The age old phrase “don’t mix business and pleasure” is pure gold: it’s important to separate your work life and personal life. But sometimes work has a way of slipping it’s way into your everyday life without you even noticing…
People on Reddit were asked: “What strange habits have you picked up from your line of work?” These are some of the best answers.
On my first morning as an apprentice plumber I was sent into a loft to turn off a valve. The loft was full of cobwebs and they got all in my long hair. Went and bought a cap in my lunch break. I wore a cap everyday at work since. 9 years of wearing a cap later, I simply do not feel like I’m a plumber without my hat. I’ll have to put it on just to change a tap washer at home.
In the theatre it’s not unusual to call out “Noise!” before you purposefully make a loud noise to let people know you aren’t hurt. I do that at home and in my current job in IT/Broadcast Engineering all the time.
I’m a cook. I always sneeze while bending over as deep as I can (so I don’t contaminate any dishes/food). I also have powerful screaming sneezes. The combination of these gives me the most theatrical sneezes in the world.
I used to work as a guide in a zoo aviary, and I got attuned to all the birdsongs. Now I can’t turn it off. Watching a movie, I start picking out the bird noises in the background: in a rainforest scene, for instance, I’ll notice a Screaming Piha, a macaw… and a robin!? What the hell is an American Robin doing in the Amazon? It’s really jarring.
Either movie sound mixers need to step up their game, or I need to calm down.
I muck out stables and such for a living. During the winter everything gets incredibly muddy, so to save my jeans I usually roll them up to the middle of my shins.
A lot of times I forget to put them back down and end up going grocery shopping. Have gotten a few remarks about being a hipster or how trendy my Capris are.
Career lifeguard. I yell “walk” at small children in public places for no reason.
My manufacturing job is really safety conscious. Gotta wear gloves for everything. Nitrile gloves while I’m cleaning. Cut-resistant gloves for basically anything else. Now when I’m working around the house, I don’t feel right without a pair of gloves.
Restaurant manager. I have to stop myself from greeting/thanking people walking into/leaving businesses that aren’t my restaurant.
Quite embarrassing on the rare occasions I don’t catch myself. But I guess I just look super friendly.
After working in the restaurant business throughout high school and college, there was a period of time I caught myself saying “Corner!” anytime I went around a corner in a crowded place.
Delivery driver here. I don’t trust other drivers. At all. Ever. Period.
I don’t make enough money to cover an accident. I see horrible drivers every day. If I see you coming a few blocks away with your turn signal on and I could get safely ahead of you logically, I won’t do it till you start your turn because you’re a moron and that signal is accidental.
Telling people my name and saying I’m from help desk when I call them. Call my mom and say “Hi this is Ashley from help desk.” Call the pet store, “Hi Brittany, this is Ashley from help desk.” Never not awkward.
Molecular biologist. I never smell anything directly anymore, I always waft the smell towards my nose with my hand.
Back when I worked retail, some dude asked me the time when I was on vacation. I looked at my watch, told him, and then when he thanked me, I thanked him for coming in and told him to have a nice day.
I am a martial arts instructor.
Occasionally, when I’m not thinking, I bow when I walk in and out of buildings and sometimes to people when I meet or thank them. I’m sure I look freaky.
Locking my computer every time I get up from my desk at home even though there’s nobody else around.
Working in a kitchen for a few years I’ve made a habit of saying things like “Behind!, Sharp!, Corner!, or Hot!” So now I pretty much look and sound like some sort of full time safety man.
I work at a high end wine and liquor store. I smell every beverage now before I drink it, including water.
Used to work as a prison guard almost 20 years ago. To this day my hearing focus is about 3 feet behind me when walking around. Meaning you become hyper-aware of anything going on behind your back.
When I’m driving and someone does something stupid, I accelerate to catch up to them and reach to turn my lights and sirens on-then I realize I’m not in my cop car.
Worked in a preschool. Found myself asking others if they washed their hands after they left the bathroom.
Dishwasher. Contrary to my roommate, I can’t stand seeing dirty dishes left in the sink.
I’m a correctional officer so at work I say about a thousand cuss words. In the free world I forget some people take offense to that.
I’m a working musician. I can tell the key of the seatbelt beep in peoples’ cars, and the BPM (roughly) of their turn signal clicker.
Fisheries biologist. I can’t eat seafood without dissecting what I’m eating. I remove ear bones from fish and check the sex of crustaceans.
I’m a maintenance electrician. Anytime I go anywhere I always catch myself looking at the lighting to see how many globes have blown.
Engineering. I must find the most efficient method of doing something. Will spend 50 minutes of free time trying to make 3 second task take 1 second.
TV reporter. I sometimes ask complete strangers (who I’m not interviewing – i.e. people at the grocery store or park) pointed, overly personal questions about their feelings or events that have happened in their lives. While inappropriate, I can’t think of a time when someone hasn’t given me a genuine answer.
I work in childcare.
Obviously it’s important to know how many kids you have at any given time so at work I’m constantly head counting. It’s kind of a weird skills to have, but having done it literally THOUSANDS of times now I can do it very efficiently, even with large groups of non-stationary people.
Because I do this almost unconsciously at work I constantly find myself doing it in the real world, such as when sitting having a coffee in a cafe or at a party.
It’s actually come in handy more than a few times, cause if you’ve ever been with a large group of friends, it’s easy not to notice if someone goes missing. Not when I’m around.
I’m a paralegal, so around attorneys all day long. I’ve learned to never admit to anything! Use the phrase “It appears as though that car ran a red light,” instead of “That car ran a red light.” It leaves a little doubt in your statements and you’re not outright accusing anyone of anything or admitting to anything either.
Some of this material has been edited for clarity.