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What Don’t People Get About Your Job? – The Atlantic

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Several years ago, I asked readers to tell me what other people didn’t understand or appreciate about their job…….

Sign up for Derek’s newsletter here.

Several years ago, I asked readers to tell me what other people didn’t understand or appreciate about their job. I got hundreds of fascinating, funny, outraged, counterintuitive, and illuminating replies. Now I want to do it again. What’s the one thing that most people don’t understand or appreciate about your job? Email me a sentence, a paragraph, or an essay—anything you want, really—to [email protected] In two weeks or so, I’ll publish my favorite replies.

I’ll default to publishing anonymously. But I’d love to include a little bit of detail (which can make for a better reading experience). So if you feel comfortable, let me know your first name, or even your first initial, and your city.

I want to do this for three reasons.

The first is that I think other people’s jobs are just plain interesting.

Second, I live in an economy of labor specialization, which means that my life depends on a tapestry of labor that is ultimately inscrutable to me. I buy coffee that I don’t know how to harvest or package. I drive a car that I don’t know how to build or repair. I live in a home that I don’t know how to construct—or even, as my wife would attest, how to fix when something in it breaks. I’d like to be a bit less alienated from the production of my own existence.

Third, in an age of political polarization and internet-mediated interactions, certain stereotypes have accreted around certain jobs that are considered high status versus Low status, and conservative versus liberal. Emerging from our bubbles to hear about the lives of people we might not usually come across is always useful, and especially now.

That’s all from me. I want to hear from you! Please write from the heart. If you need any inspiration, here are four of my favorite replies—short, medium, and long—from the last time we ran this experiment.

The Opera Singer

“We sing without microphones about 99% of the time.”

The Journalist

“The purpose of opinion journalism is: to generate ideas … to get on television … to make money.”

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Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2022/09/job-occupation-stereotypes-reality/671488/

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