And there were so many eye-opening responses! Here are some of the top-voted answers:
1. "Video game developer. It’s difficult to break into, stressful, requires long hours without overtime pay (all-nighters sometimes), and you’ll be compensated less than you’re worth. Many studios have free food, snacks, and unlimited coffee, but that’s just to get more work out of you."
"You’re considered an industry veteran after just a few years because burnout is expected. Self-medicating is a common way to cope. Lots of places even let you day drink at your desk. If you survive long enough to launch your successful title, you’ll face post-launch layoffs and may have to look for another job. You have to really be passionate about game development, or else it’s pretty miserable."
2. "Journalism. On paper, it looks exciting and interesting. You can travel, meet people, and follow and witness world-changing events. Actually — unless you end up in a huge news outlet AND land a good position there — 99% of the time, you'll cover crappy fluff stories or mundane stuff, talking to or about the same handful of people."
3. "Veterinarian. You think it's all cute and cuddly animals, but instead it's pissed off owners and sick/dying creatures all day long."
"The majority of our clients were not shitty people. They were good people that cared for their animals but couldn’t afford best care. It’s absolutely soul-sucking to not be able to do the best for an innocent animal because it’s too expensive, day in and day out."
4. "Anything in film. Long hours, low pay. No respect unless you’re at the top of the totem pole."
"My first extra gig in Hollywood was for an HBO show. I watched the director sweet talk the talent and tell a PA to fuck off in one breath. In Hollywood, if you aren't at the top, you're nothing at all."
5. "IT. You think you get to play with cool tech and people will be happy. Nope. You are running a day care, and everyone blames you for everything."
"'Everything's working? Then why are we paying for IT? Something's broken? What are we paying IT for anyway?' Honestly, if it weren't for users being morons, I'd have about a third of my current workload. If I could get them to actually read the emails I send out, it would be down to a quarter."
6. "Librarian. Spend more time cleaning up after people than anything."
"I think it really depends on where you work and what kind of librarian you are. Trash isn't a huge problem at the library I currently work at. But I've also worked at places where trash was a problem, places where somebody OD'd in the building, places that regularly have to call the police on patrons, places where the staff was weirdly territorial about what each department was 'allowed' to do."
8. "Zookeepers. Most people think that they get to play with exotic animals all day. But for 99% of the day, all they do is clean up after them."
9. "Flight attendants are waitresses who clean toilets on airplanes and sometimes get punched, groped, and yelled at."
"And 'seeing the world' isn't very exciting when you're stuck on, like, Dallas to Tulsa, which are the types of routes you get stuck on when you're new. And even if you are on cool routes, many times you don't get to see the cool cities. You get there, get on the shuttle to the hotel, sleep, and go right back to the airport the next day."
10. "Video game tester. Most of the job is walking along the edges of the map trying to clip/glitch through walls or objects. It's not as fun as you think."
"You know the part of games that you have to play over and over until the point that you get so mad you break your controller? Imagine doing that, all day. Every day. Forever."
11. "City planner. Hated by just about everyone and have to deal with elected officials, who are usually the dumbest people in the city."
12. "Sports instructor. I've professionally taught snowboarding for about 20 years. People always say, 'Your job must be so great. You get to do what you love for work.' Well, no...usually I'm on the bunny slope, with one foot out of my board, going down the hill to show a technique, then hiking back up and holding people's hands so they don't fall."
"I'm not out riding the mountain; I'm hiking up hills and picking people up when they can't stand, carrying their gear because they are kids and can't do it. People make plans to go snowboarding, and if the winds are blowing at 70 mph gusts, or it's raining, they still want to go snowboarding. And these are days I'd just rather stay home."
13. "Being a chef sucks ass."
"I thought owning/running a restaurant would be fun. You know, joking around with the staff, having fun getting a big dinner rush out, placing orders, and doing some desk work when things slow down. Instead, it's more like running around for 70–80 hours/week, managing shitty staff that I only hired for having a pair of arms and legs, doing three to four people's jobs at once, and getting overwhelmed with orders because staff is always new and slow."
"I couldn’t agree more. Any love of cooking soon disappears."
15. "Farmer/farm hand. These animals may look cute and act cute, but their attitudes aren’t cute."
"Horses don’t care and will happily stomp on your feet, cattle will run you down to get to their food, goats really like to aim between the legs, and chickens will peck and bite you just for existing. Yes, I regret my life choices."
16. And finally, "Teaching. 'Oh, isn't it nice to have summers off?!' No, I only get paid for 10 months, have to have side jobs, and am prepping for the next year basically all summer anyway."
"My least favorite part was the parents."
"Love my subject, love the rest of my department, love thinking of ways to explain abstract concepts, enjoy making presentations with suitable visuals and analogies. … Turns out 98% of teenagers don’t give a fuck, and 100% of me now hates teenagers."
Do you have a job that sounds cool but really sucks? Sound off in the comments below!
Responses have been edited for length and/or clairty.