What Do You Wish Other People Knew About Your Occupation?

What Do You Wish Other People Knew About Your Occupation?

We all form ideas about what it’s like to work in particular jobs or occupations, but we can’t really know until we actually do those jobs or hear the secrets from an insider. So, tell us, what are the things others might not know about your job?

Illustration by Tina Mailhot-Roberge

For example, do waiters really spit on rude customers’ food? Do tech support specialists all think we’re clueless computer users? And are pharmacists really the happiest workers (I’ve never seen a grumpy one)?

Come give us the scoop in the comments.


  • Previous job in IT. If tech support is congratulating you its probably sarcastic.
    Current job landscaping. We love when people want us to install tropical paradise yards because they cost a fortune to maintain in disposal and time.

  • I work in water utilities. We only add fluoride because of legislation requirement. there is no conspiracy to brainwash you with chemical or increase your risk of cancer.

  • Seriously, Pharmacists working in pharmacies – do you really enjoy your job? I understand you must have some complex patients on the books, but after six years of higher education don’t you feel at least a little under-employed spending most of your time printing labels and reading them to your customers?

    Is it a work/life balance thing, or is it a “yes, I could be using my skills more, but that would mean accepting terrible hours and a terrible employer at the local hospital” thing?

    Or is what the customers see (get the script, print the label, check the computer for any history, read the label to the customer) not an accurate representation of your actual job?

  • Digital Marketing/Social Media Specialist: My job isn’t just making entertaining Facebook and Twitter posts all day. 80% of the time is spent breaking down and analysing data and presenting it to management in a meaningful way. 10% is planning posts and forecasting post efficacy. The other 10% is a bit of graphic design, curating stories on the internet and generally having fun talking to followers 🙂

  • I work from home full-time by myself. This sounds good, until you think about how that might be after years in a row. My main source of human interaction for 40 hours a week is work-based and by email. People would not realise how much they would miss a little banter throughout the day until they get zero. Monitoring of my work is more intense than other staff or when I was in the office, despite the fact that I complete the same work in the same way. I feel more like an inhuman task-completing machine than a person. It is not all that people think it is.

    • I feel you on that. I did it for a couple of months straight and am about to do it again soon when the only office for my business (completely different business area) in this state closes down next month. The hardest bit was never leaving the house. My wife didn’t get that I would just sit down at my desk when she drove out the driveway and I would sit there all day until she got home. So her 8-9 hour day, would be a 10-11 hour day for me. Everyday. Because why stop working when she’s not home yet.

      Then only leaving the house during the week to go to the shops or the gym. God, I looked forward to having enough stuff on the shopping list to justify getting the groceries.

  • Job: escort
    What people don’t know: pretty much everything. But mostly that it’s actually a fantastic job which many of us love

  • I’m a Technical Writer and the expectation of the role can be vastly different depending on where you’re working. It can cover everything from website design, to writing policy and training material.

    My wife still can’t remember my job title, let alone what I actually do. If she sees a job advertised with the word “Technical” in it, she’ll send it to me out of interest. It doesn’t matter that the role description lists being able to understand the intricacies of creating power grids, or installing underwater gas pipes.

  • Working in IT for a massive corporation.
    I wish people would understand that i support 16000 people and not just them.
    So when you log a job for a piddly little issues with mouse sensitivity, or not being able to locate 1 document on a corporate share because you don’t know the name of it or where you saved it, i will ignore your job too fix the Server outage for the email system that’s affecting 2000 people.
    So don’t log a complaint that it took me 1 day to fix your problem.

    • also, if the network is down for a whole department, we know about it already.

      • Surprisingly this is NOT the case for the IT department for my massive employer.

  • I’m a freshwater hydrographer and love my job, but the quizzical looks usually have me claiming “Environmental Scientist” because even though most people are oblivious to the role of an environmental scientist it gets me out of tedious conversations at parties.

  • Ambulance paramedic, No they aren’t just drivers. It requires a Degree in most states and large amounts of ongoing learning. They also have a large complex skillbase an can do A LOT in the short time they are with you.

    Emergency Nursing. We aren’t just uneducated servants for dr’s. Again to work in ED requires a degree, further training and a majority of nurses have a post graduate qualification. on Average the nurses on the floor will be more experienced than the dr’s. In most cases we will assess you, begin treatment, take blood and order xray’s before you even see a dr. that way we the dr finally sees you they have access to blood and xray results, and you are free from pain/nausea. This also allows the dr’s time to more more mundane stuff, such as contact other dr’s for a more involved look at your history. So don’t demand to see a dr as soon as you come to ED, it won’t improve your outcome or shorten your stay, it just slows things down for everyone, as they will just do the same assessment I would do, then come and ask me for tests I would’ve already done.

    • So if there was one thing you could have done to the ER/ED to help improve the broken system, like a wish list, what would it be?

      apart from more staff.

      • Not an ambo, but I can give a couple of points that would go a long way:

        1) A 24 hour bulk billing GP next to every major ER/ED so that patients requiring a GP can go there, rather than the ED.
        2) Some way of preventing people who cant afford a taxi to or from the hospital from using the ambulance as a taxi service.
        3) Long wait times in the ED aren’t always just a staffing issue. The ED gets stuck with patients when outpatients or the hospital wards won’t take them. There’s no easy answer for this.

        @husky – interested to know your thoughts!

        • Those three points can be addressed with a home visiting doctor. A GP to your home at night. Used it many times. It’s bulk billed too. No need for the Ed.

        • 1) many hospitals do have GP clinics next to them, some are even open at night. However I think there needs to be more education on when to utilize each, as wee get MANY patients who could’ve gone to a GP coming to us, and some that have been to a GP and diagnosed come to us anyway. However due to risks and legalities we cannot flat out refuse to treat you, only storngly suggest you go to the GP.

          2) Again, Ambo’s need to power to flat out refuse transport. At the moment they can strongly suggest you make your own way to a GP or ED. again though, legaties and risk of making the wrong call. It would probably also help if Ambo’s could drop you at a GO if applicable. the community also needs more education on the fact that arriving by ambulance does not get you seen faster. you get triaged just like everyone else. And if Ambo’s could leave people at home, they would find transport. We get A LOT of people demanding taxi vouchers saying they have no money and no one to pick them up. we refuse, stick them in the waiting room and 20 minutes later, there is someone picking them up.

          3) Long waits aren’t a staffing issue, as said above. however my ED recently got awarded the 3rd best in the state so getting through patients fastest, with 1st and 2nd place going to the Women’s and the Eye and Ear, which are very specialized. Now that our system is established and stable, hopefully more will copy us. In fact Monash Clayton recently did. The current indicator for success is that no patient should be in ED for more than 4 hours, and we lose money if you are. It’s very rare we let people be there that long. the main things that slow us down are waiting for mental health beds (There aren’t enough in the state) and drug related incidents. I hate nothing more than spending 20-30 minutes with some idiot on ICE when I need to take a blood test, only to require security to restrain them for my and my patients safety. which means more paperwork. Which means I’m not dealing with Mrs Jones chest pain in a timely manner.

          • I wish you could just sedate the addicts to make your life easier.
            Like in the movies, a quick shot to the neck and let them pass out……

            such a waste of a life, the bastards

  • Health inspectors do more than just inspect kitchens in restaurants and cafes.
    And officially we are called Environmental Health Officers.

    We attend noise, nuisance, odour, and sewage complaints.
    We are involved with immunisation for babies and school kids.
    We deal with tobacco control legislation (like sending in the teenagers to try and buy smokes off the local servo, 7-11 or milkbar).
    We deal with septics and grey water treatment systems.

    Anything health related at a local council level it gets sent to us to deal with.

  • Air Traffic Controller: Just about everyone thinks you work in a control tower. Yes, some do, but most of us work in a radar centre.

    Then there are those who think you stand out the front of parking aircraft and wave a couple of hi-vis ping-pong bats.

  • Well, let’s see. I’m a research scientist in a university. Everytime I tell anyone that, they think I haven’t worked a day in my life. (somehow doing 6 day weeks at 12-14 hr days for the last 6 years didn’t count…)

    • There’s also the part of the population (mostly climate change deniers) who imagine researchers are filthy rich and corrupt – yes of course I tell lies and get bags of money thrown at me!

  • Electrician. In power distribution.
    No I won’t install a power point for you, I’m not that kind of electrician.

  • Oh the stories I could tell about working in a self storage facility. If you’ve ever watched storage wars, you would kinda get where I was coming from. It’s almost exactly like the television show but for real!

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