Posted on: June 10, 2024 Posted by: Comments: 0

Here’s a fun open thread for a Monday: What do people get wrong about your job? What are the most common misconceptions people share when you tell them what you do for a living? When you see your career portrayed in pop culture, what are some laughable or frustrating depictions? And if more movies and TV shows DID portray your profession realistically, would anyone really want to watch them?

For one, how about salaries vs. the cost of living? One much-cited inaccuracy in pop culture is “The characters on Friends could never have afforded those big NYC apartments with the jobs they had!” Also, could Carrie Bradshaw really have managed her splurge-y NYC lifestyle on a newspaper columnist’s salary? Hmm.

What about the legal field? As the sole non-lawyer on the Corporette team, I’d love to hear about the dubious things you frequently see in legal-themed books, movies, and TV shows. (At the moment, I’m curious about Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer, which I recently binged, and on the other end of the spectrum, the docudrama Dark Waters.) What wild things take place in TV depictions of court cases that would never happen in a real trial?, for example?

Readers in the financial field, how do YOU feel your career is depicted on screen? From The Big Short to the recent Bernie Madoff documentary series, The Monster of Wall Street, and the movie Dumb Money (the one about that crazy stuff with GameStop stock back in 2020–2021), pop culture unsurprisingly loves to focus on super dramatic situations and bad actors (not literally) in finance. When you tell people what you for a living, what do they usually say about it?

As for me, one of the areas I’ve worked in is marketing/PR, and we’ve all probably noticed that the majority of the onscreen characters in those fields are 20-something, stylish, beautiful women with — again — really nice NYC apartments. And while as a journalist I’ve never worked on the investigative side of things, I have a hunch that films like Spotlight are dramatized for the screen (great movie, though!).

I also worked as a barista before getting my first salaried job, and no, I never looked down on customers who only wanted a “plain black coffee.” I truly did not care. In fact, I was happy when someone ordered a coffee because that meant I didn’t have to make a more complicated drink when there was a big line of people waiting.

Readers, do tell! What do people — friends and family members, strangers, TV writers, and so on — get wrong about your job? What are the funniest or most irritating examples? (Also, what are your favorite workplace TV shows and movies?)

The post Open Thread: What Do People Get Wrong About Your Job? appeared first on

Leave a Comment