Whether she’s catching up with her best friend Janet or running into your old teachers at the grocery store, here’s a definitive list of your mom’s best efforts at almost explaining your job.


1. You work at an internet company.

Solid attempt. While virtually every company maintains an online presence, your mom understands that your company’s business is predominantly conducted online.

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2. It’s like marketing, but it’s not exactly marketing.

Accurate, if vague. Your mom knows that your job sits at the intersection of marketing, advertising, and consulting, even if she doesn’t remember your exact job title and was never entirely clear on what it meant.

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3. You do a lot with Twitter and Facebook.

Your mom might not know the phrase “social media,” but she’s heard of Twitter and has plenty of experience with Facebook (in her own way). Your mom is well aware that companies are all on Facebook now, from clicking “Like” on promotional offers from dozens of them.

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4. It’s a real office.

After brief concerns that the online job aggregator you applied to was one of those internet scams she’s heard about, your mother was careful to confirm with you that you go into a real office every day—although if you’re not there at exactly 9:00, you still don’t get in trouble.

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5. You have some sort of insurance.

Your mom has a general idea that the company you’re working for is still “just getting started,” which means building out its benefits structure and outsourcing most of the HR department. Your mom made sure to double-check with you that while you have access to insurance, it may be a limited alternative plan or some kind of voucher deal.

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6. There’s no dress code.

As soon as she found out, your mom tended to fixate on the detail that you and your coworkers “are allowed to wear jeans” if you so wish. “So that’s nice.”

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