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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

blueshoes Sun 13-Oct-13 14:58:20

It'sok: "Office Workers who sit REALLY closein front of their co workers. Do you generally chat through the day or avoid eye contact? "

I used to work in open plan and had a colleague directly in front of me and one to my side. We tried to position our computer screens so that they were at an angle and did not result in our being eye-to-eye with our neighbour. I chatted the most with the one with closest eye contact but my job then required a lot of conferring and using each other as sounding boards, which was the reason we were in open plan to begin with. But you knew when to leave your colleague alone, if they were head down or making serial conference calls!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 13-Oct-13 14:57:04

So foamy do you think Tess just has a strong sense of what style she wants and no one puts her right?

mignonette Sun 13-Oct-13 14:56:08

I'm going to set up Thread #2 as this is on 999 posts.

FoamyBanana Sun 13-Oct-13 14:54:49

Whoever chose that yellow dress for Tess Daly should be facing a disciplinary, even if it was Tess!

VB's press office would refuse anyone who didn't fit with the brand identity. Don't think Tess Daly is quite what theory have in mind on the product placement front. I suspect they want to cry everytime Carol Vorderman appears in Loose Women in a VB frock!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 13-Oct-13 14:50:33

OOOOH lavender I really do.

6 years (or so) ago I had interactions with the inland revenue due to a business I was closing. One office of the HMRC told me they owed me £** at the same time I recieved a letter from the same department telling me that I owed them £***.
I wrote to them asking for clarification, copying both letters into the letter.

I haven't heard anything at all since then.. am waiting for this to bite me on the bum.. how pro-active should I be or am I ok to wait and see?

musicwithrocksinit Sun 13-Oct-13 14:49:52

Primary school teachers: why don't you seem to like secondary teachers?

HorryIsUpduffed Sun 13-Oct-13 14:49:41

makingdoo does anyone actually look good in a strapless dress?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 13-Oct-13 14:48:03

Thanks Foamy
I thought it was funny last week that Tess Daly had asked to borrow a VB dress and they said no cos it wouldn't suit her shape - so she bought one and was slated because it didn't suit her!!!

Do you have thoughts about whether Tess's stylist likes her? DH and I have come to the conclusion that she doesn't.

Lavenderhoney Sun 13-Oct-13 14:47:00

This thread looks good over a coffeesmile

If anyone has any audit or accounting questions feel free to kill the thread with themsmile

FoamyBanana Sun 13-Oct-13 14:46:03

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood I love her stuff actually! It's beautifully made. I think she really understands her market and her designs are surprisingly flattering. Have also met her and she is lovely and self deprecating. I do however wish she'd stop doing that fecking pout face grin

FoamyBanana Sun 13-Oct-13 14:42:50

Mignonette sorry forgot you asked about working 'uniform'. I don't have one for the office really, I love clothes (obviously!) so see going to work as an opportunity for wearing 'an outfit'! Sometimes that will be jeans and a blazer with heels, sometimes a dress, sometimes much more casual stuff. Always fairly trendy though as my editor would not approve if I rocked up in anything dated/frumpy. I know lots of fashion eds who do have a uniform though, several I know only wear black. One or two look totally ridiculous and give the rest of us a good laugh!

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 13-Oct-13 14:40:16

foamy do you have a professional opinion about VB?

FoamyBanana Sun 13-Oct-13 14:36:32

Mignonette Celebs are just like anybody else in that some have a very definite sense of style of their own, so when you work with them you are essentially just sourcing the stuff and shopping for them. Others are clueless and want you to guide them. I have styled celebs and been truly horrified by what they have chosen on occasion grin

I suspect Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the ones that has a clear idea of what she wants so her stylist will be sourcing suitable clothes and offering guidance.

I know some brilliant stylists who have been responsible for some terrible outfits. It's because that's what the client has wanted. It's much easier to work with models as they just wear what you give them (usually!)

SugarMouse1 Sun 13-Oct-13 14:34:27

Police Officers:

Are you really all completely law abiding?

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Sun 13-Oct-13 14:34:12

can I ask how easy it is to tell if someone is telling the truth about stuff.
I had 2-3 hours of therapy every week for 4 years.
There were times that I wasn't completely honest about how I was getting on. Yet the lady I saw always knew and I couldn't work out how.

Also I told her some really horrid stuff, and she never flinched, not once.
I was totally paranoid about anyone finding out and freaked out about her taking notes which she didn't do during the sessions but when I entered the room she was reading a little book which made me think she had made notes afterwards.
What happens to that stuff.
at what point does patient confidentiality go out fo the widow?
there weere times I talked to her about illegal behavior is she ever under obligation to talk to the police?

Sorry can you tell trust issues were part of my baggage that havent gone away grin

BoffinMum Sun 13-Oct-13 14:33:01

AndHarry, they probably just checked it wouldn't electrocute anyone and it's actual efficacy wasn't really called into question,I imagine.

BoffinMum Sun 13-Oct-13 14:30:47

Thanks Foamy!

makingdoo Sun 13-Oct-13 14:26:39

Brilliant thread, thanks OP! I started reading it at 9am and have learned so much.

Lots of you have really inspiring and fulfilling jobs.

I work in a Bridal Shop if anyone's interested!

mignonette Sun 13-Oct-13 14:25:57

Grandpa Those were the stand out incidents in many years of work. I imagine Cab drivers are at more risk of assault than I am. I rarely feel unsafe because I have good people with skills around me and I make sure risk assessment is a priority for training and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and that Tacit knowledge (using Gut Feeling/Instinct/Subjective knowledge of a client) is given credence in risk assessment too.

Thank you AndHarry What a fascinating job and I would imagine that working with emerging markets so as to develop products with efficacy and cost effectiveness must be rewarding.

Foamy Under cover of anonymity, whose style do you particularly like from these two groups 1) People who are styled and 2) People who don't use stylists. Whenever I see somebody like Gwyneth complimented for her style I always think "No, Elizabeth Saltzman" has great style because she is her stylist. Another question- what is your day to day working 'uniform' as whenever I read interviews/see photos of well known stylists/editors like Kate Phelan they seem to have a very specific day outfit.

Whirl GREAT question about the coloured blocks on cardboard boxes! I wondered about them too and all the codes and symbols.

Greening Me too. Elucidating what lies behind the feelings experienced by the Therapist is very interesting and can move therapy forward. Those feelings can be ephemeral and not always presenting as a lightbulb moment but they can be very satisfying when you get a breakthrough I imagine? I wish I had more time for the deeper stuff. I am CBT and DBT trained (and Thorn) but theraputic time is so short sad.

I find clinical and peer supervision a useful tool to manage these but some trusts are not as good as others in providing protected time for this. Do you get protected time?

Speaking personally I don't tend to think of clients/patients in terms of societal body standards. I will think of it in terms of how to improve health i.e weight gain caused by psych meds which I try to address at the time of initial prescription if possible by encouraging the building of exercise into daily routine when well enough. I notice things like self neglect as signs of illness/relapse/recovery, self harm marks, that kind of thing. I like Maslows Hierarchy of Needs as a basic model of what to prioritise with clients in the initial stages of assessment and treatment- how are they eating, sleeping, drinking? Do they have a place of safety? The rest follows.

Lizzids Sun 13-Oct-13 13:58:38

Theyremybiscuits Hi back! Unfortunately never worked with very famous people, but I think Jack Wild (the original film Artful Dodger) was one of the loveliest actors I worked with.

I was lucky enough never to encounter any really diva-ish behaviour, but I was made to personally apologise to someone because I forgot to set an important prop! Made me feel 2 inch high that did hmm

greeningthedesert Sun 13-Oct-13 13:46:04

What an fascinating and moving thread. Thank you to everyone who's contributed.

I'm a clinical psychologist who mainly works in adult mental health. In answer to a question for therapists about whether we're daydreaming about what to have for supper etc, the answer is 'not usually'. Generally I'm concentrating too hard on what is being said, how it's being said and what is not being said etc to think of anything else. If I do find my mind wandering, such as thinking 'I'm hungry' and knowing that I've just eaten, then I wonder if I'm picking up on something from the client and may for example ask her about eating disorders. Another example is if I suddenly find myself desperate to fall asleep for no reason, then I often find it has to do with someone's narrative not making sense in a fairly bizarre, dreamlike or psychotic way.

I have a question for women who work with women's bodies (eg osteopaths, doctors, nurses, beauticians, masseurs etc): Has your work influenced your own body image? Do you think that seeing huge numbers of real bodies affects how you view yourself or others? In what way?

As I was standing self-consciously in my undies at the osteopath today, I wondered how she views my body - not in terms of thin/fat, stretch marked or whatever, but in terms of functions or doesn't function. I can't imagine seeing a body in that way.

Whirliwig72 Sun 13-Oct-13 13:41:33

Petrol station attendants do you secretly scorn those that are unable to round their petrol purchase up to a nice whole figure (like me) and get £20.17 or something.

Lady who knows about cardboard: why do packets often have strips of colourful blocks on then under the tabs: my fish fingers box has yellow, magenta, blue and black in various shades in a long strip.

Midwives: is it odd when you are training to gave to put your hand in someone's fanjo and how long until it becomes normal and routine?

Dj's: do you get really pissed off with people requesting the same cheesy tunes at weddings and parties?

GrandpaInMyBlender Sun 13-Oct-13 13:36:13

Crossbows and shotguns shock I did not expect that, mignonette! I didn't realise it was so dangerous!

Slezi, does it make you feel proud when you can see how happy you've made them? Have you ever shed a tear too? smile

FoamyBanana Sun 13-Oct-13 13:25:32

AndHarry 'do you judge people who are neat but never stylish?'

No, don't judge anybody who isn't stylish/trendy etc. Style is subjective anyway. I do however judge people a teeny bit of they look like they just didn't look in the mirror before leaving the house - so unbrushed hair, crumpled or grubby clothes etc. My job makes me mega aware of how other people have presented themselves to the world and I love seeing somebody who has taken the time to create a 'look' - even if that look is not my cup of tea. Neat is great!

BoffinMum 'do you ever do fashion spreads based on what advertisers want to flog rather than artistic considerations?'

Would never do a whole spread based on advertising. It usually works the other way round. Advertising department ask for my planning notes to see what fashion stories I am doing for a particular issue. If I am doing something like shoes they might then target Clarks or whoever to try and sell an ad next to the shoot. I am aware of who the regular advertisers are though and would try and feature products from those brands regularly if I can. I would never be expected to feature something that wasn't also exactly what was right for the reader or the shoot though.

AndHarry Sun 13-Oct-13 13:17:03

BoffinMum you've got me there! In vitro diagnostic devices are not my specialty but I can answer generally. It's a 'home use' device, which is the second lowest classification (out of 4). The manufacturer will have had to develop it so that it meets the essential requirements for safety and efficacy of the EU Directive on In Vitro Diagnostic Devices and then satisfy an independent notified body that it meets those requirements before they're allowed to sell it. It's quite a stringent process so it will be considered an effective device within the scope of its intended purpose even though it looks a load of crap to me.

mignonette I'm involved mostly in the pre-marketing elements so design, development and licensing. Although it isn't part of my role, I have seen and used many of my company's devices as a patient and do feed back on pros and cons. If I see something good about a competitor's device that works well in practice then I feed that back too. DH hates going into hospital with me, he says I'm embarrassing grin My day-to-day job involves working with R&D to ensure that the concept they're developing meets the regulatory requirements of each of the target markets globally, from safety and efficacy to the plug type and what goes on the labelling. I write technical evaluation documents for review by competent authorities (like our MHRA), work with our global sales offices to get products on the market and am the subject matter expert on regulatory when we're audited. My favourite part of the job is working with regulatory authorities in emerging markets as they develop their own systems of regulation and once the DC are rather older I'd love to work with the international organisations advising them.

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