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Awkward questions you've always wanted to ask someone who works in a specific job...

(1002 Posts)
PinocchiosLeftNostril Tue 08-Oct-13 12:32:57


I thought this would be a good way for us to get answers to those awkward questions we would never dream of asking someone to their face in their place of work.

These are questions relating to my life that i would love honest answers to.

Hairdressers - When someone with bad dandruff/psoriasis sits on your chair, do you shrug it off, or do you quickly have a look to make sure it's not lice? Are you able to tell the difference right away or does it need investigating? And do you really want to know what my plans are for the day, or would you rather work in silence?

Teachers - do you get annoyed when parents write in homework diaries that a specific piece of homework was too tricky for their child? Do you take it as an insult to your teaching skills?

Waiter/waitresses - do you expect people to offer to clean up their children's mess before they leave, or do you just shrug it off as part of the job? If you're busy and haven't had chance to clean a table yet, and a new customer came up and asked for a cloth to clean it, would you be offended?

I'm a trainee SLT so not quite sure if I'm qualified to answer any questions regarding that line of work yet.

But i have experience working in a Subway sandwich store, a library, a gym and as a cleaner. So i can answer any cleaning, book or sandwich questions that are burning away inside you all. smile

foreverchanging Tue 08-Oct-13 13:17:51

50shades (and previous posters!) My friend (front line NHS) says the same. She's OK with poo/wee/sick but phlegm she can't cope with!

Oceansurf Tue 08-Oct-13 13:20:41

Teacher here. No, I don't compare siblings. Just interesting when they are so different. Re. Homework diaries - I would definitely rather know. Don't take it as an insult at all. I do however get a little hmm when it's a parent who is a teacher who writes that they couldn't do the homework grin

I'd like to ask hairdressers - do you get offended when people don't tip?

Oceansurf Tue 08-Oct-13 13:22:30

(as in the teacher/parent found the homework hard! grin Not the child!)

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 08-Oct-13 13:27:47

Male gynaecologists - why did you choose that specialism?

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Tue 08-Oct-13 13:28:50

Oh, GREAT thread idea!

I'd also like to ask hairdressers what you think about tipping. Should I? How much? Is it OK if I sometimes forget to make sure I have change and so can't tip, as long as I explain apologetically?

People who work in the service industry generally (shops, hair). If someone becomes enough of a regular that you greet each other in a friendly manner and with the odd bit of small talk, should you ask each other's names? How and when? Does it get to a point when it'd be weird to ask so it's better to go on not knowing?

GPs, do you prefer it if a patient takes a lively interest in what you're saying and asks some questions/for clarification? Or do you prefer to say your bit and the patient to leave quietly?

hellsbells76 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:29:09

Midwife here smile

*How much does size(height) of parents affect birth weight?
Is bump size relative to size of baby?* - can do, but I've seen tiny women push out enormous babies and tall/broad women have dinky ones. Where there's a big disparity between mum/dad size (eg much bigger dad), the babies are usually average and then grow quickly once they're out - generally (diabetes etc aside) we don't tend to grow babies too big to give birth to.
How can you judge age of babies at 12weeks if babies are all born at different weights? Is it to with the number of cell divisions up to this point? - embryos are very uniform in size up to around 12 weeks so early dating scans are pretty accurate (to within a few days)

Wee/poo/vomit/blood/mec/liquor - massively unbothered.

steppemum Tue 08-Oct-13 13:29:30

oceansurf - I am/was a teacher, and occasionally I write the homework was too hard, because the child can't do it. But I would probably teach them and then write that I had to give them a lot of help.

We have had the odd homework where i hadn't a clue what the teacher wanted.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Tue 08-Oct-13 13:30:09

hairdresser here... yes can tell headlice straight away I have never personally come across them but a coworker has, we just have a quiet word and advise to go the the pharmacy as we cannot continue.

and yes I like to know about your day! working in silence is quite awkward, unless your concentrating alot!

hellsbells76 Tue 08-Oct-13 13:31:11

Sorry, bolding fail and I missed a question too. Bump size doesn't really tell us a lot about eventual size of baby - factors such as position, amount of liquor, mum's build etc can cause a massive bump to conceal a tiny baby or a teensy malteser-sized bump to produce a whopper!

RetroHippy Tue 08-Oct-13 13:32:31

As an ex waitress, I did get a bit envy when I had to pick chewed up food out of the back of the chair and off the carpet. Nice neat pile on a plate would genuinely make my day.

And no problem at all with someone borrowing a cloth if we were genuinely rushed off our feet and there wereno clean tables (just a bit blush). If the place was empty though, and you choose to sit at the one table that someone has just vacated and I haven't had chance to clear, then yes, I got the rage.

Anyone who works on a checkout; do you make up stories about people based on the contents of their trolley? Cucumber, double cream, condoms, jelly, ibuprofen... Someone's in for an interesting night.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Tue 08-Oct-13 13:32:53

tips are just a bonus and a nice gesture, I have clients who don't tip throughout the year bit wait til Xmas and give £30. I don't expect tips and would not judge if someone didn't tip.

TinyTear Tue 08-Oct-13 13:36:11

Former bookshop worker - yes I did judge (a bit) but mostly I liked making up interesting stories about some of the regulars... like the man who always ordered books about serial killers and cannibals...

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Tue 08-Oct-13 13:37:32

That's nice to hear about the tips, AndThats. I think I will continue to tip my stylist because she always does a great job and I like her, but it's good to think that perhaps when I can't tip her and she says 'Don't worry', she means it smile.

I'm afraid I am quiet in the hairdressers. I'm no good at small talk. If they ask me questions I'll answer, but tend to let the conversation peter out as I find it rather hard.

ColdTeaAgain Tue 08-Oct-13 13:42:36

Not a waitress but I do think it's a bit selfish to make no attempt to tidy up a little if your child has made a huge mess in a restaurant!

Checkout assistants - do you judge people by what's in their trolley? wink

TinyTear Tue 08-Oct-13 13:43:49

I don't like talking in hairdressers as I am a bit deaf and without my glasses I feel a bit lost (and then with the noises of hairdryers and so on it's a bit hard to follow a conversation.) so I think I am hairdressers worst nightmare (but no I don't have lice)

SnoopySnoopyDoggDogg Tue 08-Oct-13 13:46:07

Aubergines Georgian ?! shock

Insurance salesmen/women, do you honestly think I am getting a good deal? Do you have the same deal? I've been speaking to a really nice chap about life insurance recently but I can't stop feeling it's all a bit of a con, even if it isn't!

DorrisM Tue 08-Oct-13 13:51:44

I do viewings for an Estate Agents.

Teachers - can you tell when parents have done their child's work, especially project or craft stuff? Do you mark it accordingly?

unfortunatedischarge Tue 08-Oct-13 14:08:45

I've always wondered about male gynecologists too hmm

It was great that men went in to it when women were unable to do it..but now?

Onemanwenttomowameado Tue 08-Oct-13 14:27:16

I've always wondered about male gynecologists too

It was great that men went in to it when women were unable to do it..but now?

Sorry, but... WTF? There was a thread recently about male health visitors, and a fair bit of gnashing of teeth about how sexist it was that people were surprised to have a male HV.

Why shouldn't gynaecologists be men? In case they look at the diseased fannies and think 'phoarr'? Doctors do not look at body parts as sexual, but see a problem to diagnose and, where possible, treat. Men can be gynaecologists and women can be urologists. Wake up.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 08-Oct-13 14:35:29

I don't think anyone is saying they shouldn't Oneman - where is anyone saying that?

I'm just genuinely curious about why they would.

notJenkins Tue 08-Oct-13 14:35:57

I see naked people at work often on the loo and am hugely not bothered. I always think that could be me in their position one day so treat accordingly.

FreeWee Tue 08-Oct-13 14:36:07

I've made cardboard boxes if anyone is remotely interested in finding out about them grin I also used to research food & drink products for people like Kraft. Any market research questions I'm your woman.

unfortunatedischarge Tue 08-Oct-13 14:36:08

I think you misunderstood the point of this thread. Maybe you should reread the OP, it wasn't very long.

I never implied that gynaecologist were perverts hmm did I?

Oh but as you pointed out "looking at diseased fannies" is in the job description...what particularly may have made a man in particular choose this line of work? I could understand a female would have a vested interested in improving gynaecology however. SO I think it is an honest question.

As for the other thread you mention no one was being sexist about male HV's they were saying they found it difficult discuss their vaginas and breast with men. Which I think is perfectly fine. My HV did "man"handle my boobs a bit when I was desperately struggling to feed dd. It was awkward enough with a woman, it wouldn't have happened at all with a man.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 08-Oct-13 14:36:19

And I'm pissed at your insinuations tbh

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Tue 08-Oct-13 14:36:41

LetsFace, why do you think they wouldn't?

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