Tradespeople have some of the toughest jobs that often involve physical exertion.
Skilled workers like welders, electricians, and consruction workers often put their lives at risk at the work site but they possess a lot of pride in what they do are very dedicated, hard-working people.
But even they have a breaking point that leads them to walk out on a job.
Curious to hear from blue-collar workers, Redditor imakesawdust asked:
Adverse working conditions and difficult people can determine if a job is worth sticking around for.
"I am an automotive tech, the only jobs I utterly refuse to work on are cars that are filled with trash and filth. I have literally had roaches fly out of the ac vents when the ac came on. Y'all would be disgusted at the way some people keep their cars."
"I used to work on a crew that built additions on houses. One lady got upset that we were cutting a hole thru her wall for the door. She called her husband who came home from work, he told our boss that she was accusing us of trying to break in and assault her. My boss had us pack up and leave and we never went back."
Too Much Wood
"Work in a lumber mill, a loader operator knocked 4 bundles of 2" thick by 6" wide by 16' long into the river, so over 1200 pieces and a boss told me to get it out of the river... during a thunderstorm."
"F'k all that noise sir."
"Edit: the wood wasn't 2 feet by 6 feet by 16 inches, that would be weird just fixed it lol not American my bad."
When I used to work on cars, I had to pull the front seats out of a horrendously dirty smelly car to remove the center console."
"Proceeded to removed the front seat, and found the whole area under the seat was stuffed full with Dirty used tampons and pads."
"I nearly threw up and I yeeted the f'k outta there. We had to call up and get biohazard guys in because she wouldn't come and clean out the car."
"'Karen' then proceeded to have a screaming match with my foreman about the bill....."
"I've seen alot of sh*t but hands down this was the worst."
When Life Matters More
These people prioritized their lives over their jobs. Because they should be alive to cash their paychecks.
"Got hired to do a vapor barrier job in a crawl space. Old 1920's home. I suited up and got in about 15 ft and saw that the center load bearing beam had rotted out near the footer. Somebody took a cinder block and a 8 ton harbor freight bottle jack to shore it back up. Whole thing wobbled as folks moved around in the house. Got the f'k up out of there."
Project Of Peril
"I was called out for a termite inspection. Homeowners said they had been told for years they had a problem but it took one of their bedrooms floors collapsing to finally do something about it."
"I hauled a** out of the crawl space when I found the only thing that was keeping the floor from fully collapsing was a single electrical wire that at any moment it could snap and collapse the floor on me."
"I was working in a newly restarted 130 year old paper mill, they hadn't worked out the kinks in the pulp mill yet. The short version is my toolie and I got coated in black liquor that flowed from an uncapped pipe 70 feet in the air. It was outside, in December, so luckily it wasn't boiling lava hot when it hit us but we still had to make a trip to urgent care. And we lost our work truck because it was white and after the spill was black. We came back the next week, but refused to work on that end of the digester."
"Edit: I'm an electrician."
These tradespeople found that unforeseen circumstances can be enough of a reason to peace out.
"Landscaper here. Honestly it's about 50% of the meetings I go to. Learning how to say no is essential in this business. You can go out of business doing not good jobs quicker than you can not working."
The Panicked Landscaper
"I hired a landscaper once, small-time guy doing it as a sideline. We talked about all kinds of plans, seeding grass, cleaning up overgrown parts of the yard, and taking out two giant, ancient bushes that were crowding the house."
"He shows up to take out the bushes, and a few hours later calls be, all freaked out that the bushes have roots that go down to hell and it was taking a lot longer than estimated to get them out. I made it clear to him that I had half expected that, and that I had no problem paying for however long the job actually took. He was absolutely in a panic, though. He got the bushes done, then noped the hell out on the rest of it and never got back to me."
"Somehow, I couldn't make him understand that I was way more pissed that he bailed on the rest of the work than the fact that he underestimated the job initially."
"A bit late to this but.... I'm a plumber, went to unblock an old ladies toilet, she'd tried to flush her dead cat, it was stuck, and very wet, and soggy...."
Result Of Depression
"I noped out of a job back when I was a sparky. We had ~100 men onsite at a uranium enrichment facility; pay was good, but the conditions weren't. It was way out in the middle of nowhere New Mexico, with nothing to do beyond go to work then go back to the camp and drink. I got depressed after spending 6 weeks onsite, as did a lot of others. The straw that broke the camels back for me was when we found one of the apprentices dead in his trailer. His girlfriend broke up with him because he was never home anymore, he turned to the bottle.
Based on the comments shared in the subReddit, many of these skilled or unskilled laborers have dealt with their share of hardships.
But the situations prompting many laborers to bail out on a job were mostly the ones where their lives were in jeopardy.
Because would you rather have an old home come crashing down on you and bury you alive, or come face to face with a mountain of used tampons while working on a car?
No toss-up here.
In a perfect world, jobs would pay well enough for you to survive doing them. But we don't live in a perfect world and pretty much everyone can tell you that lots of jobs don't pay anywhere near a livable wage.
That doesn't mean they're not awesome.
One Reddit user asked:
Consider this article our love song to those crappy jobs that didn't pay much, but made up for it in laughs, snacks, ability to avoid the public, etc.
So this one's to you, summers spent as a pool lifeguard in a small town. My bank account may have been empty, but my tan was flawless and my hamstrings have never again reached that level of definition.
Movie store. Free rentals. Netflix was just starting to take off, so it didn't get busy ever. I got to watch movies all day and drink free slurpies.
Same. Free movies before they were "released" and work consisted of bs'ing about movies and playing Gameboy. Best job ever for being 17.
Same, but I worked at a mom and pop's rental store kind of like Blockbuster.
I was always popular because my family and friends wanted the new releases that came out. So I'd hold them for people - and people always had giant smiles when they came in.
That's one thing I loved about working there. People were always happy when they came in.
Kids got their movies and games, adults would browse for theirs and get pumped if something new was in. Popcorn, candy. All cash. RIP good ole days
Living Historynight museum GIFGiphy
Working at a small local museum. Basically did tours for local kids who didn't care or the elderly who knew more about the stuff than I did. On my first day, my high school history teacher (who helped me get the job and previously ran the place) gave me a tour and pointed out one interesting thing in each room. When I asked if I needed to learn about the rest, he just laughed and said I would.
Every single tour I did for the elderly someone would get super excited and talk nonstop about something they recognized "hey this signed used to hang at the old mill..." "oh my god, this looks just like the nurse uniform I wore in WW2" "this portrait is my grandmother".
The next tour I'd just mention the stories the previous tour told me about. And even if I didn't have much to discuss about the museum, they loved just chatting.
So I got paid to parrot the previous tour or just smile through rooms of the current tour talking. I even had one tour where I spent most of the tour just chatting about fantasy novels as an older lady just wanted to talk. Two weeks later, she returned while I wasn't working and dropped off a bag of books for me (her old books that she knew her son and grandkids didn't want), a sizable donation to the historical society, and a nice long write up as the last room held an old uniform that was misidentified. She was part of the exact unit it came from and gave the museum director a corrected page with the right unit name and a short description of some of the notable places they had served.
My Current Job Is Much Safer
I worked as a bike courier to up my allowance. I was super fit, riding my bike for more than 1500km per month. On the downside I got "run over" by cars three times.
And that's not to mention the suddenly opening car doors. Those got me twice.
One time was bad: My bike was destroyed beyond repair (the frame was bent), I had muscle contusions, a ripped tendon in one of my hands, injured joint capsules, abrasions all over the body ... I couldn't even walk without painkillers for two weeks. I was exempt from sport for two or three months. That sucked.
Luckily enough I suffered no permanent damages. My current occupation as a software developer is much safer and much better paying, but I think fondly of that time.
The Whole Job Was To Press A Button
Ski lift operator at a ski resort.
Got paid minimum wage , but the whole job was to press a button if someone fell, which a lot of people did.
I would just see some clearly inexperienced people get wrecked while getting off, stop the lift, roll my eyes, maybe help them if it's going to take a while, start lift again. lol
It came with sweet perks like free snowboarding and half price for food. Also my coworkers were a bunch of dope snowboarding hippies
Working at a theatre.
We were all young, had our own cash and places for the first time, and got into all kinds of trouble. Very fun!
Plus, free movies and snacks. Pretty sweet.
I'm genuinely thinking about working at one again when I retire just for the enjoyment.
This was going to be mine!
Early in my management career I was a projectionist, I got to break down/build films. Nothing better than sitting in the booth and putting together a film while listening to music. Then after it was built testing it to make sure there were no bad splices.
Also my theatre was extremely slow, so we'd have a lot of downtime to just mess around.
We did a LOT of late-night movie viewings.
Night shift at a hotel front desk.
I spent the night by myself, chilling and watching movies on my phone. Hardly anyone ever checked in at night and when they did it was just a five-minute process. I was also allowed to snack on the food in the kitchen.
I had to make breakfast, and would get to eat that as well every morning. I'd have a big Texas cinnamon roll and some milk just about every night lol.
It didn't pay much, but for someone who enjoys spending time alone and not dealing with the public much, it was great.
As someone who is currently on my nightshift at the front desk, I can confirm it is great however prolonged amounts of time in it can cause health problems from messing up your circadian rhythm.
Also sometimes, like right now, it can get really boring. But can't complain much when I'm getting paid to browse Reddit.
Being a Starbucks barista actually isn't bad.
Out of all the food service industry jobs I've had, they had the best health insurance plans and you didn't need to work 40 hours minimum to qualify for it. That left me open to waitress and make more money while still getting health insurance and free coffee!
The work was fun too.
I liked the hustle of making all the drinks and I'm naturally very good at small talk and memorizing the little details of regulars lives so I could pick up the convo next time. The customers were generally very nice and tipped well. We often made about 2 dollars an hour (which was split based on weekly hours worked so the more you worked the more you got) which ain't bad.
Of course we got plenty of Karens - especially in the summer when our town flooded with tourists - but even then the regulars would understand and commiserate with us (often loudly while stink eyeing whatever tourist is hassling us) on how rude city folk are.
BordersBooks Lol GIF by UdGGiphy
Borders Books. Dang I miss that company.
$30 gift cards a month to buy books in addition to the employee discount. Also you could "borrow" up to two books at a time to read and return in salable condition. Pretty good bonuses and incentives for a retail job.
And it was nice working with employees (and having customers) who were book lovers.
This what I came here to say! I spent just under 4 years there; their final years. All I did was read and get ARC copies of books. I love to organize and talk books. I don't remember $30 gift cards each month but I do remember it always being minimum wage with no benefits or sick time.
I have all the job perks now, but sometimes I go back to that job in my mind. I loved when someone enjoyed my recommendation and would come back.
I always had books checked out in my name and half the time would buy them to re read. Oh and coffee all day....sigh.
Blueberries and Ice Cream
I worked at a blueberry farm where I worked inside the blueberry store.
They sold homemade blueberry baked goods, homemade blueberry jam and other jams, blueberry (and other flavors) ice cream, and blueberry knickknacks and trinkets. The owner's daughter who worked with me was fun and we just manned the cash register and served ice cream.
I worked there for three summers during college, made a sweet $8/hr and got a bowl of ice cream every day. Best job ever
The Work Sucked, But...
I worked in the warehouse part of a furniture store when I was 17.
I was the youngest and the other guys were in their early 20s. We just goofed off, told jokes, and had fun. When we actually worked, it was hard due to assembling furniture and unloading trucks, but the rest of the time it was a blast.
This. Working at a furniture store was my first job. I didn't like the work, but we had such fun.
And No Boss!
Bike rickshaw (pedicab) in Austin on 6th street.
Ferrying around drunks all night is so entertaining and was such an easy way to meet girls. Got to see fights, people falling over, and hilarious shenanigans almost every night. And no boss!
Best days were game days and could make bank from the rich alumni between the beer gardens and stadium. Husbands always paid you to take their wives ahead and they could stay back and drink beer.
The Local Spot
At an ale house local to me
It made thai food as well and I was basically a waitress with extra responsibilities but wasn't old enough to handle the alcohol or money
I got a free meal every shift and a free drink (non alcoholic due to my age but older staff could choose any) and it was my parents local so they came and walked me home after my shift and I knew majority of the people who came in as customers meaning I was way more comfortable right from the first shift
If I Hadn't Been Marriedcoke thirst GIF by ADWEEKGiphy
I was a pool cleaner shortly before enlisting in the AF. I could smoke on the job, work at my own pace (as long as the pools were done and I was back at the shop by 5pm), eat when I wanted to, etc.
Some pools were pretty easy to care for. Others took at least a week to turn from dark green to crystal blue. PRO TIP: If you have a pool, you HAVE to run the pump during the winter, at least a few hours during the week.
Was it like a porn movie? In some ways more than others. Yes, I got to see a great deal of women in bikinis... and less. Yes, I got offered the occasional cold beer during a job. Did I have sex with clients? Well, Christmas don't pay for itself.
Probably would have worked out better for me if I hadn't been married.
My internship at an airline maintenance facility. Now, the job wasn't that interesting if you don't like to assemble and disassemble mechanical stuff all day and getting there by train was a constant nightmare. Also they did screw me up on the pay (110€ a month instead of 150€ like the other interns for no real reason) BUT :
- Their cafeteria was incredible. I ate some of the best lunches of my life for like 5€.
- It was in June and there was one of the biggest heat wave ever recorded in my country. Everybody had to endure 40°C all day... except me who worked in a climate controlled warehouse that was constantly kept at 21°C. Hardly environmentally friendly but I didn't mind.
Summer Of Netflix
Spent a summer sorting documents while watching Netflix.
I had a sh*tty data entry job in a college admissions department, and since no one applies to college during the summer (and thus there's no data to enter) they would normally just cut their data entry folks.
But that particular summer they decided to keep us on full-time and help digitize paper files. My role in this process was to remove all the staples, toss any extraneous documents, then put the documents back in the file in the correct order and with a cover sheet added, so the next folks could scan them.
This was also at time when our building was being renovated and full-time staff was moving around and changing offices.
I found an unused office and just posted up in there for the summer. It was easily the most enjoyable few months of my working life. I watched the entirety of DS9 and Scrubs while working that job.
Still Family To Me
Hostel receptionist. It was my dream job.
I would party literally everyday, have free access to clubs around, free tours, free beers, free BBQ, meet people from all over the world. Co-workers were and are still family to me. I miss that job.
If you're ever visiting Santiago in Chile, go to La Chimba Hostel. You will not regret it!
The Best And Worst
The best job was an overnight panel operator at a regional radio station.
The pay was sh*t, but it was the best job I ever had. I'd take my dog in, and spend all night doing crossword puzzles and reading comic books.
In contrast, the worst high paying job I ever had was doing the same thing for an adult movie channel. Getting paid to sit alone in a dark room watching porn for 10 hours a day is not as fun as it sounds.
You get desensitized to it really quickly, especially if you're not into what they're showing.
It was just really weird and awkward. Like being a diabetic working at a Cadbury factory.
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Job interviews are such a unique experience.
For a brief interval of time, we have to simultaneously try to impress someone with our qualifications, come off as casually pleasant, demonstrate passion for the role in question, and, somehow, be ourselves throughout that whole charade.
Not surprisingly, job interviews are daunting and tend to make us sweat. There's so much on the line, and it all hinges on how we act and talk in an hour or so.
But what if the motivation was flipped? What if we imagined how to do the very worst we possibly could in that situation.
It's an absurd exercise, but it sure takes the edge off.
regrettablycrushing asked, "You have 15 seconds to ruin a job interview. What do you do/say?"
"I had a candidate tell me 'I have extreme anger problems and I can't help but get loud and hands on when's someone's doesn't get what I'm trying to say'...it was for an engineering internship." -- KeemstarsBlackFriend
"NOT A WHILE LOOP!! A DO WHILE LOOP!!! WE NEED IT TO RUN ONCE BEFORE CHECKING THE CONDITION!!!"
"* shaking the other person aggressively by the shoulders *" -- moistkinkajou
In it for the Short Haul
"Where will I be in 5 years? Hell if I know but in 5 months I better be out of this slop house." -- BroadcasterX
"I thought the right answer was 'celebrating the 5th year anniversary of you asking me this question'" -- biggulpshuhasyl
"Sorry I'm late I got pulled over, but I was under the legal limit so..." -- lil-miss-militia
"just under the legal limit." -- kindsoberfullydressed
"Keyword being 'was' amirite guys?" -- Poly--Meh
"Excuse me ma'am, can I talk to a man here? Like someone who would be capable enough to interview me? I can't listen and answer to a woman." -- ilikesarcasticpeople
"I wish this was a joke but I once interviewed a guy who asked me who his boss would be."
"When I explained it would be me, the person interviewing him, he laughed and said congratulations for 'getting so far' but that he could not be expected to just do what I asked him to, and also any woman being in charge of a man was 'disrespectful.'"
"He did not get the job." -- TheWaystone
Keep Belching to a Minimum
"Did this already! Was nervous and chugged the last of my coke before going inside. Went to shake the guys hand and say Hello but a very loud long burp came out instead."
"I just dropped his hand and left."
Tough to Schedule
"Do you have masturbation breaks?" -- katep2000
Gauging the Strictness
"Does your employee theft policy offer second chances or would you fire me right away?" -- SlapCracklePop
"Can I steal loo roll? Like, just 1 when it's nearly payday? Or enough that my extended family never need panic buy again?" -- JJY93
Way Ahead of Ya
"Bring a bottle of apple juice and proceed to tell the interviewer that you brought your own drug test sample whilst accidentally spilling it all over the table and their laps...." -- MatteBlack84
"Nah, if you're serious about it you'll use apple cider vinegar. They will never get that smell out." -- whiskeyweedwood
"I'm never on time for work as I sleep a lot but at least I'm not tired when I arrive" -- WhiskersCleveland
"In the 5 years I have been at my job I have slept through 3 alarms. As it turns out my natural wake up time is 10am.....2 hours after I start work." -- Ziogref
Pro Tip: Stay on Topic!
"Interview going well."
"Female Interviewer : Do you have any questions ?"
"Me : About you or the company ?"
"Female Interviewer : .............."
"Haunts my memory to this day"
Mid Shift Only
"I had a guy applying while completely stoned."
"He was like « don't worry, I only smoke in the evening. Well sometimes before breakfast too »"
All About Eye Contact
"I will noticeably slide my hands down my pants. Then, while maintaining eye contact, take a deep and drawn out sniff of my finger."
"I proceed with the interview as if nothing has happened."
That Was One Tough Year, Whichever It Was
"'Wait, what year is this?' I actually said that in an interview."
"I had been traveling a lot and got some years and dates mixes up. The interviewer questioned me on how long I had been working in Germany, and I mixed it up. And I actually said that."
"Needless to say I did not get the job."
Suppose Lyme Disease Would Be Worse...
"Here's what I saw someone do to tank their interview in 15 seconds. She stopped mid answer to a question, ripped her pantyhose open, dug out a tick, and then asked for a Band-Aid."
"No, she did not get a call back."
So Much Work to Do
"I'm black with a boring generic name. I've seen the light go out in many hiring managers' eyes the second they see me. Only takes about 10 seconds."
A Contemporary Offense
"I interviewed someone who rolled her eyes at me when I asked her to put a mask on before we got started."
"Spoiler: she did not get hired."
In and Out
"We have a guy come in and say 'so I actually exaggerated on my cv just to get my foot in the door, I've never actually done any of those things'...."
"ok, bye then."
"As an interviewer let me say my favorite one."
"Me: What's your greatest strength? Candidate: uhhh well I guess free lifts.. I can do like 80 now..."
"I had to excuse myself and leave the room. Mind you this was some 16 year old interviewing for a grocery store but to this day I still think I should have hired him."
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As an actor, everytime I step off a stage and mingle with an audience inevitably, someone is going to ask it. The same question. The same odd fascination. "How in the world do memorize all of those lines?" I'll admit, they ask with genuine fascination and mild adoration but... really? That is the main question? Not the emotion we evoked, not the hilarity we inspired. No. Just the lines. It gets frustrating. It feels like everyone skips over the magic part and goes to the mundane.
Trust me, anyone is capable of the memorization. Unless you struggle with a disability that involves the brain and memory.... anyone is capable. The mind houses thousands of songs, lines from films and the oddest details from that could qualify you for "Jeopardy!"Redditor u/HilbertCube wants everyone to stop being so overly inquisitive. Like, why would you even ask that? They asked the internet..... "Oh, you're a programmer? I have a problem with my printer...". What's the equivalent of this in your job?
Am I a Bank?rich danny devito GIF by QuickBooksGiphy
"Oh you work in finance? What stock/fund should I buy? / you must be making a boatload on your personal investments with all the insider information you have access to!"
A Genius? Ha!
"Oh, you're a teacher? Please explain to me how my child's teacher had the audacity to give them a C despite it being very obvious that my child is a genius!"
Bonus points if they want you to explain the grading criteria in a completely different subject and level of schooling than you teach. Like, I teach high school and community college English and Social Studies - why do you expect me to know the grading criteria for middle school math?
Oh you're a paramedic? I have this thing on my toe, Will you check it?
I would tell them that if they wanted me to look, they have to call for the ambulance since it carried all of my very specialized tools.
Chair Flywindy taking off GIFGiphy
"You're in the Air Force? So you fly planes?"
Nah I fly a desk.
The Numbers Game
"Oh, you're an accountant? Can you add and/or multiply these huge numbers in your head lightening fast?"
No. You have no idea what I do....
Came here to say this. I am in corporate finance. I took a tax class or two back in 2003, so I might have SLIGHTLY more knowledge than the average person, but seriously not much at all. I'm really good at pivot tables though!
For Free Please...
"Oh you're a Graphic Designer? Can you make a logo for me really quick? It's for my cousin's birthday. I don't have any money to pay but I'll have multiple revisions that will cut into your actual paying work time, but then get upset when you ask for payment."
I typically respond to those questions with "Sure! Before we go any further, what's your budget?" and once they realize this is going to actually cost money, they get upset that you require compensation for your time (and explain how their relative can do it for free).
For the Music
Cinematography and Photography. I had a guy walk up to me the other day while doing street photography and ask me if I do music videos. I'm like ??? no, and even if I did I wouldn't take a job from some random who walked up to me on the street and tried to make a verbal contract with no discussion of pay.
Walter?aaron paul what GIF by Breaking BadGiphy
"Oh, you're a chemical analyst? You must know how to make drugs."
Oh, you work in construction? (Proceeds to ask about fixing things around the house, asking if something was installed wrong because it doesn't "look right", or wanting a price quotes for various projects).
I love using this one, I'm a Carpenter and Construction Project Manager, I get these little requests all the time, easiest way is to say "Yeah nah, that's screwed, gonna take some work to fix, maybe take it back to the frame because it wasn't built for that purpose and needs rework.", you watch their face turn pale and they reply "I... I... I can live with it I think.", works every time. ;)
For the Celebration....marisa tomei picture GIFGiphy
"You're invited to my.. party/event/wedding/celebration.... please could you bring your camera."
Oh you are an accountant, can you do my taxes?
No Mary i can't. I work for a corporate company not frigging H&R block. I mean I probably could but I don't wanna.
Its either that or "you're an accountant? Cool." Then proceeds to talk to other people because you can't delve deeper than those two outcomes into the convo. (Talked to a dude who just said that and we all ended up standing in silence for a few seconds after he did).
Wires Crossedseason 1 episode 3 GIF by Dream Corp LLCGiphy
"Oh, you're an electrical engineer? Can you wire my garage?"
On the Road
"Oh, you're a truck driver? Can you come tell me what's wrong with my car?"
Umm, ma'am, I just drive the damn things... You want the shop guys for that.
Edit: Okay, wow. lots of attention on this one. To clarify a few things:
-I know how to do basic maintenance on my truck: Replace bulbs, fuses, etc. But for serious repairs, that's on the shop
-Yes, I know your great great grandpappy twice removed drove a truck since he was 3 and can take one apart and put it back together blindfolded. Most drivers aren't like that. All I'm saying is driving them doesn't automatically equal being able to fix them by any means.
-Yes, I know how to check my fluids and all that. In fact, we're required by law to do it every morning. Too many drivers don't, and that'll come back to bite them in the @ss sooner or later...
"oh, you're a writer? Can you help with this very important legal letter?"
And a non-job bonus: "you're married to my programmer son, can you help me with my phone?" My husband gets the "you work in IT, my printer isn't working" questions from his mum. She thinks he does tech support. He programs systems for universities, government departments, etc.
"Oh, you're a pharmacist? Well I have this huge, gaping wound on my left butt cheek, can you look at it and tell me what I can use over the counter?"
Sir... Please go to the hospital...
In some countries, pharmacists can act as the kind of first line of access to the healthcare system. They have walk-in clinics for people who can ask 'Is this really serious enough to see a doctor about, or can you fix it with a pill/cream?' I've seen that a lot in the developing world, where doctors may be scarce.
Not all machines
"oh you're a mechanical engineer, can you fix my car?"
I'm a mechanical engineer and I'm really good with machines but I know nothing about most actual systems. I always tell people that I can figure out the problem eventually, but I'm probably going to need to have it for a month, strip down the entire thing, and might end up saying "this part is chipped and there's nothing I can do."
Do you think so?therapist safe place GIF by LuciferGiphy
Oh, you're a therapist? tells me about their family member who really needs to see a therapist.
Rocks and Stuff
"Oh you're a geologist? What kind of rock is this?" Just kidding, we love that crap and will tell you a long story of the history of that rock and how we saw examples in the field in the middle of nowhere.
Other common questions include:
- Is this a meteorite? (no, it's industrial slag)
- Is this a diamond? (no, it's quartz)
- How much is this rock/mineral/fossil worth? (probably $0)
- Is this a dinosaur bone? (no it is not)
- Is this gold? (no it's pyrite/fools gold) geckospots
I work with wildlife and reptiles and get asked all of the time. Many times I have convinced the people to either re-home the animal or drop the $500 needed on proper supplies.
And I managed to have one guy fined because he admitted and had video proof of releasing an invasive species of turtle into the local waterways.
Beneath the Skycarl sagan space GIF by Feliks Tomasz KonczakowskiGiphy
Oh you're an astronomer? Why is my outlook as Pisces so negative this month? I heard all the planets are going to be lined up what does that mean for my horoscope?
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School isn't a totally accurate barometer for success. It's often said geniuses like Albert Einstein did very poorly in school, but went on to have extremely fulfilling careers.
When we are in school, though, we are taught to believe that we must become factory robots who produce straight As or else our future will be flushed down the drain. While this is not always the case--sometimes, the system in the United States really does work against those with lower GPAs and less opportunities.
But those stories that circumnavigated that hardship are inspirational.
Here were some of those answers.
Planes, Trains, and More Planes
I almost failed my last year of High school. I have no idea how but I managed to pass lol
I'll always have a little resentment for this. My parents forced me to go to college and I didn't even know what I wanted to do. I enjoyed animating at the time, I just didn't know if I wanted that as a career. The only class I thoroughly enjoyed was Drama. I liked acting, I was in ALL the school plays. So... I went with trying to become a teacher to teach that course. It went alright until my YouTube channel was doing GOOD. My animations were skyrocketing and I realized I wanted to that instead of school... but. My idiot mind didn't handle it well then I got kicked out of University at my 2nd year. So I spent a long time animating... then my channel got shut down for no reason. F**k you YouTube. Then my fiancé left me after that.
I was in a dark place for a long time. But out of the blue my buddy asked me if I wanted a job in a components shop for Aviation. They said they "needed an idiot to wash parts" and... I wasn't working. I needed money so I was like "yeah!" And I showed up the next day. I showed up an hour early regularly, I was genuinely interested in what was going on. I think both my manager and my boss noticed. I liked being there. I think my first week there as a temporary employee I did overtime. Like on a Friday I worked till 9 lol. So they obviously saw I was a brand new ace in the hole. After 4 months they hired me full time and now they're sending me to school. I got my level 1 AME license done and I'll be going for level 2 next January
It became a dream job after I arrived and I'm so happy to be where I'm at. My grades didn't matter. They just saw I was a hard worker... and now. I have my life together again.
Creativity Knows No Math
I did really badly in school. I hated it because I struggled with maths and with writing. I had good ideas but couldn't seem to get them onto the paper. I left school and worked in a shop Then I joined an acting class and eventually got into drama school in London. Learned to touch type as a way of writing comedy sketches....did well. Now I'm a professional writer. Turns out I have dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Took me 15 years to work that out.
It's Always Creatives
Got tired of high school, so I quit and did different jobs. In my mid 20's I started doing webdesign courses and found out I really loved it. Used all my savings (and got some help from my mom) to put life on hold for a few years and went to finish my high school degree, start college and get my degree to become a webdesigner. At 29 I got a permanent job at the place I interned and get to do design work and front end development in a small web agency and I love it ^^
It's Not One Size Fits All
This is me but let me explain something first.
Some kids respond better to different teachers and different environments in different schools. I feel there are very few bad teachers, it's just some teachers don't gel with some kids.
First school I went to, I was bottom at everything, went to a new school and suddenly didn't just excel, I became top at maths and IT. Next school, right to the bottom again, next school, I went into the top few in some subjects, even doing some exams early.
I then went to college and flunked everything because I discovered girls and how being a DJ got me lots of sex.
After leaving college early, working abroad, etc. I setup a company renting lighting and sound equipment, bought property, sold the company and now I own a software company that in 3 years has taken huge contracts from our competitors and still growing fast.
I do have a high IQ, it's just my parents didn't motivate me regarding school, so I got lousy grades. The same was true for my father. My son is the opposite and is super academic.
I also worked really hard for really long hours, and still do.
Getting rich is not easy, if it was, we all would be millionaires. You are competing against the rest of the planet and you have to convince people that you are better than others so they should give you loads of money.
Life is either a huge stressful competition, or you can have an easy life and do something that you enjoy.
Money is not the the only measurement of success, it is for some, but others are happy with living day by day with no stress and doing a job they love. I wish sometimes I was the latter.
Youth Ain't Everyone's Peak
I was a "Mess up" in HS - summer school every summer, barely graduated, not even a C average. Took a crack at the State U; got put out in short order. Got fired from a string of jobs because I was nineteen and I had a lot of attitude. Got a job in a factory building machinery. Had to go in the Army. Drank, worked as bartender and bouncer. Finally graduated the State U at 36; started law school at fifty, downtown office now. Life is far from perfect but it's vastly better than it was in my youth. Don't give up on yourself, don't sell yourself short, don't buy into negativity! You are not "struggling" - you are on a journey!
School Ain't My Place
Dropped out of highschool, got my GED, tried college but realized it just wasn't for me. I joined the Us Army and while I was enlisted I realized that I'm just going to have to figure my own way because I can't stand school. So I made my own way, learned to code 25 years ago and have done very well for myself. My brother has a similar story but he didn't even bother trying college. He's followed his dreams and made successful careers out of his hobbies. Just because school doesn't work out for you don't think less of yourself and don't underestimate your value.
A Nice Start
I'm in IT. Got bad grades all through high school because I didn't apply myself and took 8 years of online classes to make it through college with "Get a C and get a Degree mentality".
In the long run it didn't really hurt me, but it did make my path to get to my current position a little more convoluted. I ended up joining the Army since my prospects were slim initially and was able to get entry level experience and turn my security clearance into a nice start in the civilian world once I got out.
If I had to do it over again I might do things different, but I don't regret any decision.
I was a bad student in high school, but managed to pass.
In college/grad school, I think what helped me do a lot better was the fact that my parents weren't involved. I am 100% a believer of this. My parents were "involved" in my work all the time — making me tell them about my tests/quizzes/projects so that they'd always know to ask about my grade in it later. They always knew.
One stretch of time in 8th grade, I remember just going 'screw it' and not telling them anything. After ~1mo or so, my dad called the teacher and she told him all my test grades — all of which were in the B-range; a lot better than usual, at the time. There was no acknowledgement of being impressed with my independent performance. The big issue was that I never told them about these tests/grades. That was THE takeaway from that.
My parents always made it sound like a threat that when I finally went to college, they wouldn't be able to monitor my studies. And at the time, it was scary. But in reality, it was GREAT! I made honors three times (each level of school) — all without my parents breathing down my neck!
Now I work in a hospital
Once Again, Poor Metrics
I got fairly bad grades in highschool. My guidance counsellor told me to join the army and be an infantry soldier because I'd never go to university/college or be successful.
I ended up getting a BA and now I'm an ESL teacher. Currently looking at options to get fully certified and step up the teaching game.
I was a terrible student in high school, bottom percentage of my class, had to take a summer class after graduation because I didn't pass economics. They let me walk but I didn't get my diploma until like, August.
I watched all my friends go off to colleges while I went to community college after getting rejected from a few schools I applied to. Eventually went to a four-year college and graduated in two years with ok grades, not great. I was an art major so my grades depended mostly on meeting deadlines and quality of the work. Forward 10 years, I went back for certificate degree then started to work in my field (design). Now I'm working for a multi-national corporation and making six figures.
So being a crappy student hindered my ability to stay on a timeline along with my peers, but didn't prevent me from a successful life as a working adult.