Few things are more annoying than being asked a seemingly innocent question: “Oh, you're a programmer? I have a problem with my printer…” You may wonder what’s wrong with it. Well, how about “Oh, you’re an accountant? I have some tax questions I want to ask you!”

You see, it would be totally fine if it wasn’t so absurdly irritating. Talking about our professions is one thing, but assuming you know something the other person needs and thus, you have to help, even though it has little to do with your job, is another.

So when someone asked to share the annoying stuff people ask when you tell them your profession, it blew up on r/AskReddit, amassing 79.5k upvotes and 23.9k comments. Let’s see what people had to say and don’t forget to tell us what questions about your profession annoy you in the comment section below!

#1

"Oh you're a geologist? What kind of rock is this?" Just kidding, we love that s**t and will tell you a long story of the history of that rock and how we saw examples in the field in the middle of nowhere.

CarbineFox Report

Dorothy Parker
Community Member
5 months ago

My husband, a geographer by degree, does that. A lot.

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#2

"Oh you work in Social Media? How do I blow up my Instagram/Youtube?"

Conversation usually then goes somewhat like this:

"You need to provide good content that matches your target audience."

"Yeah....but I don't want to put any real work into that."

"Then buy 500k fake subs from India or China."

"But they are not real people."

"Well you are not providing any real content."

DrPCox85 Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
5 months ago

Well what did they think the answer was going to be?

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#3

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh, you're a pharmacist? Well I have this huge, gaping wound on my left butt cheek, can you look at it and tell me what I can use over the counter?"

Sir... Please go to the hospital...

brow3477 , Clean Wal-Mart Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
5 months ago

This comment has been deleted.

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Confused conversational partners are real and they occur more often than we’d like. Think of the last time you told someone “I work for myself as a freelance writer” and received “Oh, so you, like, write books?” Most of us devote so much time and effort to our careers, it’s kind of irritating to get all those sorts of questions from people who have no clue what you’re doing (and often, they suppose they do!)

So, how to speak about your profession to people so you can share your enthusiasm and not receive any more annoying questions? To find out how to talk about your profession like a pro, Bored Panda reached out to Kat Boogard, a Wisconsin-based freelance writer who specializes in writing on careers and self-development. Kat told us that the real hangup is that we use our careers to define ourselves. That’s the reason why so many of us become irritated by the “what do you do?” question.

#4

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh you're a Graphic Designer? Can you make a logo for me really quick? It's for my cousin's birthday. I don't have any money to pay but I'll have multiple revisions that will cut into your actual paying work time, but then get upset when you ask for payment"

DJRonin , Leni_und_Tom Report

Neva Nevičica
Community Member
5 months ago

Wow, you work in a library? Lucky you, you get to read books all day! Haha, please don't make me pay, i have a book overdue. HAHAHA! HAHAHA!!! I'm joking, i don't have the time to read books, you know, i am so busy, i don't have the time! (I don't care if you read or what you read or why you don't. Nobody does.)

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#5

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "You're invited to my.. party/event/wedding/celebration.. please could you bring your camera"

imontiza , eltpics Report

Hugo McColl
Community Member
5 months ago

At least you're invited!

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#6

"You're in the Air Force? So you fly planes?"

Nah I fly a desk.

cjt11203 Report

Mangoes'nRum
Community Member
5 months ago

Nah. I fly off the handle. Sometimes twice a day!

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“That can cause real problems for a lot of people. Maybe they're laid off or between jobs. Maybe they're starting their own business. Or maybe they work in a career that's not super 'obvious' to a lot of people. That means the 'what do you do?' question can inspire a lot of dread and even self-doubt.”

Kat said that the best way to describe your profession is just doing it head-on, “with the knowledge that a lot of careers are going to require more explanation than others.”

Moreover, “what do you do?” is often a default conversation starter, but Kat assured us that there are plenty of other ways to get the discussion rolling, like asking someone what hobbies they enjoy.

#7

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh you're an artist ? Can you draw me, I'll pay you with exposure"

KalosKaghatoss , Christian SengerFollow Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
5 months ago

Exposure doesn't pay the rent and feed the kids.

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#8

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh, you're a teacher? Please explain to me how my child's teacher had the audacity to give them a C despite it being very obvious that my child is a genius!"

Bonus points if they want you to explain the grading criteria in a completely different subject and level of schooling than you teach. Like, I teach high school and community college English and Social Studies - why do you expect me to know the grading criteria for middle school math?

Theartofdodging , Daniel Nugent Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
5 months ago

This one must be SUPER ANNOYING.

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#9

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh your a musician, play that one that goes, bun dum dum bun dum donn bom"

bigEchees , Mitch Bennett Report

Berry Budgie
Community Member
5 months ago

This is my friends with me😂😂😂

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Kat also suggested a way to deal with people who think they know everything about your profession. “As a freelance writer, I get a lot of puzzled looks when I tell people what I do for a living. Then they quickly move into the assumptions—like that I write books or I don't do much of anything all day.”

She usually uses an example that people can relate to her career in their daily lives. “So, when people are struggling to understand what I do, I'll say something like this: 'You know how when you're preparing for a job interview and you Google common interview questions? The articles that show up in the search results are the type of stuff that I write.'"

#10

"Oh you're employed by our company as a robotic process automation engineer, does that means we're all going to be replaced by robots?"

I've come up with the perfect response to this now. "No, just you"

Cyrus-187 Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
5 months ago

XD beautiful

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#11

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing “Oh you work for a law firm? My son’s ex-girlfriend wants full custody of their kid. What should he do?”

A. I’m a mass tort paralegal, I don’t do family law B. He needs to get a lawyer.

MelpomeneLee , osseous Report

Viviane
Community Member
5 months ago

A few friends have asked my law librarian husband for legal advice. Yes, he has a degree. In library studies. No, he did not have to pass the bar exam to get his job.

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#12

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing Oh you are an accountant, can you do my taxes?

No Mary i can't. I work for a corporate company not frigging H&R block. I mean I probably could but I don't wanna.

summerwritingcat , Motaz Altahir Report

Blue
Community Member
5 months ago

Yeah I work as an accountant as well and my friends ask me that ALL THE TIME. It's really annoying.

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#13

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh, you are a Mathematician? What is 35122*748383?"

Use a goddamn calculator.

Dark_Ruler , Caitie McManus Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
5 months ago

Simple: it's ab where a=35122, b=748383. Only use for numbers outside of teaching is to order pages and footnotes/references.

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#14

"You work in a restaurent? How about treating me to dinner sometime?" - A lot of people assume that they can get free drinks and food just because I happen to serve food or tend the bar at the place. That is not how it works...Also "We are friends so I don't need to tip you!" - Well, that is how you got unfriended really quickly.

NoisyNatalie Report

Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
5 months ago

I'd be questioning the type of "lot of people" who keep asking you to steal. I've been in hospitality since I was 14 (paid my way through highschool & uni), and never had anyone ask me to steal for them. :o

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#15

I was going to have surgery and about 10 minutes before I was scheduled to go under the knife, the nurse asked me what I was studying. I told her I'm a computer science student and without skipping a beat she asked me to help her download WhatsApp on her Huawei!

Since I'm also studying genetics, I also often get requests like "does this rash look bad" or "can you clone my cat".

NO. LEAVE ME ALONE.

BloatedCrow Report

Berry Budgie
Community Member
5 months ago

“CaN YoU ClOnE My CaT”

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#16

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing Oh, you work in construction? (Proceeds to ask about fixing things around the house, asking if something was installed wrong because it doesn't "look right", or wanting a price quotes for various projects)

New_Game_P1us , TLC Jonhson Report

Gary
Community Member
5 months ago

Or the other side of the coin. They ask you to quote and at the same time ask you how you propose to do what they are asking for. I'm sure as soon as I have left they are looking on YouTube to see how to do it themselves.

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#17

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh, you're a programmer? I have a idea of a cool app!"

lowleveldata , ah.radwan Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
5 months ago

"Great! Here's my hourly rates."

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#18

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing Oh you're a paramedic? I have this thing on my toe, Will you check it?

chumpidcul , Ambulance Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
5 months ago

Yuck.

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#19

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing "Oh, you're a chemical analyst? You must know how to make drugs"

Absolute_Predator , Daniel Morrison Report

Hugo McColl
Community Member
5 months ago

Breaking bad

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#20

Oh you’re an astronomer? Why is my outlook as Pisces so negative this month? I heard all the planets are going to be lined up what does that mean for my horoscope?

Rand_alThor_ Report

Momma Panda
Community Member
5 months ago

I'm surprised to hear that people still belive in horoscopes..

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#21

So you're a dermatologist? Have a look at this mole I found conveniently between my butt cheeks during this lovely wedding ceremony.

Dr_immigrant Report

Pearl Of the SeaWing RainWings
Community Member
5 months ago

It's safe to say I will not become a dermatologist.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#22

"oh, you're a writer? Can you help with this very important legal letter?"

And a non-job bonus: "you're married to my programmer son, can you help me with my phone?" My husband gets the "you work in IT, my printer isn't working" questions from his mum. She thinks he does tech support. He programs systems for universities, government departments, etc.

KittikatB Report

earringnut
Community Member
5 months ago

Oof!

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#23

"Oh, you're a truck driver? Can you come tell me what's wrong with my car?"

Umm, ma'am, I just drive the damn things... You want the shop guys for that.

tygs42 Report

Marcellus the Third
Community Member
5 months ago

Just go for the actually used technical language: "I think that's gonna cost ya, looks like the f***ing f***er is f***ing f***ed."

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#24

Oh you're a mechanical engineer, can you fix my car?

MHRolley Report

Blue
Community Member
5 months ago

I don't understand why people think that just because they are in the profession that might remotely relate to their problem they can do it perfectly.

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#25

Things-People-Different-Professions-Are-Tired-Of-Hearing Sell me this pen

DominoEfct1 , Brian Turner Report

Berry Budgie
Community Member
5 months ago

HAHAHAA

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#26

Oh, you’re a therapist? tells me about their family member who really needs to see a therapist

Conscious_Tea Report

Viviane
Community Member
5 months ago

Guilty. I told my psych student niece how I manage my anxiety. No, I did not want advice, so she got practice listening and smiling genially (which anyone can do). Bless her, but I would never ask her for help - that's what my therapist is for. For all I know, my niece could end up studying motivation in rats. Or, like my sister or my sister-in-law, doing a job in a totally different field.

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#27

Oh you're a nurse, can you have a look at my ingrowing toenail / tell me why I have a rash down below

shellshocked_637 Report

Berry Budgie
Community Member
5 months ago

Ewwww

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#28

Oh , you are a comedian? Tell me a joke.

Solum_Nox Report

The one and only
Community Member
5 months ago

ur life (I'm sorry this is a joke)

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#29

"Oh, you're an electrical engineer? Can you wire my garage?"

McDougal_Scarborough Report

Bill
Community Member
5 months ago

No. They can't

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#30

"Oh, you studied linguistics? What does this word mean?"

MountainGoatAOE Report

Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
5 months ago

I have a B. Languages (including linguistics).... NEVER been asked anything along those lines. (maybe I'm lucky?)

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