This weekend, I went to my friend’s birthday party and I met someone who made me quite angry. Being boring person myself, I usually ask people I just met what are their occupations (I know it is not an interesting topic starter) after I asked them for their names. So I approached this guy (let’s call him guy A) and asked him what his occupation was. Well, he didn’t tell me. So I talked to the guy beside him (let’s call him guy B), and eventually I found out he is a programmer. We had a nice talk about our jobs and we both have genuine interest in programming.
Later on, I do not exactly how, but we ended up asking “guy A” again what his occupation was. He talked quite unwillingly and quietly said that he has “the same occupation as you guys”. Then he said that he is a programmer, not an I.T. person (In Hong Kong, an I.T. person is usually someone who setup and fix computers). I also asked what does his role at work, and he just said “don’t mention about it”.
I do not know why he doesn’t want to mention about his work and his occupation. It is true that programming/software engineering is often not treated as important as some other occupations in Hong Kong. Being a financial center, Hong Kong’s economy is based on finance and real estate. Programming is usually just a supporting role for these industries. However, I do not understand why he felt so shameful to be a programmer. I am guessing, it is because some of the girls in Hong Kong are materialistic, and they think that programmer makes a low salary. (There are some girls in the party and maybe guy A does not want them to know about his occupation?) In my opinion, if he feels shameful about his job, then he will never succeed in that field. In addition, he is completely disrespectful and has successfully made me angry (since I also write software for a living). If he is really so shameful to be a programmer, he better should just switch fields, perhaps to the failing iBanks.