One of the most frustrating things is going to school to be an expert in your field, and then to have a someone who spent five minutes reading up the subject challenge your expertise.
Here are 33 professionals who have been challenged by the public.
1. Qualifications, Please…
I had a lady ask me what makes me qualified to tell her she needs to go to the hospital…
I’m a paramedic….it’s literally what I get paid to do.
2. Light Reading
A lady brought her husband in for elective surgery and he required general anesthesia. She comes in with an old dog eared book and asks to have a meeting with the surgery team. We humor her, and apparently she wanted specific anesthetic agents for her husband, since she did research on all of them. All the agents she wanted were essentially removed years ago due to harsh side effects or there were better medications. When I looked at her book it was published in 1965.
3. The Edge Of The World
I’m an airline pilot, I’ve had a flat-earther get mad at me for not telling the truth about seeing the edge of the world. I honestly thought people made that up.
4. I Have Excel
I have been developing custom software for over 20 years. 98% of my customers have thought they shouldn’t have to pay the price it costs to build their software. Mostly because “I can do X in Excel.”
5. Working At The Car Wash
I used to work in auto detailing. The one thing we NEVER did was power wash the motor of a 90’s model Jaguar. The electronics were sensitive and the slightest amount of pressure would make the instrument panel light up like a Christmas tree.
A dealer wanted us to clean this fleet of Jaguars, so we did. All 9 of them. He checked the motors and one of them still had a little dirt on it and he got mad. He starts yelling at me so I explain, “The electronics are super sensitive, the slightest amount of high pressure could cause the instrument panel to light up. We have to hand wipe the motor with wet rags and cleaner, sometimes we miss a spot.”
He calls his porter over and tells him to bring that car around to the repair side and he’ll clean it himself. He opens the hood, grabs a garden hose, and starts blasting the engine bay. “See! Clean.” I say to him, “Absolutely.” He goes and starts the car, looks down, shuts the car off, gets out, and apologizes.
6. Grass Fed Pork
Got in an argument with a woman at the grocery store, she wanted to buy grass fed pork. There is no such thing, grass cannot support a pig they have to eat a heavy grain filled diet. Woman did not believe me or my 10 years of farm and meat selling experience. Got to the point I told the woman I would ship her a piglet so she could raise it completely on grass and watch it die from starvation.
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7. Ordering Some Glasses
Woman brings her sons in for exam. Both have EXTREMELY high minus Rx’s. Mom is okay with with older son’s Rx and glasses order, but is mad about younger son’s Rx.
She wants to order his glasses, but wants his Rx changed to be less than the Dr’s prescription. I told her I can’t do that, because I can’t change the Dr’s work.
She’s mad because she thinks the Rx is too high for him because… “His eyes are like my eyes and my Rx didn’t change this much from my exam last year. So, I don’t want his that high.”
8. Tribal Deeds
I used to work as an anthropologist for a tribe-run museum on protected Native American land. They had built a museum to display finds from excavations, spread knowledge about the history of their people, and also create a little revenue for their community center.
Well, a local town, mostly white, upper class families, took offense to our work. They claimed we were destroying the tribe’s culture without any right by excavating. It culminated in a group sending the museum a letter where they basically said the tribe members were not educated enough to understand how their culture was being destroyed and were simply not intelligent enough to make decisions in regards to activity on their land.
That went over real well.
9. The Truth Is Out There
I had a patient once tell me she wouldn’t do birth control because it caused AIDS. She was very polite about it and said she understood that us doctors weren’t “allowed” to tell patients the “truth”. Okay lady, enjoy your 5th baby.
Another lady did not believe me at all when I told her SEVEN c sections was a dangerous amount and the 8th section could cause many complications to her and the baby. “Well they got 7 out easily so what’s one more?” Well, it takes them a lot longer and longer with each section so it probably got harder with each one. “Well I was there, so I would know”. Okay.
10. Everyone’s A Doctor
As a nurse, bringing medication to a patient and the family member who is obviously a graduate of medical sites university asks, “Did the doctor order that? Because I’ve read that an overdose of that medication might cause mild itching.” Of course the correct answer is, “yes ma’am/sir, this was ordered by the doctor after he/she carefully considered all the options.” The answer I want to give is, “nope, the janitor ordered this but he seemed pretty sure of himself when he did it, so we’ll probably be okay.”
11. What A Feeling
I’m a welder. One of the biggest hazards I face is UV damage to my eyes from the electric welding arc, which is bright and just a glimpse of it can leave spots on your vision for hours (at best).
I once had some random guy try and tell me that only the initial ‘flash’ is dangerous when you’re welding, and that after you strike an ark you can just stare at it without any trouble at all.
12. Under Pressure
Commercial construction diver! I just had a guy serving from a food truck tell me that he was welding on a dock in a lake, which was very dangerous because “water becomes flammable under pressure”.
I told him that he was very brave.
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I am a hotel manager. People seem to think that we should prorate rooms based upon the time they checked in. It’s not a prorated type of thing, it’s did you use the room or not. If you use the room then the same amount of effort has to go into housekeeping and the labor cost is the same. It’s not as if a guest can only be there for 2 hours and all we have to do with a minor touch-up. No, we still have to go through and clean everything and sanitize everything. We don’t know what you used so we have to do it all regardless of how long a person is there. When I’ve had a couple of guests get angry because I don’t prorate I tell him that renting a room is sort of like buying a bottle of beer. You can’t go to the merchant and say that you only want one swig of beer so you shouldn’t have to pay for the whole thing because once the bottle is opened it’s a used product. Likewise, when a guest uses a hotel room it is now a used product.
14. Under The Sea
I study sonar. When I tell people that, a surprising number tell me that there is no sound underwater.
I mean, you don’t need to be an expert in the field. You can just put your head underwater and hear sound.
15. Pretty Pricey
I buy and sell junk for a living, everyday is a constant struggle with buyers who have been in this for years and know all the prices. You can’t argue with market set prices on eBay but old men can argue that it sold for so much more in 1980.
16. Stop The Bleeding
Paramedic here: I was once informed that you stop bleeding by applying… peer pressure.
17. Special Medicine
Recently graduated from medical school (far from an expert) and now my family suddenly has a wealth of medical knowledge. Most recently they have decided that almost any illness can be cured with laxatives.
18. Just An Opinion
I am a microbiologist and mammalian biologist who studies the microbiome (gut bacteria).
I have a hippie friend who claims she is allergic to gluten and a bunch of other things. She used to periodically post things on FaceBook about food additives that she claims are “unhealthy.”
The two things that really got me, though, was one article about probiotics and “good bacteria” that was completely and utterly wrong, and another about some additive that “scientists who study the gastrointestinal tract use to create gut irritation.” Both times, I said to her, as a scientist who literally studies gut irritation and good bacteria, her articles wrong and had no scientific basis; that the bacteria the study claimed was so great was one that could not colonize a healthy human due to competitive inhibition and that the additive supposed used by scientists was actually just an emulsifier and not one anyone in my field has ever used for that purpose (as it doesn’t cause gut irritation).
She said it was “just her opinion” and I was like, no, these are factually incorrect. Opinions are subjective. This is just straight-up misinformation.
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I work in IT. For some reason, a lot of employees like to blame the company’s firewall for every IT-related problem.
The Internet is slow ? It’s the firewall.
I try to send an e-mail to a wrong address ? Firewall…
I forgot my power adapter, low battery ? That’s because of the firewall!
I can’t receive any calls on my phone ! FIREWALL AGAIN
20. The Law Of The Land
As a park ranger I regularly get lectured by the public about what is allowed and not allowed in parks. I even used to carry a copy of the municipal code to show people and even that would not stop them from arguing. Now I just have them sign the ticket and they argue less.
21. No One Likes The Weather Man
Meteorologist checking in. A large portion of the general population believe they can do my job better than I can. A large majority of that portion have zero issues informing of this. I’ve had strangers, clients, and even my own family very strongly tell me how wrong I am about whatever obscure weather topic they bring up.
And let’s not even get started on the topic of global warming. I simply tell people I’m not a climatologist and attempt to end it there.
Along with being treated like a moron, I’m also blamed for others’ mistakes. I visited my girlfriend’s family in Florida a while back to meet them. Her uncle is a pilot and went on this rant about how I was “one of those guys” who always screws up, saying it’s going to rain and it doesn’t, etc etc. Had a few other family members join in the fun. He came at me with a “I make a mistake, people die, you make a mistake, it’s just another day” line. Luckily, I’m used to this and have rebuttals ready to go, but I sealed it with a “I knew you were a pilot the second you fed me that line because every pilot says that to me.”
I don’t like pilots.
22. Power Of Vibrations
Hematology/Oncology (still in training), but just this weekend an educated, wealthy, charismatic “skeptical of modern medicine” type just took over an entire room i was in at a social event with his assertions that cancer docs were running a big sham and because we are in cahoots with Big Pharma refuse to harness “The power of vibrations. Every object vibrates at a different frequencies and we are fools and sell outs to not harness its low-cost therapeutic potential to cure cancer” and instead lead people on with expensive Chemo/Radiation/Surgery.
UGH! I didn’t know where to begin and he was demonstrably a better public speaker/debater than me!
23. It’s In The Water
I’m a dentist. There are quite a few people who think Fluoride in toothpaste or tap water is going to kill you. These are usually the same people who come in chugging mountain dew and smell like cigarettes.
24. Pumping That Organ
One Sunday, a visiting nurse came up into the organ loft after service and told me that she thought it was reprehensible that people had to be put to work pumping the organ during services instead of paying attention to what was happening in the church.
I told her that the practice of hand-pumping organs mostly ended with the advent of the electric blower many decades ago. She actually disputed this until I took her to the basement to see the machine busy at work supplying wind to the pipes high above.
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25. Gross Negligence
I am an attorney. Family member was arguing with me over dinner (whether or not someone could “lose their house” for their business selling a faulty product), and he decided to make his final stand on the distinction between “negligence” and “gross negligence.” I asked him to explain the difference and he started explaining, and when I opened my mouth, he cut me off and said “IN MY OPINION.”
That was the point when I decided to ignore him and enjoy the meal.
26. Save The Trees
Years ago I worked for a tree care company.
Lady calls and says we cut down her tree and we weren’t supposed to. I start to freak out. This is the most stressful call you will ever get working for a tree care company. I search our records and don’t have anything showing work was done in the last few years. Still, I think maybe something slipped through the cracks so I send someone to go look. Get a call telling me there’s no sign of a tree missing (left over stump) and nobody recalled doing work there. I assume the wrong address or maybe the tree wasn’t located exactly where she said it was. No in both cases.
She changes her story and says that we removed the wrong tree branch and all the added sunlight was killing the grass. Well, first off sunlight doesn’t kill grass. Secondly, the tree branch she’s talking about was removed by us, because she asked us to and it was done 3 years prior.
I forget what happened after that. I may have ignored her by then or explained to her the timeframe and the records we had on file. Anyway, she went away.
Get a call 6 months later and she hires us to do some other tree work. Doesn’t even mention the other tree.
27. Fill Me Up
I work as a Pharmacist’s assistant, and my boss (a chemist) was once on the phone to a woman who insisted that she take curcumin to heal her pneumonia, and not antibiotics. Curcumin is the active ingredient in Tumeric; a well known natural anti-inflammatory. But it’s not gonna do anything when your lungs are filled with black liquid and you’re half way to death.
28. Turf Wars
I’ve done research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Someone told me that the polar bears hunt the penguins. I told him that they don’t. He, angrily replied that “yes they do!”
Polar bears only live in the north, and penguins only live in the south. So….
29. Hard Of Hearing
Linguistics PhD here. A grad student in the English department was telling me about how French is inherently superior to English for poetry (complete nonsense, for so many reasons). He specifically said that iambic pentameter sounded unnatural. I spoke to him in iambic pentameter for the rest of the conversation and he never noticed.
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30. The Human
I’m a prosecutor in Texas and we received a 10 page motion for new trial from a sovereign citizen that claimed the court lacked jurisdiction over John Doe “THE HUMAN” and also because the flag in the court room was an admiralty flag because it has gold fringe, which is incredible because there isn’t a flag in that particular courtroom.
31. I Am Certified
My wife is a board certified pediatrician. Every uneducated grandmother on the planet knows more than she does about modern medicine. Every stay at home mother knows more than her about vaccines. Every father talks to her like she’s in high school.
But she loves the children.
32. Business Contribution
I’m in fundraising for nonprofits. Everyone wants their fundraisers to increase contributions from businesses but they don’t realize that business contributions account for less than 5% of all contributions to charity nationwide. This is a well known fact in my field but I know so many fundraisers who are forced to chase business dollars because their board is either lazy or delusional.
33. Talking My Language
I did 5 deployments in the army, used to jump out of airplanes and was fluent in Arabic, like “mistaken for a native” fluent. After I got out I went back to school for Art and started the slow process of completely forgetting the language.
I was never the guy who wore camo or had army bumper stickers and talked a lot about the military. I ran into those guys occasionally and they were mostly harmless. One guy though who I was in a 3d design class with was constantly telling stories that just sounded like jibberish to me. I let it slide because really, who cares? I didn’t until one day he was sitting across the table from me trying to impress some girls and told them he was fluent in Arabic.
I perked right up at that. I said “What a coincidence, Atekellum al loghat Alarabia schwaya schwaya, wayn taalemt al logha?” or something along those lines. I’m super rusty at this point, but that’s basically a transliteration of “I speak arabic a little, where did you learn the language?”
Blank stare, sweat beading on his forehead, cute girls staring at us with their mouth open. I tried to go easy on him because I had thrown in a little dialect and maybe he was just exaggerating his fluency, not lying completely.
So I looked at him and started rattling off a few phrases looking for a response. “Ahlan wa Sahlan, kayf al halekum al yeom? Ayna al sooq? Eid melidak sayeed! Ayna al aslahat alKamiowiyah?” Again, I’m super rough with the language now, but that translates roughly as “Hello, how are you today? Where is the market? Happy Birthday! Where are the Chemical Weapons?” (all basic useful phrases you get taught in the military).
Nothing. No response. He’d talked a lot about being a combat medic, so I was tempted to hit him with “Oh by the way, what gauge of needle do you use for a tension pneumothorax? What do you write on someone after you place a tourniquet? ” et cetera, but I could tell from the way he’d just frozen that I wasn’t to get any truth out the the kid.
I said “Ahterim Nefsik” and went back to working on my clay bust assignment. That means “have some self respect”. I will admit that he picked the right lie, the odds of running into a veteran who actually spoke arabic in a tiny community college art program in the middle of nowhere were infinitesimal. Unfortunately for him, the odds weren’t zero.