Duplicate Trope: What Exactly Is His Job

Deadlock Clock: 12th Nov 2013 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [76]
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1 Larkmarn23rd May 2013 08:06:37 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
I don't see a suitable distinction between this and What, Exactly, Is His Job?. I really think they can be merged.

OOO seems like it was originally about an business whose product is never actually described, but if that's the case then it's suffered massive trope decay and just turned into What, Exactly, Is His Job?.

edited 23rd May '13 8:08:23 AM by Larkmarn

2 Larkmarn23rd May 2013 08:34:47 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
Plus OOO has seven wicks.

Of the 16 examples on the page, 10 are just WEIHJA. The other six are "work for a generic business."
3 SeptimusHeap23rd May 2013 08:44:16 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
I do not think that there is a functional difference between the two.
4 Madrugada23rd May 2013 08:54:25 AM , Relationship Status: In season
The only difference I see is that What, Exactly, Is His Job?? says "one character whose function (in terms of his internal purpose within the cast) is a bit fuzzy. The details of this role are left purposefully ambiguous." Internal purpose within the cast being the important part. It may not apply to the character's job.

But virtually all the examples are "No one in the rest of the cast knows what this character does for a living."

edited 23rd May '13 8:56:44 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
[up] I think the misuse is actually more widespread and interesting than the definition. :P
6 Spark923rd May 2013 09:16:56 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
I agree, we should merge this.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
7 Rethkir23rd May 2013 09:19:37 AM from the gap between dimensions
I see a diference. WEIHJ is from the perspective of the company or organization about someone their that doesn't seem to have an important role. OOO is about someone who has a job, but the details are never explained.

Johnny works at some bank is OOO. A film about the bank where some guy named Johnny works there, but nobody knows what he does is WEIHJ. I think OOO is much more common than the examples suggest. In fact, many examples on WEIHJ are actually OOO.

That said, I think OOO can be merged into WEIHJ, and the description of WEIHJ should be expanded to include people with a vague occupation.

edited 4th Jun '13 1:36:09 PM by Rethkir

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8 AnotherDuck23rd May 2013 09:42:47 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
So, essentially, Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation is about an unknown job, while What, Exactly, Is His Job? is about unknown job responsibilities?

I do see a difference, but I'm unsure how significant it is. Both are jokes about how what someone actually does is unknown.
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Actually, as #4 said, What, Exactly, Is His Job? is about a character whose role in the cast of the show or movie is unexplained or ill-defined.

ETA: What makes the description really weird is that the second paragraph seems to only make sense if you assume that the trope is about actual in-universe jobs (i.e. the misuse). IOW, I think that whoever wrote the second paragraph just either ignored or skimmed the first, and wrote it thinking it was about actual jobs.

edited 23rd May '13 10:02:11 AM by Leaper

10 Larkmarn23rd May 2013 11:08:05 AM , Relationship Status: Hello, I love you
^ Hrm, yeah. From the description, WEIHJA is about someone's role in a cast being questioned, and has nothing to do with actual occupations.

However, the quote and most of the examples (and especially the wicks) do not jive with this. Maybe we could split it into this and What Exactly Is His Role Anyway to put those examples somewhere?
I question whether What Is His Role Anyway deserves a trope page.
12 Rethkir23rd May 2013 12:03:10 PM from the gap between dimensions
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13 AnotherDuck23rd May 2013 07:11:07 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
The part about "someone's role in the cast" is about an occupation, or a position within a group similar to a job. It doesn't apply in groups without specific roles, like friend groups.

As I said, unknown job responsibilities. Basically, why is that character a part of the group? What does she contribute with?
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14 Rethkir23rd May 2013 07:39:28 PM from the gap between dimensions
So, basically, What, Exactly, Is His Job? is not the same as Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation, which is more like: Where Exactly Does He Work? These tropes are related, but if we keep them separate, the misuse will have to be moved over to Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation, along with a wick cleanup. We'll also need to modify the description of What, Exactly, Is His Job? to prevent further misuse.

[down] I think I can agree with that. WEIHJ only applies to a workplace if the setting is focused on the workplace, but in general applies to The Team. Shall we start sandboxes to sort the examples and work on the descriptions

edited 23rd May '13 8:23:28 PM by Rethkir

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It looks to me like OOO is about what people do for money. These people are assumed to work for a living, but what exactly they do is never mentioned or explained.

WEIHJ is about a character's role within The Squad, a Caper Crew, or The Team more generally. They're there, they help out, but what they were actually brought in to accomplish, specifically, is unclear.

The main problem seems to be with WEIHJ. OOO has a clear description and most of the examples seem to be correct, but WEIHJ has both a confused description and a lot of bad examples. I'd suggest a full revamp for that one: new name, cleaned up description, example and wick cleaning.
[up] I'm still not sure the actual concept of WEIHJ is trope-worthy, myself, and has enough of a subjective element to it to be problematic, IMO. Not to mention the fact that the sole thing the trope needs, according to the description, is an ensemble cast.

edited 23rd May '13 8:19:12 PM by Leaper

17 AnotherDuck23rd May 2013 09:03:46 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
I wonder if this is like a Missing Sister Trope Syndrome? A trope similar to What, Exactly, Is His Job? was missing, so people added examples similar to what they thought the trope was, and now with Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation it's not missing anymore, but many of the examples on the former should be moved to the latter.
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[up][up]I would say it should only count when it's specifically called out in the series (like Living in Oblivion example) or there's only one character who doesn't have an official, well-defined role (like the One Piece example) to avoid people adding vague "everyone else seems to do X, Y, or Z, but one character doesn't" entries.

edited 23rd May '13 10:50:14 PM by NativeJovian

19 Rethkir23rd May 2013 10:57:34 PM from the gap between dimensions
I'm gonna start sorting these into Sandbox.What Exactly Is His Job and Sandbox.Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation.

I wasn't sure about all of them, so feel free to fix any mistakes I made.

edited 23rd May '13 11:11:33 PM by Rethkir

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20 DonaldthePotholer1st Jun 2013 02:17:54 PM from Somewhere in (not)Miami
I'm thinking that this is the third topic in as many years dealing with these two Tropes.

I'd say that a good proportion of the misuse is that the quote listed for WEIHJ is better set in OOO, as does the comparison to One-Hour Work Week.

The key thing that preserves this being two separate Tropes is the bit in the description of WEIHJ limiting that Trope to a character's "internal purpose within the cast". Unfortunately, that distinction is Tropable because The Main Characters Do Everything.

Yeah. "Job" needs a complete and utter overhaul, along with a title that does not begin with "What". OOO can stay, with What Is His Day Job being a possible redirect.

edited 1st Jun '13 2:21:46 PM by DonaldthePotholer

Could we just... not have Death anymore?
So if I understand what is going on, there's three potential tropes...

  • character has a role in the group, but no one knows what it is.
  • character works somewhere, but no one knows where it is or what they do.
  • character is employed with the group, but no one knows what they work on.
22 Rethkir1st Jun 2013 08:36:47 PM from the gap between dimensions
[up] 1 and 3 are WEHIJ, and there is some overlap between the two like whenever the team is also a place of work. 2 is OOO.
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Could we just... not have Death anymore?
Most of WEIHJ is a fourth category entirely (one I'm not sure is a trope):
  • A job has a nebulous description because the employee does every job.

edited 1st Jun '13 8:53:38 PM by crazysamaritan

The sandbox page sorting looks pretty good to me. I still think that the main problem here is What, Exactly, Is His Job? rather than Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation. OOO is pretty simple: character does something for a living, but the audience (and, occasionally, other characters) doesn't know what. WEIHJ is a bit more complex, in that it's about group dynamics instead of occupation — the character's job is "member of The Team", but no one knows what their specific role within the group is. If you've got a Caper Crew with the mastermind, the con artist, the wheelman, and one other guy who doesn't fit a defined role, then the last guy is an example of WEIHJ.
25 AnotherDuck2nd Jun 2013 04:33:40 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
Would it be a good idea to add a "not to be confused with" clause on both of them?
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Page Action: What Exactly Is His Job
12th Nov '13 5:30:47 PM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
The tropes Obliquely Obfuscated Occupation and What Exactly Is His Job have had their definitions refined to better explain their different roles in the story.

  • "Oblique" is when the other characters don't know the job their friend does.
  • "What exactly" is when their friend works with the other characters, but their role within the team is ambiguous.

Total posts: 76
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