What’s your job?

People love my job. For the eight years I’ve been a professional quiz question writer and quiz master, when I tell people what I do for a living, I can only think of one occasion when it was meant by mild disinterest … “Oh, right … and moving on …” and on all the other 100s of occasion the response has been something like bafflement … “What? That’s an actual job? I didn’t know that job existed!”, or sheer delight “Oh my god, that’s the best job ever” or fierce interest “I love quizzes! What kind of quizzes? Who for? When? What’s your business model? How did you get into it? Can I have a job?”

This is great, of course. It’s lovely to have a conversation starter, something to talk about. There are times I feel more conversational than others, of course, and I’ve often found myself playing it down, knowing that before I can stop it it I may involved in an intricate and lengthy conversation when I’m more in the mood for chillin’. Many’s the time I’ve gone out and then only spoken about my job for the whole evening. But there are worse things. I generally like talking about it, and I enjoy hearing people’s opinions on it. Lots of people love quizzes, and have interesting things to say about them.

Of course, there are chestnuts I hear over and over again – “Where do you get your questions from?” … LIDL … “You must be great to have on a pub quiz team” … Not really, I’m terrible company … “Do you have a specialist subject?” … Wikipedia, the Golden Years … and, of course, the phrase I love/dread to hear “This’ll make a great quiz question …”. I’m not entirely sure that phrase has ever prefaced something that has actually made a great quiz question, but it does often lead me to an odd, esoteric fact which is too obscure for a mainstream quiz but interesting to me in its own right.

Quizzes being more often an amateur than a professional pursuit, there are lots of people determined to instruct me on both the content and format of my quizzes but also our very business structure. Again, though I’m not sure any of this advice has ever resulted in any concrete change, it is, far more often that not, fun and interesting to hear people’s thoughts ideas.

So if you should ever meet me out and about and you should discover my profession, I shall be delighted to encounter your enthusiasm, I shall certainly listen closely to your ideas, and I will do my best not to raise my eyebrows should I hear you say “This’ll make a great quiz question …”

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