Monday, July 19, 2010

Professional Perspectives

Does everybody notice different things depending on what we do for a living? As a writer, I know that I see things in books that drive me crazy. Things I might not have noticed before, like frequent shifts between the point of view of different characters. I'm re-reading a book right now and it kills me that the copy editor didn't catch (or perhaps is responsible for) all the references to Columbian art. Since I know that the author is not talking about art from Columbia, SC, all those references should be Colombia.

I started pondering this topic early this morning while stretched out in the dentist chair having my teeth cleaned. When a dentist meets someone, do they notice the other person's teeth and smile before anything else? Are hairstylists forever critiquing styles and thinking what would look better on the person in their line of sight? Does an auto mechanic pull up next to a rumbling or pinging car and think, "Jesus, dude, get a tune up?"

Can a good chef ever eat anywhere but a top restaurant? What about those professional stylists who advise people how to dress on What Not to Wear? Can they ever walk down the street in a crowd and not recoil from any egregious fashion faux pas?

Finally, I have to ask. Does a plastic surgeon automatically check out breasts, purely from professional curiosity, and think, "I would have gone a little rounder and up a cup size?"

Does what you do for a living influence how you look at things around you? Let's discuss.


lora96 said...

yesss. I teach. I see people all the time either failing to watch their kids and keep them safe or else shoving a DS or PSP into their hands to keep them quiet and i think, Jesus, people, he's a CHILD, please talk to him/read to him/pay attention to where he's wandering off!

PS I wonder about Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear...I actually cringed in Macy's when I picked something up and said, hey this looks COMFORTABLE. lol

Hope said...

I cringe during movies and TV when they make tech references. They almost always get them wrong.

We have a friend who is a professional foodie (went to cooking school) and he appreciates good food in all forms. Even if it's just a juicy burger from a dive bar. It doesn't have to be super fancy, it just have to be cooked well. (actually, medium rare, but you know what I mean...)

I once met a dermatologist who told me that she notices suspicious moles and will often tell the people that they should get them checked out.

Kelly said...

Yep, this happens to me. I can get pulled out of a story if there are mistakes on the page. And tech mistakes drive me up the wall. I don't think we can help but view the world through our professional lenses, since we spend so much time at work and learning our field.

I wonder which professions are the most fun during off hours, besides writing? How do singers see the world?