You may have always wanted to be a firefighter, but did you know you might actually have to... you know, fight fires? It's dangerous work. You may think being a writer sounds glamorous... until you realize how much time and effort they put in for minimal pay.
People have all sorts of preconceived notions about any number of jobs, as we learned once Redditor bwee21 asked the online community, "What job is a lot less fun than most people think?"
"While I joke..."
I do closed captioning.
While I joke that yes, I get paid to watch TV, it's actually very tedious. And if you don't actually enjoy the programming you're being forced to watch something you don't care for.
Or worse, if it's something I do enjoy like a long form drama, we usually chop those up into 15 minute increments and split between everyone so I only see chunks and not always even in order it actually ruins the show for me.
"I don't know if people..."
Well I'm a scientist. I don't know if people usually think of that career as fun, but I think people think it's a lot more "Eureka!" and a lot less "this data's has to be manually processed for 600 hours before I can analyze it.
"I spent the last week..."
I'm a marine biologist. I spent the last week measuring defrosted fish heads.
"It's just like any other retail job..."
Working in a flower shop. It's just like any other retail job, but people constantly tell you how fun your job must be. Also helping grieving families chose funeral flowers is not fun.
"I love to travel for fun..."
Not a specific job but traveling for work. I'm in tech and a lot of people starting out talk about wanting to go to customer sites and get "out in the field"... I love to travel for fun but it's hard to fit in the fun stuff when you have presentations and stuff to worry about and a lot of times your customers aren't in the fun cities anyway. I also think I prefer the stability in day-to-day schedule of traveling less frequently.
"It doesn't matter how good of care..."
A pediatric nurse, being a nurse for children and adolescents. Everyone in nursing school talks about how much they want to work with kids. The reality is that a pediatric nurse sees more cases of abuse and neglect than any other specialty. Doesn't matter where you are in a pediatric hospital, it's the thing you see most.
I've seen so many DCS (Department of Child Services) caseworkers that I've gotten to know some of them and became acquaintances with them. Sure working with children and adolescents is great, but people don't think about the most essential piece of that puzzle which is their families. It doesn't matter how good of care you give to those kids, if you don't loop the parents in to that care you may as well just not be doing anything for them.
"You're mostly sitting at a desk..."
Paleontologist. You don't get to work with full dinosaur skeletons and do all kinds of awesome expeditions. You're mostly sitting at a desk looking at some pictures and logging stuff on your computer, maybe examining a fossil occasionally. If you're lucky you can go on a real dig, and OMG SPEND HOURS IN THE HOT SUN DUSTING OFF ROCKS!!!
"Days on set..."
Being an extra in a movie. Now, it can be super fun (I especially love historical and post-apocalyptic/sci-fi/fantasy type stuff), but a typical day on set wasn't what I thought it'd be when I started doing it. Often we have to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to get to holding, and if you're a minute late to check in sometimes they'll kick you out. Then we sit around in holding with sometimes hundreds of other extras, and we're usually sitting there for a good three or four hours before they start telling us to get ready to film. During this time we go through long wardrobe, hair and makeup lines where they reuse clothes (unless you bring them yourself), brushes and makeup without washing them.
When we finally get to film, it's often the same mundane motions over and over (exceptions of course, and those are always fun) Then we either get shuffled around or go back to holding. Several more hours pass, we go film again. Hungry? You get lunch six hours after your call time, and a usually meager supply of snacks. In between takes it's more standing around, often in heat or rain or we all get shuffled into cramped spaces to wait.
Days on set are often more than 12 hours, and I know someone who had to be on set for 26 hours straight. They can legally hold you there until they declared filming is done, so don't make plans for the next day. Not to mention that you rarely see yourself in the final cut. I'm not trying to bash other background actors or the film industry because I've met lots of awesome people and gotten to do some pretty cool things. For example, interacting with main actors in scenes, running around in the woods with fake guns or being a zombie. But when I did my first job as a teen, I definitely thought it would be a lot different.
"Then you say..."
All the ones we see on TV and movies are the 0.0001% of incredibly lucky and talented people who managed to thrive in a hostile and overcrowded industry.
And even when you are working, the actual job itself is 99% sitting on apple crate in hot makeup waiting for some grips to move a lighting fixture. Then you say three lines over and over again for an hour, and then you wrap.
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