"The Soup Is Done, And No, I Can’t Just Pick The Onions Out": 13 Truths About Common Jobs That Are Kinda Shocking To Learn

    "My job as a therapist isn't just listening to people and offering advice."

    I love to learn the ins and outs of industries and jobs I don't know much about. Recently, the BuzzFeed Community chimed in, giving insight into what their jobs are and how different they can be from people's assumptions. Here are some of the on-the-job secrets people shared:

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "I'm a vet tech. I don't make the prices of our products or services, I simply provide them. I also don't work at the lab so no, I don't know what your pet's results are until we get them sent to us, which is not instantaneous."

    Veterinarian smiling at camera while giving a check-up to a small dog sitting on the exam table

    2. "Therapist here. I can't speak for all, and I'm sure it varies from office to office, but my job isn't just listening to people and offering advice. I have tons of paperwork to do on top of notes. I actively plan sessions and sometimes have to scrap what I had planned because my client needs something different. I supply a lot of my own activities and supplies, including art materials and therapy games. Also, therapy isn't always talking about the bad stuff. Some of my clients come in saying their week was good and nothing else, only for them to say they passed a test they had, or they used a coping skill or vocalized a boundary. I want to hear the good just as much as the bad! It's how I know you're making progress."


    3. "At the library, we hear, 'Gosh, I wish I could get paid to read all day!' an obnoxious amount. Librarians, circulation staff, shelvers, and other library employees have many varied duties that keep them busy throughout their shifts. There's collection development and maintenance, shelving, data analysis (because when shelf space is limited, you need to know what books are actually being read and which are literally just holding the books around them upright), program planning and execution, item preservation and repair, reference queries, shipping and receiving, request fulfillment, computer support, meeting room scheduling, and SO MUCH else. There's not really time to just sit and read. In fact, at one library I worked at, if you got caught reading while sitting at the desk, regardless of how slow it was, it was an immediate disciplinary write-up."

    Person selecting a book from a shelf in a library

    4. "Back when I worked at Barnes & Noble, we had a tally sheet at our info desk where we could mark things the store's inventory claimed we had, but nobody could find the book. Managers would go through and correct the inventory regularly to be sure it was as accurate as possible. So I generally always knew that when the system said we didn't have it, we didn't. But that never stopped me from dropping by the back for a quick chill and chat with the receiving team whenever a customer insisted I just 'check the back!'"


    5. "Working at a museum isn't always 'dealing with old stuff.' It's so much more than that. It's advertising, programming, creating exhibit content, etc. I work at a museum, and the amount of contact I have with artifacts is almost zero. It's basically like running a business."


    6. "People think that being a chef is glamorous and female chefs should be loving and nurturing, unlike their male counterparts who are not. Also, people think we have a fully stocked grocery store in the kitchen and will have anything you want that isn't on the menu. Nope, we only have what is required for the menu. I can't tell you how many people have asked for food that isn't on the menu, and when I say we don't have it, they say, 'Well, just go back there and get it,' as they point to the kitchen. People also think that we cook everything from scratch when you have ordered it. Nope, the soup is done, and no, I can't just pick the onions out."

    Monica Geller from Friends dressed as a chef on the phone, looking concerned with comedic text overlay

    7. "People think that scientists play with colored liquids. Unless you're using indicator dyes, most liquids are clear, so good labeling is essential. Every time I see a depiction of a scientist, they have a colored solution. It's ridiculous."


    8. "I work from home. There's a preconception that people who work from home have an easier time or are more laidback. No, we have the same amount of work as someone in the office, and we don't get more personal or free time just because we're working from home."


    9. "I hate when people say to teachers, 'Must be nice to have summers off.' Those summers off are well-earned. Teachers put 12 months' worth of work into 9 months. We show up to school an hour or more early and sometimes stay after school for another two hours. We work on weekends, and sometimes summers are for professional development or taking classes for a master's because it's hard to do all this on top of school work during the school year. And really, only students get three months off for summer. Teachers are lucky to get two full months off. Yes, it's a lot of work. I'm underpaid, but I wouldn't do anything else."


    10. "A career in opera is far from glamorous. It's often six weeks spent in a tiny apartment, usually somewhere in Germany, with long makeup times, uncomfortable costumes, and lots of drinking (for some people)."


    11. "Paralegals are not secretaries or personal assistants, and certainly not attorneys. I've come across quite a few lawyers who don't know what a paralegal is or does. Usually, the ones who do know know because they were once paralegals."


    12. "I work at Bath & Body Works, and a big part of my job involves restocking and sorting inventory. If we say we are out, normally, we are out. Every once in a while, a box may be missed in the back, or something was moved from its normal location. But when employees say we are out and we don't go check the back, it's probably because we know that item hasn't been available for weeks. We aren't being lazy."


    13. "People think social workers have magical powers of persuasion, access to immediate and affordable housing, and know how all government systems work. I've been doing this for 30 years and get asked something new almost every day."


    Are there any myths about your job that aren't true? Share it with me in the comments below!