Face in the Crowd: I don’t always want to know where you work. Really.

When I moved to Greater Washington in 2015, I learned three things right away: Good barbecue is rare, don’t stand on the left side of the escalator and there is one, go-to icebreaker question that dominates all D.C. social gatherings: “Where do you work?”

Washingtonians use it at networking events, on dates, at parties, at yoga, in line for coffee. They will use it after school, they will use it by the pool. They … OK, enough of that. Seriously, enough.

Because as much as I’d like to say “they,” it’s really “we.” As quickly as I got used to grumbling at Metro riders who don’t get the grand importance of “stand right, walk left,” I fell victim to the region’s favorite opening line.

Sometimes it makes sense. When networking, it’s not only natural — it’s necessary. The point is to make professional connections. It’s hard to do that without knowing exactly what (or whom) you’re working with.

But must the question always dominate? In my past lives, asking…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.



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