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KatawaGrey's avatar

What are some common misconceptions about your job or career?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21335 points ) July 29th, 2011

I’m a sales associate for a big chain, and I would have to say that the most common misconception about my job is that shoplifting doesn’t hurt me directly because I work for such a big company. The truth is, shoplifting means that hours get cut and someone can lose their job.

So, Jellies, what is your line of work and what are some common misconceptions about your line of work?

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22 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Hmmmm….that artists are wacky…hmmm

Blackberry's avatar

I’m in the military, but I do meteorology in the military, and people seem to think we actually can predict the weather. We follow a system, and we know many of the factors that determine weather, but it’s not a black and white field like mathematics. Some parts of the atmosphere are still a mystery and we don’t know why patterns change randomly.

Mariah's avatar

No career here yet, so I’ll answer for the one I’m studying towards.

There are no women in it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Many of you know that I’m not currently working, but I usually work in hospice… and the misconception is that we are unaffected by our work, or that we have emotions of steel.

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augustlan's avatar

That I don’t really do anything… I just ‘play’ on the computer all day.

Judi's avatar

That apartment managers sit around all day waiting for something to happen. I don’t work on site anymore, but that is one of the most multitasking jobs around!

Nullo's avatar

A great number of my customers believe that my rotisserie chickens, like the rotisserie chickens that may be purchased elsewhere, are one or more days old.
While I do enjoy being able to tell them that any bird that they might choose is indeed a fresh one, this misunderstanding leads to a most vexing behavior pattern: the customers will only take the brand-spanking-new chickens (will go so far as to wait for them while perfectly good birds sit in the case), leaving all of the rest of the stock to march slowly towards the edge of the four-hour cutoff that ensures freshness. This has, on occasion, resulted in no stock whatsoever, since the chickens made to replace the older birds are snapped up and their aging brothers are left behind to perish.

I suspect that senior management thinks that we want too much, or that we’re slow, or are otherwise incompetent. I know that none of them have ever worked in rotisserie, and so are horribly ignorant about what the job actually entails.

kheredia's avatar

I’m a pet groomer, mostly dogs, sometimes cats. For some reason some people think that all dogs have a breed cut. Or that the groomer can magically make the matts disappear in less than an hour. I’m sorry, your German Shepherd does not have a breed cut and if you come in with a severely matted dog, it’s going to get shaved and it’s going to take me more than an hour. Be kind to your groomer, our job is not an easy one but we do it because we love to see our finished work and make your furry babies look beautiful.

gondwanalon's avatar

Ha! This is a good one! Just about everything that people think about my profession is a misconception. Because they know so little about “clinical laboratory science” (Clinical lab). I am what’s known as a “Medical Technologist” or “Clinical Laboratory Scientist”. But I’m no doctor; I just have a B.S. in clinical science and 33 years of experience. I think of my profession as “the hidden profession”. It is generally tucked away from view in the bowels of hospitals. Also it is never listed with any other profession on any of the lists of professions that I have ever seen. Even Nurses and doctors would have a hard time explaining what I do in the laboratory. They’ll likely tell you that I just push buttons and fiddle around with analyzers and goof off all day. Actually I’m usually processing a heavy workload of patient’s specimens while juggling a few special STAT request while trouble shooting and analyzer or two. Also of course there is no tolerance for any mistakes. The only exposure to patients we get is when we come out from cover and come at them with tubes and syringes with needles to draw their blood. It is no wonder that patients referred to laboratorians as blood sucking leaches and vampires.

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Prosb's avatar

I work in an arcade game room. I have found many people falsely believe that:
A: I decide the prices of the prizes.
B: We don’t make change of their $100 bills because we’re lazy.
C: Getting close to a jackpot is just as good as getting it, and is reason enough to complain that the machine is malfunctioning. Meanwhile, I can throw a quarter in there and win them a jackpot in one try. If the machine says you didn’t win, and it doesn’t give a single other person any trouble, your story reeks of B.S.
D: I can simply take tickets or prizes for free.

(However, I do win tickets sometimes for the sole purpose of giving some WELL BEHAVED children a couple extra prizes when they have few tickets of their own)

iphigeneia's avatar

I work in a sweets shop, and customers often comment that they can’t believe that we don’t sit around all day eating. Because if we did that we’d wind up both fat and fired.

downtide's avatar

I work in a call-centre (although I’m in administration now and not on the phones), and it’s a misconception that call-centres are all horrible places to work and treat their employees like dirt. (Okay, maybe some are. Mine isn’t).

KatawaGrey's avatar

These are some great answers! I’ve learned so much from this question. :)

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve been in the hotel business about 30 years, and there are plenty of misconceptions about what it is like to work in one. The American ‘80s television show Hotel really skewed the reality of the business.

The one job that had the most misconceptions, even with people in the business, was that of a hotel inspector. It sounds really glamorous to travel all over, staying in hotels, eating out, seeing the sights, tra-la-la!

It was nothing like that. It meant leaving friends and family behind for weeks at a time, dealing with all of the travel hassles, and being on our own. The work day started at 6am and often did not end until early evening. The only day off (Sunday) was spent sleeping, doing laundry, catching up on administrative work, and getting to the next location.

On a good day, when a hotel passed inspection with flying colors, there might be time to do a bit of sight-seeing, but we’d often find ourselves in Nowhere, USA, where the only tourist attraction was the statue of some local war veteran in the park. On a bad day, we’d discover a hotel that was not going to pass inspection. A lot of time was spent explaining why, taking photos for back-up, and then ending the inspection by having to explain it to the owner, if they were available. Some equated it with us calling their ‘baby’ ugly. Tears were sometimes shed.

And what no one ever understood until they were inspectors is how wonderful it is, despite the downside. We learned something new about the business every day. We shared tips on how to solve their problems. And in our own small way, we helped them help their customers get what they were paying for: a positive experience while staying at one of our hotels.

Blackberry's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Ouch, sounds pretty bad.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Many people assume security guards are all wannabe cops who didn’t get into the academy. I’ve met only a couple of those, and we always get rid of them from the site.

Many people assume that wilderness instructors just play in the woods all day. That one’s true.

Blackberry's avatar

@incendiary_dan I was hiking with some friends, and we brought beer, even though we were not supposed to. There was a wilderness instructor and park ranger in training that caught us, and he didn’t even care lol. He didn’t even seem a little upset, he just told us not to litter lol.

Judi's avatar

@gondwanalon ; My mom was one of the first “certified” phlebotomist’s, so I know a little about what you do. She brought you your work. :-)

Cruiser's avatar

I make epoxy for a living and the common misconception I get all the time how luxurious it is and all the perks that come from mixing goo all day!

mattbrowne's avatar

That computer science is mainly about creating programming code.

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