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12 People Discuss Jobs That Are Romanticized but Actually Suck

A lot of jobs look GREAT on paper…but they actually suck.

And you never really know that until you do it for yourself or you have someone in your life who does and gives you all the inside dirt.

What job sounds great really sucks?

Let’s see how AskReddit users responded to this.

1. Sounds rough.

“Raising livestock.

Everything about it is so much rougher than any book, show, or movie lets on. You have many days that go by swift and easy, then you’re hit with an emergency that makes three hours feel like a week.

Don’t like thinking about d**th? Then why are you buying animals who are one bad moment away from you having to make the hardest decision you never knew was an option?”

2. LOL.

“I strongly suspect being a spy doesn’t involve half as many high tech gadgets and spontaneous s**ual intercourse as I’ve been lead to believe.

One former member of the CIA said the most unbelievable thing about James Bond was that he never had to file an expense report.”

3. How fun!

“Anything in modern-day publishing.

How many television shows and movies must I watch where the plucky young upstart graduates from college and gets a job at the magazine or newspaper of their choice and is respected and can make a living?

The pay sucks, you’re in constant danger of being laid off (when your pub folds, usually), and it’s usually a pretty corporate environment where you’re tasked with multiple jobs for little hope of advancement. The names high up on the mastheads are usually those of rich people, and it’s because they started off rich and could afford to stay in the industry.”

4. Who knew?

“Game tester.

I worked as a game tester for EA for almost 3 years. Here’s what it’s like.

Imagine a game type you don’t like. Maybe soccer games. Maybe an RTS. Whatever.

You now play that game, 8 hours a day.

But you don’t play it. You test it. So let’s imagine an RTS. You are told to test the resource acquisition systems. All you do is click around and make sure your guys can mine gold and harvest lumber. You click around the map and mine and forest. There is no combat, they’ve turned that off for your testing. There is no story, because you just flick from level to level to test the resource system.

You test using one guy. You testing using 100 guys. You make sure no other units can gather resources. You try blocking your own guys. You try killing your own guys.

8 hours a day. Every day. For weeks.

You enter dozens of bugs.

They put out a patch that fixes the bugs.

You have to retest every level and every bug to make sure they’re all fixed.

That’s game testing.”

5. Set life.

“Working on a film.

If you’re crew, it sucks. Long long hours for what seem like very very slow progress on the picture, lots of standing around waiting, etc. You arrive well before everyone else and leave after everyone else.

If this is an indie production you also may have to beg/chase down for your pay at the end of each week. Oh and when the film wraps, you’re now unemployed.”

6. Sounds terrible.

“Being a therapist.

Too many people I’ve met get into the field thinking it’s how they saw it on TV: affluent white collar, own office, warm slow pace environment, where you get to sit on a nice comfy couch and be like “let’s talk about your feelings”

That’s only if you get to private practice, which they don’t tell you is also like running your own small business, which good luck is you have no business acumen.

The reality is you get out if grad school, get your first job working at a Community Mental Health facility because they are the only ones who will hire you with a limited license and no experience, getting paid less than $40k/yr if you’re lucky, and then get put in a walk in closet of an office, where they dump 100 client case load on you the first day, followed by your first client who has 5 different diagnoses and is on 12 different psych meds who says to you “f**k you, you’re my 7th different person I’ve had here, nobody cares about me”.

Yeah people go into $100k of debt for that…”

7. Just like Indiana Jones!

“Archaeologist, specifically field archaeology.

99% of the time you find absolutely nothing, it’s often physically demanding (sometimes grueling), the pay is s**t, there are no benefits, you have to constantly travel, there’s very little stability, I could go on.”

8. Ugh…

“Lawyer.

Number of historic, life-changing, precedent-setting cases participated in: 0

Number of angry, self entitled, abusive clients wanting to screw each other over: 842

Number of pages of paperwork that’s sucked up free time and social life: 84,836.”

9. No fun.

“Everyone used to think it was awesome that I worked in live sports TV.

70% of the people I worked with were miserable p**cks with over-inflated egos, and then there were the athletes…”

10. On the road again.

“Anything that requires a lot of travel.

Sounds glamorous but in reality all you see usually an airport, conference room, boring hotel room and maybe a restaurant if you are lucky.

It’s exhausting and it actually just sucks.”

11. Stressful.

“Stock Broker/Financial Advisor.

I was a Broker/Advisor for over 25 years and it was what I wanted to be from about age 15. I thought it would be cool to know all about the stock market and make a lot of money. What I didn’t realize was the fact that, if you’re a person with any moral compass, it can be extremely stressful as you have people’s financial lives in your hands. And many of my clients were retired, so making mistakes or giving bad advice could seriously affect their lives.

When I first got into the business drug use was a rampant. C**aine was the drug of choice but there were also a lot of al**holics. Divorce rates were high (I experienced one myself) and if you have kids it was near impossible to spend quality time with them on a regular basis.

The money was great. I made more money than I ever thought I would, however, there was a tradeoff. Stress, lack of relationship with kids/wife and for some, as I mentioned, drug/alcohol addiction.

After 25 years I had enough. I went out on my own for a few years then left the business altogether. Things are different in the industry now and I think it’s a lot more realistic to be a broker/advisor and have a good work/life balance, but it wasn’t when I broke into the business.”

12. Wow.

“I’ve spent 9 seasons working in Antarctica both as a graduate student and now full time academic/researcher.

Everyone I tell this to immediately gets excited…and says something like, “that must be SOOOO awesome! I would LOVE to do that!”. Now…first year geoscience grad students always get incredibly excited about the possibility of doing field work like this…and to be fair, most of them understand what comes with this, and still want to do it.

Heck, that’s where I was 15 years ago. BUT…and here’s the but, for this kind of work, the novelty and romantic “cool” factor wear off after a couple of days, and the remaining 2-3 months of the work is absolutely brutal. You are constantly cold, hungry, dirty…and exhausted.

Small cuts and abrasions don’t heal properly, your fingers crack and bleed daily, you are constantly getting frost nip, and no matter how many socks and feet warmers you wear, you toes never get warm. It’s organized misery in service of Science.

Now if you’re like me and are 100% invested in the science (for me it is ice core paleoclimatology), then it’s all worth it. BUT, if you are a 21-year old college student that just dreams of “exploring the great unknown”…it can come as an enormous reality check once on continent.

I’ve seen soooo many young kids quit everything for the “one chance at experiencing the raw awesomeness of Antarctica”, only to realize that they effectively signed up for 3-6 months of a lonely and difficult stint of incredibly mind-numbing work. So many of the young workers, especially in McMurdo, will sign up to do “anything”, just for the chance to get to Antarctica.

They come to discover after a few days that they are now stuck on continent, cleaning dorm rooms as janitors or general assistants (aka laborers/handymen), only moving from one dirty building to another in McMurdo for 12+ hours shifts. What’s worse, is they watch all the scientists coming through, gearing up for ridiculous deep-field deployments, while they are stuck in the stinky, diesel town of McMurdo.

It can make them incredibly jaded and jealous. Sure, the view across the McMurdo Sound to the Royal Society Range and Mt. Discovery are beautiful, but my point is again that the novelty wears off quickly. I was stuck once in McMurdo for 18 days waiting to deploy, and I nearly went crazy.

There’s only so many times you can run the 5k loop around Discovery Point before it gets old. There’s a reason why there are not one, but two bars in McMurdo…and why every bathroom has bins full of condoms. People get lonely and depressed there.

So, all this is to say, I definitely love what I do, and love remote field work and the science that comes with it. But living out of a literal tent atop the Antarctic Ice sheet for up to six months, not getting showers, always covered in a film of sticky sunblock, and always being cold and exhausted, is REALLY REALLY hard and not at all glamorous or romantic.

I’m certainly a sentimental guy, and have taken thousands of amazing landscape and scenic photos from my deployments, but I never over-romanticize the work when talking to people (especially prospective grad students).”

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