The most common jobs you're told about when you're little are the obvious ones: Fire Fighter. Police Officer. Doctor. Teacher. So on so forth. However, once you grow up, those career options may not be the most appealing. The job market is grander than you could possibly imagine in the days of recess and cubbies, so maybe it's time we start informing the youth about these job opportunities a little more often.
WARNING: Some jobs include collecting farm animal...samples.
Reddit user, u/Praughna, wanted to hear about:
"What a lovely thing to do," said Thomas
People ask me if I drive trains. I am in the habit now of just pre-empting people and saying "It is like air traffic control but for the rail network". In the U.S.A. I believe it is called Train Dispatch. People are generally sort of impressed and want to ask questions about the railway.
Helping People Work
Dunno how unknown my job is as a whole, but it isn't well known in my area. I'm a job coach. I help people with disabilities do their jobs. I can aid in physical tasks they cannot do properly, teach them occupational skills, be there for moral support and supervision, and other stuff like that. I also make sure they aren't exploited in the workplace by people without disabilities.
It's a really fulfilling job, tbh. It's wonderful seeing clients learning how to do things and just enjoying their jobs. All of my clients are wonderful people and I can't wait until the world stops ending so I can go back to work and see them again. I miss them terribly.
Navigating The Cinematic Waves
I used to work as a film festival consultant/strategist. Filmmakers would contact our company, send their films in and we would assess its fitness for the festival circuit. If we thought it'd do well, we designed a strategy (1 or 2 year) with all of the festival's it will be submitted to keeping in mind premiere statuses and submission deadlines.
Film festival submissions are weirdly complicated and there's a lot of stuff you have to know about the festival landscape in the first place. But I also think that company was running a bit of a scam in hindsight. Also we helped an anti vax documentary get onto the festival circuit, which signalled my cue to leave.
Something Small To Something Large
I work in R&D at a company that makes resins for OSB boards and plywood. Let's say that we create a resin which will still hold the board together at 2.8% resin instead of 3.1%. Or it will hold together after being cured for 110 seconds instead of 125. That makes a huge difference when you're a company pressing 1 million boards a year.
It sounds really boring and most people zone out when I start talking about it, but it's pretty exciting when we patent an improved resin and sell it to another company for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Something You've Never Considered
I work in sterile services. You know all those instruments used in medical procedures and surgery? Well, they need cleaning, inspecting, packing, and sterilising. My department is for a small hospital, so we only recieve mostly dental and podiatry, but a few other one off instruments also. The worst is coil insertion kits, they're covered in bloody minge goo. There's also forceps and luxators that tend to get quite bloody, and on more than one occasion have had pieces of human gum attached.
Most people have the exact same reaction when I talk about my job, usually it's "oh yeah, I never really thought about that".
Written In Ectoplasm
I'm a ghostwriter. It's not necessarily an unknown career but people are usually interested when they ask about my work. Basically, I write books for people (autobiographies, memoirs, some fiction) and when it's complete they publish it in their name.
Ah, So You're To Blame?!
I'm in VDP—variable data printing. Basically, I put your name and address on personalized junk mail, letters, certificates, invoices, etc. I usually get a blank stare when I tell people this, so I switched to "programmer," even though I feel like that's an overblown title for what I actually do, though it does require programming knowledge. Most of my day is putting a salutation on a letter, but it is enjoyable when something more complex comes in that requires a lot of conditional logic!
Getting Paid To Read??
Reactions were "Wait, you get to listen to books all day and be paid?" Yup. "That can't be a full-time though?" It is. "I bet it's temporary with no paid time off or benefits." I get benefits and more pto than I've had in all other positions.
This exists!? My long standing joke is my dream job being paid to read!? (Or listen!) How does one go about switching to such amazing career?
Monitoring Other People's Work
Sometimes I literally get paid to watch paint dry. I'm a security escort for secure areas where contractors must be escorted. My job is boring AF but, I get paid to watch other people work.
Examining Seeds At A Close Level
I'm a seed analyst. I do purity and germination testing. Every time you purchase seed, or seed is sold for commercial production, if there's a label on it that says "X% pure seed, X% Weed seed, X% Inert material, X% Germination"- that information came from a lab where people specialize in seed testing, germination, and identification. I can ID hundreds of species on sight by the seed, but if it's bigger than about 2 inches, I have no idea what plant it is.
How Else Will We Save On A 3 Taco Plate?
I make coupons on the back of receipts.
You know that Mexican place coupon on the back of the Kroger receipt? You're welcome.
You Have To Study For This?
I had a brief stint as a "junior cheese evaluator." People loved hearing about the cheese tasting part, but what is less known is the business analytics side of things — we have to know what good cheese is and what consumer tastes are like and how to influence those tastes to make room for company products that maximize profits for the cheesemaker and retailer.
There's a whole national certification exam I was studying for before I decided to take a drastic career shift because the whole cheese thing wasn't paying the bills and it was too much work holding down three jobs.
Don't Blow It...Blue It...?
I'm an operations manager for the Blue Man Group show, a lot of people don't realize how many people it takes behind the scenes to put on that show!
How many "Blue Men" are there in reserve for each tour/show? Is it the same folks out there on stage every night, or is there a pool of people that rotate?
My location (at time of closing) has 7 full time guys and 3 part timers. Sometimes they'll even change in between shows, so if there's two performances in one day it may be different performers for each show. Once or twice we've gotten stand-ins from other locations, but this is usually a last ditch save as every show has a unique scene. This means every location has one piece of the show that no other location has. To have a stand-in from a different location's show means filling them in on a section of show they don't normally perform at their home venue!
I Know They're Only Dummies But...
I work on a truck doing simulated emergencies with high fidelity mannequins . The mannequins have pulses they breathe, you can listen to lung sounds, and their eyes move back-and-forth. We take the truck to fire departments and critical access hospital's in our state to provide emergency training at no cost to the fire departments and hospitals. There are only five states that I know of in the nation that do this training.
Typing Up What Everyone Says
I produce subtitles, for TV and now for online learning at a university. It's been amazing how many people have thought that either A, a computer does it or B, I'm a sign language interpreter.
I was also a teleprompter / Autocue operator for a while, when I first left uni, and it was one of the best jobs I've had. Though again, people thought a computer did it. And I've had likes of actors literally laugh in my face because they consider it beneath the lowest of the low apparently (until it breaks...)
Buy. BUY. BUY!
Im a procurement officer for an airline, I order parts for planes.
No one seems to realise my job exists but everyone gets it when I tell them what I do.
Reaction is generally wow that's so cool! In reality I raise purchase orders all day. But it's pretty cool to wander out to the hangar when a plane is in
The Art Of Foam
Not me, but a longtime friend of my dad's was/is(?) a professional carbonated beverage pourer. (Spellcheck's not happy with 'pourer', is it 'pourist'? ...'pourmaster'?)
It was for closeup shots, mostly for commercials for sodas or beers, and sometimes for movies or TV shows.
At one point I asked my dad (not wanting to be rude to the guy), "Is that one of those jobs where some studio exec just picks one of their buddies to get paid a salary for basically nothing?"
According to my dad, this was NOT the case - apparently it was very specialized, precision work. They'd be like "Okay, we need a 5-second pour with a 1-inch head that settles into a 3/4" head in 2 seconds," and he could make it happen. Mistakes were a big deal because studio time's expensive, if he messed up too many times one of the crew would be drunk, etc.
As a kid I always imagined this guy at work to look like someone diffusing a bomb or something, dramatic music, everyone staring anxiously, bead of sweat on the forehead etc. As far as I know, that imagining is completely accurate.
You Have One Job And You Do Very Well At It
I was an enucleator.
When people passed and wanted to donate their corneas I would retrieve their eyes from their body and take them to the lab to process for transplant. When people found that out they were either completely grossed out or thought it was really interesting.
Best "Job" or Greatest "Job?"
Once upon a time I worked at a boarstud. I got hired in the lab preserving semen for sale. Dull, morning headachy work staring at semen under a microscope.
Buuut the shed often needed help collecting semen and a fun, well paying, easy job. Go get the pig, get him to mount, grab a penis and then nap as they ejaculate for ten to fifteen minutes. Repeat.
I got paid $27 an hour to sit on a stool and hold a curly penis three days a week. I now work 6-7 days, collect blood samples, monitor surgery, take phones, do inventory and handle angry clients with a smile for $16 as a vet tech. Hmm.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.
Unless you've been a member of the armed forces, you may only know drill sergeants as uncompassionate leaders who yell at privates all the time.
War Face GIF Giphy
"Drill instructors, what is the funniest thing you have seen a Private do?"
The following examples were utterly humiliating, but valuable lessons were learned.
"Had 2 guys get in a fight in our bay during basic. The drill sergeant made them hold hands and pretending to be on a date all week. Only time they could let go of each other's hands was rack time. They ended up becoming pretty good friends."
"Ex British Army officer here."
"A corporal went on a nine week mortar course and was accommodated (obviously) while he was away. It turned out he knew one of the DS teaching the course and was invited, regularly, to dine and drink in the Sergeant's Mess."
"The month after coming back from the course, he brought his payslip to me with a puzzled look on his face and, embarrassed, explained he didn't understand what it meant and could I help him?"
"It emerged that the Sergeant's Mess had a chitty system - you didn't pay for your drinks at the time, but signed for them and the total bill was deducted from your pay."
"This legend had managed to drink more than his monthly salary both months he'd been away and his payslip was a negative balance."
"I'm sorry Smith, I'm afraid you owe the Army £235 ($327.50) this month."
Asking For An Advance
"Former European Anti-Air Trainee here."
"Recruit spent his first check on alcohol and sex workers, asked his commander for next months check in advance the next day. Instead of having a good excuse prepared to actually succeed in that proposal he blankly told him in front of 80 other recruits why he'd need it."
"I saw a guy post about how he was like 6'3 and his DS was like 5'2, so whenever he messed up the DS would go up to him face to chest and yell 'Elevator!' and the guy would bend down to eye level with the DS and say 'Ding!' and the DS would proceed to look him in the eye while he chewed him out."
Some experiences were downright hilarious.
"Not an RDC, but in boot camp I was over the laundry crew. One recruit sh*t himself because he thought he couldn't leave his rack after taps. It was funny at the moment before I realized I had to wash it."
"This was the funniest f'king thing I ever read from u/odomotto"
"Recruit fired all his blank ammo during 'ambush training.' He crawled in ditch opposite where the aggressors were, and started throwing rocks at them. DI came running in middle of the road blowing his whistle and screaming 'what the f'k are you doing?' Recruit screamed back, 'throwing hand grenades drill sergeant!' Without missing a beat, the DI screamed 'out f'king standing.' And walked away."
"My sides hurt and I was wheezing laughing so hard at this when I first heard it!"
These punishments made no sense. And that's why they're memorable.
"When I was in basic, a kid we called 'Albino' shot off a blank round accidentally in the field. The sergeants were pissed and took his weapon away and replaced it with a broomstick for the remainder of the week in the field."
"Man I remember some dude didn't put the sheet on his bunk the right way and had to wear the sheet as a cloak and go to all the other barracks dancing around sing about how he was the 'Catch Edge Fairy' or something. It was pretty silly, he owned it though. He was doing twirls the whole time. This was Navy bootcamp."
Despite how they are depicted on film, drill instructors are people who care.
Like, Beals – a drill sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky – who said:
"We provide more than just physical, mental and emotional guidance for them. You are a father, a preacher, a financial advisor, a counselor-you provide so many different services to the Soldier that the regular public doesn't see on day to day basis."
"They see what they see in movies and what they hear about by word of mouth. But you are fulfilling so many roles other than just being a trainer and teaching an individual how to be a Soldier in the Army."
And occasionally, they are having a laugh at the crazy things their trainees do.
Sometimes, it becomes extremely clear that it's time to leave.
That goes for short term situations like a bizarre social moment, or longer term commitments like work or relationships.
Whatever the context, there is typically a tipping point moment when all the variables appear to suggest things have become unsafe, wildly uncomfortable, or maybe even a tad illegal.
It's those moments when all you can think about is the door.
Redditor Thotus_Maximus asked:
"What was your biggest 'I'm out' moment?"
Many people talked about the times they went to parties that turned out to be very different from what they had in mind.
"Went to a friend of a friend's 35th birthday party. There were like 3 people there when we showed up. Birthday boy says everyone's in the basement. Okay cool."
"We go down to the basement. Someone's DJing, they've got cool lighting, there's like 30 people dancing. After a minute or 2 we realize everyone in the basement is like 13. Nope Nope Nope."
THAT Kinda Party
"Lived in a hotel for a while when I was 18-19. One day a bunch of people I've met at the pool wanted to go up to this dudes room and party. I thought we were gonna drink, smoke, and have a conversation, but that's not how it went."
"While everyone went up there, I had to go back to my room and change clothes. When I finally went to join them, I walked in and saw this dude injecting hard drugs. I sh** you not, this dude turned completely blue and dropped to the ground like a rock. When I saw that, I just dipped."
"He got picked up by an ambulance and survived. When I saw him in the elevator the next day, he seemed like a completely different person. Seein' stuff like that (that wasn't my first time witnessing od's), I think kept me away from the drugs that can kill you easily."
The Great Escape
"I was at a party when I was a teen. Cops turned up. I was stuck upstairs. But there was a balcony and underneath a pool. And beyond the pool a gate leading to an alley."
"So I jumped in the pool."
"But when I resurfaced there were already two cops standing there looking at me."
Other Redditors recalled the times they encountered strangers that did not appear to have their best interest at heart, to say the least.
"Was approached by someone and we talked about how we went to the same college and I showed him some of my art work, he thought it was pretty cool and offered me an opportunity and wanted to talk more later because I was at work at the time."
"I met up with him and his girlfriend and he told about what he mentioned. As I say there listening, it sounded familiar and BAM! It hit me. It was a pyramid scheme, it had nothing to do with art or any job prospects, I told him I wasn't interested many times in the nicest way possible l, but boy did they look pi**ed."
"I got stuck in an airport overnight as my flight was cancelled due to weather and I was starving because all the stores were closed. Some employee offered to show me where to get food so I followed him."
"He then opened a door to outside in the parking lot and motioned outside. I quickly said 'no thanks' and walked away."
And finally, some talked about when it became very clear that their work situation needed to end, like yesterday.
Quotas Reign Supreme
"I got buried by heavy packages while loading a truck for Fedex. It took 3 people to get me out. I was bloody, bruised, and had trouble lifting my arm."
"My manager came over and chastised me for my package count being too low. Walked out immediately."
Leaving Him a Stressful Day
"I worked in a contact centre several years ago. It was super busy and calls didn't stop coming. For some reason, my stupid boss removed everyone else from the queue for some stupid training, leaving me alone to handle all the calls. I messaged him a few times on Microsoft Teams, asking what was happening with no reply."
"After two hours, I shut down my computer and walked out of the company. I just recently withdrawn my last salary, so no regret whatsoever."
Corruption At Its Finest
"I worked for a blood analysis lab machine company for about 6 months. Hated every minute of it because I was working well over 60 hours a week every week. I wouldn't be leaving some hospitals until after 11pm sometimes. The management would never support the techs, the customer is always right, that BS."
"So one week at during the over the phone team meeting, the manager actually asked on of the younger techs to complete paperwork and submit it. Which is normal, but the manager was having him submit the repair paperwork and schedule the repair when they got around to it. He wanted the tech to pencil whip documentation we submit to the FDA so he could a quarterly bonus."
"Managers who's group hits all the pm's, gets a very nice size check. Had the tech done that and the machine failed before it was serviced, somebody could have died and he might have gone to jail. I left that job the next day."
Out With a Bang
"I walked out of a job two hours into a shift and left them without anyone who could do my job."
"As a parting gift, I threw the manual I'd written in the rubbish and didn't bother removing or giving anyone my passwords to stuff so they couldn't do anything."
Years ago I had a classmate who was a total daredevil... so much so that he would often injure himself. He once drove a bike in the direction of oncoming traffic, just for the hell of it. He got out of that episode unscathed––luckily. By contrast, I prefer keeping all my limbs, and still have them all. I wonder where he is now. Hopefully not too banged up. I did do some stuff unwittingly––like the time I stuck a fork into an electrical socket. I thankfully wasn't shocked too much. I was young and naive.
People told us all about the dangerous things they did when they were younger after Redditor Not-an-Ocelot asked the online community,
"What's the most dangerous thing you did as a kid without realizing?"
"My chore was to wash the floors. I would mix all sorts of chemicals together, not realizing they don't mix. Like bleach and ammonia with other cleaning products."
This is very easy to do––and so dangerous! Thankfully you didn't harm yourself.
"I used to walk..."
"I used to walk on a frozen river when walking home from school. I was about 7 at the time."
Seen too many movies about people stuck under the ice.
"We would sneak up..."
"I used to do parkour. We would sneak up onto the rooftops of condo buildings when they were washing their windows (the staircases leading to the top floor would be unlocked). We would then go roof hopping.
Literal roof hopping like in Grand Theft Auto. We would jump from a 12 storey apartment building's roof to an adjacent 10 storey apartment building's roof, etc."
How are your knees? That's bound to do some damage, no?
"I picked up..."
"I picked up a baby copperhead snake and gave it to my mom as a present when I was 6 or 7."
You must have really hated your mom.
"There was a railway crossing..."
"There was a railway crossing on my walk to school, and the train would often be blocking my path so I would always wait until it stopped moving and then climb on top of it and jump off the other side so I could keep walking and not be late."
"Played inside an old broken refrigerator that was outside….not knowing it could have locked or tipped over."
Yes, it could have! Thankfully it didn't. There's a really frightening scene in The Leftovers involving a character who nearly suffocates in a fridge.
No thank you.
"Like most Florida kids..."
"Like most Florida kids I swam where I shouldn't have and I'm very lucky I didn't get eaten by alligators."
"After seeing videos..."
"Playing with fireworks. After seeing videos of kids blowing their fingers and hands off, I would never let my kids play with them, without lots of supervision."
"We are super lucky..."
"Getting on a boat with my then-boyfriend and not telling our parents where we were going. The boat ended up sinking during a storm and we had life jackets and floated on the ice chest. Only reason we are alive is because a ship that was coming in heard us screaming during the storm and called the coast guard. We were out there for a total of 15 hours and had severe hypothermia. We are super lucky to be alive."
This is pretty terrifying.
Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
Yes, thankfully, you're alive.
"When I was about..."
"When I was about 9 or 10 a friend and I rode an air mattress down a river. Neither of us knew how to swim and we didn't tell our parents so when we came back cops were looking for us."
Well... these were a read.
If you'll excuse me, I'll stay indoors and wrap myself in bubble wrap. The outside world is scary.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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I hate painting. I swear I'd rather eat uncooked liver or scrub a latrine with a toothbrush before I pick up a rolling pin and start painting walls.
I can never get it right, and the amount of coats you have to put on never seems to end. I cry when I have to do it.
And the stress of it all starts at the paint store. Those Home Depot people act like their artists and I'm an idiot. Ok, maybe they're right.
I can never figure out how to match the color or even get the perfect new color that's in my mind. So I doth my workman's cap to the HP counter crew.
Redditor u/PhantomHeroine wanted all the people with color mixing skills to share some interesting tales by asking:
Home Depot paint mixers of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing you've had to color match?
I've brought in previous paint chips to try and match. That is the extent of my ability in paint coordination... crusty, old, dirty chips. What else is there to bring to the paint counter? Let's find out...
Meow Mixcat turning GIFGiphy
"My manager color matched a cat once. Mostly people just try to have you match splinters or things that have multiple color tones into just a "general vibe."
In the Eyes
"I matched sharpies, microscopic flecks of paint people scraped off their walls, a woman's teal underwear, and more. Maybe the weirdest one was matching a guy's girlfriend's iris color. He wanted to paint something the color of her eyes, so he brought in a close-up photo of her. It was difficult because an iris isn't just one solid colour, but it was fun and he left happy with this kind of smoky blue."
"A guy came in once and wanted Asylum Yellow for his attic room. He said he saw it once and could we find it? Ended-up calling the 1-800 number and the woman said there was no color. After a while, she found it but it was Alyssum Yellow, named after a flower. He took a quart home, but I don't think he ever came back."
"My mom took a can of Campbell's soups to Home Depot to get a color match for the red part. She then painted the kitchen, which was full of Campbell's soup tchotchkes, Campbell's soup red." -
"Andy Warhol would be proud."
Sexy Colorsbabe dancing GIFGiphy
"I used to work at a sex shop. We took a dancer thong into a place to color match the shade of pink for paint for the inside of our store. They ended up naming the color Booty Pants."
If only I wore underwear, I never would've thought to use it though. And my dog and cat are all black, so that would've been simple, had I been painting a cave. But people certainly get creative. I mean, soup for walls? Hungry much?
"Somebody brought in a bar of soap for me to match. I think it was Irish spring."
"We did Coca Cola red, color matched a Coca Cola sign. (My husband only likes Coke, not Pepsi.) We didn't paint the walls red (walls are a soft yellow), but we painted the picture frames in the nearby room, and a clock frame, things like that. Stuff we can take off the walls if we decide to go a different route later, haha."
Never just one chip...
"Tostitos spinach dip. It was odd enough and with a good reward that I haven't forgotten it. A long time ago I worked for one of Home Depot's competitors and a someone came into ask if I'd be able to match the spinach dip that Tostitos was about to roll out. He wanted undercooked, perfectly cooked, and over cooked matched so that they could paint the inside of jars to show the manufacturing teams what each looked like as it all was made."
"The guy showed me a jar of the dip and we talked about how he'd have to remove all the spinach and red stuff (bell peppers, tomatoes?) chunks and have just the actual dip. He left but came in a few days later with just the dips smeared and dried on some little cards or something, then I spent a couple of hours working with him. To get the colors right. In the end he was happy."
"A day after that he came in just to bring me a couple of bags full of Lays (Tostitos parent company) and Tostitos with multiple jars of dips, including the not yet released spinach dip. He told me to share it all but I was in my mid 20s working full time and trying to finish my second college run at the time, so that free food was a godsend. I put those bags in my car instead of the break room and took it all home."
"Older lady comes in with a ziploc bag full of dirt. i figure she wants us to test it's pH or, something. Nope. She has a walkway, and when it rains some of the dirt from her flowerbed runs on to the walkway. she wants to paint the walk way the same color as the dirt so it isn't as noticeable."
"I try to talk her in to using landscape ties or something to prevent the dirt from getting on the the concrete in the first place. Nope, just wants to paint it. Ok. So i asked her if she wanted the paint to match the color of the dirt when it was wet or dry. Blew her mind."
Manual LaborNed Beatty Art GIFGiphy
"Oh, now that's long ago... I used to be very good at manually matching colors (no machines in those days). There was the standard bits of paper and cloth."
"One day someone walks in covered in dried paint, and asks me to match the color on their arm. Someone has spilled the paint all over him and they needed more, but had lost the color identification code somehow. He stood around patiently for an hour until I sorted out an exact match."
Look at that some people are nuttier than me. Retail careers are never easy. Whether you're selling food, cars or paint. The customer is always right and always crazy.
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