People Dispel Common Misconceptions People Have About Their Profession

The old saying goes you never know someone's story unless you walk a mile in their shoes. For some peoples' career choices, that might be more true than you'll ever know. It's easy to misunderstand how someone actually works. For example, if you've never worked as a waiter, how can you possibly understand how frustrating it is when a woman just has to have her iced lemonade right now, seriously, what's taking so long, can't your kitchen go any faster?

You can't. That is, unless they tell you.

Reddit user, u/capthowdy0000, wanted to know what makes your job so uniquely frustrating when they asked:

What's something that seems obvious within your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand?

It's A Hot, Burning Light. What's Not To Understand?

Welding. People often think you need to protect only the eyes. And then get 2nd degree burns on their arms/neck when they realize the light from arc welding is like standing in front of a tanning bed on steroids.


So...What Can You Do?

Programmers (generally) can't fix computers.

Or software they did not write.

Sometimes not even the software they wrote.


Doctor's Orders

Just because you had some side effects from a medication does not mean you are allergic to it.

Also, please don't f-cking eat or drink before surgery. I will cancel your surgery. It's for your own safety, so don't lie about it.


This. People act like "nothing to eat or drink" is ambiguous, or we aren't serious.

These are the kinds of things we see listed as "allergies" & the reason:

Bananas - "make potassium go up"

Morphine - "makes me sleepy"

Benadryl - "makes me sleepy"

Epinephrine - "makes heart beat fast"

Ambien - "makes me forget things"

And finally, one "allergy" that made me question the sanity of both the patient and the person who dared put it on the chart. Apparently this patient was allergic to about 70% of himself or herself: Sterile water


Always Believe The Librarians

A shocking amount of people seem to think that because I work in a library, I sit around and read all day. I do not. I wish that was what I was getting paid to do but nah.

Got a lot of " So what do you do then", so I'm copying a reply I made earlier, with a few more things I thought of along the way:

It's a smaller library so I do a little of everything. I put materials away, I check materials in and out, I pursue our overdue fines, I help our patrons with things they may need or I make copies for them, I run our Facebook, I update our website, I write a monthly newsletter and an article for the weekly paper, and there is a lot of clerical work, billing, deposits, filing, supply ordering, etc. I create advertisments for our programs. I process and catalog new materials and weed old ones. I shush 12 year olds who confuse the place for a computer arcade. It's possible to have a slow day where I probably could pull out a book and read but it's not very professional looking so I don't. Oh and I take the occasional reddit break. ;)

I do also want to say that I work in a library but I am not an accredited librarian. I am actually "library support staff" so my list is probably short in comparison to the director of library services in my building, who does have her library science degree.



I can't "Enhance" your tiny f-cking low res jpeg into a beautiful 8x10 print.



This Call Is Being Traced As We Speak

Calls are traced all the time to diagnose problems and are rarely done in real time. Spy movies made it seem like something only done to find a criminal, and they always have to be on the phone with you.

How else would you find out how and why a call failed?


The movie rules are based on old-timey needs that stuck around on the silver screen because it's easier to create drama. When you had operators and analog switchboards, it took time. You had to actually go through the operators to figure out which one routed the call to where. Working your way up the switchboards took actual work. Now that it's mostly digital or otherwise electronic, you don't have to actually contact operators. Also, because it's electronic, there can be a record. They don't even need to be on the line, necessarily. The call connected, so it came from somewhere and it went somewhere. There's a log.

Cell phones are even easier, to a point, thanks to legislation that makes e911 a standard feature, and every cell phone on the network has some kind of legally mandated location requirement.


So, The Law Isn't Some Magic Spellbook?


No you can't just lie to the court. No I won't lie for you.

Also, while I practice on the civil side...

No you can't just "press charges". The District Attorney's office gets to decide if someone gets brought up on criminal charges, not you. Whether you like it or not. This works both ways - a lot of people aren't very happy when their husband gets brought up on assault for beating the shit out of them.


People also seem to think that the law works on mystical incantations, and if you just string together the right sequence of words you can find the technicality that tricks everyone into giving you the unjust result you want. Yes, you are being detained because you were driving with tags that expired two years ago. No, that's not unconstitutional.


Even I Think This Should Be Obvious

That it takes more than a day to cut, tape, sand, and finish an order of 15+ cabinets


Wait, I don't know anything about that and that seems obvious


Point: Climate Scientist

Woo, buddy, here's my chance to vent. I am a climate scientist.

  1. Uncertainty does not mean we don't know what we're talking about, or that we're guessing. Any scientific estimate of any kind has an uncertainty. You're just usually not told about it. We're pretty transparent about our math, so you get to see the range of estimates. That doesn't mean we don't know the mechanism behind it, it just means that there are variables involved that can't be predicted precisely.
  2. We KNOW the sun goes through cycles. I promise that we've already considered whatever show stopping thing you found on the internet.
  3. When we say "climate change" in this current context, we mean the human-caused part. You aren't providing new information by saying that "the climate always changes." We know that.
  4. We know that it's the carbon causing the temperature rise (and not the other way around) because we know exactly where the carbon came from. It's not a coincidence that the CO2 concentration started rising at the same time we figured out combustion.
  5. Some data sucks. That fact does not invalidate science.

Edit: I'm going home. I might be back later. I appreciate the questions, and I'm always happy to answer them however I can. Feel free to keep sending them, and I'll catch up later.


H/T: Reddit

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