It sometimes happens that you see a film about a detective, a doctor or a prison guard and say to yourself “but damn that’s the job I had to do!” because it happens to me almost every day. Inevitably we tend to idealize certain professions because we don’t know much about them and we think we know them through works of fiction or the preconceived idea we have of them. But make no mistake, some jobs stink like a roll of used dental floss, and I’ll give you a few examples.
1. Spy / secret agent
The idea we have of it: Driving super cars, traveling the world, wearing slim-fitting tuxedos, fighting villains with secret bases, and drinking lots of champagne.
What it actually is: Being undercover for 15 years, never making friends, typing reports on typewriters, freaking out all the time about getting grilled by the opposing government, eating cans of ravioli because you never learned to cook.
2. Private detective
The idea we have of it: Having your office in a city where it is often dark, investigating in jazz clubs, fighting mobsters, saving people from a tragic fate and doing it because you have a debt to settle with your dark past.
What it actually is: Take pictures of people who cheat on their partner, investigate a sister-in-law who refuses to pass on inheritance money to the rest of her family and get an ulcer from drinking too much coffee.
The idea we have of it: Saving lives, being an everyday hero, wearing a comfortable blue outfit, having a stethoscope around your neck and a very good salary.
What it actually is: Going to school for eight years, sleeping less than a new parent, being under constant stress, seeing disgusting things all day, eating mashed sausage in the canteen but having a very good salary.
The idea we have of it: Be the pride of your country, become a pioneer of the unknown, experience the most incredible thing you can imagine, see the Earth from space, be weightless.
What it actually is: Train for years in machines that give the sheaf, spend nine months in a station where you move in slow motion, eat absolutely disgusting dishes, post photos on Instagram and take two years to recover your ability to move when you return on earth.
The idea we have of it: Tackle various subjects, show the truth to people, investigate, be honest, be respected by people who are happy to be told of the scandals that stir the world.
What it actually is: Being called a “journalist”, realizing that people don’t give a damn when you show them a scandal like the Panama Papers, doing mostly rotten tabloids, being paid a miserable freelance job.
6. President of the Republic
The idea we have of it: Work five years and then have a comfortable salary that falls every month for the rest of his life. Make condescending president gestures.
What it actually is: Work five years and then have a comfortable salary that falls every month for the rest of his life. Not respecting citizens and being insulted every day. But there’s the actual salary.
The idea we have of it: Live outdoors, know nature, ride in front of the setting sun, save the widow and the orphan, wear super classy clothes.
What it actually is: Having a pain in the ass from spending your time on a horse, having to recover the cows that got lost in the canyon, dying from the heat, being called a dunghill by everyone, having clothes that stink of perspiration and dung and getting bitten by snakes as soon as you want to sleep.
8. Researcher in Antarctica
The idea we have of it: Live for a year in an incredible environment, study the fauna and flora, face an alien species with Kurt Russel and sympathize with the locals.
What it actually is: Freezing your ass for nine years, being in a rotten lab studying seal shit and coming home thinking that the only thing we found out was that the sea ice was melting super fast.
The idea we have of it: To have the keys to the city, to be respected and loved by the inhabitants, to do everything to improve the quality of life of others, to have restaurants with an expense report all the time.
What it actually is: Never being calm, spending your life in boring meetings, having to go to the inauguration of all the shitty establishments that open here and there, wearing stupid costumes and generally being hated by half the population.
The idea we have of it: Working with animals, rescuing them, seeing cute little creatures every day, being adored by animals and appreciated by people.
What it actually is: Getting bitten or scratched half the time, cleaning piss and shit out of your closet, having to euthanize animals, seeing battered animals and horrible stuff, coming home smelling like rodents.