I Want That Job! (Or, What I Learned About Careers by Watching Movies)

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Considering a career change? Need a job for a character in your next novel? No need to ask an actual person for his or her job description. Just watch movies. According to Hollywood, here’s what a variety of different jobs entail:

Subway/Train Conductor:
Look horrified while pulling ineffectively at the brakes.

Random Politician:
Gaze sternly into camera.
Pound podium.
Spray spittle and vitriol.

President of the United States:
Fly around in helicopters.
Make grave speeches.
Walk in step with perky young aide.

Go undercover.
Research life-or-death stories spouse/editor/creepy anonymous voice on the phone told you not to touch.
Fall in love with source.

Newspaper Editor:
Throw things.
Surreptitiously print exposé up-and-coming reporter wrote, printed, handed to you, then asked you not to run. Declare it their best work yet.

Movie Director:
Holler “Cut!” and, on occasion, “Action!”

Motel/Convenience Store Clerk:
Shrug in bored fashion when someone shoves a photo under your nose and asks, “Have you seen this person?”

Adjust robes.
Frown at witnesses.
Shout “Order!” and “Overruled!” at random intervals.
Pound gavel.

Taxi Driver:
Cruise streets without picking anyone up.
Make witty banter while chasing another car or racing toward the airport.
Glance at passengers in rear-view mirror. Make bug eyes when you see what they’re doing back there.

Run awkwardly.
Kick kneecaps.
Get shot.

Mob Boss:
Eat spaghetti.
Casually order multiple murders.
Examine well-buffed fingernails.

Your turn. What careers have you learned about thanks to movies?

  • LOL…too funny! Here’s another one only a select few would qualify for:

    Get angry.
    Strip off shirt.
    Run toward the woods.
    Morph into wolf.

    • I LOVE it!!! Just perfect! And why do they strip off their shirts, anyway? It’s not like they ever go back for them, so does it matter if they get ruined? Or does it just hurt more? Hmmm…Now I’m kind of curious.

  • Love this!!

    Here’s what I learned this weekend:

    CIA agent:

    Always be prepared.
    Don’t trust anyone.
    Getting shot at is part of the job.

    (Totally not as clever as yours, but hey, I tried.)

    • Ha! That was super clever! I loved the ‘Lie. Repeat.’ bit best. So funny!

  • This was hilarious! I tried to think of a good one in response, but I was stumped.

    • I know! I can never think of things to add when I’m commenting, either! If you come up with something, come back and add it.

  • Writer:

    Look gorgeous in librarian-esque spectacles.
    Battle writers block for approximately 5 minutes.
    Go for walk in the park with singer/songwriter type soundtrack playing.
    Be inspired by small child on the swings.
    Write best seller.
    Moan about how hard it is to be mega famous.

    • LOL! I wondered when someone would address writers! LOVED your description of it, too. The five minutes of writers block is so, so true (for movies, not for actual writers!) and the small child on the swings made me laugh out loud!

    • Loved this one too!

  • These are great!

    The taxi driver one made me literally LOL – after one too many cab rides in NYC where I’ve literally been holding on for safety, that was just too amusing a description (and makes me wish real life drivers would follow the lead of ones in the movies – might be safer).

    • It’s only safer if the cab drivers aren’t watching you there in the backseat trying to a) change your clothes, b) argue with a knife-weidling maniac or c) keep from throwing up. But since I don’t think any of these things are in your normal cab-riding repertoire, you’re probably okay.

  • Ha! I wanted to be the newspaper editor, except they always had spit coffee on their shirt and a red face from high blood pressure. Who wants that?

    Fun list!

  • Love what you’ve done here with stereotypes! Hysterical.

  • So funny! By the way, I also learned about what’s required to be a judge when my daughter played one in her second grade classroom play. We learned that if you don’t have an actual gavel, a meat mallet works wonders.

  • This is CRACKING ME UP!!

    Okay, here are three that tricked me:

    Home Improvement Store Clerk
    Hide in cool secret entertainment lair in the racking
    Rollerskate/rollerblade/skateboard through the store
    Have a steamy, amazing romance all while hilariously dodging an uptight boss

    Inspire children to:
    Stand on desks
    Rip up poetry books
    Play instruments beautifully
    Write poetry that saves their lives
    Learn to love classical music
    Defy the MAN!!

    Write at a GORGEOUS writing desk with a quill and delightfully ink-covered fingers
    Grasp my printed, gold-embossed book, freshly delivered by the postman to my chest and close my eyes to SAVOR my triumph
    Pace. Pull at my hair. Get my romance on. Pace some more. Be inspired. Write as tears course down my cheeks!

    (I DO cry when I write. Often because my back aches or I can’t figure out which form of ‘lie’ to use at 3AM!)

  • @Emily – Ha! So, so true! And they usually have drinking problems and are completely burned-out, too.

    @Lisa – Thanks! I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately, so this was on my mind.

    @Dawn – I love it! And somehow a meat mallet seems apropos.

    @Liz – These are hilarious! And oh, so true. Well, if you’re in a movie, at least!