I’m on the flight home from Stockholm (beautiful, but freezing, city) where I’ve spent the weekend getting to know some incredible people who dedicate their lives to combating trafficking and sexual exploitation. When you meet people for the first time, the same three questions usually come up in conversation: What is your name? Where have you come from? What do you do for a living?
The expected response is one of concise, uncontroversial chitchat. However, for those of us who work with such somber issues, the opportunity to freak people out for our own amusement is hard to turn down. The old favourites of “I work in prostitution” or “I dabble in a spot of people trafficking” usually do the job.
So I’m sitting here, next to a very polite middle-class couple who I’m considering engaging in conversation. When the inevitable third question comes up, I could just tell them that I’m a charity worker. However, I’ve had quite an intense few days and I’m tempted to freak them out a little with one of the classic lines.
Or I could just go for broke and tell them I’m a hired gun. It’s been a long week.