― Louise Bruto, a journalist in Dublin, Ireland
8. “I assume when guys say ‘entrepreneur,’ that it means unemployed. But my favorite job description was ‘Journalist at Fox News (Let me explain)’ because it was just so strange. No one is making you put where you work! And saying ‘Let me explain’ is probably not going to convince anyone to swipe right if working at Fox News is a turn-off — it didn’t stop me from swiping left.” ― Emma Benshoff, a publicist in New York City