Let’s be real: some professions are simply more reputable than others. While no one sets out to deceive others for a job, sometimes stereotypes prevail. Some of these jobs are frivolous, and some of them are vital. The range of negative opinions varies on these jobs, but the question remains: are these bad reputations earned or a product of fiction and hearsay? In the end, it’s hard to trust these four professions, selected from a list from a Gallup Poll listed on Slate. Let’s give them a run down and see where this reputation came from.
1. Used Car Salesperson
Ah, the butt of many a joke about dishonesty. The first of our hard to trust professions is a used car salesperson. They are a staple of sitcoms and stories in which a lesson about justified suspicion is learned. What is it about used cars and the people that attempt to sell them that cause such vile mistrust?
Everyone needs a new car from time to time. Whatever reason you might have to replace your old car, that thing needs to go somewhere. That somewhere is likely a used car dealer.
They pay you money and then fix up and resell your old vehicle to the next adventurous young soul. Depending on your economic standing, the used car lot is likely where you got your first set of wheels. It is a great place to start on the journey of owning your car.
Well…even in the ‘pros’ section, I managed to hit a few reasons to distrust a used car. You don’t know where that thing has been! And the answers might disturb you. Despite that, a used car salesperson must get you to pay more for that old vehicle than the lot paid for it. It is not the salesperson’s job to tell you everything that might be wrong with it. It’s their job to convince you to buy it no matter the risk.
If you are shopping for a used car and paying a fraction of the cost of a new car, you are getting what you paid for.
2. Insurance Agent
Insurance agents occupy a middle ground of trust. They are your best friend when something has gone wrong, like when you get rear-ended. Suddenly insurance, like a beacon, comes through and pays for the whole thing. So why are insurance agents one of the professions that are hard to trust?
When they advocate for you and secure coverage for your family, health, home, or automobile, insurance agents are the hero of the modern world. They work tirelessly at desks to learn about what every aspect of accidents and other horrors and what it will cost to fix them. They use this knowledge to guide you to effective coverage that can mean the difference between starting all over after an emergency and having nothing to worry about.
Everyone fears loopholes in their health or a missed payment that invalidates everything else you have put in. The fire that destroyed your house was from a lightning strike and therefore, an act of God, so it’s not covered. Sometimes it is as simple as the adjustor valued your belongings way too cheap, and you don’t have enough money to replace what you’ve lost.
At the end of the day, it can seem like insurance agents see us as numbers with commissions attached. The system is broken and expensive, and we are the ones at the bottom, holding a bag filled with broken promises.
The good of insurance agents often outweighs the bad.
You might be surprised to see doctors on this list, but lately, doctors have had a rough time of it. Historically a noble profession they have become increasingly distrusted and labeled as disaffected greedy husks with no regard for human lives or health.
Whether it is the image of the whiskey-swilling mob doctor or the golf-playing corporate doctor, the profession has been tarnished of late. Doctors spend a lot of time training, schooling, and learning to get where they are, so do they deserve to be on our list of hard to trust professions?
Some of us owe our lives to doctors. Whether it was a life-saving diagnosis or the careful hands of a surgeon doing something delicate, doctors do important work. Additionally, doctors keep us healthy through regular check-ups.
Doctors can carefully explain difficult to understand things about how the body works and then send you home to avoid the things that send you to the hospital. Without doctors, we would still be dropping in droves from things like smallpox, influenza, and polio.
Doctors spend an enormous amount of time and energy, keeping up on all of the newest studies and medications and techniques so that they can do their jobs well. No other profession requires a person to virtually re-learn their job every year.
As many good doctors there are out there, there is an equal amount who only want a paycheck. Some happily receive kickbacks from drug companies, or only willing to do a better job if enough money is in it for them, or make life-ending mistakes. Some doctors get distracted and make bad calls, causing damage instead of healing.
Doctors are, by definition, in the business of helping people, a few bad apples that get a lot of press does not a terrible profession make.
4. Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers are the trickiest of hard to trust professions. Sometimes seen as nothing more than ambulance chasers and exploiters, personal injury lawyers get the worst kind of reputation.
Their profession is about using civil law to intervene in matters where the criminal system has no jurisdiction. But if you listen to others talk about them, you might think all they do is sue Walmart for having slippery floors.
Personal injury lawyers represent people that have been harmed by the actions or negligence of others. They are a shield that keeps companies from making dangerous products or refusing to put safety precautions in place. They work to make irresponsible and malicious people from doing their misdeeds. If you have a lemon car, they can help you; if a doctor did a shoddy job stitching you up, they could help you; if some insurance company doesn’t pay for your surgery, they can help you.
Personal injury lawyers are good people trying to give individuals the tools necessary to fight much bigger opponents or to arbitrate when life goes wrong. They do dirty and benevolent work—sometimes simultaneously.
There are times when an apology to a neighbor for hitting their unleashed, roaming dog is sufficient. There are times when yeah, coffee is supposed to be hot. Some personal injury lawyers are keen on talking you into suing the pants off of a former friend or employer just for the money.
For every legitimate personal injury lawyer, there seem to be three creeps in expensive suits looking to get rich on the misery of others.
Just because the people that game the system is no reason to assume that all the eggs are bad.
So there you have it: the pros and cons of four common professions that many of us don’t trust. Do you agree with this list? What would you add? Let us know!