The Atlantic asked its readers to let them know what people don't understand or appreciate about their job. This is what people said, from Army Soldier all the way to Zookeeper. Here are two of my favourites:
Hollywood portrays Soldiers in many different ways. Sometimes we are burnt out social misfits that are incapable of fitting in and plagued by PTSD and associated terrors. Sometimes we are the devil-may-care thrill seekers that are an equal danger to the enemy and ourselves. Sometimes we are rapists and killers given to wanton slaughter. Most of all, we are often portrayed as mindless automatons that are incapable of independent thought. The reality is very different.
The thing that surprises people is that some of the most free-thinking people in the United States are in the US Army. The problems that we have to contend with require innovative solutions and given the breadth of educational backgrounds of Army Officers, you find some incredibly adaptive people. Deployments and combat result in an environment where evolution is sped up by a million and those that cannot adapt fail. As long as basic forms are obeyed, you find that most leaders actively encourage free thinking within their ranks. To be sure, we have our share of intellectual dullards and buffoons but the reality is that the more time you spend with Soldiers, the more you begin to realize how vibrant, adaptive and broad they are in their thoughts.
What people don't understand about my job is that chances are you are not the person I'm examining. I examine doctors who expense three Cadillacs, insurance brokers who claim jet skis for business use only, and real estate agents who haven't paid taxes in eight years. The public doesn't realize that tax auditors are the only people between a balanced effective tax rate among all social classes and the bourgeoisie stealing what isn't bolted down. Don't kid yourself; these people are stealing from you. This money helps pay for schools, roads and with any luck can keep mortgage interest deduction alive for a few more years. I read a report on NPR that Italy has 40% of its population evading taxes. Imagine our debt crisis if we had the same problem. (Our tax evasion rate is estimated between 8-18%).
So if you're one of those "Joe the Plumber" people who take time out of work to throw teabags at me on my way into the office in the morning: You are the middle class! I'm helping you!
|Worked in a Photomat|
|Risky Business Cards|
|"Everyone else is becoming fungible, sought only for their reliability and low cost."|
|Where Letters Go When Your Handwriting is Unreadable|
|"How will that impact human evolution going forward?"|
|“You become more difficult for an algorithm to understand, market to, or manipulate.”|
|"The most automated warehouse of its kind"|
|"Low-cost solar and human-powered vehicle."|
|Changing the Oil of Your Car is so Easy, Even a Kid Can Do It|
|"Synthetic biology is the realm of creating life from scratch."|
|Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans|
|"Contact could mean extraordinary things for humanity if it happens soon."|
|"Immigration policy has left many worried that there simply won’t be enough immigrant workers to meet the demand."|
|"We've been able to take a can of spray paint and put a touch screen on almost anything."|
|A Brief History of the Entire World, I Think|