When people find out that the Husband is an acupuncturist and herbalist, they inevitably ask one of four questions:


An herbalist?! Does that mean he can get me a prescription for medical marijuana? (No.)


An acupuncturist?!  Is he Asian?  (No.)


Did he go to school for that?  (Yes – he took a post-undergraduate four-year program that was crammed into three intense years.)


Natural medicine?! Weird. If you had cancer, would you take a bunch of herbs instead of getting chemo? (No.)


My favorite one is the, “Is he Asian?”  I’m telling you, at least one person calls the clinic each week and asks me if the Husband is Chinese.  I’m never sure if they want him to be Chinese because then he will somehow be better at acupuncture or if they don’t want him to be Chinese because they’re concerned he won’t speak English.  So I always say, “He’s from England, but he studied with Chinese masters of acupuncture and knows all the ancient Chinese secrets.”  That seems to do the trick.


The other question that I get a lot is, “Do you take Chinese herbs?” and the answer is YES!  Chinese herbs are amazing.  Herbalists can give you mixtures of herbs to help with a variety of conditions, but I take ‘em for anxiety and trouble sleeping.  I like that the Husband gives me herbs packed into pills v. in tea form, too – herbs can taste really icky.  Herbalist mix herbs according to a person’s unique condition, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution like Tylenol PM. 


So – after a sound night’s sleep, I woke up and made this delicious breakfast:


Defrosted frozen raspberries, sesame almonds, Greek yogurt, and raw oats.  Oh-so-good.


What’s a funny question people always ask about your job?



  • Amber, Blonde and Balanced June 24, 2011, 9:40 am

    No one ever asks me anything about my job — they usually just maked a pained face when I tell them I’m an Accountant. Ha ha.

    I’d love to try some of those herbs! Got any recs for doctors in the Kansas City area?? 🙂

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 9:41 am
      • Maria June 24, 2011, 10:52 am

        I’m so glad you shared this link! I’ve been trying to find a doctor for a few months now that is certified. My biggest concern though is if any of them take my health insurance…is that typical?

        • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 10:54 am

          Some do, some don’t. It really just depends. You can also call your insurance and ask them if you can submit your receipts to them and if it would be covered. That’s what our patients do. We just don’t take insurance because we don’t personally have the manpower to process it all, most insurances WILL cover it.

  • The Teenage Taste June 24, 2011, 9:40 am

    Haha. I can’t believe people actually ask things like that! Too funny! 😛

  • Megan (Running Foodie) June 24, 2011, 9:41 am

    I’m a junior high English teacher and people always ask if I hate kids or if I hated English when I was a kid. WHAT?

  • Baking 'n' Books June 24, 2011, 9:41 am

    Ugh – you don’t want to know 😉

    Do you just leave the raspberries out in a container to defrost? In the fridge? I’d like to freeze more berries but find they get really watery and squishy for eating later…:(…good for baking muffins though 🙂

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 9:42 am

      Just put in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 24, 2011, 9:41 am

    LOL “is he Chinese?” That’s too funny… And I love your response that he know all the “ancient Chinese secrets” 🙂

    I’m Chinese and I really believe that Chinese medicine works, and goes beyond just surface treatments, or like you said, one size fits all.

  • TheHungeredOne @ MovingandMunching June 24, 2011, 9:41 am

    I coach. People always ask things like:
    “Do you really like kids?”
    “Have you ever done sports before?”
    and, my favorite:
    “When do you think my child will be ready to move up to the next level?” — this is always asked within the first week the child has ever done the sport. seriously.

  • Khushboo June 24, 2011, 9:41 am

    Haha when people ask me what I do, I give them the detailed description which seems to scare them off from asking further questions!

  • Andrea @ Onion in My Hair June 24, 2011, 9:42 am

    Too funny!

    This post reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is dating a woman named Donna Chang (really Changstein) and everyone is disappointed when they find out she’s not Chinese!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 24, 2011, 9:43 am

    LOL! That’s hilarious (but typical I suppose)! I’ve never tried Chinese herbs but I’d be interested to know about what they do and how people have benefited from them. I’m considering going to an osteopath regarding headaches I’ve been having… I’ve never really done much alternative medicine but it does interest me.

    Even though blogging isn’t my full time job (as much as I kind of wish it was some days!) my relatives and friends that aren’t familiar with the whole blog thing ask, “So food blogger.. does that mean you take pictures of your food all the time?” I usually respond, “Well… yep!” .. even though there’s SO much more to blogging than that!

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:37 am

      Oh man, I get the weirdest questions about being a blogger!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin June 24, 2011, 9:44 am

    Hahaha that is funny. Delicious looking breakfast! I have to get my hands on some of those sesame almonds.

  • Carrie S. June 24, 2011, 9:45 am

    I’m a radiographer (though looking into becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist :)) and I always have patients asking me if they can get “Ten wallet-sized, four 8X10s”, or “Since you’re around radiation are you going to give birth to a three headed baby?”, yadda yadda. My hubby is a software engineer and programs slot machines and he always (ALWAYS) gets asked “So, what’s the cheat code so I can win, hardy haaar”. It’s even annoying to me, he gets asked it so often.

  • Jazz June 24, 2011, 9:45 am

    Ugh, I’m a librarian and I get all kinds… so you check out books? (no)… or when they find out you need a Master’s to be a librarian – oh you have to go to school for that?

    • Dana P. June 24, 2011, 10:24 am

      Yes! Or my favorite, “i guess you really like to read” or “you get to read books all day.” I wish!!

      • Jazz June 24, 2011, 11:11 am

        Oh yeah! forgot that one… I usually say No, I don’t like reading.

    • sarah k. @ the pajama chef June 24, 2011, 12:53 pm

      ha i’m in library school right now and people are always like, you’re paying for THAT? 🙂 lol

    • Karen June 24, 2011, 1:21 pm

      I always get that one too. I just finished my degree and plan to work with youth in public libraries. We read but we also set up programs, write grants, order books, etc…

    • Theresa @ This is my Hungry Face June 24, 2011, 4:16 pm

      I’m a librarian, too! I get those same questions and find it so frustrating– I’m glad others can relate. I also get the question: “So what do you do all day once the books are back in order?” Yes, all I do all day is re-shelve books. 😉

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 24, 2011, 9:48 am

    That’s pretty funny that people ask. Does a name like Boyle really make them think he’d be Chinese?!
    Kind of similar to when I tell people my dad grew up in India (which he did until he was 18) but he’s not “Indian”. They are shocked and usually say “well what IS he”? haha Like other nationalities can’t live in the country or something.

  • Shenan June 24, 2011, 9:48 am

    This isn’t my current job, but in a former life as an archaeologist, the most common thing I think people always asked when they would walk by a dig site would be “Find any dinosaurs?!?”

    No. That’s what paleontologists do. We don’t dig up dinosaurs! 😛

  • Kristy @ Kristyruns.com June 24, 2011, 9:49 am

    As a geologist, I have drill the soil to collect groundwater samples. People always come up to me and ask if I am drilling for oil or if I have found any fish. Lol! Everytime.

  • Aimee June 24, 2011, 9:50 am

    The “is he Asian” comment cracked me up. My son’s name is Carlos and people always ask if he is Spanish even though I am not nor is my husband.

    I enjoy your discussions on herbal medicine and acupuncture. Both are areas I would love to learn more about.

  • Kristine June 24, 2011, 9:52 am

    I’m studying audiology so I get a lot of funny questions. Usually I clarify and say “like hearing, and hearing aids.” One time something thought I just said “aids” and asked me all sorts of questions thinking I worked with aids patients! He was all concerned like “isn’t that scary? wow that sounds like an intense job.” HAAA!

    • Jessica June 24, 2011, 11:17 am

      I’m studying audiology too! I usually just tell people that I’m a doctor that treats hearing problems. Or people will ask if I just sit there and do hearing tests all day, because that is most people’s experience with audiologists.

      • Kristine June 24, 2011, 11:49 am

        ahh exciting! That’s funny, I get that a lot too. I’m usually like “its more complicated then it seems” because it really is! Where do you go to school? And what year are you in? I’m going to be a fourth year!

        • Jessica June 24, 2011, 11:58 am

          I’m starting my first year at UConn in the fall. I was actually at UMass Amherst too this past year taking post-bac classes!

        • Kristine June 24, 2011, 12:04 pm

          that’s awesome! Congrats on Uconn! I’m sure you will love it! Don’t let the first year stress dissuade you!

        • Kristine June 24, 2011, 12:07 pm

          You should email me or comment on my blog if you have any questions or anything! 🙂

  • Meari June 24, 2011, 9:52 am

    I’m the History Department Secretary for the College of William and Mary. I’m forever getting calls wherein people ask me about random Williamsburg-centered historical bits. And they are upset when I personally can’t answer the question. I’m just the secretary!!

    I also get people that can’t get professors to contact them back. Well, if they won’t answer your calls and emails.. and won’t answer mine… should I use smoke signals next? How about telepathy or carrier pigeons?

    • Dana P. June 24, 2011, 10:25 am

      Yeah history & Virginia! I was a history major at Mary Washington!

  • Nadine June 24, 2011, 9:56 am

    I work in product management in marketing. So when I say I’m in marketing and manage cameras….they think I assemble or repair cameras. No so much! Now I work in medical products (still marketing). When I say I’m going to X hospital tomorrow, everyone asks if I’m OK. Yep, I’m fine, I’m just going to talk to the surgeon/doctor.

  • @HilaryFleming @healthgirltv June 24, 2011, 9:56 am

    I dig Chinese medicine. I wish you guys lived in CA so I could be your client. I need to get my hands on some anti-angst herbs (must be all this blogging…it keeps you up at night, doesn’t it?)
    Weird job comment…I used to dance/teach/choreograph ballroom dance professionally before I became a mommy (I still do occasionally, I guess). Speaking of Asians, most of my students were Asian (usually immigrants from Taiwan or China). They would always ask if I was dating my dance partner, and then women would bluntly ask how my sex life was…

  • Sarah June 24, 2011, 10:00 am

    Hahaha oh wow. I can’t believe they ask if he’s asian? What does that even mean? How is that relevant? People are ridiculous sometimes.

  • Kathryn June 24, 2011, 10:00 am

    In high school I used to nanny during the summer, and a few times I would get asked by other parents, “How do you get your son to behave so well?” or “What school do your kids go to?” I had to laugh that people sometimes assumed that, at 17 years old, I would have a five year old.

  • Kate June 24, 2011, 10:02 am

    I work at a library, so I’m often asked odd questions. I was asked once why the city crews were out cleaning some public land. I was like “I don’t know that! Let me give you their phone number and you can all the department and ask yourself.”

  • kwithme June 24, 2011, 10:03 am

    I am computer engineer and I used to consult before I had kids. The comment I usually got was “I wish I was as comfortable with computers as you are”. Generally, I would answer, “Don’t feel bad, it only took 7 years of school (bachelors and masters) and 8 years experience to get here”. The other is that everyone asks me about their virus or malware programs. Can’t help you there. I write software, I am not a sys admin.

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:38 am

      Oh man I bet you get asked to fix viruses ALL THE TIME.


    • Stephanie C June 24, 2011, 8:24 pm

      My husband is a software engineer and he gets those sorts of questions ALL the time!

  • Rachel June 24, 2011, 10:03 am

    I’m a public defender, which means many of my clients ask: 1) Are you a real lawyer? Yes! 2) Don’t you work for the cops? No! And non-clients ask: 1) But aren’t all of your clients guilty? No! And that’s not really the point either. And, my favorite, 2) But how can you live with yourself, defending rapists and murderers? Well, that’s a longer answer, but I do manage to live with myself just fine.

    • Natalie June 24, 2011, 12:01 pm

      OMG I’m a PD too!!!!! I get asked those same questions all the time. I expect the “how can you live with yourself” but I was most surprised with the questions from clients like “are you a real lawyer” and once I was asked, I hope it’s because I look youns, “when will you graduate from law school” and “how old are you”. How old am I? What???

    • Katie June 24, 2011, 12:20 pm

      I’m a licensed attorney and people always assume a) ooh you might be really smart (I’d like to think so, but no – not all of us are, including me at times!) and b) ooh you must make a lot of money!! (HA)

    • Allison June 24, 2011, 2:31 pm

      Ah I am a PD too!! I get asked how old I am all the time. My favorite was when my friend’s father asked, “how great does it feel to lock people up?!” I was like, “ummmmm wrong side.”

      Too funny!

  • Maddie June 24, 2011, 10:04 am

    I’m dying about the “is he Chinese” question. That is hilarious.

  • Amy June 24, 2011, 10:05 am

    Haha. I’m a social worker and I get asked all kinds of questions about how lazy/unmotivated/stupid/undeserving my welfare-receiving clients must be. It’s so frustrating! I wind up giving a long lecture about the intricacies of public benefits which tends to shut them up. 🙂

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:38 am

      Social workers ROCK.

      • Amy June 24, 2011, 1:57 pm

        Thanks! 🙂 I love what I do.

    • Gloria June 24, 2011, 5:58 pm

      Yay, I’m a social worker too! I work for a case management program for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Some people ask if I’m nervous to work with HIV+ people, as if I’m going to catch it by sitting next to them. Most people are pretty supportive though.

  • Christine June 24, 2011, 10:06 am

    I’m a teacher- people want to know if I like kids. I tell them no.

  • Jen June 24, 2011, 10:09 am

    I’m jealous that your husband is an herbalist and acupuncturist. I would love to have a live-in expert on natural medicine. Do you two incorporate any particular herbs into the foods you eat? Or are they hardly effective unless in a very concentrated form (like pills)? I’m curious to know which herbs can help with anxiety.

    • Cindy Robinson June 24, 2011, 10:43 am

      Me too! I’ve been on medication for about a year or so. But was just thinking this morning how I would like to try to naturally remedy my angst.

      • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:40 am

        You would really have to speak to a herbalist yourself to get a ‘scription for a herb. There really is no one size fits all approach to this.

        In terms of herbs for eating, there are definitely herbs you can add to your diet to help with your health, like ginger if you have ‘cold’ problems with you qi.

  • Lindsey June 24, 2011, 10:09 am

    I just always get people saying how they would love my job and how much fun it would be! I am a Events Coordinator so people think my job is one big party! haha. It is a fun job but I wouldn’t call it a party 😉

  • Emma June 24, 2011, 10:11 am

    I’m in training to become a therapist/social worker and people often (very often) ask me if I can read their minds. It would make my job a lot easier if I could!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 24, 2011, 10:13 am

    When I tell people I’m a yoga teacher they often ask me if I can put my leg behind my head, lol! I’m like…ummm…no?! 😛 xyx

  • Stacy June 24, 2011, 10:14 am

    I’m a Social Worker so people always ask me if I take away kids or “hand out buckets of money to poor people” (seriously?!). I actually work with kids with Autism…

    • Amy June 24, 2011, 2:02 pm

      Haha I get those questions too but I’m in the hand-out-buckets-of-$$-to-poor-people club. I have to explain to them that it’s not that simple and it’s CERTAINLY not a handout!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews June 24, 2011, 10:15 am

    That’s so crazy that they ask if he’s Chinese! Who cares what race he is!

  • Susan June 24, 2011, 10:16 am

    Wait – you can’t get me drugs? Then why am I here?

    My job isn’t that exciting but the product my company does is. We make a virtual world – basically, people log in to our service and they can socialize and create amazing, beautiful art. Everything in our world is made by our residents which means that there are just incredible, incredible pieces of art. It also means that there are flying penises. Penii?

    • Stephanie C June 24, 2011, 8:26 pm

      This is an amazing comment 🙂

  • Emily @ Run Emily Run June 24, 2011, 10:16 am

    I’m in a program for culinary arts and health right now, and one of the theories I come across often is that vitamins and minerals taken as isolated supplements are ineffective because they are fractured, and may in fact cause an increase in appetite as the body searches for the rest of the food. For example, a vitamin A is absorbed better when ingested as a carrot, and when taken as a pill the body wants to know where the heck the rest of the carrot is.

    I imagine taking herbs doesn’t have this effect because they’re actually whole foods. Is this true? Do you take vitamin supplements too, or just herbs?

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:41 am

      Yea, isolated fragment vitamins are crap. All the vitamins that I take are whole food supplements, that’s all we sell at the clinic. Yup, I take vitamins in addition to herbs. I take a Vitamin D and B supplement as well as other stuff, too!

  • Mia June 24, 2011, 10:16 am

    I’m getting my PhD in Psychology and Statistics and when people hear that either: 1. ask my to analyze them (because of the psychology part), evern though I’m not getting a clinical degree… and 2. ask strange questions about stats…I can’t specifically think of one, but most people have no idea what statistics is about.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 24, 2011, 10:17 am

    That is really obnoxious that people ask about his ethnicity/race. I can understand the questions related to details of what he does, how he was educated, etc. because people want to understand, but really, it doesn’t matter if he is white, black, or purple.

    I’m a nuclear engineer, so I get the most bizarre questions around.
    “Aren’t you worried about not being able to have babies?” (no because I don’t plan to, and because I am exposed to almost no occupational radiation)
    “Is your job like Homer Simpson’s?” (yes. obviously.)
    “Where can you even go to school for that?” (MIT. Yes, I’m smarter than you, now go away)
    “Do you work with bombs?” (Not anymore. It got kind of boring about 5 years after the Manhattan project wrapped up)
    “There must not be many women in that field.” (Correct)
    “That must make it easy for you to get a job, right?” (Well, my three degrees from MIT might do that, but being female, no, not so much)
    “Can you help me fix my refrigerator?” (yes. because that’s what I learned about in neutron physics)

    • Natalie June 24, 2011, 12:06 pm

      This was AWESOME. “Is your job like Homer Simpson’s?” (yes. obviously)

    • Cynthia (It All Changes) June 24, 2011, 4:18 pm

      Victoria you are awesome! I love your answer about MIT being where you studied 🙂

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith June 24, 2011, 10:17 am

    When people hear I’m a minister they usually start to get awkward and tell me why they don’t go to church. I should write on the back of my business cards, “I’m not going to judge you!”

  • Emily June 24, 2011, 10:22 am

    I’m a pastor so I get questions like…..

    So, can you get married? (Yes, Im not a nun)

    They let girls be pastors? (Yup! It’d be hard to be one if they didn’t)

    What kind of degree do you need for that? (Undergrad and Masters of Divinity)

    Oh, like in Harry Porter? (Ugh, Im done!)


  • Ali June 24, 2011, 10:22 am

    The “Is he Chinese?!” thing is SO funny! My mom is a occupational therapist, which is someone who makes adaptions to the world so disabled people can live more comfortably. You even need a Masters degree and whatnot, but SO many people say “So, like, do you help people find jobs and stuff?” when she says she’s an OT 😉

  • Stephanie Clement June 24, 2011, 10:26 am

    Well this isn’t my job, per se, but it’s/was my daily living. I just graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (YEAHHHH represent) as a linguistics major. Whenever people heard that, and didn’t know about it, the number one question that would fly out of their mouth was “WHOA! How many languages do you speak?!?”. Answer: two. Linguistics work with the THEORY of languages and their universal innate function as an aspect of our biology. However, many of us graduate with very bizarre functioning knowledge of random facts of other languages. For example, many of us know a lot about the genderization in Bantu languages or the de-voicing of vowels in Japanese…we just simply can’t [fluently] speak them! 🙂

    rant over :)d

    • Aimee June 24, 2011, 10:59 am

      Yeah UMass Amherst! I graduated many moons ago though. Congratulations on your degree! I had a good friend who received a bachelor’s in cognitive psych from UMass and eventually went on to pursue a doctorate in Psycholinguistics at another university. I was able to participate in some of her experiments while at UMass. Very interesting. Good luck to you.

      • Stephanie Clement June 24, 2011, 11:11 am

        Thank you!! My fiancee graduated from UMass with a psychology degree with a heavy concentration in linguistics…he will do the same thing as your friend. Ahh such pride 🙂

    • Jessica June 24, 2011, 11:26 am

      I was an undergrad linguistics major at Georgetown, and got all of those questions too! I would also get the “So you want to be a translator?” or “Do you want to teach languages?” Nope!

      Btw, I ended up doing a post-bac year at UMass Amherst in communication disorders and ended up in an audiology program!

      • Stephanie Clement June 24, 2011, 12:34 pm

        OMGosh too funny!!1 Did you know ‘my girl’ (as in, love her to death) Francis Burns?? My fiancee and I are moving to San Diego so he can do his doctorate in PsychoLing and I am planning on doing a bacc. then going into Speech and Language pathology! I LOVE LINGUISTICS!! <3

    • Krystina (Organically Me) June 24, 2011, 4:02 pm

      I went to UMass too! I didn’t know there were many of us in the blog world. 😛

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me June 24, 2011, 10:26 am

    I work at a small company that no one knows so I hate when people ask me where I work. It’s always the same ole uhhh a small company in blah blah town. Then what do you do there? Product Development. Oh. Yea.

    Just feels awkward!

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) June 24, 2011, 10:27 am

    Ha ha…! I went to a few Asian herbalists in my time, so I guess I can’t be surprised at that question.

    I concur with Mia above. I have a PhD in a psychology field, and I often get comments like, “Don’t analyze me!” I’ve received a few requests for referrals to my more qualified friends, though. 😉

  • seegirlsmile June 24, 2011, 10:29 am

    I like that breakfast bowl. I like to add chia seeds and a huge dollop of nut butter to early morning cereal bowls.

    Any recommendations for anxiety relief? Without seeing a natural medicine doctor?

  • alexe June 24, 2011, 10:31 am

    When people ask me what I do for a leaving, my short answer is always : “I work in television production” but it’s inevitably followed by “Oh, can I see you on TV?”. Nope, no way. I work behind the camera. “Ok, well, maybe one day you’ll get there.” What??? I’m not a TV director because I can’t be in front of the camera, I’m directing because I LIKE directing… Geez!

  • Allie Q (Fit Geek) June 24, 2011, 10:36 am

    Well, I work at a porn company so I get all kinds of weird questions. Most people assume that going to work for me is like going to a strip club. When in reality it’s pretty mundane. I mean, I work in a cubicle. I just happen to be looking at naked people all day 😛

    By the way, are there any herbs/natural remedies you can recommend for insomnia? My boyfriend has trouble sleeping. And when he has trouble sleeping…I have trouble sleeping -_-

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:43 am

      Hey Allie 🙂

      There is no one size-fits-all approach with herbs, but its something that I can just say, oh, take this, it will work for everyone. But if your boyfriend is interested, the Husband does e-consults! Just let me know.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair June 24, 2011, 10:37 am

    I don’t know why I find this post so hilarious. Maybe because it’s early. But I am actually laughing SO HARD right now. I am also now watching that seinfeld clip linked to above and laughing SO HARD at it.

  • Allie June 24, 2011, 10:37 am

    I work at a milkshake shop part time until I return to graduate school in the fall. I get asked all of the time “do your milkshakes bring all of the boys to the yard?” ugh.

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:44 am


    • Victoria (District Chocoholic) June 24, 2011, 4:52 pm

      That’s when you need to look at them and say “WOW you are DEFINITELY the first person who has EVER made that joke” to make them feel like the jerk they are.

  • Cindy June 24, 2011, 10:39 am

    When I was teaching full time I would ALWAYS get the comment that I am overpaid for only working 9 months a year. I would like to see those people try teaching in a middle school for one day and see if they think they get paid enough. I have also only taught in private schools or as a sub, so I KNOW I haven’t made nearly as much as I am worth (especially now with Masters #2 on the way!)

    • Stephanie C June 24, 2011, 8:31 pm

      My sister in law got her credential recently and I have to say KUDOS to all the teachers out there – she is at a year round school and hardly ever gets to take a break. And when she DOES get one.. she is working on an MA! Most people don’t know teacher’s are STILL working after school and often at home.

  • Lizzie June 24, 2011, 10:39 am

    I work at Walmart part time over the summer. People don’t usually ask me questions…they just look at me with pity. LOL

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:45 am


  • lisa June 24, 2011, 10:40 am

    I am a teacher, and even though it isn’t a question, the number one statement people make (mostly guys) when they find out I am a teacher is “Wow, I wish my 5th grade teacher looked like you. The boys must all love you”. So ridiculous!

    • Hannah @ theflexitarianeater June 24, 2011, 10:48 am

      hahah I wish I had a “like” button for this. (not for the annoyance you have to go through, of course)

    • Mina June 24, 2011, 12:13 pm

      omg, i just posted below practically the same thing. i’m an academic librarian and have gotten a similar response. so annoying!


  • Kris @ tryingtotri June 24, 2011, 10:41 am

    LOL… too funny! My husband thinks even yoga and massage therapy are 1 step away from voodoo, so Chinese medicine and acupuncture would freak him right out!

    I’m a casino manager (I was an accountant in a former life), and my favourite question is: which machines pay out best? My answer? The only machine guaranteed to pay out is the ATM. 😉 And while you don’t have to have a Masters to do the job, my MBA comes in handy!

    The questions/lectures I hate are the moral ones. I don’t have a problem with where I work, thank you, and if you do, please, feel free to not come! I don’t judge you for your job…

  • Hannah @ theflexitarianeater June 24, 2011, 10:46 am

    well I’m a student, so I don’t really have a “real” job, but when people find out that I go to Stanford, I always get similar responses:
    “wow, so are you really smart or something?”
    “well I guess you didn’t do too poorly in high school!” (usually said with plenty of sarcasm).
    “oh, well look at you!” (usually said with even more sarcasm).

    AGHHHH I hate it! How on earth do you respond to any of those kinds of questions/comments?
    Actually, seriously. If any HTP readers have any advice for how to respond, I would more than welcome your suggestions!

    • Jessica June 24, 2011, 11:32 am

      I get the same type of comments having graduated from Georgetown, especially around people with no college education. I usually just try to brush it off and say something about how challenging it is and how there are so many people smarter than me there. Not sure if that’s the right thing to say, but people don’t usually question it.

    • Kate June 24, 2011, 12:13 pm

      Have you ever seen Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion?

      I’m a big fan of when people get sarcastic or snide about something I am proud of acting a little bit like Lisa Kudrow when shes confident about herself no matted the circumstance.

      For example ‘Oh look at you..’ *dripping with sarcasm
      ‘I know right!’ *said loudly with utter self-confidence and a big smile

      Ok so in the movie it really goes…
      R: We look hot tonight
      M: I know right!…That doesn’t make us conceited does it?
      R: No we’re just being honest

      Somehow – at least with people I know, it almost puts them at ease…

      • elaine! June 24, 2011, 1:51 pm

        +1! That’s awesome. Everyone should embrace their epicness. 🙂

    • Katie June 24, 2011, 12:25 pm

      I agree about being proud of it – no shame, and don’t let them make you feel ‘bad’ for your opportunities! I would probably say something along those lines – I worked hard to get there and I’m lucky to have such a great opportunity. Or, shorter – I worked for it!!

    • The Healthy Engineer June 24, 2011, 12:37 pm

      Usually there will always be SOME reaction or the other to the college you go to. When I was deciding where to go last year, one of my options was Cal which seemed like the obvious option to many people since it was the highest ranked out of my other options.

      And when people hear that I didn’t choose Berkeley, then I get this look which basically is saying “that girl is crazy”.

      I used to get annoyed but now I really don’t care what others think about my choice, because I know I made the right one.

      Plus, I get comments about be a genius from birth when I say my major is engineering!

      Maybe it’s just how I am, but just go with the flow.

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife June 24, 2011, 10:54 am

    Well, as a structural engineer, I try to gage my audiences interest and knowledge of the subject before I delve too deep into what I do. If I talk too in depth, people get a blank stare on their face.
    What has been interesting is that much of the work I do involves determining seismic (earthquake) loads on nuclear power plants. After the earthquake in Japan, it became much more relavant to everyday life.

  • Kelly June 24, 2011, 10:55 am

    I work in a cancer research lab and while there are many questions about what exactly I do and all sorts of questions about cancer, probably the question I get the most is “Do you wear a lab coat?” I think people just don’t want to hear about science!

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset June 24, 2011, 10:55 am

    Hhahaa this is a great post! I am an RA at school so people ask me all of the time if I am a full time babysitter for 18 year olds. This is not that funny, but I get this question regularly!

    • Kate June 24, 2011, 11:24 am

      Aww I miss being an RA – great gig in school.

  • Caryln June 24, 2011, 10:56 am

    People never ask weird questions about my job, but when I was in college they would ask weird questions about my major (Exercise Physiology). Like, “Oh cool, so you are going to be a P.E. teacher??!!” Um no…if I was going to be a P.E. teacher, my major would be P.E….

  • Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! June 24, 2011, 10:59 am

    I work in admissions in an elementary school. The most common question people ask me, “So, you have to APPLY to kindergarten?? How does a 5-year-old APPLY to kindergarten?” I know it sounds silly, but we have designed a fairly rigorous and standards-based test for admissions to kindergarten. It’s a strange job but I love it!

  • Lauren June 24, 2011, 11:02 am

    That is funny about your husband…one of those stereotypes I suppose about the job. When I tell people I work at NOAA they start asking me all types of weather questions and I keep telling them that I know nothing about the weather because that isn’t the part of NOAA I work for but they don’t seem to care :).

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries June 24, 2011, 11:03 am

    I’d love to see a blog post about Chinese herbs! I’m so interested but do not want to take anything without knowing more about them.

    I work in clothing production for a dress company assisting the designers and ordering fabrics for samples to be made. However, everyone seems to think I’M the designer. “So like you design these dresses?!” If only it were that easy to be head designer of a company at age 24 😉 Haha.

  • michelle June 24, 2011, 11:03 am

    I’ve never really gotten funny questions about my job (early childhood educator / English teacher) but with my husband in the Army, I’ve gotten a lot of really stupid and downright rude and mean questions like “so… how do you feel knowing your husband has killed people?”

  • Katy Widrick June 24, 2011, 11:04 am

    My brother — born to two caucasian parents — ALWAYS gets asked if he’s asian. Bizarre!

    People have a hard time understanding what I do (TV Producer), but then again, I have a hard time explaining it! I think that the thing that surprises people the most is that, at least in daily newscasts, the anchors rarely write ANY of their own copy and often come in just an hour before the newscast starts.

  • alison June 24, 2011, 11:11 am

    I’m a stay at home mom, so I often get asked “so what do you do all day?”

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:45 am

      I also get that question as a stay-at-home blogger 🙂

      • alison June 24, 2011, 12:55 pm

        Really? Then they must not read your blog, because you certainly stay pretty busy! 😉

        • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 1:01 pm

          Being a blogger/writer is REALLY AWESOME and I love it, but there is a huge misconception that it is easy and I only work like, 5 hours a week. LOL! I wish! It’s just like any job – there are awesome things and not so awesome things, and some very time-consuming things, too. That’s prob what people think when you say you’re a SAHM – that you just like, sit around and watch your kids all day. uh NO. it’s a lot harder than that! I think many jobs seem easier on outside. 🙂 That’s life I guess.

  • Sarah for Real June 24, 2011, 11:12 am

    My title is technically “intern” architect so people always ask me if I’m in school. It’s not like THAT kind of internship, it’s more like an apprenticeship. Then they want to know how long it takes before I get my license. Blah blah blah… Sometimes it’s easier to just say I’m an Architect but then I’d be half-lying.

    So then 80% of people go, “I always wanted to be an architect when I was growing up.” Um, ok. Sorry you didn’t fulfill your dream. What do I say to that?!

    The other 20% just tell me they know an architect and try to figure out if we know each other because obviously there are only like, 4 architects in this whole big city and I’d definitely know them because I’ve been doing this for all of 3 years. Sigh.

    This is why I’m terrible at small talk. Never take me to a cocktail party. So awkward.

  • delia June 24, 2011, 11:14 am

    I’m curious to know: which herbs help with anxiety and can you get them at regular drugstores? Thanks!

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:48 am

      Nope, you def cannot get them at a drug store. You would really have to speak to a herbalist yourself to get a ’scription for a herb. There really is no one size fits all approach to this. The husband does do econsults though if youre interested!

  • run run rachel June 24, 2011, 11:16 am

    I’m an accountant

    I’m either looked at like “oh you’re too young to be doing that” or “that sounds horrible”

    I’m almost always asked if i like doing taxes. *not all accountants do taxes – i actually make sure the manufacturing plants’ numbers are reporting correctly and do root cause.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 24, 2011, 11:19 am

    Heh! I am a fitness instructor and personal health coach. Most people ask me what they should eat and how to work out best to lose weight…… And usually I can give them some pointers, but there is no ONE thing that works for everyone! So that is a hard one to answer. Ha.

  • Kristen @ Random Ramblings June 24, 2011, 11:19 am

    I’m a Speech-Language Pathologist… which, in and of itself, is too ‘complicated’ for people to understand…so it usually becomes speech therapist… and I could go on and on with the things people ask me!

    Here’s how most conversations go once I get past the initial clarification of my title…

    1. Oh, so you work with kids who can’t say their R’s? Well yes, among other things… swallowing, feeding, language delays, Autism, voice, stuttering, adult brain injuries/strokes…

    2. Can you fix him/her? Umm… your child is not BROKEN! But I can definitely do the best I can to help them work on things that are difficult for them.

    3. OHHHH, I know this kid who… (continue on into some long story)

    I don’t think most people realize the scope/extent of what we do, which is really frustrating. I don’t JUST work on R’s. In fact, I don’t work with them at all because I work with preschoolers and that’s not developmentally appropriate 😉

  • Kate June 24, 2011, 11:21 am

    I get comments mostly about where I work and what I do.

    You work at _____. Do you play video games all day? No I have a job to do.

    Whats that? Internal Auditor.

    Oh like taxes? No, not like taxes.

    Can you help me do my taxes? No.

    Why not I thought auditors knew taxes? I’m and Internal Auditor – not IRS, and I use turbo tax so that shows you how much I remember from 2 semesters of tax in college.

    • Jessica June 24, 2011, 5:29 pm

      Sounds very familiar! (See comment 112).

  • Lara June 24, 2011, 11:26 am

    I’m getting a PhD in neuroscience and people always think I’m a medical doctor or a psychologist, which I am neither!

  • Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl June 24, 2011, 11:27 am

    haha funny! People always ask me the same question: “So, what exactly IS PR?”

  • Ellen June 24, 2011, 11:27 am

    I was working with a Chinese acupuncturist for a while (who really didn’t speak much English and wrote her notes about me in Chinese!) so while it is cringe-inducing, I understand why people may ask. She gave me weekly bags of twigs and bark bits (“herbs”) that I had to boil twice, strain and drink hot. It was the most disgusting thing I have ever consumed, made me totally nauseous and the whole house stink. I have a gag reflux of steel, but this was too much. Pills sound so much better.

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 11:48 am

      Pills > tea

  • Jill Will Run June 24, 2011, 11:28 am

    I am in charge of a university’s website… and the most common question I get is, “So what do you do most of the day, after you do some web stuff? That can’t possibly be enough work for all day!”

    My husband gets the same stuff as Kate, he is an auditor and people always want him to help him with taxes. He’s not a tax accountant, he’s an auditor!

  • Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 24, 2011, 11:33 am

    I really need to go to a Herbalist to talk about my migranes…it’s not good to take so much Tylenol! Those questions are too funny

  • Jess June 24, 2011, 11:33 am

    I get the same question with my current job as I did when I was in school getting my degree.

    I have a math degree, so everyone always assumed I would become a teacher. Now that I work for a University (not teaching!), people still assume I’m a teacher. It is however great for store discounts 🙂

  • zoe (and the beatles) June 24, 2011, 11:35 am

    mmm, i work at REI so i don’t really get any funny questions! at least not yet 🙂 BUT do your herbs really make a difference for you? i mean, do you sleep more soundly and feel less anxious? those sound exactly like the issues i struggle with! especially sleeping!

  • Hillary June 24, 2011, 11:36 am

    I’m a teacher, and I almost always hear, “Do you like kids?”

    No. I just chose to work with them for nine hours each day. I mean, really?!

  • Taysa June 24, 2011, 11:42 am

    “Can you get my book published?”

    I work in book publishing, but no, I cannot and do not want to publish your book.

  • Jessica June 24, 2011, 11:54 am

    I’m in grad school, but I waitress part-time at a comedy club. People always ask if I ever go and do stand-up. I am not funny at all, and they don’t just let anyone who works there go up and tell jokes!

    My boyfriend is an electrical engineer for the power company around here, and people always ask him if he can get them a discount on their electric bills…it doesn’t work like that!

    • Charise June 24, 2011, 12:48 pm

      My husband is an electrical engineer for the R&D division of an automaker, and people always ask if he can get them a discount on cars and power equiment! (the answer is actually that WE can get a discount, and in some cases other immediate family, but that’s it)

  • Lindsay June 24, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I’m a dietitian! I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, wait isn’t that scientology? I always have to say no that’s dianetics, not dietetics.

  • Carly June 24, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I am a mentoring coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and people are constantly asking if I get paid. Sometimes I want to let them think that yes, I dedicate 40-50 hours of my week for free.
    Non-profit does not equal staff not being paid!

  • Mina June 24, 2011, 12:11 pm

    People don’t ask me questions, I just always get a funny look and this response (I’m an academic librarian) “you don’t look like a librarian”. Always makes me nuts! the other good one was “if librarians looked like you when i was in school……” and then he never finished and i wanted to say, really? what exactly would have been different. but i kept my mouth closed and walked away.

    Anyways, what herbs do you take for sleeping? I am a horrible sleeper – maybe 3 – 4 hours a night. I would love to find something natural, I refuse to take rx sleep meds.


    • Karen June 24, 2011, 1:06 pm

      I just finished my Master’s Degree in Youth Librarianship and currently work in an academic library. People always ask, “You need a Master’s for that?” Yumm, yes you do.

    • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles June 24, 2011, 2:03 pm

      Bwahahaha, I’m a middle school teacher librarian and I get the same comments. Especially the, “wow, you’re really young to be a librarian” one. Or “you’re too cool to be a librarian” one.

    • Theresa @ This is my Hungry Face June 24, 2011, 4:35 pm

      I’m starting a position as a librarian at a private Catholic high school this fall. I have a feeling I’m going to get a lot of these responses there, too.

  • Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) June 24, 2011, 12:17 pm

    It must be really AWESOME to have a husband that can whip up an individualized herbal concoction for you whenever you need it!!

    I work as a Registered Dietitian and people always ask if:

    1) I only eat tofu and wheat grass (uhhh… NO!)
    2) If its really hard for me to eat out in restaurants (uhh… NO!)
    3. If I ever miss eating fast food (Uhhhhh.. NO NO NO!)

    I enjoy chatting, for HOURS, about food and health. I find that most people simply have NO clue what to eat or how to eat. They simply stick with the same ‘food groups’: Pizza, hotdogs, fr chicken, burgers (AKA the ‘crap’ food group). Its fun, and challenging, to try and introduce people to new foods and to encourage them to ‘think outside the box’.

  • Charise June 24, 2011, 12:25 pm

    No strange questions, I just get the hilarious comment “oh that sounds interesting!” all the time when I say I work in science publishing … um, no, I am a technical editor, that means at least 75% of my day is spent copy editing peer-reviewed science research articles. At least the remaining 25% is spent on assorted more-brain-power-requiring projects and organization/logistics mgmt (which my type A self loves!)

  • Katie June 24, 2011, 12:28 pm

    As a lawyer, people think I know everything about every area of law and can help them (for free, of course) with every legal question they have! Oh, and that I’m overpaid. 😛

  • Stacy June 24, 2011, 12:29 pm

    I work for a humane society and am always asked “How do you not take them all home?” Obviously, if I took them all home….I would be a hoarder. They also always say, “I could never do that, it would be too hard.” Well, if it was too hard for everyone, no one would take care of all of the homeless pets. It’s an awesome job though, nothing beats having kittens playing in front of your desk on a daily basis.

  • Annie June 24, 2011, 12:40 pm

    I’m a ballerina, so the typical conversation goes like this: “Oh, so you’re like in school or something then.” “No, it’s my job.” “But I don’t understand, what do you really do?” “I get paid to perform ballet. That’s what I really do” “So what do you do all day long?” “Rehearse and perform.” “How’s the pay for that, maybe I should try doing that….sounds easy!” “Yeah, do that. Let me know how it turns out.” Grrrr. But I have yet to be asked if I’m Chinese 😉

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 12:58 pm

      you’re a professional ballerina? so cool! 🙂 i love ballet.

      • Annie June 25, 2011, 3:00 am

        Thanks, it’s always great to hear that someone actually appreciates it 🙂 And I looove your blog! My roommate and I are inspired by all your fabulous recipes! And my body definitely appreciates acupuncture! Yay! Ha Ha!

        • Caitlin June 25, 2011, 11:03 am

          thank you so much 🙂

  • Catherine@happinessafterheartache June 24, 2011, 12:42 pm

    Good info! The weirdest question I get is if I like my job. I’m a teacher – I think I should! If not, maybe I should start looking into something else. Working with young people is definitely something that you have to like in order to keep doing it, I think.

  • Rachelle Mullins June 24, 2011, 12:49 pm

    Oh my goodness I’m still in school but I get the funniest questions about my major/internship. I’m a public planning, policy, and management major. A small program at a big university.
    “Oh I didn’t think that had that here?” (well yes. yes they do)
    “So are you going to be a party planner?” (I get this one so often I don’t know where people get it from.)
    “Are you going to be a politician?” (No)
    My concentrations are in transportation and community development and seriously all everyone asks me when I say that is “Are you going to be a bus driver?” (Yes. I’m planning on being a bus driver and I getting a masters for funnsies.)

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 12:59 pm


    • Allie June 24, 2011, 1:39 pm

      I am going to school for the same thing, I get the party planner question a lot too! My undergrad was in Urban Studies and I was asked if I learned about “the hood.” Where are you studying at?

  • Amber K June 24, 2011, 12:53 pm

    Wow, people are so insane! Reading over these comments makes me really concerned about the state of humanity, lol.

  • Brenda June 24, 2011, 1:06 pm

    I am so surprised that you suffer from anxiety with all that you accomplish! I also suffer from anxiety. For the last 2 months, I have been experiencing numbness in many different areas of my body. My doctor says it’s anxiety and wants to put me on a daily prescription. I really don’t want to make that commitment. My chiropractor suggested neuro ease. Have you ever heard of that? I have also heard that passionflower tea helps.

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 1:58 pm

      Ugh, numbness sounds terrible. I haven’t heard of either but I guess it’s always worth a shot if your doctor is okay with it!

  • Katie June 24, 2011, 1:12 pm

    I work in a classified environment. People always ask me if I spy on them in their backyard. My answer: You aren’t that interesting!

    • elaine! June 24, 2011, 1:46 pm

      It’s totally begging for the reply, “Sorry, that’s classified.”

  • Ashley @ the fit academic June 24, 2011, 1:29 pm

    I’m in Psychology. I don’t get it much anymore but when I was in undergrad people would ALWAYS ask, “Oh, so are you psychoanalyzing me?” It gets old, people!!!

  • elaine! June 24, 2011, 1:43 pm

    “Is he Asian?” LOL. I used to do henna body art, and while I never experienced this, a lot of my friends would get middle eastern clients who were dubious/offended when they found out my friends weren’t also middle eastern. Because white girls can’t henna. Or something.

    In the U.S., your hubby’s going to have a leg up because of his accent. It’s dumb, but having a British accent (or, alternately, wearing glasses) makes people assume that you’re smarter. The lab coat helps too!

  • Amanda June 24, 2011, 1:49 pm

    I am a Pedi ICU nurse and people are always asking me if it is hard seeing all the little babies/kids sick. Well if it was hard I wouldn’t have done it for 10 years!

    I get acupuncture and people are always asking if the person I go to is chinese. No she looks like me, blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin!!!

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt June 24, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I’ve been thinking of calling to make an appointment for acupuncture. When I do, I’ll be sure to ask a ridiculous question or two. 😉

  • Robyn June 24, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I’m an event planner & people always ask if I host amazing parties. Actually, I don’t really ever do it! I like to let someone else take the reigns from time to time. Also, they always think I’m going to judge their parties. No way! I’m just happy to not be shleping the food! 🙂

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles June 24, 2011, 2:00 pm

    LOL @is he Asian?

    I’m a teacher, so the questions/comments I get are usually rude. My least favorite: must be nice to get the summers off (not true, have to take classes, keep up on licensure, teach summer school, etc.),

    The hubs is a lawyer, so I get a lot of “why do you work,” or “you must be rich” comments. Also not true…apparently people haven’t heard of student loan debt. Or that if you aren’t one of those fancy schmancy lawyers in a big arse firm in NY or LA you don’t actually earn ridiculous sums of money.

  • Rebecca @ How the Cookie's Crumble June 24, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Have you seen the documentary Food Matters? There’s a whole part about people who have treat cancer with large doses of vitamins. Pretty interesting! The documentary was not what I thought it was going to be but I thought parts of it were very interesting, particularly treating depression with B-3!

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 2:33 pm

      I really want to see that!

  • skinnyrunner June 24, 2011, 2:46 pm

    if i know Sarah Palin… I’m from Alaska but it’s kinda a big state…

  • Cellabella June 24, 2011, 2:57 pm

    I love the whole Asian questions!! Being a Chinese girl myself, I get asked lots of questions or received surprised statements based on assumptions too – “Oh, your husband’s not Chinese?” – No, he’s white. “You use forks at dinner?!” – Yes, it took me years to learn, but I’ve finally figured out how to hold one correctly (j/k) – “Wow, do you know what those asian people were saying?” – No I don’t. Why, do you speak Japanese?

    It’s nice to get perspective from the “other” side of these assumptions 🙂 I think your response to the “Is he Chinese” question is wonderful. Interestingly enough, I’ve actually had a person tell me they made an appointment with a doctor and picked him because he had an asian name. Then they were upset because he only gave them “Western” medical advice. Race assumptions again! 😉

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 3:42 pm

      Haha I love this comment. Basically, people are stupid. 😉

    • Mandy June 24, 2011, 8:19 pm

      And is it just me, or do you get hit on by creepy Asian fetish dudes who ramble incoherently about how awesome Asian women are and then attempt to impress you with their knowledge of Japanese/Chinese language and culture?

  • Mrs. Muffins June 24, 2011, 2:58 pm

    I’m a hairstylist and I work in a small town so a lot of times when I start using new techniques or different tools people get freaked out and ask all sorts of questions. My confidence usually relaxes people but sometimes they don’t believe I know what I’m doing until they see their finished style. I’ve been asked if I went to school for this too which I find strange since all 50 states require stylists to be licensed and upkeep CEU hours.

    The worst questions I’ve had though, were when I stayed at home after I had my daughter for 2 years. People thought my husband was rich and we had all the time and money in the world, which wasn’t true. I just thought being home with her at the time was much more important than having extra spending cash.

  • Lauren @ Lettuce Eat Cake June 24, 2011, 2:59 pm

    That is too funny! I work in tech & health care PR, and whenever I tell people I’m a PR executive, they always assume I have a lifestyle like Samantha on Sex and the City. In actuality, I spend the day writing incredibly technical press releases and pitches. Not too glamorous!

  • Alicia June 24, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I can totally relate on the crazy questions/comments. I work in the child care center in our gym and on a number of occasions when it’s crazy and kids are crying a parent will say to me, “you’re never going to want kids after working here, good form of birth control!”. Little do many of them know that I’m actually 28, been married for 8 years, have a 4 yr old, and now expecting number 2. I’m not the teenager they all mistake me for!

  • Jen @ Light Enough to Travel June 24, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I used to teach English as a Second Language to adults from various ethnic backgrounds.
    The most common thing I’d hear is: “So do you speak a lot of languages then?”
    NO, I don’t! I taught English with simpler English, or with pictures, gestures, or context. I don’t think people understand that you can learn a language without translating to your mother tongue. I mean, how do people learn their first language in the first place??

  • kristen June 24, 2011, 3:24 pm

    I am a neonatal intensive care nurse, and people will say “so do you just feed babies all day?” its quite funny actually

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska June 24, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I worked for the Girl Scouts at one point and people asked if I had cookies and went to camp. Uh, no. The Girl Scouts do so much more than that!

  • Mandy June 24, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I’m amazed at the things people ask!

    I work in the catering business as an administrative assistant. When people find out they always ask me if I get to eat the food all day. I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten our food in the ten years I’ve worked there.

    I can’t believe people automatically assume all of that about your husband. It’s so silly.

  • Kris June 24, 2011, 4:27 pm

    I’m sure I’ve had strange questions about my jobs, but I always got asked questions about my husband’s job (Naval intelligence officer). His last tour was at a non-military government agency, and I got asked all the time if he really was in the Navy. No, for almost thirty years he’s been dressing in a Navy officer costume … Or people would ask me what he did, and then immediately reply “if you told me, you’d have to shoot me.” Sorry, I don’t know what he did. That’s the nature of the business, and he couldn’t tell me.

    • Kris June 24, 2011, 4:31 pm

      Haha, just remembered when I worked in the derm practice patients would ask what procedures I (or other staff) had done — like Botox, fillers. They wanted to know which staff were walking advertisements for the doc’s cosmetic services.

  • D June 24, 2011, 4:43 pm

    This isn’t about my job, but my father’s. He is an executive overseas for a major company and people ask me all the time if I get free ipads(Yes. I have an ipad) or if I can get them jobs (No. I don’t have any power?)
    I’ve also gotten questions like “If you are ____’s daughter. Why are you still driving a dented up civic?” (Rude! I love my civic!)

    • Caitlin June 24, 2011, 4:45 pm

      Now I wanna know who your dad is 🙂

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) June 24, 2011, 5:03 pm

    I’m a Salvation Army minister but so often people miss the minister part. They come to my church during office hours looking for the store. It happens a lot at the beginning of college terms.

    People also assume it is my job to pay all their bills when often I only can refer them to agencies who have those funds.

    I do wear a uniform for work and was thanked for service to our country on Veteran’s Day. I said thanks and would tell my dad who is a real veteran.

  • Jessica June 24, 2011, 5:25 pm

    I’m an accountant for a large corporation. When I tell people that I’m an accountant, they always assume that my job involves doing personal tax returns, and that I can answer their tax questions. Not all accounting involves taxes!

  • Kaz June 24, 2011, 5:53 pm

    I work for an optometrist. His last name is very Mexican, so every once in a while, a patient will come in and stutter over his name, then finally ask, “Where are you from?”

    He always replies, “Minnesota.”

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 24, 2011, 5:55 pm

    “If I eat less…do you think I would be able to lose weight?”

    “Would walking a mile help me lose weight?”

  • Audrey June 24, 2011, 6:00 pm

    Well I just graduated from a Waldorf HS, founded by a….person named Rudolph Steiner, and the two questions we students get asked the most are “Oh yeah the cult school? Do you really believe that Steiner stuff?”-not a cult, but admittedly wierd, and no by HS we kinda just laugh at it. And seondly “What is Eurythmy?” Google it, we made a shirt this year, becasue we got so tired of explaining it haha

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 24, 2011, 7:34 pm

    Haha that’s so funny that people ask if he’s Chinese!

    Whenever I tell people I’m studying to become an R.D they say “So, tell me what I should be eating”. It gets annoying! 😛

  • Susan - Nurse on the Run June 24, 2011, 8:12 pm

    I’m a nurse on a burn unit, and the first reaction is usually complete and utter silence, followed by, “Wow…I can’t even imagined,” followed by, “So it’s just like Grey’s Anatomy, right?”

    Oh, most definitely……not.

  • Stephanie C June 24, 2011, 8:47 pm

    This has been said a few times, but I am grad student studying Clinical Psyc and whenever I tell people what I do, 90% of the time it’s “So are you psychoanalyzing me right now?”
    I am a fairly new convert at my smaller church and they’ll always tell me that there are plenty of kids I can help there.. people don’t realize you can’t ethically treat (according to CAMFT) relatives or friends. They all assume that I’m going to be some sort of residential psychotherapist for the church, heh.. they have good intentions though 😉

    My husband is a software engineer and he’ll always get people asking him to fix their computer. Or they’ll have a blank look on their face. Often people don’t understand his job, and even after I explain they’re still confused, so I have started saying “Yeah, I don’t even know what he does!”

  • BroccoliHut June 24, 2011, 9:00 pm

    Ha! I’m a dietetics student, and I don’t often get asked weird questions, but if I ever bump into someone at the grocery store, they’ll immediately apologize for the contents of the cart. “Oh that pie is for my husband–not for me!”

  • Claire June 24, 2011, 9:45 pm

    Usually it’s something like. “Oh, you went to medical school? So, are you a nurse?” or “Yes, I’m a pediatrician.” “So, you’re a nurse?” Nope…not a nurse, though I do greatly need and appreciate the nurses I work with! I’m a doctor.

  • B. June 24, 2011, 10:04 pm

    I work for the IRS, Office of Chief Counsel. Enough said.

    • B. June 24, 2011, 10:04 pm

      (as in tax + lawyer = evil!!!)

  • Michele June 24, 2011, 11:06 pm

    I’m a librarian and people always ask if I had to go to school to be a librarian. The answer is yes. Then they ask, “So, do you just read all day?” The answer is no.

  • E June 24, 2011, 11:50 pm

    I am a medical laboratory scientist & work in a hospital laboratory. The 2 questions people usually ask: 1. when they find out I work at a hospital I get ‘so, you’re a nurse?’ or 2. when they find out I work in the lab, ‘so, you draw blood?’. No one usually knows anything about MLS/MT’s, unless they work in a lab themselves. 😉

  • Mel June 25, 2011, 12:31 am

    Im a recent college grad turned full-time bank teller and most people ask me why I’m not in school anymore. I think it’s because I look young or maybe they think I have more potential than just being a teller… I’m not really sure, but it’s so frustrating! I graduated college on time, have a job, and am definitely looking into grad school, but people are constantly judging me 😛 other questions involve the whole money thing… “how much does your average person have in their account” or “how much money do banks have in their vaults?” answer to both questions: NOT MUCH.

  • Kristina @ spabettie June 25, 2011, 2:00 am

    my biggest question about blogging is about my name spabettie – many think its a misspelling of spaghetti.

    running a spa, I’ve had people ask if I get bored. um, no! 🙂 and if I had a nickel for every time I was asked if we prescribe marijuana (at the clinic), well, I’d be rich! 😀

  • Pam C June 25, 2011, 6:32 am

    I work in law enforcement at a hospital and am a 5’1″ female (and fairly girly I might add). I constantly get asked if there are any men coming for back up and no matter the answer they call back and ask for a man.

    I just whip out my black belt ninja and verbal judo skills and show them who’s boss. I love the look on their faces when a tiny female saves the 6′ male doctor 🙂

    • Caitlin June 25, 2011, 11:04 am

      In short, you’re a badass honey badger!

      • Pam C June 25, 2011, 11:29 pm


  • Kristin June 25, 2011, 1:22 pm

    My husband is a pilot and is so fun to bring to get togethers. People always gather round and ask him stupid questions. Do you watch movies in the cockpit? Could you have landed that plane in the Hudson like Sully? Do you ever get scared? Do you have a parachute in the cockpit? That’s my favorite. “Sorry folks, we are headed for a crash landing. I’m going to go ahead and parachute out. Good luck!” Ha! Love love love your blog Caitlin!

  • Allison @ Happy Tales June 25, 2011, 5:35 pm

    oh sweet jesus. i get asked sooooo many things. the most i probably here is “are you a nurse?” It make me want to point to the sign on the front door that says my name and “health educator” right next to it. Sometimes i want to ask “can you read?” and then i realize that probably some of them actually can’t… (we get homeless people coming in all the time)

  • maribeth June 25, 2011, 9:59 pm

    as a psychology grad student, i love when people ask if i can read their minds. REALLY???

  • Hannah June 26, 2011, 8:09 am

    what kind of herbs do you take for sleep/anxiety. I have a lot of similar problems..

    Psychology like Maribeth– “can you read minds”?

  • Krista June 27, 2011, 9:23 am

    I work at a school board, but I’m not a teacher (I do payroll). People are always asking me if I get summers off…..I wish!!! 🙂

  • Crystal June 27, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Where do you get sesame almonds??

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