Every Job Has Its Drawbacks

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Over at Ask a Manager, Alison Green fields a question (Item 3) from a person whose customer-facing work involves caring for plants in offices full of people for whom this part of the job looks like a hobby:

What do I say to people who tell me my job has no stress and is easy? My job is challenging, physical, requires critical thinking, and involves taking care of living things! The implication is, I feel, that I don't have any special skills and that I just float from plant to plant with an empty head.
Green, who admits that the job sounds pleasant to her, advises the following before offering her thoughts on how to respond:
Image by Riccardo Pelati, via Unsplash, license.
[T]ry reframing those comments in your head so you hear them as "I'd love to be able to spend my day taking care of living things and not sitting in stuffy conference rooms with a cranky client who wants to debate comma placement." I do think that's what most people intend to convey -- they're having an escapist fantasy that may or may not reflect the reality of your job, but does reflect their stress/frustration/discontent/burn-out with their own... Or people are just making conversation without realizing how what they're saying is coming across.
That's a great point. The questioner otherwise likes her job, and should realize that unusual jobs will often have unusual drawbacks. And a major type of unusual drawback is having to deal with most people having curiosity about things that have become mundane.

This situation is very similar to that of people who are able to work from home -- and have to deal with family, friends, and neighbors who see the malleable schedule as some kind of vacation.

-- CAV

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