General Question

laureth's avatar

What do you wish people understood about your job?

Asked by laureth (27083 points ) February 2nd, 2009

What do people believe about your job that might not be true?

I’ll start. When I was a grocery cashier, people in my line always told me that they wish they had a job as easy as mine, because “All I do is stand there scanning stuff all day.” But that’s not exactly true – we also had to sweep, mop, know about what we were scanning in, front grocery shelves if we had a slow moment, and basically always be moving, plus dealing with customers. People think it’s an easy job, but it’s not.

What does the public misunderstand about your job? (It might also help to tell what your job is, for context.)

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31 Answers

Kiev749's avatar

i dunno. I stock shelves, lift heavy furniture, sell tv’s and listen to people tell me I’m wrong all day. Its not a bad job. I kinda like it. I get to be anal, get a workout, work with something I love, and have an excellent selective hearing skill.

Vinifera7's avatar

As a freelance web designer, people misunderstand how much work I do.

wundayatta's avatar

People think we only deal with people who are counting things, and it’s hard to make it sink in that we deal with people who are categorizing things as well.

cak's avatar

As a self-employed person – I am contracted to do a certain amount of work. I don’t mind an extra “small” task, but when you broaden the scope of a project and it becomes something bigger than originally planned – or takes a complete left turn – it’s not free. I’m not being greedy, I’m a business woman – I’m here to make money. It’s my livelihood. GRRRRR!!!!

can you tell it’s a current issue?

jasongarrett's avatar

As a software developer, I create custom software. I have no idea how to fix your home computer.

janbb's avatar

Where do I begin to talk about the misconceptions about librarians?

1. Everyone who works in a library is a librarian (just like everyone who works in a hospital is a doctor.)
2. Librarians are repressed old ladies who wear buns and tell people to “Shush.”
3. Librarians shelve books all day.
4. “I always wanted to be a librarian because I love to read.” (Well, I do love to read and I am a librarian so maybe that’s not a misconception, but not all librarians are readers. Most, however, are intellectually curious.)

Vinifera7's avatar

@cak
I can relate. I don’t want to appear to be nickel-and-diming them, but I’m not here to work for free…

eponymoushipster's avatar

The library is a public service. we are not your slaves.

We have rules. just because you pay taxes does not mean you can ignore these rules.

Bathrooms are NOT for masturbation (i kid not).

Whilst I work with computers, my magic wand and +1 charisma haven’t kicked in yet, so I guess I can’t do anything amazing to save the resume you just typed and didn’t save or print out.

You are not the exception.

i feel like dennis miller

charliecompany34's avatar

“wow, is this what you guys do all day? you got it easy. wish i had your job”

“uh, no you don’t,” i respond.

the above is said when we have down time. i am a firearms instructor who has seen many a loaded gun pointed right at my abdomen while officers either holster or load their weapons.

Vinifera7's avatar

@eponymoushipster
I beg to differ. Public space is not for masturbation. Bathrooms are for masturbation.

@charliecompany34
What do you do in that situation?

charliecompany34's avatar

i say, “whoa,whoa whoa!” point that muzzle in the barrel bro! with the same tone, say like when you firmly scold a child. then you follow up with “why” the outcome could be fatal and then you look at them sternly like “you idiot, you could have shot me—i don’t play that $#%^.”

they can’t help but apologize profusely.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Vinifera7 uhm, for one, a public bathroom is NOT an acceptable self-pleasuring location. ask George Michael. especially when you rip the covers off the romance novels and take them into the stall.

also, i hope to never be in the stall next to you.

Vinifera7's avatar

I don’t know about George Michael.

Anyway, it’s better to have people get off in the privacy of a bathroom stall than do it in the open.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@Vinifera7 we’ve had that too. the public computers aren’t filtered, and we’ve had bums in here jacking it to videos and whatnot. the best was a bum came in, flipped it out and started jacking off. the lady next to him didn’t even notice til we came in and took care of him.

you spank the dolphin ANYWHERE on the library property, and you’re banned for 3 years from any branch in the system.

Vinifera7's avatar

See? If they just took care of business in the bathroom you would never know!

Staalesen's avatar

Working Security I get a lot of strange question….
One I got asked to take a person outside and “teach him not to come back” if you see what I mean.. Would never do that,,,
That just because I am not in a police uniform, dosent meant that I cant aprehend and cuff people if there is a need…
And the strangest: That because I worked with security at a factory, one of the bosses wanted me to get “the scoop” on some terrorist attack in the UK some time back….

SuperMouse's avatar

That working until midnight three nights a week then getting up at 6:00 a.m. makes me really exhausted.

miasmom's avatar

That I don’t just watch soap operas and eat bon bons all day long…I’m a stay at home mom.

My hubby did my job one day and now he says that every day he goes to work it is like going on vacation because he realized how much work it is to raise our daughter.

jaredg's avatar

Not all public servants are lazy and unqualified goldbrickers. The ratio probably isn’t that different from the number of useless people in any big corporation; government workers are just subject to more scrutiny.

Just because we work “for the people” doesn’t mean we should be denied the same benefits you would want in a comparable private sector job. And when we chose to trade stock options, 401(k) matching, and (usually) higher salaries for a stable pension plan, it was a choice that we made consciously. Jealousy shouldn’t empower you to take that away.

Also, don’t ask us to run government like a business until we can hang up the “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” sign.

(I worked in public K-12 education as a computer geek. Sorry to rant.)

loser's avatar

That while I enjoy working at a dog kennel, I’m really just waiting to be discovered.

gimmedat's avatar

That No Child Left Behind really means No Child Left Untested.

That a test is but only a small measure of what kind of an education a child is receiving.

That teachers are ridiculously overworked and underpaid.

That teachers are not substitute parents, nurses, psychologists, etc., etc., but take on those roles daily and willingly.

That putting special education students into a mainstreamed classroom setting and expecting them to perform at the same level is preposterous.

cookieman's avatar

Amen @gimmedat.

OK, I’m a graphic designer.

Mostly from relatives, I hear that it must be nice to draw pictures all day (like I work with crayons), and that it’s all talent based so training and hard work have nothing to do with it.

basp's avatar

Jaredg…..I also work for the government And you are spot on.
Not all government workers are lazy. As corny as it may sound, I chose to be a civil servant because it is my way of helping to keep my community strong.

steelmarket's avatar

It is way harder than it looks.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@steelmarket that’s what she said.

gimmedat's avatar

No, that’s what he said.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@gimmedat different strokes for different folks.

(that’s what she said)

bobbinsgalore's avatar

I used to work in a retail electronics store: I wanted to wear a big sign which said I am not a technician. If I could fix computers I wouldn’t be wearing a hideous polyester sack while being paid the minimum wage.

lilikoi's avatar

People automatically assume that all engineers are male nerds, and beyond that they don’t have a clue what you do. Even after you explain it. Multiple times. I still get blank stares from my mom. sighs

Gabby101's avatar

I’m currently laid-off, but for the last ten years have worked in retail, but in headquarters in a very analytical, leadership role. When people asked me where I worked and I said “Nordstroms” (for example), they would ask which mall? Or worse, not ask and assume I was a salesperson. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked at the mall before and there is nothing wrong with it, but having worked my way up the ladder (slowly!!!) and having spent a lot on education, so I would like a little recognition for my success!

(Also, I live in a snobby city, where people certainly do look down on people who don’t have a career up to their standards and I have certainly been given the “look” when people think I am a shop girl.)

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