Okay, But What Do You Actually Do?

Our pals at Planet Money have put together a Storify of people describing what they actually do at their jobs:

 

I suppose my #honestjobdescription would be “staring at a laptop screen for a ludicrous number of hours a day.” What’s your honest job description?

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29 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

“Read all the things and then write about all the things, all the time, sometimes even when I’m sleeping*.”

*has actually happened, and then you wake up and it’s gone.

Changeling (#126)

Plant plants, water plants, weed plants, harvest veggies, clean veggies, weed plants, weed plants, weed plants.

Blondsak (#2,299)

@Changeling As someone who gardened for pay for two summers, I REALLY want this to be my job description again. It was the best job I’ve ever had.

kellyography (#250)

@Blondsak I worked at a plant nursery the summer I was 14 and even though I am pretty averse/allergic to the outdoors and dirt, it was great in the respect that I just got to be alone a lot of the time, in the sunshine.

aeroaeroaero (#1,422)

Stretching two hours a day of work into 8; frequent smoke breaks and interneting.

@aeroaeroaero I think we have the same job (sub smoke breaks for “go heat up water to make tea”)

Beans (#1,111)

Forwarding the original email I sent them when people complain that I never sent them things.

No, but really- making sure everyone above me knows everything they need to know in order to spend the money that donors give us.

“Spend taxpayer money,” which is way less fun than it sounds, unfortunately.

RocketSurgeon (#747)

Look at datasets, go to meetings. Repeat.

kellyography (#250)

I am pretty much a Dictaphone, answerer of questions, and doer of mundane tasks. I worry that this is all there is for me.

@kellyography Liked in solidarity.

kellyography (#250)

@franceschances Whoa, there are still other people out there who have their assistants type all of their correspondence? I thought I was the only one who commuted to 1962 every day.

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

One half of the year: answer e-mails from artists and community people, ask community people for money, change exhibits in the galleries and do all related marketing, look at things on the internet.

The other half of the year: BEG people for money, plan three large events, create a million spreadsheets with artists, vendors, sponsors, etc., beg people for more money, send and answer a million e-mails, answer a million phone calls with people who have dumb questions, work these events and get super exhausted, do all this planning while still changing things out in the gallery, meet marketing deadlines, beg people for more money, scramble to do all the things our executive director has left until the last minute, maybe cry some? Don’t look at things on the internet.

Theda Baranowski (#2,989)

Compile information, surf internet, repeat.

kristindru (#2,477)

Drink 4 cups of coffee, get report, spend 15 minutes actually figuring out the things I need to know to provide care for my patients, make jokes, follow doctor’s orders, chart, chart, chart, chart, chart, chart, give back rubs and check cervix, start medicine, support emotionally, physically, act as a bouncer to the 15 family members, sweat a lot while I’m helping a mom push, cry when the baby is born, help breastfeed; repeat up to 3 times a day. Work for 3 days in a row and then have 4 days off where I try to figure out what to do with myself.

@kristindru Hi, fellow medical person! Mine’s more like: Drink tea, get report, fluff doctors’ egos, chart, turn/clean/check pump settings, chart, fluff doctors’ egos, field phone calls and questions having nothing to do with my work, chart, explain test results, chart, comfort family members, chart, head off crises, chart chart chart, give report, go home and collapse.

Everyone else will notice that neither Kristindru’s job description nor mine included breaks for lunch or going to the bathroom. That omission is intentional.

think really hard about how where to put boxes on a screen, describe in detail what the boxes do, ask lots of questions along the way.

antheridia (#2,995)

Cat herder.

Summer: walk around, count fish.
Winter: write hundreds of pages about the fish I counted.

Get paid a relatively small amount of money to read, talk and write about what I read, then tailor what I wrote to various journals. Next two years will be spent getting paid significantly less to teach and read and write. I guess I could also say I’m getting paid to have the existential crisis I’m having right now.

ImASadGiraffe (#982)

Answer the phone, fix routine software and hardware issues, in between calls/while software is installing/running/decrypting/whatever, surf the internet.

See above.

kristindru (#2,477)

@Mingus_Thurber “Everyone else will notice that neither Kristindru’s job description nor mine included breaks for lunch or going to the bathroom. That omission is intentional.”

EXACTLY! My friends who work on the same medical campus as me but doing insane science experiments often ask if I’d like to get lunch with them which I always reply with “umm I’d just like to eat lunch in general!”. They don’t really get it…

TARDIStime (#1,633)

@kristindru They should really offer to pick something up for you on their way back.
Booooo!
That said, it is nice of them to consider you at all in the first place (this is my way of thinking re: lunch dates), so…

@kristindru Let’s figure out if we work on the same campus, then have lunch together! (And by “lunch” I mean “text one another while taking bites of a three-day-old sandwich from the coffee shop downstairs while being constantly interrupted by people who Need Things.”) Poop-cleaning during our lunch date will be optional.

Scientist: Write grants write grants edit grants. Write like this ATGATTCTCAGATATTCCCATATAA. Repeatedly mix variable amounts of liquid with other kinds of liquid. Use terrifyingly expensive machines on them. Microsoft Excel. Cry. Repeat.

Sallymander (#3,159)

Sit in a room by myself and write software. Sometimes touch base with the team and/or the manager. Use the Internet for productive and unproductive purposes. This job is 99% satisfying but the other 1% of me wants to be the gardener/horticulturalist/grower upthread.

I work in the stockroom for A Major Retailer, so I pick things up and put things down!

kristindru (#2,477)

@Mingus_Thurber well first step to discovering if we work at the same place…mine is in middle america. is that anywhere close to you?

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