Towfiqu barbhuiya/Unsplash

Misconceptions can happen anytime. We're prone to them if our experiences, media and representation are limited.

The way in which we see the world can cause us to have "naïve theories," or ideas about the world that our brains took short cuts to get to. So, you may think you know all about how to be a good lawyer because you watched 10 seasons of Law and Order, but really your scope is limited to an exaggerated fictional world.

Thankfully, we have the internet with the ability to share what it's really like to be lawyers, teachers, mathematicians, computer scientist, and so much more.


Redditor KTLJay asked:

"What’s a common misunderstanding in your line of work?"

A few professionals over on AskReddit told us the truth about some of the wildest misconceptions about their careers.

Software Developers

"Software developer here. People seem to think that if someone knows anything about computers they know everything about computers."

"I've been a professional software developer for over 10 years, so friends and family come to me with all their computer related questions, but I know jack shit about computer hardware, or really anything that isn't related to code."

- Renmauzuo

"I work software support, and this same thing goes for my household and family. I'm the 'tech guy.' I tell them every time that if I don't know how to set something up, or configure something etc. (which is often) I just tinker till I figure it out."

- shartnado3

Military

"That everyone in the military is in combat."

- solidsumbitch

"When I got out this was a big issue for me. I did IT for the army, and I had several job interviews where I'd go in and they'd ask me general army questions and we would talk about ruck marches or HMMWVs, without ever once giving me a technical question."

"Then a week or so later I'd get a response from the interviewer that they weren't sure about my technical ability. I had to change up my resume to imply that I did IT for the army instead of being in the army doing IT to finally get real interview questions."

- Lark2231

Retail

"As a retail worker, the most common misunderstanding is that I give a sh*t what happens."

- w_4wumbo

"I'd laugh to myself whenever a customer would proudly exclaim 'They would never shop here again!' like I'm supposed to be offended or something."

"Great! One less a**hole I'd have to deal with!"

- bangersnmash13

Designers and Engineers

"Pretty much every conversation between Engineers and Designers."

“'That’s a cool design man, but probably can’t be done at any moderately acceptable cost.'”

“'Why not, it’s JUST metal?'”

- AmerisaurausRex

"Lighting Design from architect: 250,000"

"Lighting Design in budget: 50,000"

- annomandaris

"I'm an engineer. No I don't want to help with your in-home DIY project. I'm not even that kind of engineer."

- Grindelflaps

"Or their car problems."

- The_Sherpa

Mathematicians

"Being a mathematician does not mean that I'm particularly good at mental calculation - I'm average-to-mediocre at it, as a matter of fact."

"I toyed with the idea of learning it for fun, and sooner or later I might just for the heck of it; but really, it has nothing whatsoever to do with what mathematics is about."

- Lyrolepis

"Me too! I was never particularly enthusiastic about math growing up, but somehow fell into a Math B.S. program. I love the conceptual stuff but something about quick mental calculations just wasn't built into my brain from an early age."

- DreamsOfCleanTeeth

Computer Scientists

"There is a huge difference between a computer scientist and tech support."

"I tell the computer to do things, I'm not here to fix your damn router."

- PAVOLU

"I feel so bad for people in the IT area at work. One of my former coworkers decided to finish his degree in computer science and move to the IT area and people call him for everything from, my phone isn’t working, computers internet is not on, can’t open this app on the computer, even how to search for things online."

"Anything remotely to do with a computer he gets called in to help, and since he worked with us for so long and knows most of us he’s the first person everyone thinks about calling. Anytime he comes to just say hello he’s inundated by calls to help in one way or another"

- docasj

Movers

"Moving is expensive. Like, really REALLY expensive. Especially now with staffing shortages. And it’s seriously a “you get what you pay for” business. It always surprises me when a person has $250k worth of furniture in their 6-bedroom mansion but gasps when it’s going to cost $5k to move it."

- KTLJay

"Damn 5k is a steal, are the moving local? My employer payed like 14k pre-pandemic to move our house."

- AjKawalski

Lawyers

"No, your lawyer didn’t screw you because he didn’t get you off or your lawsuit got thrown out."

"Also, lying to your attorney because you don’t want to be embarrassed doesn’t help you out."

- DildoBaggins82

"Also you need to tell your attorney EVERYTHING in order for them to be able to properly gauge how to represent your case. Doling out information piecemeal or immediately before a hearing is a sure fire way to lose."

- BriefausdemGeist

"Correct. When I was in private practice I always told my clients to share everything, even the embarrassing stuff. Also, just because you have dirt on someone doesn’t make what you did ok or mean it is even admissible in court."

- DildoBaggins82

Teachers

"As a teacher, I do not just stand there and read from a textbook all day as if the kids are engaged and behaving well. Believe it or not, some people actually believe that’s all we do."

- anr14

"Fellow teacher (US): that we will work for shit wages because it’s, 'for the kids' or 'our calling.' Yes, watching kids learn is a huge perk, but I need to support my family too."

"Oh, also: that we only work 9 months a year…way off…we are working, planning, and learning even when kids aren’t there."

"Also that we get paid for our 'summers off.' No, we get paid a yearly salary for working a set number of days. Most of us choose to have it distributed for 12 months so that we have a regular check. Many of us pick up a side hustle or two during the summer to make ends meet."

- clover_1414

The Strangest 'Wrong Number' Stories | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Before we all had caller ID, wrong numbers phone calls were commonplace. But now that almost everyone screens their calls, it's wrong number texts that have ...

Paramedics.

"We don't just drive the ambulance."

"We are degree level trained healthcare professionals who specialize is assessment, treatment, and signposting of urgent and emergency patients in the community."

- Bozzer999

"Also - being taken to hospital in an ambulance does not mean you’ll be seen quicker/first. The quicker you’re seen in hospital, the sicker you are. So if you can wait a bit, I'd count your lucky stars!"

- I-have-blue-eyes

"Why do paramedics get paid less than retail or fast food workers and why do they continue to do it if the pay sucks? Always been curious about this."

- cred_it

"They care. Same problem teachers have."

- frzn_dad

Pharmacists

"Pharmacy."

  1. "We do not just count pills. We make sure the physician prescribed an appropriate drug/ dose and there are no interactions. Not to mention hospital, specialist, industry pharmacy and many other areas people have no idea exist."
  2. "As an extension of (1), it doesn’t take 2 min to fill a script. We are doing 100 things at once and there are hundreds of patients a day. We also have to wait on physicians to fix any issues or insurance to approve meds before dispensing."
  3. "We do not decide your copay so redirect your anger."

"Many others, but these ones in specific are huge misconceptions."

- AdAccomplished4386

"Furthermore to add, pharmacists are experts of drugs and medical devices; please do not yell at us when we ask you not to give oral decongestants to your 2 year old child."

- ddorsamo1013

Machinery operators.

"That machining is easy, like you just push a button. The shop I’m at is a whole lot more detailed than that. We machine close tolerance aerospace parts on exotic metals that love to fluctuate size. It’s always a challenge but I’ve always loved doing this work. It’s been a good trade and provides a comfortable living."

- 1980pzx

"I just tell people I drill holes lmao."

-Hawkwound

Geographers.

"I'm a geographer. People still think all a geographer does is learn the names and locations of cities and rivers."

- small_Jar_of_Pickles

"What do you do ?"

- waverly76

"It very much depends on what you specialize in university. I worked at an energy company for a few years as project developer. That includes mostly analyzing areas with mapping software if and where solar parks are possible. After that it was a lot about discussing with land owners and public offices. Nowadays I'm in my dream job, which is urban planner. I work for the city council and help design strategies to make individual neighborhoods more livable and more sustainable"

- small_Jar_of_Pickles

Account manager.

"I’m an account manager for a huge Water hygiene company. People think water is safe as we get it freely from a tap, but when people start storing larger volumes of it and at the wrong temperate it’s a legionella issue. I fight Legionella one day at a time."

- JollyLemon6173

Life guards.

"Life guards stationed at the German coasts are, in fact, oftentimes not from around and therefore cannot recommend tourists their favorite restaurant and/or know where to find the nearest ATM."

- BlueBox_42

"A lot of beaches in America are like that. Most the help is just seasonal work there for the summer and not an actual local."

- AmerisaurausRex

Accountant.

"Accountant. Everyone assumes we're all tax experts. In reality, there's a lot of different specialties including audit, accounts payable, forensic accounting, etc. I personally despise tax and wouldn't be in this career if it only involved tax."

- DeathSpiral321

"This was going to be mine, but I'm the bookkeeper for a CPA and he specializes in agriculture and tax. To add on to the assumption, people are always flabbergasted at the (reasonable) charge of $150 per person for income tax we charge. They think since there's organizations like H&R that'll do it for a percentage of the return/cheaper set rate if they owe, and you can do it online yourself, that it's just a quick simple process."

"They don't realize all the little ways they word the forms, and only someone trained in tax can actually get the most every year."

"It never fails, every year we have a few clients that try to argue our price. We just tell them to go to H&R, they're cheaper for a reason. You get what you pay for."

- BudsandBowls

Security guards.

"A lot of people have a distorted view of what security guards can actually do."

- Pennsyltucky-79

"Well, what can security guards actually do?"

- SecretSummerMidnight

"It all depends on where you work. Most security guards are there to call the cops if something crazy happens. Now, armed security is a bit different."

- Boop_BopBeep_Bot

"'Observe and report,' i.e. they'll watch you get beat up & robbed and call the cops afterwards. They absolutely will not step up to protect you in the heat of the moment."

- mcpusc

"This depends on a lot of things. Some places the guard is like a really fancy door, granting access to people that are supposed to be there, tells everyone else to leave. Some guards are there as an insurance write off. It helps to have someone who knows the grounds, probably knows first aid, has access to camera systems. Some are just there to call the cops (note, most people are terrible at giving police a report. This isn't hard, but guards are better at it than you are. I.e. make and model, direction of travel, sh*t like that). There are other posts that involve more hands on. Bouncers get into a scuffle pretty much every night. Guards at medical clinics and shelters are getting into some kind of altercation all day every day."

- perfunctory_penguin

So how do we combat these misconceptions?

We keep talking about them. We tell our own stories and listen to others.

And maybe we hit up more articles like this to hear from real people from around the world.

Want to "know" more?

Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again.

If you've never seen the comedy classic, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," there is a scene where Arthur, King of the Britons, encounters a black knight guarding a bridge. Arthur quickly figures out the stalwart knight will not let him pass, so the two do battle, with the king severely injuring his enemy in the process.

He cuts off all his arms and legs.

Yet the black knight persists, insisting his injuries are, "but a scratch."

Turns out this happens to people in real life, not so much with swords and knights, but with can openers and ice skates.

Keep reading... Show less

We are currently in a market that favors workers over employers – many workers feel empowered to seek out different positions and have reevaluated what they want in their careers amid the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many workers left their jobs in search of greener pastures because they were ready for a change, and others were more than happy to leave behind toxic workplaces that only burned them out.

As you can imagine, they've become rather adept at noticing red flags during the interview process and beyond.

People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor taylortaylortaylorrr asked the online community,

"What is a red flag from an employer that people might not immediately recognize as a red flag?"
Keep reading... Show less
Lorenzo Herrera/Unsplash

Computers are not everyone's strong suit. Generation z is now reaching adulthood, and they've had computers, smart phones, and iPads since birth.

For anyone in an older generation, this wasn't the case. Computers weren't even advertised for the home until the Superbowl of 1984, and even then it was priced at $2,500.

Come the turn of the 21st century, computers are a staple in the home, but the advancements in the last two decades have left some people scrambling to keep up. Things that might seem basic to some are shockingly uncommon to others.

Keep reading... Show less
James Zwadlo/Unsplash

Living close to the Everglades, weird wildlife encounters don't really seem all that "weird" anymore. South Florida is some next-level wilderness.

Keep reading... Show less