Working Professionals Reveal Their Industry's Biggest Secrets.
If you work in an industry for long enough, you're going to know all of the secret tricks of the trade. you're also going to know what the biggest misconceptions are and, sometimes, how nobody else really understands what you do.
Here are some of the most interesting secrets working professionals shared about their industry.
Many thanks to the Reddit user who posed this question and to all those who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/33. I'm a male massage therapist.
If you get an erection on my table and ask me to fix it, I'll deliver a quick chop or three to your upper inner thigh. It will reflexively disappear and your testicles will try to hide inside your pelvis.
2/33. Meat processor:
Many of the people who work in the industry are convicted felons who don't care about food safety processes.
One USDA agent cannot monitor the actions of 250 people. We deal with listeria on a daily basis and sometimes it gets so out of hand that we have to shut down lines. The meat done that day is still sent out.
3/33. Nurse here: In nursing homes we do every disgusting thing (Vaginal creams? yep. Suppositories? yep. Putting your penis in a urinal and then holding it there so you can pee? yep), to the human body on a regular basis, and we rarely get thanked for it, so please be nice.
Also a little added extra from my years as a hotel front desk agent: We can see the titles of ALL the dirty movies you watch and how long you did. So if you come down to the front desk and play it like it was a mistake, I will know that you watched it for 47 minutes, and it will be very awkward.
4/33. Visual effect artist, Actors are as modified in movies as they are in magazines. Skin correction, awkward smile correction, one eye is more closed than another one in a frame, we correct that, smaller waist, longer legs, bigger arms, six pack... there is a lot of fake involved
5/33. An engineer designs buildings and structures with precise calculations and computer simulations of behavior during various combinations of wind, seismic, flood, temperature, and vibration loads using mathematical equations and empirical relationships.
The engineer uses the sum of structural engineering knowledge for the past millennium, at least nine years of study and rigorous examinations to predict the worst outcomes and deduce the best design. We use multiple layers of fail-safes in our calculations from approximations by hand-calculations to refinement with finite element analysis, from elastic theory to plastic theory, with safety factors and multiple redundancies to prevent progressive collapse.
We accurately model an entire city at reduced scale for wind tunnel testing and use ultrasonic testing for welds at connections...but the construction worker straight out of high school puts it all together as cheaply and quickly as humanly possible, often disregarding signed and sealed design drawings for their own improvised "field fixes".
6/33. Casino security.
You play $20/hand, maybe $1000 between gambling and food and everything and get in a fight in the hotel, you're probably going to jail. At the very least you're being removed from the hotel.
On the other hand, if you spend hours at our high-stakes table, all other circumstances being equal, we will come to the room, tell you you're disturbing your neighbors, and please don't do that again.
Same with basically anything that happens in a casino. We hate the people with money, because they can get away with being the biggest dicks on the planet. But since their one weekend keeps the lights on in our casino for 6 months ,we have to let them do as they wish, basically.
7/33. Computer programmer.
We were never actually trained on how to make your printer work.
8/33. Meteorologist (in school): The 5-day or 7-day or longer forecasts are completely useless and only made because people would get upset if we didn't. You could probably do just about as good yourself on anything more than 48 hours away just by reasonable guessing based on the time of year.
9/33. I'm a Professor at a large university
Most days I don't feel like an expert at all.
10/33. NASA Intern:
Most of the corrections to rocket blueprints are done in MS Paint.
11/33. Comedy writer.
It takes a team of people to make your favorite people look brilliant.
12/33. Sushi chef: Ahi Tuna is actually just Yellow fin tuna, it's the lowest quality sushi grade tuna you can get. People come in all the time and ask if we have Ahi, then scoff when I say that we carry Big Eye and Blue fin which is the highest grade you can get.
13/33. Disability insurance. We hire private investigators to videotape people and hunt around for them online all the time if they're suspected of fraud. I can't count the number of videos I've seen of people dancing at nightclubs and posting on Meetup begging for a x-country ski partner while they're claiming they're in too much pain to do their desk jobs and collecting big disability checks.
I have no pity, either. People like that make it much harder for people with actual problems to get the benefits they require to get better, which is heartbreaking.
14/33. Casino Security
If you're ever in a casino, and see a chair tipped over against a wall, or covered in a garbage bag, don't sit in it. Odds are some has either pooped, peed, or thrown up on themselves. Why didn't they get up? The next slot spin is going to be a winner!
15/33. Help Desk: Masters of Google.
16/33. The world is not run by responsible adults.
17/33. Creative Writing Instructor: This stuff cannot be taught.
What cannot be taught is the drive to compel a reader, and the spark of creativity to make the language interesting. The unending desire to write a story (or poem; I personally write fiction) that somebody loves, that makes somebody laugh out loud, that makes somebody cry-- basically, wanting to write a piece that blows somebody's mind. And, most importantly, to want to do it consistently. This is more than just changing the word 'desk' to 'bureau' so you can have a slant rhyme with 'thorough'. This is knowing that picking the word 'bureau' instead of 'desk' is more important than just the rhyme because it will conjure up some additional meaning for your audience. It's understanding that the additional meaning is why you're writing.
18/33. IT Consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte hire people who have absolutely no idea what they're doing and throw them from task to task as if they're all interchangeable.
The dude managing your $5 million data migration probably doesn't know how a database works, and the programmers he's managing may have never seen your DBMS before. You pay $150 an hour for the manager and $50 an hour for the programmers. They make a fraction of that and deserve less.
You could hire freelancers who would do the work quicker, cheaper and better, but you don't because then you wouldn't get to have a smiling sales executive take you out to dinner twice a week with your own money.
Juries have a right (a subsequent comment argues this is a power, not a right) to render a non-guilty verdict even in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt. This is called Jury Nullification.
Nowadays, this is supposed to be a huge secret. Defense attorneys are not even allowed to inform a jury that this possibility exists. Many jury instructions will hide this fact, suggesting that juries are required to vote guilty if the prosecutor's burden has been met. I find it strange that the legal system goes to such lengths to hide this option from juries.
If you are a jury member for an individual that has been charged with a victimless crime (or any crime I guess), such as non-violent drug possession, you can simply refuse to vote guilty despite all evidence of guilt if you feel it would be unjust to apply the law. If you plan on doing this, don't mention it during jury selection or the DA will strike you from the jury.
20/33. As an infantryman:
Blowing up stuff, shooting machine guns, and being outside all of the time gets really old, really fast. Also, once you've been around weapons so much that you constantly stink of CLP and the cracks in the calluses on your hands are stained black with residue from exhaust gas and carbon, gun nuts strike you as pathetic losers.
As a Chinese linguist:
Chinese isn't that hard to learn, especially due to the simple grammar and lack of conjugation. Also, beer increases your language absorption rate.
21/33. Recruitment. Racism & ageism is a lot more prevalent than you would believe.
22/33. I worked at a children's hospital. When a child dies, the bodies are transported to the morgue in stretchers disguised as what appears to be tall, covered mobile linen racks. this is done in order to not distress parents of other patients. If the hands of the person who is moving the rack are uncovered, it's actual bed linens. however, if they are wearing latex gloves... well, y'know.
23/33. I'm a lifeguard, I've seen a lot of kids get certified who would probably fall apart if a real emergency occurred while they were on duty.
24/33. Guest services at a ski resort:
Those lift operators you are trusting with your very lives multiple times a day while skiing? Yeah, they're stoned off their 24/7.
25/33. I have been a 3D artist (most the time I do lighting/rendering) at various studios and have done many tv commercials that you have likely seen.
My number one secret is that I took a closeup picture of my left nipple 5 years ago and have used it as a texture for every commercial I've worked on.
26/33. The Frozen Yogurt where I work at is not fat free nor organic as we are made to say.
The Yogurt culture (a small cup of actual yogurt) used to make the 4 Gallons of the mixture IS organic. However, the milk, yogurt base, and flavoring used to make what is essentially 95% of the served product is not.
In a way, the Yogurt IS organic and fat free , what you're eating is not.
27/33. Karate Teacher
I'll never teach you the 5 point palm exploding heart technique because I don't know it.
28/33. Research is never as cool as you think it is....even when there's fire and lasers involved. Most of the equipment I use is 20+ years old and often duct-taped together.
29/33. I work at a college dining hall. The 4-cheese calzones really contain only 3 types of cheeses. A pinch of mozzarella gets sprinkled on the top and that counts as the fourth cheese.
30/33. Debt collector:
We can settle for pretty much anything.
31/33. Professional musician here. Except in rare cases of absolute genius, "talent" doesn't have much to do with success in the real world - you become a great musician the same way you become a great programmer or a great writer: by putting in a lot of hours.
32/33. Real estate. Everything is negotiable - especially the fee.
33/33. Museum tour guide and education 'interpreter' (doesn't translate very well from French) here in Montreal.
Due to a series of incidents in the late 1980s and early 1990s, our union successfully petitioned the Gov't of Quebec to allow all museum staff (working with the public in a non-security role) to carry licensed firearms. I carry an older model Browning Hi Power 9mm and have had to draw my weapon three times in the last 8 months, though at only one time was I convinced I'd have to use it.
Oh, and only once was it a theft issue, the other times we were being threatened. This is the reality for museum tour guides, and, as far as i understand, university and CEGEP professors as well, though no one ever talks about it.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
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