AskReaders: What strange habits have you picked up from your line of work?

January 8, 2016
Comments (9)
  1. jo archer says:

    Working in post production I had to QC TV and film… I can only now, two years after, avoid verbalizing it but my right hand still ‘ghost’ marks a non-existant form with whatever flaw I see. There are a lot of flaws on TV that I would never have let pass.

  2. FromAK says:

    Working as a welder i tend to nod my head when i see a bright light in order to drop my hood. It looks weird when you jerk your head for no reason everytime you walk ouside to drop the hood that doesnt exist.

  3. ken says:

    I haven’t delivered mail in 28 years, but in every TV street scene I first check for building numbers. Only recently realized I was doing that. For a while had to resist urge to pick up outgoing mail in offices & small stores.

  4. R. Rosby says:

    As a teacher, referring to people by their initials when discussing them in public (it’s usually a strict rule to never mention a child by name outside the school building for safeguarding reasons, and when discussing work in public places the general rule is to call kids by their initials). Many times I’ve accidentally referred to my parents as M and D.

  5. Kelly says:

    Working in a retail pharmacy, we always mark X’s on the stock bottles that are open. I’ve found myself doing this to items at home: mayo, cereal, milk…. I’ve had to move my sharpies out of the kitchen.

    1. Jessica says:

      Me too! Glad I’m not alone. Just opened a bottle of Advil the other day and X’d it.

  6. aaron says:

    Traffic signal technician for over a decade…I find myself explaining to my wife while driving the particulars of phase timing , video and radar detection, and other things which are completely meaningless to people who are not in the business.As in , “why the Hell is this red light taking so long?” ” Well, phase 2 has a call, then a 45 second blah blah blah….” So boring….

  7. Aboo says:

    I’m a lab technician in a clinic, i used to work at KFC before,
    the KFC thing that i do now in the lab is greet patients with super friendly greetings (like those fast food chains people did) “Hi! / Welcome / May I help you? / Thank you & come again.
    My colleague in the clinic had a strange look at me which isn’t a thing that clinic people do, and it’ll be more involuntary & subtle when there is a long list of patients..
    those words will flow out like clockwork.

  8. Ian Thomson says:

    As an airline pilot, when I approach my car I look at it from afar to see if chocks are in place at the wheels. When I’m really tired (after a long flight, for example), a couple of times even to see if external power cart or a/c is connected… I laugh at myself for that. Also if tyre pressure is ok. But I do have mental checklists for almost every routine, specially when driving, so I rarely forget anything at home or where I left my keys. Constantly monitor dashboard as if it were airplane instruments. Good thing too; you’ll never catch me driving at night with my headlights off or me not noticing any warning lights, noises, vibrations, etc., or not knowing where I am and not having a plan as to how to get to where I’m going. I’m always anticipating -or at least trying to- not only what the car immediately ahead of me is doing, but sometimes two or three cars ahead are up to. Oh, and I’m a stickler with my car’s maintainance. I’m very safety-conscious whenever behind the wheel, but sometimes I do speed a bit, especially after landing; everything seems to move at such a damn slow pace! Good thing I look at the dashboard a lot and notice my speeding and bring it down.

    Another good thing is that I never completely loose awareness even when napping (yes, we pilots do take turns and nap a bit in cruise in all-night red-eye flights, better be alert on landing and not drowsy… makes sense, right?), happens at home too. After dozing off with the TV on I’ll wake-up just moments before any part of a movie or show has a plot twist, start of an action sequence, thrill scene, etc., and not be lost as to what has happened up to then. Freaks my wife to bits, she’s been awake watching and can’t anticipate those things in real time! I can sometimes even call it, like “look at what’s gonna happen now”. Not bad habits at all, come to think of it.

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