When you're chatting with someone you don't know well or with someone you've just met, you don't just want to talk about yourself. Asking the other person some questions about them is often appreciated by the other person. However, it can sometimes be a bad idea to ask the person what they do for a living. If the person can't work because he or she is disabled, it can be awkward for them and can make them feel bad about their situation. If I'm shooting the bull with someone, I often try to avoid asking them what they do for a living if I sense that they don't want me to ask that question. It's one thing if the person doesn't work because he or she doesn't feel like it and mooches off of the rest of us. But some people do want to work but can't because they're disabled. They have legit reasons for not working. And they already feel bad about it.