We have ideas in our head about what jobs might be super fun and cool to have – working in film or television, for example, or maybe in professional sports.
But every job is still a job, and it still has its downsides, right?
Which is the point people are making about these 14 jobs people assume are super fun…but aren’t always.
14. They do it because they love it, not because it’s fun.
Working in an animal shelter. For sure, it’s probably less intense than zookeeping, but the amount of people who apply or volunteer expecting to come in and play with cute puppies all day is absurd. We’re basically animal maids.
You deal with animals of all sorts of behavioral and developmental stages shitting and pissing every fucking where and then you look over and this fucking dog named Chumbawumba swimming in his water bowl so you gotta fill that up six times and dry his kennel out and then you go and mop up the cat room around 10 kittens who want to eat your mop and also four children who are all yelling that there’s puke in the floor and I MUST clean it, NOW.
Not to mention all the extra behind the scenes work that the public never sees. How in the summer, during kitten and puppy season, the shelter built to house 500 max has 750 and I didn’t take a lunch or sit at all for any of my shifts for the past six days. How the courts force us to put down animals that we know can be rehabilitated, but we don’t get enough funding to fight it. How animal control just showed up with the fourth pregnant stray of the week but intake is full and even double stacked in some cases, so your coworker fosters the cats on her own.
Not even to mention the shitty fucking people who do dumb shit and end up getting bit or scratched and the animal is the one who bears those consequences. I am the proudest shelter worker in the world. I adore my job, even at its hardest. I didn’t sit for 9 and a half hours today and I found a cat turd in the cuff of my jeans but it doesn’t matter because a bonded pair of adult cats got adopted today. I took six applications this morning and the cat in bank 4 with the goopy eye is already looking better, and we sent a mama out to foster. The hard work is always worth it for these babies.
13. Working at an amusement park honestly sounds like a nightmare.
I always say the more fun it is to go somewhere the worse it is to work there like amusement parks and arcades
12. Working with people is not typically fun.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT. 1) You are on call (on reserve) forever, have a terrible schedule, have no life, and make no money for 5-10 years.
2) While you work for peanuts, you can’t afford to use your flight “benefits” in any substantial way.
3) Then, when you finally get a chance to use your benefits for a trip, you have to fly standby which means you aren’t guaranteed to get on the flight you want.
4) Then, if you do make it out of town you better have like a week off so you can make damn sure you’re back in your base city in time for your next work shift.
5) Did I mention there is an act of US legislation (Railway Labor Act) that allows airlines to exploit so you don’t get paid for certain work hours that you actually need to be working? For example, FAs don’t get paid for boarding, or any time the plane is at the gate. WORST JOB EVER.
11. You probably need to be a morning person.
Baker. Coming into work at 3/4 am so you can have a six am baked goods is miserable.
10. Everyone thinks it’s a cool gig.
Google Street View driver.
You’re all alone for 8+ hours a day, can almost never take a break, need to constantly be “on” and focused (lest you crash the $25,000 Subaru with $60,000+ worth of camera equipment on it), you end up becoming an amateur meteorologist to keep track of weather patterns and cloud cover, and in my experience there are a lot of people who just get insanely upset at you, at Google, and the job in general for a wide variety of reasons. I enjoyed myself when I did it, but it was nowhere near as glamorous or fun as I or my friends & family assumed.
Edit: Thanks to everyone who expressed an interest in my summer job from almost 10 years ago. I’ll just answer the most asked questions here real quick:
Pay? $15 an hour, but contingent on hours driven, which were themselves dependent on clear weather to ensure optimal image quality
Why not drive every day no matter the weather? Google got around this problem by making you re-drive routes whose pictures turned out subpar. To prevent people double billing by driving the same easy route constantly, you also had a weekly quota of unique miles driven, so no double dipping.
What could you do in the car? As long as the camera and the napping software (Edit: MAPPING software, thanks for the heads up) was running properly I was on my own. I listened to music, the news, and lots of books on tape. I could stop for short bathroom breaks whenever I felt like it, and had an hour guaranteed for lunch whenever I wanted to take it, which usually amounted to eating in the car on the side of some lonely rural road 90% of the time.
Who would ever think this was fun or glamorous? All I can say is, back in 2012 most people I talked to were pretty excited, myself included, about getting the chance to do any work with Google, let alone this cool new project that would let you see what any place on Earth looked like at street level from the comfort of home. This was the era of Google Plus being a potentially exciting new thing, of Google Glass being the future of tech, and overall it was a different time. That’s why everyone I knew thought this was a cool gig.
9. Some days it must be nice to break shit though.
Everyone wants to break shit with a sledgehammer. Everyone is tired of lifting that sledgehammer by 5 swings.
Nobody wants to load the broken stuff into bags or a wheelbarrow and take it to the dumpster.
8. You get sucked in by Disney.
Being a Character Performer at Disney.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing perks and truly magical moments. I know I’m super lucky and tons of people would love to be in my shoes.
But the day to day work is EXHAUSTING in ways I never thought possible. Guests are ridiculously abusive…I’ve had things said and done to me I never would have imagined. The company isn’t always great – it highly depends on your leadership. And there’s so much focus on your body and face (good and BAD) that it can be incredibly depressing and difficult emotionally.
Plus, you have to accept that there’s very little upward mobility. Most people “grow out of it” and it’s rough to know that one day you’ll get “too old” or “too fat” and you will have to start all over in a new career field. So you constantly are thinking either, 1) what you’re going to do when you leave, 2) how you’re going to keep yourself there. I personally knew it would be temporary, and I now only work there seasonally while I have a “normal career”. But Disney has a way of sucking you in.
7. Science is science, no matter the subject.
Video game testing.
I’ve been working in the game industry for 6 years now, and teaching for 2.
Testing video games is thought to be just “oh you just play games all day? LOLOLOLOL” but it’s actually very specific and arduous.
First of all, there a bunch of testing metholodogies such as load/soak testing, white room testing, version testing to name a few, but the most common one is functionality testing.
Functionality testing is “so if I walk into that corner with the shotgun in my inventory, I can clip through the wall, but if I have my M16 in my inventory, I don’t clip through.”
6. It can definitely be a slog.
Being a writer. I always thought it was my absolute dream job. But the only job I could get after college was working in a content mill as a blog writer. I used to work 70-hour weeks staring at the computer in a basement of an old bank writing bullshit articles about the dangers of mold, fence cleaning, and why you need a commercial awning and the dream turned into a nightmare.
While I still write occasionally, I am now working as a communications person so it is a bit less heavy.
5. Sorry that last bit still sounds fun.
Paleontologist. You don’t get to work with full dinosaur skeletons and do all kinds of awesome expeditions. You’re mostly sitting at a desk looking at some pictures and logging stuff on your computer, maybe examining a fossil occasionally.
If you’re lucky you can go on a real dig, and OMG SPEND HOURS IN THE HOT SUN DUSTING OFF ROCKS!!!
4. Your eardrums must bleed a bit.
Working in a music store ( musical instruments )
Your days are spent listening to 50 different people play 50 different riffs poorly simultaneously, as if they’re all putting on their own concert.
3. Anything on a movie set is way more tedious than people assume.
Being an extra in a movie. Now, it can be super fun (I especially love historical and post-apocalyptic/sci-fi/fantasy type stuff), but a typical day on set wasn’t what I thought it’d be when I started doing it. Often we have to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to get to holding, and if you’re a minute late to check in sometimes they’ll kick you out.
Then we sit around in holding with sometimes hundreds of other extras, and we’re usually sitting there for a good three or four hours before they start telling us to get ready to film. During this time we go through long wardrobe, hair and makeup lines where they reuse clothes (unless you bring them yourself), brushes and makeup without washing them.
When we finally get to film, it’s often the same mundane motions over and over (exceptions of course, and those are always fun) Then we either get shuffled around or go back to holding. Several more hours pass, we go film again. Hungry? You get lunch six hours after your call time, and a usually meager supply of snacks. In between takes it’s more standing around, often in heat or rain or we all get shuffled into cramped spaces to wait.
Days on set are often more than 12 hours, and I know someone who had to be on set for 26 hours straight. They can legally hold you there until they declared filming is done, so don’t make plans for the next day. Not to mention that you rarely see yourself in the final cut. I’m not trying to bash other background actors or the film industry because I’ve met lots of awesome people and gotten to do some pretty cool things. For example, interacting with main actors in scenes, running around in the woods with fake guns or being a zombie. But when I did my first job as a teen, I definitely thought it would be a lot different.
2. It’s still just retail at its core.
Trimming weed, Idk why people think working with weed is like working in the willy wonka factory, it’s not. You literally get to make tiny cuts with sticky scissors for 8 hours.
1. If you love it I imagine it’s still worth it, though.
All the ones we see on TV and movies are the 0.0001% of incredibly lucky and talented people who managed to thrive in a hostile and overcrowded industry.
And even when you are working, the actual job itself is 99% sitting on apple crate in hot makeup waiting for some grips to move a lighting fixture. Then you say three lines over and over again for an hour, and then you wrap.
Some of these are surprising but maybe they shouldn’t be?
Do you have a job people assume are super fun? Tell us what it is – and why it’s not – in the comments!