important questions: how could a vampire keep his true nature hidden at work?

A reader writes:

I found your answer to the Princess Peach question amusing and insightful. This time, my question is about the Cullens, a family of vampires in the Twilight series. The father, Carlisle, is the only working member. Part of being a vampire is living forever, with the appearance of the age you were when human just before becoming a vampire.

Since he doesn’t want anyone to discover that he doesn’t age and therefore is a vampire, how would he explain his reasons for leaving a job to his boss and at interviews without looking as though obviously lying? How would he explain his hundreds of years of experience? How could he work around the other potential negative repercussions of being a vampire at work, such as having cold hands to shake, drinking blood for lunch and walking unnaturally fast (can keep up with a car pace)?

I find your blog very interesting and informing, and will be thrilled if you answer this.

I WONDER THIS TOO about the Twilight universe!

The Cullen “teenagers” move from school to school, since they’ve been graduating every four years for the last 100 years or so. That’s probably pretty straightforward (although quite boring for them). But yes, what about Carlisle, who works as a doctor? I don’t think his biggest issue would be explaining his reason for leaving his last job; that’s easily explained by pointing to the move, or an interest in taking on something new. People leave jobs, so that’s no big deal. The bigger issue, I’d think, is explaining his job history. He presumably needs to confine it to just his last few jobs since he doesn’t look much older than 35 and obviously can’t have a centuries-old job history. But the earliest job he can acknowledge is going to be pretty senior, and people will wonder how he got it at what will appear to have been a young age.

Also, what about medical school? Isn’t his graduation date in like the 1920s? But these vampires have a way of convincing people to do their bidding — in the Cullens’ case, usually by paying them off with their vast wealth rather than by physically threatening them, as they’re humanitarian vampires. So I’m going to guess that Carlisle has paid off the registrar at a medical school somewhere to lie about his graduation year.

I’m assuming he’s circumspect about drinking blood and doesn’t do it in front of coworkers, and the same thing for the fast walking. But the cold hands … well, there are a bunch of doctors with cold hands, so maybe he fits right in. If I were a vampire who wanted to fool people, though, I would keep those camping hand warmers in my pockets and use those before I had to shake anyone’s hand.

I asked my husband to weigh in on this, both as a writer and as a reader of fantasy. He points out, “Carlisle is smart, hundreds of years smart, and seems to have had a decent enough intellect all along (he is in fact a doctor, which isn’t a cakewalk). Therefore, could he not forge or alter records (he can move blindingly fast and use darkness to every advantage), set up dummy companies, and/or use the other family vampires as point of contact for his last job reference? Or he could use tragedy to his advantage: a terrible fire consumes Chicago, and all his records are ‘lost’ (actually a Robert Heinlein idea from Friday).  Or he could ensure that his last job is always just out of medical school; he merely attends a different medical school while he works during the day (after all, they never sleep).”

More questions from books, please! I have only had one other.

{ 389 comments… read them below }

  1. Volunteer Enforcer (OP)*

    Thanks alot for the insight, these are very good real world solutions should any of us become vampires.

    1. Floral Laurel*

      I’ve decided to pursue acting if I’m ever a Cullen-esque vampire. Freelance work, I wouldn’t have to worry about aging, and all the performances would be at night!

      1. MoinMoin*

        But then you’re in the public eye and you’d have to bow out every 20-30 years and go undercover for a couple decades, at least, and it’ll get harder as digital media and archiving gets better. (The latest season of American Horror Story kind of touches on this.)
        Important question- can vampires get plastic surgery? I guess it depends on what kind of vampire but I think at least AHS and Twilight vampires are super-healing so I wouldn’t think it’d be even a semi-permanent solution.

        1. GigglyPuff*

          In Lynn Viehl’s first Darkyn series book “If Angels Burn”, this is a major plot point.

        2. ljs_lj*

          The plastic surgery question is a really good one. I can’t answer for vampires, but there was a Teen Wolf fic on AO3 a year or two ago (don’t think I have a link anymore and I cannot vouch for the quality of said fic) that involved one of the main characters being transgender in that AU but being bitten and becoming a werewolf before they could have any gender confirmation surgery. Being a werewolf now prevented them from having any medical treatment – surgery or hormones – that would be permanent due to their new healing powers. The character was seriously pissed off, as is understandable. (I want to say that it was Stiles but it could have been Scott.)

      2. MoinMoin*

        Actually I think a musician would be better for all the points you bring up, but you’re less recognizable and you have a steady stream of groupies to feast on. And you’d have millennia to hone a skill!

        1. ZSD*

          There was a movie with Tilda Swinton that touched on that. I think it was called Only Lovers Left Alive.

          1. MissDisplaced*

            Ooooohhhh yeah! That was Tom Hiddleston (pre Taylor Swift-post Loki).
            It made the blood drinking look like drug addiction. Interesting movie. Very lush and slow moving in a dreamy way.
            I liked that the vamps were neither good or bad, just sort of in-between as people are. They generally tried to avoid killing the humans out of respect for the food source.

        2. Floral Laurel*

          You’re so right. I could re-learn instruments and change up my identity throughout the years.

      3. Trillian*

        I figure Henry Fitzroy in Tanya Huff’s Blood books (Blood Price and sequels) has the ideal job for a vampire: he writes romances. Fits with a nocturnal lifestyle, and since Henry is the illegitimate son of Henry VIII, he can do historical romances without breaking a sweat.

        1. Trillian*

          Then there’s Dr. Edward Weyland of Suzy McKee Charnas’ Vampire Tapestry. When we meet him, he’s working as a sleep researcher.

  2. Floral Laurel*

    This was wonderful. On the down-low, I was a Twilight fan in high school (team Jacob!). I can’t believe I never thought about this while I was reading the series. Kudos, OP!

    1. Volunteer Enforcer (OP)*

      Thank you very much, I love seeing fiction from a real life standpoint. :-)

  3. Lemon Zinger*

    I LOVE THAT YOU ANSWERED THIS. I wondered this too while reading Twilight, but then I realized that the books are totally unrealistic in so many ways, there really doesn’t need to be justification for how Carlisle and the rest of the Cullens get away with what they do. The books are silly.

  4. Cafe au Lait*

    I love that you’re doing this.

    Now I want to delve into my books and find management questions.

    1. Mona Lisa*

      “I am the headmaster of a large boarding school. One of my employees is constantly threatening students and favoring certain ones over others. How can I manage him to be fairer to the students and keep his prejudices to himself? (He is impossible to fire as he works as a double agent for me on his personal time.)”

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        So I’ve always wondered about this. Why didn’t Dumbledore talk to Snape and tell him to cut out his treatment of Harry? All the various intrigues aside, I’d think that would be well within his purview to say, and would be something he’d want to do if he saw what was going on.

        1. Aurion*

          Thing is, how much leverage did Dumbledore really have over Snape in terms of professional discipline? He wasn’t going to fire Snape; he needed Snape too much. And Dumbledore is not a paragon of professional virtue himself. Teachers at Hogwarts can openly cast spells on students without repercussion, Quidditch as a sport is rife with danger, Dumbledore doesn’t exactly vet his teachers (um, Lockhart was beyond incompetent), Dumbledore’s favourtism of Harry and getting into Harry’s good graces/obtaining Harry’s loyalty makes him turn a blind eye to all manners of shenanigans Harry got up to…so no, I don’t see Dumbledore having the professional wherewithal to tell Snape to cut it out.

          Even if he did tell Snape off, Snape likely wouldn’t follow the instructions. Snape was not a nice man, to put it mildly. Whether he was a good man in the grand scheme of things is a different discussion entirely, but his meanness and bitterness is as much a part of him as his bravery and loyalty to a memory. So if he “couldn’t help” (airquotes intended) to be mean to someone who reminded him so much of James Potter and all the other things Snape was bitter about, what, exactly, was Dumbledore going to do? He needed Snape too much, as a Potions master, as a double agent, etc.

          1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

            To be honest, my read on Dumbledore was that he probably would not have considered Snape’s treatment of Harry to be particularly problematic, given his own equally open biases. It seems like that was pretty much BAU for both of them.

            1. Merida Ann*

              And it’s not just Harry that Snape’s awful to, either. He’s often cruel to both Hermione and Neville – Hermione seemingly because she reminds him of Lily, and since he didn’t treat Lily very well (calling other muggle-borns “Mudblood” around her, staying friends with people who actively hate her, etc.), he decides to treat Hermione badly, too. (Yeah, he totally learned his lesson. Not.)

              And he hates and mistreats Neville apparently because he wishes Voldemort had *murdered him and his parents and taken over the wizarding world* instead of killing Lily. So because Neville was *not* murdered as a baby and because his parents are *only* permanently brain-damaged beyond recognition instead of dead, Snape takes out his grief by constantly mocking and harassing Neville (including risking killing his pet by feeding it potentially toxic potions) to the point where he literally becomes Neville’s worst fear.

              Yeah, while his story arc is fascinating, and a brilliant twist in the story, I still have no great love for Snape.

              1. LBK*

                Yeah, I was never too moved by the big reveal of why Snape was such an asshat – because he had an eternal crush on someone who never even wanted him? Get over it, yeesh.

                1. SusanIvanova*

                  I had suspected that would be his motive somewhere around book 4 and was really hoping I was wrong.


              2. Lily Evans*

                He’s a classic study in the entitlement of men and what they think they “deserve” from women. IMO he did the bare minimum to redeem himself since he’s the ENTIRE REASON Lily was killed in the first place. Had he not eavesdropped and relayed the prophecy to Voldemort, it might have never happened. (And his guilt is still not a good enough reason for why he was so horrible to Harry et al.)

                1. Merida Ann*

                  Absolutely! Thank you for this!

                  [Also, I smile every time I see your profile name on here. :) ]

                2. Aurion*

                  I think playing a highly dangerous role as a double agent in the den of snakes is more than bare minimum, but admittedly my memory of the books are fuzzy and I may be forgetting other information. I remember strongly disliking the last two books.

                  I think Snape is a good character, but I don’t think he’s a good person. The characters I liked in HP all died by the end >_>

                3. KG*

                  I’ve somewhat convinced myself that the extreme stress from being a double agent working against the most dangerous and terrifying wizard of all time for many years made him treat people really poorly. (Similarly, I appreciated the third Hunger Games book more after someone advised me to view it through lens of Katniss expriencing PTSD for the second half.) That said, I still don’t get all weepy over the book 7 reveal because of the entitlement aspect. JKR is pretty “hip” to issues like that, so that particular plot point has always (lol) confused me.

                4. Andrea*

                  Also…what did he even do? (At least before the second war.) In flashbacks we saw that Snape didn’t go to Dumbledore until Voldemort decided to kill Lily and James. Snape said he would help Dumbledore, but Voldemort died, so did he actually end up doing anything?

                  I’m not denying the value of his actions as a spy during the second war, but it would seem to me that after Voldy disappeared Dumbledore wouldn’t have been able to point to anything Snape did that actually proved he’d changed sides.

                5. Simonthegrey*

                  In college, I loved how the character (and honestly the fandom) had created this idea of a deeply tortured soul who regretted his choices. My best friend in collage LOVED Snape. This would have been around the time the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th books came out. Loved him unconditionally. She wanted him to have a redemptive story arc, and to a degree so did I. Looking back as an adult, I agree with you; entitled, overbearing, egotistical, self-important, and the kind of “nice guy” who will call you Beautiful on Tinder until you tell him no and then will unleash verbal diarrhea and genital pics.

                6. Mona Lisa Saperstein*

                  Exactly! And some people, when defending Snape, say things like “But he didn’t KNOW it was Lily’s family at the time.” Sure, but he still knew that by telling Voldemort about the prophecy he was sealing the fate of a baby boy and his family, which is morally reprehensible no matter whether that family included someone he loved or not.

              3. Jennifer*

                I don’t get why anyone loved Snape. Dude was a douchebag to everyone, and I don’t care about his teenage man-pain. I don’t like teachers who abuse students who have no way to defend themselves from him, period.

                I really liked reading Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality because in that alternate universe, Harry was all, “Seriously, this guy is allowed to act like this? I AM PUTTING A STOP TO IT.”

          2. Aurion*

            Also, having Snape being a complete ass to Harry and Dumbledore playing the kindly mentor sets up a good cop/bad cop dynamic and probably gains more of Harry’s trust, at least in the beginning.

            1. TardyTardis*

              After all, it was Dumbledore who left Harry with the Dursleys, and then ‘rescued’ him. Dumbledore also saves Harry from many disciplinary actions, most of which he actually deserved. How sweet of Harry to be willing to die for him! In some places, we call that grooming.

            1. Petronella*

              The entire wizarding world is administered terribly. They have kangaroo courts, lax educational standards, favoritism and nepotism in employment, a culture of ignorance wtr the wider “Muggle” universe, a cavalier and fatalistic attitude toward physical danger, and no apparent tradition of philosophical enquiry or ethical systems.

              1. Joseph*

                They also seem to have little to no restrictions on magical experimentation, a ridiculous political system, minimal independent journalism, common acceptance of racism and minimal long-term planning.

                Oh, and there’s apparently no levels of punishment between “meh, ignore it” and “imprisonment with soul-stealing ghost demons”.

                1. Rmric0*

                  As I said elsewhere, no one wants to bother with the work if an MBA when you can be a mother-flipping sorcerer.

                2. RKB*

                  Well, there’s fines and stuff. Such as what Arthur Weasley had to pay for the flying Ford Anglia.

          3. Amadeo*

            I read on Pottermore that Dumbledore hired Lockhart to keep an eye on him for whatever that’s worth. Dumbledore knew a lot of the witches and wizards that Lockhart had stolen stories from. As to Snape, I also read that Dumbledore considered it ‘character building’ to have a nasty teacher. To be honest I’m pretty sure we’ve all had at least one.

            1. Aurion*

              If that was Dumbledore’s intended reason, then JKR utterly failed to foreshadow any of it. And more to the point, Dumbledore utterly failed to keep an eye on anything. That pixie demonstration disaster in Harry’s class? Lockhart dissolving every bone in Harry’s arm? Lockhart coming this close to Obliviating every memory out of Harry and Ron’s heads (and only being foiled by Ron’s broken wand)?

              Dumbledore didn’t keep an eye on anything, and as a teacher and administrator, he was terrible in just about every respect possible. (Though frankly he was quite in line with how terrible the rest of the wizarding world was, as others have pointed out.)

                1. AMT*

                  “Dumbledore replied that ‘there is plenty to be learned even from a bad teacher: what not to do, how not to be’.”

                  No word on whether he followed that with “…how not to dissolve your bones, how not to attack students, how not to commit massive fraud…”

              1. AMT*

                There is a Tumblr user called Floccinaucinihilipilificationa (don’t try to spell it, just copy/paste) who draws a series of incredible comics based on the idea that Dumbledore is a tremendous jerk who makes decisions based on personal whims and incompetence. Great read if you’re an HP fan.

              2. Ellie H.*

                I agree that a lot of this you have to suspend your disbelief for, BUT I also got the impression that Dumbledore was legit really busy with other stuff going on in the world and so he didn’t have as much time for headmaster-y stuff as one would in a time of peace and if you were not also a major government advisor and a magical researcher or whatever else he does. The way professors who are busy doing crazy quantum mechanics research have less time for actual teaching and can make lousy advisors (although this isn’t a rule, I don’t want to cast aspersions!).
                Besides his non-Hogwarts obligations, the stuff going on with Harry related to his actual experience at Hogwarts is important, but there are also hundreds of other kids in the school and probably lots of other issues he has to deal with. Not to get too either ridiculous or depressingly realistic, but you could imagine that there is stuff like students making sexual harassment complaints, students with serious health problems (or teachers – like Professor Trelawney’s issues), grade disputes, blah blah blah other semi-boring administrative problems to deal with.
                But at the end of the day . . . even taking all of that into consideration I DO think that Snape’s abusive attitude toward students would presumably be one of the more important problems to be addressed, probably as significant as a lot of those other imaginary serious administrative issues to deal with that I just mentioned, and we just have to suspend our disbelief for the sake of a compelling narrative.

            2. Happy Lurker*

              I also thought that Dumbledore’s blind eye with Snape’s treatment of Harry was his way of helping Harry build “backbone”.
              Much like Dumbeldore’s insistence that Harry spend his young years with the Aunt and Uncle (that was of course, before I knew about the counter curse). But I had always thought Dumbledore put a lot of importance on Harry being humble.

              1. Lily Evans*

                I thought it was so that Harry would be mistrustful of adults, so when he was swept into the wizarding world, Dumbledore would be one of the first adults to show him kindness, thereby winning his loyalty because there were so few adults he could trust.

                1. CrazyCatLady*

                  To be honest, the counter curse doesn’t seem particularly believable to me. Even if it did work that way (which is just a terribly convenient plot device), there’s absolutely no reason why Harry couldn’t have attended a muggle boarding school in his primary years. Coming back every summer would have protected him the same way it did during his Hogwarts days when coming back for two weeks a year was apparently enough.
                  And as much as the Dursleys are despicable people, there’s something to be said for not dumping a baby on someone’s doorstep and ordering them to care for it at their own expense.

          4. Lily Evans*

            I want to know what the thought process was when he hired Lockhart. Like, would no one else accept the job because of the curse? I refuse to believe that Dumbledore couldn’t see through Lockhart’s BS. What was that job interview like? Who were his references? People he’d obliviated? Seriously, I’ve never come up with a reasonable explanation of Dumbledore’s MO behind that hiring decision.

            1. Joseph*

              I can’t remember if it’s in the movies or just the books, but I’m pretty sure there’s a line where someone explicitly says that Lockhart was the only person who would actually accept the job.

              We only get to see the seven years of the books, but it’s stated that nobody’s been able to keep the job since Dumbledore refused Voldemort, which was actually a while before Harry’s first year.

              1. Lily Evans*

                I do vaguely remember that now, it’s been awhile since I re-read. I would still love transcripts of how that interview went, though :)

            2. Amadeo*

              I posted the link to the bit from Pottermore when it comes through moderation.

              You can also google ‘pottermore lochkart’ and the little blurb is the first result.

          5. calonkat*

            To be fair, my recollection of reading the books (and that’s a while ago at this point) was that Lockhart was forced on Dumbledore and “Big D” and all the other teachers knew full well that Lockhart was a fraud.

          6. Jennifer*

            I’ll be fair to Dumbledore on one thing: it’s hard to find DADA instructors.
            1. possessed
            2. stupid lying liar
            3. under a curse which will eventually piss off parents when they find out
            4. known to be kinda insane (plus uh, one other problem)
            5. evil Ministry plant
            6. Snape because finally he decided that he was fine with Snape leaving after a year
            7. I forget who, some Death Eater.

          7. Rmric0*

            Really the whole wizarding world seems been run by either incompetents or amateurs. I guess if I could be a wizard I would not bother to learn maths or get a master’s in public administration.

        2. Reba*

          Alibi: of course Snape isn’t protecting Harry, he hates Harry! It hides the scheme, even from Harry, and maintains Snape’s trustworthiness with Death eaters. And/or, Dumbledore miscalculated on this issue. And of course, for dramatic turn-abouts!

            1. Blue_eyes*

              Not quite. The first book was released in June 1997. So next year HP will be twenty years old! Hard to believe!

          1. SAHM*

            I have to agree with this one, the best way to “protect” Harry was to continue to hate him, but when Snape was supposed to be teaching Harry the… Crap I forgot what it’s called, but where they went through each others memories bit, anyway, Dumbledore was SUPER peeved at Snape for not teaching Harry that, I think he called it a misjudgment or something. So it was ok for Snape to pick on Harry bc it supported the whole “Snape is a bad guy” thing, but once he didn’t teach Harry the (I want to say Occlumency lessons?) Dumbledore got upset over that. So… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          2. Lily Evans*

            But there’s a difference between acting like you hate someone and openly tormenting eleven year old children. It wasn’t just Harry he was awful to. What did poor cinnamon roll Neville Longbottom ever do to him? (Okay, yes if Voldy had gone after Neville, Lily wouldn’t have died, BUT STILL.)

            1. Reba*

              Yes! I think he DID deeply and earnestly hate them, but that this hate was perhaps also instrumental.

              I know that his enduring inner torment is supposed to be this big reveal that explains so much… But I remember reading that and thinking, nope, he may be a complex man but remains terrible.

            2. Dynamic Beige*

              Remember Snape was also a “half blood”, so I can imagine that part of the hate was because Neville was supposedly “superior” to him because of his bloodlines (a word I hate because WTH we are talking about people, not prize-winning livestock), but was obviously inferior due to talent/disposition/lack of confidence. He must have also reminded Snape of what he was like as a child in terms of being weak and picked on.

              I kind of agree with what someone said above about entitlement. Snape did not have a very good life, abusive childhood, not particularly handsome or charismatic, the one woman he loved picked someone else over him. Some people can grow up and forge on, others remain forever resentful of what they believe they should have gotten and didn’t. And I hate to say this, but holy crap I’ve just described my mother in large part. I never noticed that before. She was a champion grudge-holder so I guess it never occurred to me that that wasn’t “normal” to read in a book. I completely accepted that Snape was taking out an old issue on Harry simply because of who his father was and it was a big surprise to me in the end when Harry sees the memories. People like that really enjoy having positions of power and/or influence over others (yay mom) and so I could totally understand so much of the stuff that was going on. If the only people Snape could get control over were children, then he was going to use that to make himself feel better.

            3. Chinook*

              “What did poor cinnamon roll Neville Longbottom ever do to him?”

              I honestly think he was focused on Neville because he was also a potential fulfillment of the prophecy. If one thing had changed in a little way, Neville could have been the chosen one and, as a result, needed to be “tested in fire” to harden him up for the realities of that life, just like Harry. If you look at it, Neville is essentially Harry Potter in waiting.

        3. One of the Sarahs*

          My biggest HP question is what do the kids DO after they finish school? Is there a university? As a former UK civil servant, I can’t imagine the Ministry of Magic can employ *that* many people… and how is it funded anyway? Taxes on the magical community? Do wizards & witches who live in the muggle community have to pay double taxes? Are most of the magical families full of inherited wealth, unless they have a billion kids like the Weasleys – or does the average magical adult just magic up money? *what does that do to the economy?*

          *So* many questions…

          1. KG*

            Since it’s revealed in book 6 (I think?) that the Prime Minister is aware of the existence of the magical community, my guess is that there is an “arrangement” whereby magical folks pay a reduced tax load. The Ministry of Magic could even have people placed within…uhhh whatever ministry deals with taxes to change things and keep that end of the operation running smoothly.

            1. Petronella*

              There is some industry, they do produce goods such as flying carpets, potions and potion ingredients.

          2. MissDisplaced*

            Well, there was obviously a merchant class of stores, bars, dining, etc., so I don’t think they magic up the money. But that can’t explain what they all do for a living.
            So what if you wanted to learn accounting or something? Must you go to college in the Muggle world?

            1. Amadeo*

              Well, there’s Bill Weasley, who works with the Gringott’s goblins. Would that be some kind of accounting?

                1. Petronella*

                  But Arithmancy isn’t even a required class. A lot of wizards seemed extremely ignorant and unschooled, by 21st-century Muggle standards.

                2. One of the Sarahs*

                  YES!!!! Isn’t it lucky the other schools in the Triwizard Tournament all speak English, because they don’t learn languages either!

            2. Dynamic Beige*

              At one point Hermione is asked if she’s considering a career in magical law. Considering that wills form some very important plot points, there must be lawyers. There’s some sort of journalism whether it’s the regular paper or the Quibbler, and magazines, books, recording groups. There’s also that point where Hermione’s parents exchange their money for wizard gold, so perhaps some people have non-magical jobs.

              It is interesting though, that there is essentially “nobility” — Neville’s grandmother, Draco’s parents, Sirius’ parents, Harry’s parents — with a lot of inherited wealth/don’t appear to hold down a day job and the only character with a day job — Ron and Ginny’s father — works for the Ministry and barely gets by (although even there, certain branches of the tree have had great wealth passed down).

              Someone needs to write the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead version of Harry Potter where we learn how Stan Shunpike lives a standard wizard life.

          3. Rmric0*

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but HP has something of a secondary world going on (like Narnia or Fairy), so it’s probable that most wizards barely even interact with or enter the little world. So there’s probably an independent economy. I would imagine wizards with little parents are the exception

        4. Lily Evans*

          And it wasn’t even just Harry. I mean, he hated Harry the most, but was just openly awful to all of the Gryffindor students. At some point Dumbledore really needed to sit him down for the “hey, stop traumatizing the students” talk. It makes me so angry that a grown man was allowed to bully children for so long. (I do realize this is a fictional series, I just have a lot of feelings about it.)

          1. TardyTardis*

            Yes, it’s so much better that Gryffindors are allowed to nearly murder Slytherin students with few or no consequences (Snape, Montague, Draco Malfoy).

        5. Kobayashi*

          Thank goodness we’re on this topic, because I’ve always wondered why any parent would send their child to that death trap of a school… and why the administration and teachers are always so shocked when, after engaging children to embark on dangerous ventures, someone is hurt or killed (like Quidich, the triwizard tournamanet, one-drop death potions or approaching large, easily provoked animals).

          1. Chinook*

            “because I’ve always wondered why any parent would send their child to that death trap of a school”

            Easy – they either went there themselves so this was all normal to them or they were Muggles and didn’t know any better. In fact, I bet Hermione’s parents would have pulled her ASAP if she actually told them half of what was going on.

        6. Karin*

          Well, not for nothing, but Snape’s treatment of Harry led credence to his undercover story- namely, that all along, he was waiting for the re-emergence of He Who Must Not Be Named.

          1. Julia*

            Wouldn’t a spy actually on Voldy’s side behave a bit more… believable? Fake!Moody, for example, did a pretty good job.

      2. GigglyPuff*

        I’ve always been curious if there was a parent waiver, and how long it must have been. School is not liable, for dismemberment, lose of bones, comas, or death.

          1. Lily Evans*

            Or that time when “Professor Moody” used unforgivable curses on the students as a teaching tool…

        1. LBK*

          I enjoy the Tumblr post that points out that the Forbidden Forest is STRICTLY OFF LIMITS (unless you get detention) and that Hogsmeade has a no-exceptions permission slip rule because you might eat too much candy at Honeydukes or something (but, again, not for detention in the Forbidden Forest, where you could definitely die).

      3. TardyTardis*

        Yes, because none of the other teachers ever favor their own students! Well, Gryffindors get to try to kill Slytherins, but only get in trouble if they succeed. And of course the Headmaster being Gryffindor and the Deputy Headmaster being Gryffindor has absolutely no effect on any other student. Right?

    2. leslie knope*

      personally i’d want to hear AAM’s thoughts on Rory Gilmore getting a job after sitting in the lobby for hours despite being told there were no jobs available.

      1. Julia*

        But… but… she’s Rory! Everyone (inexplicably) loves Rory!
        I really want to know what she’s up to in the new Netflix specials.

  5. Allison*

    I wonder if some of them got really good at hacking, so they were able to remove their names from computer records and/or write themselves good references for each job.

    1. A Non*

      Or they can hire hackers. I’d expect Twilight-verse vampires to have plenty of underworld connections, at least for the purposes of forging records.

      1. Charlotte Collins*

        Also, my understanding (based on conversations with older relatives and other observations) is that people in the old days were way more free and easy with the truth in terms of personal records. (During the Depression and WWII, it was really common to lie about one’s age or marital status (for women) to get a job or into the military.) So, I have a feeling the Cullens have known for a long time how to fake records and where to get those forgeries from.

        1. Hush42*

          Actually this is addressed in the books. In Breaking Dawn Jasper sends Bella to see a man who specializes in forging documents. She hires him to forge passports, birth certificates, and a drivers license. It’s clear in the book that Jasper has gone to this man many time before for forged records. Presumable he can forge any records, including school records and not just IDs.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            But employers may call the school to have the registrar confirm directly, so you’d need more than the documents (exactly for this reason — forgeries).

            1. JessaB*

              Which is/was easy during the era of paper records, but at this point we’re pretty much at minimum digital back up. It wasn’t hard in the old days if you had access, which as a vampire shouldn’t be hard (go late at night, can easily break in even if the doors are strong, and if I were going to live forever and knew I’d need paperwork I’d learn to locksmith or have one on payroll,) to slip a copy of the forgery in the original records.

              But as early as 1978 for a Westinghouse Project in High School, I wrote a programme to computerise grades at my school. Didn’t win anything, it was painfully simple stuff compared to my fellows, but still. Records were being computerised even back then. My father worked with computers in the early 60s and punch cards were used as early as the Nazis in Germany.

              So really once you get into the mid 20th century you have a way harder time falsifying records that someone might see. And depending on how good an education you have, you’re going to be remembered. The best students write published papers, join societies that remember them, etc.

              1. Swoop*

                digital records are still vulnerable though – bad disks, bad upgrades, bad storage protocols – there’s a decade gone at my high school, for instance, nothing left but digital garbage and no way to confirm or deny anything.

            2. Jennifer*

              If you call a college for degree verification, you’ll probably get some random student manning the phones, not “the registrar.” That person will be looking up information on the computer. I wouldn’t recommend bribing a school registrar*, I’d recommend bribing a computer programmer.

              * I can tell you for a fact that the registrar at my alma mater was rarely in the office and was usually at committee meetings all day, every day.

        2. Mallory Janis Ian*

          And how to act so as not to arouse anyone’s suspicions, which goes a long way toward being taken at one’s word.

    2. Lily Evans*

      Maybe there’s a whole underground network of fronts for businesses and universities run by other vampires, who answer phone calls and emails for references and stuff, along with expert computer hackers. Like, they just list this one university that’s very rural, but has a legit looking website and is listed as accredited.

      1. AMT*

        “Man, the University of Podunk’s school of medicine sure graduates a lot of hot ageless sparkly people. Maybe I should crash their reunion.”

  6. Libby*

    They have that guy who makes documents and stuff for them. He made passports and travel documents for Jacob and Reneesme in Breaking Dawn (J. Jenks, according to the Twilight wikia). I assume if he can make passports and stuff, forging some medical school diplomas and board info shouldn’t be that bad.

    Also, Carlisle could probably start up his own private practice if he ends up with too long of a job history, then he’s his own boss.

    1. Jubilance*

      That’s what I was thinking – that Carlisle would simply have his own practice. Then there’s no need to worry about interviews and whatnot.

      1. JessaB*

        And unless there’s a really bad result on the level of multiple malpractise (as opposed to one bad outcome,) nobody is actually going to check their primary care doctor’s university creds. Very few people do that, unless you’re treating someone very important, and he’d be smart enough not to try to be some kind of major public doctor treating the rich and famous.

  7. Squeegee Beckenheim*

    I never understood why the “teen” vampires didn’t just pretend to be homeschooled. Much easier than going to high school forever.

        1. OhNo*

          To keep up on their socialization, maybe? I imagine if you spent all your time just hanging around other vampires, it would probably be pretty easy to forget how to act around normal humans…

          1. A Non*

            Yeah, but if you’re never around normal humans, would you care?

            I could see going back to school every few decades for the purposes of keeping up with the mortal world. Non-stop high school sounds like hell, though. If I’m ever an immortal, powerful, ridiculously wealthy being, high school is NOT where I’d choose to spend my time.

                1. Dweali*

                  I think at one point Bella asks Edward about it and he says that they sometimes go to college and sometimes highschool

              1. Joseph*


                Shoot, given how many people’s struggle in their first year, you wouldn’t even raise any red flags when you suddenly needed to swap schools or take English 101 again.

            1. DNDL*

              I really don’t think it is non-stop high school, though. The Cullens start in each new place as young as they can get away with, so that they can stay for longer periods of time without moving as often. That just means *starting* in high school. It is started that Edward was gone to medical school at least once (I think it also stated he dropped out after the actual classroom part because he never thought he could actually practice given his desire for blood). It is also stated that Rose and Emmett get married every few decades and keep up the charade as a young married couple.

              Really, they probably go to high school, undergrad, spend a couple year as “twenty-somethings,” and then it is time to start over. They probably only go to high school once a decade or so.

            2. SusanIvanova*

              Yeah, I was thinking the doctor is the one who ought to be going back to school, at least every few decades, both to reset his job history and to catch up on changes in medical practice. But high school forever? Just because your age got frozen at 16 or 17, doesn’t mean you couldn’t pass for 18 and claim to be old enough to be done with it!

              1. Professional Sweater Folder*

                If I remember correctly they do say that Carlisle does go back to med school every couple of decades to catch up on medical technology.

            3. Specialk9*

              Especially since the actors are all late 30s, they really could just be adults and not do all the work, and all the excruciating boredom, of high school every 4 years. (Even if they legitimately were to have looked like actual teenagers, well… lots of us adults do, to our annoyance.) Plus, people get involved in the lives of teens in a way that they don’t for adults, so as a blending strategy it’s suboptimal.

          2. SAHM*

            But they never even talked to anyone else… They were like this aloof family that would only “eat” lunch at their own table, and in fact Bella was warned off from them by whoever was showing her around school. So if the point was to socialize, they never did that….

          3. Miss Betty*

            Buffy the Vampire Slayer sort of addressed this – not the perpetually going to high school part but the fact that vampires who didn’t interact with humans tended to be easy to pick out once you knew to look for the weird guy hanging out in the corner at The Bronze by himself who was wearing 20-years-out-of-date fashions. (Vamps who could blend were far more dangerous, I think, because you couldn’t really tell there was anything off about them till they attacked.)

              1. March*

                Hilariously, you’re not wrong – I found a picture of my sister as a child the other day. The picture was taken in 1994 and her outfit was the pinnacle of present day hipster chic!

              2. SusanIvanova*

                And 20 years ago you could wear 40 year old fashions. It’s the ones who are 10/30/50 years out of date you have to watch out for :)

    1. Eden*

      This is a really good point, particularly considering that they are trying NOT to feed on humans by sticking to the ‘all woodland creature’ diet – why introduce this level of temptation/stress? (I know that the answer is ‘because that wouldn’t make for much of a plot, now, would it’ but this solution did not occur to me as I was reading.

      1. Aurion*

        Oh, oops, I’ve never read Twilight so I didn’t know they were restricting their diets.

        But I still think the social aspect of the school helps somewhat. Talking to the same five people in your vampire family for all eternity must get stale, right?

        1. Pickwick the Dodo*

          Except that if you actually read the books, all the Cullens are extremely snobby and consider humans beneath them, and, prior to Bella, never talked to anyone at school.

      2. de Pizan*

        Especially given that at one point, Jasper(?) loses control over Bella getting a papercut. Just that tiny bit of blood. How in the world are they holding it together over being around more than that regularly in an environment of uncoordinated teens (sports injuries, nosebleeds, fight injuries, and not to be too indelicate but menstrual blood)?

        1. Dynamic Beige*

          But doesn’t she have super-special unbelievable blood that’s like crack for the undead? Maybe standard blood doesn’t set Jasper off as much.

          In regards to school, the fact that they show up probably takes away a lot of the mystery. If they all just stayed at home and were “home schooled”, I could see how people would take notice and get curious, make up stories. If the goal is to appear “normal”, going to school is about as “normal” as it gets. Otherwise, they’d have to get jobs and wait tables or work at Dairy Queen to blend in with the community.

        2. Someone*

          I’m way too late for this discussion but this got me thinking.
          What about the times when Bella was on her period? Did the vampires not care, even though it was that “special blood”?

      3. Mela*

        It’s because they’re all trying to build their tolerance, attempting to move toward Carlisle’s ability to basically be covered in blood without batting an eye. Right now, they all can’t handle being around Bella’s blood, with the exception of Carlisle because he’s put himself out there to build his tolerance and Edward because love. So being around humans helps them build that tolerance.

        Also, even though they’re bored at school, it’s at least something to do during the day. Plus Carlisle having a bunch of adopted kids adds to his image, and they’d need to go to school to fit that picture perfect family image.

    2. Alton*

      Or even just age themselves up to 18. Weren’t they supposed to be 16/17 for the most part? There’s not always a huge difference in physical maturity at that age. They could probably pull it off.

      1. Mona Lisa*

        This is what I always thought, too. I suppose “because plot” is the answer, but surely they’d enjoy themselves a bit more going to college and taking different classes for eternity instead of biology or AP economics repeatedly.

        1. Turtle Candle*

          Yeah–I can definitely see myself spending many decades happily getting new degrees at various universities, but repeating high school over and over? Aaack, no. Even apart from the fact that I did not enjoy high school much the first time around, the same classes again and again would just be so boring, and there usually just aren’t enough different electives to keep things interesting. (I mean, even at college, taking Freshman Composition repeatedly would be pretty dull, but at least if you mixed up your degrees you could ensure that you mostly had unique classes. I could spend years and years just majoring in various languages!)

          I guess money could be an issue–universities cost, whereas high school over and over (and over and over) is free as long as you attend public high schools–but I was under the impression that the Cullens were not hurting for cash.

          1. Elsajeni*

            It’s probably also easier for a university to find out that you have previous degrees, which would raise suspicions. But honestly, why even go to college? Age yourselves up to 18-20, live as normal young adults without a degree. As you said, the Cullens seem pretty flush, so the issue of not being able to land a well-paid job without a degree shouldn’t be a problem, and anyway it’s not like the “kids” would be bringing in any less money as unemployed young adults than as high school students. And it’s not nearly as unusual or suspicious for a 19-year-old not to be in college as for a 16-year-old not to be in school.

            1. Dynamic Beige*

              I remember reading at one point that they used the psychic one’s abilities in the stock market. It stood out to me because that would be a very useful skill to have and probably the only way to acquire the amount of wealth they had.

              1. ApparentlyMoreIntoTwilightThanIThought*

                I don’t know working as a surgeon is pretty lucrative, and we know that Esme also worked at least sometimes in historic reconstructions. The stock market predictions even over just a few decades would make them way too wealthy think Warren Buffet but always exactly perfect and for even longer. I suspect that they donated copiously to many charitable causes. But really one would think that they would have the financial resources (and with Alice) the ability to change the course of nations and industries. Maybe the eventally get to the point after living so long that the more things change the more they stay the same and so have little interest in shaping world events.

                They do an interesting job with grappling the ideas of a soul and humanity (though not nearly as well as she did in The Host) but largely left out purpose beyond family and perhaps Carlisle.

            2. SusanIvanova*

              The trick is to never quite graduate, or to audit the classes. There was one perpetual student in a Roger Zelazny novel – his trust fund would pay for his education and expenses up until he graduated, but had no time constraints. He thought it was a loophole and kept changing majors to avoid finishing; turned out that’s what the relative who’d set it up had intended.

              1. Jennifer*

                Johnny Lechner was some guy who was trying to do that in real life. According to the Internet, nobody quite seems to know if he ever graduated or not.

          2. Natalie*

            Plus, at least in college you can potentially interact with people of a wide range of ages, instead of hanging out with just teenagers all day. Bleh. I didn’t like teenagers that much when I *was* a teenager.

        2. JessaB*

          I remember back in the day when Anne Rice wrote Lestat and made the huge point that you shouldn’t bite anyone before they’re an adult, because OMG being 10 forever is insanely awful. I don’t know how Twilight vampires are made, but it really makes sense that you either wait til they’re adults to make them, or if they’re “born” or something, they should age up to adult looks before becoming immortal and not changing.

          1. ApparentlyMoreIntoTwilightThanIThought*

            It was made illegal in the Twi-verse to make young children vampires because of their lack of inhibitions, they have zero self-control. Violation of this law means death for all involved. Puberty seems to be the cut off. Mostly vampires seem to be created (through vampire poison/saliva) for the purpose of cannon fodder (powerful soldiers, as new vamps have more strength, due to using up the rest of their blood) or by accident.

      2. Infinity*

        I think the book explanation would be because they would then be limiting themselves to being 18 for a short amount of time. If you’re 16/17 you have 3-4 year before you start to look too young. If you start by aging up, you reduce the amount of time you can stay in one place.

      3. TootsNYC*

        Also, they ought to be able to act well enough to pretend to be as old as 35, easily. And maybe older, if they got sort of good at makeup tricks.

        Carlisle can pretend to be any age from an old-looking 28 to 55, probably. So he can stay in one spot, and then shift to a new place and a new age.

        I remember a sci-fi story in which people live forever at basically one age, and one way you can tell the people who are oldest is that they are the most graceful; they’ve had centuries to hone their muscles and the efficiency of their movements.

        And so much of maturity is conveyed by

    3. LBK*

      Being an eternal high schooler is literally my definition of hell and one of my most common nightmares. If I had to spend centuries on an endless loop of graduating and then becoming a freshman again, I’d stake myself immediately (or however you kill vampires in the Twilight universe).

      1. RVA Cat*

        Given how hellish that would be and how rich the Cullens are, couldn’t they instead just be college students forever? Much more fun….

      2. Mallory Janis Ian*

        “Being an eternal high schooler is literally my definition of hell and one of my most common nightmares.”

        Me, too! I sometimes dream that I’m back in my parents’ house as a teenager/young adult. In my dream, I’m married to my husband, but my parents won’t let me go live with him, and I’m stuck as a perpetual child.

        1. Happy Lurker*

          I am always in my footie PJs at my locker in those dreams…and I wake up in a cold sweat.

        2. Pennalynn Lott*

          I dream that I never graduated from high school and I have to go back and take a few more classes. . . at age 49. It’s particularly horrible because I’m treated like a recalcitrant child in situations where I’d normally step up and take over; only that’s not allowed, of course, because I’m *just* a high school student. The frustration and powerlessness are what makes the dream so nightmarish for me.

          1. Chinook*

            “I dream that I never graduated from high school and I have to go back and take a few more classes. . . at age 49. ”

            You mean I am not alone in this horror? Sometimes, it even gets so convoluted because I have a teaching certificate so I have to balance teaching some classes as a substitute teacher and then going in to make up the one that I forgot to take. And no one cares that I have university degree or teach the class – I still have to sit there and write the essays (while I mentally critique the teaching technique of the person at the board).

          2. Dynamic Beige*

            I have this dream, except it happens at a college level. It also involves realising that I was supposed to be going to $Class and haven’t been, it’s too late to withdraw, the final project is due in a short period of time, I haven’t read any of the books or done any of the coursework and I’m going to fail.

            I hate that dream.

            1. hermit crab*

              I read somewhere that this is one of the most common dreams among American adults (and possibly people from other places too, I forget). A huge percentage of people have it on a regular basis. So weird!

            2. Anne*

              I have a version of this dream. In real life I have multiple degrees from various universities. In my dream I am on a campus which is some sort of amalgamation of all the campuses. I cannot find my class. I search and search; but, I get turned around and lost at every turn. I walk from building to building and through crowded corridors, up stairs and down stairs. I cannot find my class anywhere. I am in such a panic. Sometimes I do finally arrive and the professor in extremely angry that I am so late and unprepared. There is another version of the dream where I cannot remember my schedule. I keep “forgetting” to go to one particular, very important class. Or I can’t remember when or where the class meets so I wander around in a panic. These are actually frequent dreams of mine.

        3. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Oh, yeah. I forgot the part where I’m also still in high school and have homework past due that I can never seem to finish.

    4. INTP*

      Then they couldn’t meet teenage human love interests to drive the plot forward. And we all know that vampires have to date people who appear the same age as them, or younger. God forbid a 200 year old man who looks 25 date a woman out of high school!

      1. Government Worker*


        A while back I watched some early season Buffy right after watching later season Angel. Angel’s backstory was developed much more on his own show, and the actor aged so that he really seemed like an adult, and one with lots and lots of life experience. Seeing him with Buffy again was jarring and made me question everything in retrospect.

    5. pomme de terre*

      For some reason, the Cullens seemed especially keen on not allowing people to visit their home (at least, until they invite the whole town over for B&E’s wedding). Does homeschooling require some/any check-ins from state officials? It might for some reason be easier/wiser to send the “kids” out into the world than to invite the world (via a school official) into their home.

      1. Silver Radicand*

        This depends on the guidelines put down by the state. Some states require them. Some don’t.

      2. Alton*

        I haven’t heard of in-home visits. At least, they don’t do it in my state. A lot of states (though not all) require homeschoolers to take state SOL tests, though.

        But at 16 or 17, some states would let the kids get their GEDs or drop out of school, anyway. Not sure if Washington is one of them. I can’t imagine the GED would be too challenging for them after being in high school so long.

    6. Happy Lurker*

      I thought I remembered reading that they were bored so they went to school every few years (in addition to moving to different locations so no one would catch on to their agelessness). I could be confusing the movie and the books, but I thought it was the scene where he runs with Bella on his back for the first time…and he explains things in the meadow with his sparkly face.
      By the way, this is so much fun! I have to think of questions.

      1. pomme de terre*

        Boredom does make as much sense as anything. And I would think that if attended HS about once a generation, it would be fun and interesting enough. The class material would change. But no one would want to repeat high school on a constant four-year loop.

        1. Mela*

          If I recall correctly, they do 4 years of high school, then college, and repeat as wanted. Rose and Emmett are a year or two older than Edward/Jasper/Alice, so they’re off in college during the last part of the series. They also have taken off on their own, like for mini honeymoons when each couple gets together for the first time. Edward also does it during New Moon, for instance.

    7. SevenSixOne*

      I’ve seen plenty of teens who could pass for 20- or even 30-somethings (and vice versa), so I never understood why someone immortal who looked like a teenager wouldn’t try to pass as a baby-faced young adult! Wouldn’t being eternally 27 a lot more fun and require a whole lot less cover-up than being eternally 17?

  8. Dweali*

    For the cold/warm hand thing, simple with either the warmers like you said or washing his hands (he would have to anyway for most hospital policies)…explain the coldness away because he just washed them or he could use super hot water amd it would warm them (hopefully enough to feel humanish)

    1. INTP*

      Perhaps he could also wear heating gloves, requested as a special accommodation for his Reynaud’s.

    2. AndersonDarling*

      I always remind clients that I just washed my hands, and that’s why they are cold. Cold hands = clean hands.
      …not that I’m a vampire. . . yet.

    3. Pickwick the Dodo*

      But Twilight!Vampires are also as cold & hard as marble! Harder to explain away shaking hands with a statue.

      (I have a lot of problems with Twilight world building…)

  9. Aurion*

    Alison, you are my hero. I was muffling giggles while I was reading this.

    Now to think of questions to send you…

  10. Bob from Accounting*

    Do the questions have to be limited to books? I’m thinking of a scenario, but it doesn’t involve books.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I am definitely open to movies/TV, although there’s more of a chance I won’t have seen those. And the one linked in the start of the question was a video game question, which worked because the OP there explained the context.

      1. AnotherHRPro*

        I am always doing this with movies and TV shows. They so regularly miss out on addressing the workplace issues!

    2. AndersonDarling*

      A while back there was a big discussion in the comments about Star Trek and good management.

      1. Almond Milk Latte*

        Yes, I was absolutely thinking about that. I hope someone digs up the link!

      2. One of the Sarahs*

        I have SO many questions about why they’d hire Troi as a Ship’s Counsellor….

        1. Creag an Tuire*

          Lwaxana appeared to be one of the most powerful politicians in the Federation, so that one can probably be chalked up to pure nepotism.

          AAM, do we post our questions here, or do you want us to e-mail them to you like a “normal” question?

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            Here if you want to offer them for immediate comment discussion, but you can also email them to me the way this OP did for possible publication as their own post. (If you do email them, I think it’s easier for me if you do not write them in the voice of the character but rather do what the OP did here, although I haven’t yet put that to the test.)

  11. Xanthippe Lannister Voorhees*

    This is the kind of content I didn’t know I wanted from a career advice site, but am forwarding to absolutely everyone because I’ve had the same conversation with people!

    1. ThatGirl*

      We’re in the middle of S2 of Kimmy Schmidt so I suddenly understand your username! Love it! :)

  12. Ann O'Nemity*

    Since the vampires are ridiculously wealthy, I imagine they are able to forge, buy, and otherwise arrange all manner of records and references. I imagine the employers are just excited to hire someone willing to work endless hours (no sleep needed!) who can work at supernatural speed and probably doesn’t even care about the pay.

    My question was always, why are the teens repeating high school over and over again. Can’t they just say homeschool? Or say they’ve already graduated? I cannot even imagine sitting through high school algebra, geography, etc for one hundred years straight.

    1. INTP*

      I posted below, but it seems like the reason for the male vampires attending high school repeatedly is to find teenage human love interests to drive the plot forward…which is really creepy when you think about it, considering that these are men several times their age with compulsory powers and innate predatory natures.

      1. SevenSixOne*

        Right? I was barely interested in dating teenagers when I WAS a teenager! Once I got out of high school, the idea of dating a high schooler (even like, dating someone 16-17 when I was 18) seemed really gross and predatory.

        1. Jennifer*

          Think of the problems of being 200 years old. You’d have a horrible time finding a woman to date that’s on your mind wavelength, or even a wee bit close to it. You might actually want to date an 80-year-old for her mind, but people would think you’re a gold digger or scammer, so you’re stuck dating hot but dumb (compared to you) 20-year-olds that appear to be around your physical age.

  13. AFT123*

    Do these vampires have the ability to “glamour” humans, like the True Blood vampires? I mean in that case, you can just make people believe and do whatever you want!

  14. Tomato Frog*

    Continuously re-attending medical school seems like it would be a good idea for him, anyway. Medicine isn’t exactly a static field. I’m imagining a nurse looking at him like he was crazy because he suggests some medical procedure that hasn’t been used since the 1950s.

    1. OhNo*

      “Clearly the solution here is to apply leeches and follow up with a lobotomy!”

      “Uh, doctor….?”

      1. ToxicNudibranch*

        “Oh, right. Forgot myself for a moment. Trepanation it is!”

        “How about we try some toradol and an ice pack instead…”

    2. Windchime*

      That’s what I was thinking. He would really need to work to stay current on his skills since medicine changes so quickly.

      1. Charlotte Collins*

        Yes, didn’t they come up with a study a few years ago that found the older/further from med school graduation your doctor is the worse your medical care is? He must be a terrible doctor… (Never read or watched Twilight, so I’m arguing from ignorance here.)

        1. irritable vowel*

          But the flip side of that is that older doctors have WAY more experience. Now that I’m at an age where my doctors are starting to be younger than I am, I think about this a lot – my kneejerk reaction to a younger doctor is that their academic training is more recent and more up-to-date, but they’ve had very little time beyond their residencies to build up a wealth of experience (professional as well as personal) that can help them make better decisions. Younger doctors, in my opinion, want to run every possible test perhaps because they’re not confident in their ability to assess based on prior experience, and also perhaps because their training emphasized this kind of diagnostic testing as opposed to observation. I guess the best doctor is one who has both experience and keeps her knowledge up-to-date…

        2. Mela*

          They don’t sleep. He most likely spends his nights reading every single journal article in existence and practicing new surgery techniques for fun.

    3. AG*

      This! Unlike lawyers, nurses, engineers, etc., to stay licensed doctors in the US aren’t actually required to attend continuing education. How does he stay current on medical issues?

      1. Aubergine Dreams*

        Wow. Even teachers have to attend continuing education to stay licensed. That’s scary and ridiciulous.

        1. Specialk9*

          My doctor family members absolutely have to do mandatory continuing education courses.

      2. OhNo*

        That is not a fact that I was aware of. Now that I am, I kind of wish I didn’t know it because HOLY CRAP that’s weird.

      3. Judy*

        I’m pretty sure most states require CME for license renewal, and each specialty board also has CME requirements. So even if your state doesn’t require CME, to maintain the specialty certifications, the doctors need CME.

      4. Karen K*

        No, this is not true. In order to be licensed, doctors must accumulate a certain number of Continuing Medical Education units (CMEs) per year, which are the result of attending conferences, lectures, and other educational stuff. Also, beginning in the 1990s, they have to retake their board exams every 10 years. It is a huge amount of continuing education.

    4. FD*

      Yeah, I always kind of figured he went back to medical school every generation or so. It’d be necessary to keep up his skills and it’d give him a verifiable history.

      1. Xay*

        I have never had an interest in this series, but now I would love to read a novella about an ancient vampire preparing to take the MCAT.

    5. Elaine*

      It’s always bothered me that he puts a tourniquet on Bella in one of the books. Like, I know he went to medical school in like 1685, but he should have done enough CME to know better than that. I have a Madeleine L’Engle novel published in the 60s, where a 12-year-old whose father is a doctor tells another character off for suggesting the use of a tourniquet for a cut.

  15. periwinkle*

    Vampires aren’t the only ones dealing with this. Check out Robert Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love (and other works featuring the extended-life humans and Lazarus Long). Lazurus carefully ages his appearance and then starts over by relocating somewhere else as a “young” man.

    So that’s an unexpected drawback of being a vampire: packing.

    1. A Non*

      I’ve also read stories where immortal people develop new identities by pretending to be their own kid every thirty years or so. I imagine you wouldn’t be able to spend a lot of time around people who knew your “parent”, as it’d be hard not to let slip shared memories that you’re not supposed to have, but it makes inheriting your own property a lot simpler.

      1. Chinook*

        “I’ve also read stories where immortal people develop new identities by pretending to be their own kid every thirty years or so.”

        The Highlander tv series used this trope for the immortals and it actually makes sense when it comes to passing on wealth and property. I also remember that Methos was the eternal college student trying to finish his thesis on ancient studies because he wanted to hide and no one would think to look for the world’s oldest man (a.k.a Death) on the history department, especially as a grad student.

        1. Jennifer*

          I loved that Methos got a job with the Watchers, working on how to track down Methos. HILARIOUS.

  16. Mona Lisa*

    I think the issue would be that they’d have to stick to regions where it’s cloudy/not sunny, which really limits where they can live. That narrows the scope of hospitals to which he could apply and would increase the likelihood that there would be other doctors, nurses, admin staff, etc. moving around in the same geographic area. What does he do if someone recognizes him from a previous hospital?

    1. EmmaLou*

      Ohh! I think you must be thinking of my (dad, brother, older cousin, grandfather) he was (is) a doctor, too! There is a great family resemblence among some members of my family. (And none between others except we all have the same eyes…) (Unless Jasper slips… ..)

    2. Mela*

      I think that’s why they choose relatively rural areas to live (rural Washington and Alaska). Rural folks tend to stay put whereas cities are where you find a large mix of people from all over, and are likely to bump into an old acquaintance in the street.

    3. SevenSixOne*

      Semi-serious question: Vampires in Bram Stoker’s time didn’t have things like sunscreen or UV-protective eyewear and fabric. Do you think modern vampires would be able to use those items diligently and be free to go outside in the day?

      1. Pennalynn Lott*

        Female vampires would have an easier time of it because they could wear a burquah with gloves.

      2. hermit crab*

        Well, in Buffy and Angel some vampires spend a lot of time running outside around under blankets, and they’re generally fine! (aside from a little smoke here and there)

    4. ApparentlyMoreIntoTwilightThanIThought*

      They don’t have to live in cloudy places it just restricts their options. So a hospital in a sunny area with an underground parking garage and/or working nights would be totally feasible.

  17. Sarah*

    I seem to remember one of the later books mentions that the Cullens are ultrabillionaires and have shell companies handling their estates, so they create new personas for themselves on an as-needed basis when they have to meet someone working for the shell companies in person – like, pretending to be their own great-great-grand-nieces and nephews who inherited all the estate’s money. Presumably they can use the same tactic with hirers, bringing someone else in the family in to pose as a former employer at a made-up company.

  18. Salted French Fry*

    I’d rather talk about how Angel definitely deserved to be fired from his evil law firm. He was a terrible boss.

    1. Belle*


      Plus now that I am rewatching Gilmore Girls — I keep yelling at the screen when Rory stages a sit in to get a job at a newspaper. There is no job opening…stay stay stay bug bug bug…here is a job, now go away.

      1. leslie knope*

        ha! i didn’t scroll down enough to see this, but i said the same thing above.

  19. Morning Glory*

    I was obsessed with The Last Vampire series by Christopher Pike when I was in high school. This question makes me think of that series and how Sita navigated around this issue. IIRC, she didn’t need to work because she had amassed so much wealth over the centuries she lived through.

    1. Not Karen*

      Makes sense. According to the 4% rule, aren’t you supposed to be able to draw from “retirement” funds indefinitely?

  20. INTP*

    My question is, why are several of them attending high school when they don’t need to work at all? They could easily pass for of-age trustafarians. High school was traumatic enough the first time (maybe it would have been more pleasant if I were a vampire, though). Why do television/movie vampires attend over and over? The reason seems to be to find teen girls to date to drive the plot forward…which is really creepy when you think about it.

    1. Jennifer*

      Maybe they just got sick of being asked why they weren’t in school on a Tuesday morning? Maybe they were traumatized by truant officers in the 50’s?

    2. RKB*

      Hahaha. They could be rich Instagram kids who push detox teas and waist trainers. Now that’s a fanfiction I’d like to read

  21. Persephone Mulberry*

    After your teaser earlier this week, I am so sad this isn’t another “my manager is a Mayan shaman/voodoo priestess” question about an employee who really thinks they are a vampire. :*(

    That said…I haven’t studied the Twilight universe extensively (I read the books but thought they were kind of dumb), but in other vampire lore, the older the vampire gets, the more powerful they become…for example, redirecting your corporeal energy to hide your undead pallor or make your hands feel warm.

    If Mike from Suits can hack/have his contact hack Harvard and the New York Bar Association, I’m sure a hundreds-of-years-old vampire has the network to keep his medical/career credentials relative to the current time period.

  22. pomme de terre*

    A Twilight technical question that has always bothered me: human blood, and Bella’s in particular, gets the vampires all riled up. Jasper flips his sh*t when Bella gives herself a small paper cut.

    So how do the Cullens deal when Bella gets her period?!

    And how do they walk around in the world where women of childbearing age are menstruating about 25% of the time, barring those on birth control or with health issues?

    This felt like a big oversight to me, because I think otherwise Meyer did a good job of addressing how uncomfortable teenage girls can feel in their own bodies. Bella is not as good looking as the Cullens, she’s much more physically vulnerable than the Cullens, she has to ask Edward for a “human minute” occasionally to use the bathroom or brush her teeth or shower, and she has to eat and sleep regularly.

    Even with other humans, Bella’s uncomfortable with all the romantic attention she gets, and she’s physically clumsy (like a lot of teenagers are). Literally wanting to escape your own body and all its ever-changing weirdness and awkwardness and smells and desires is a pretty common desire among teenage girls, and that’s essentially what vampirism offers Bella: a perfect, beautiful body that will never change and needs relatively little maintenance.

    It always really bugged me that the books go on and on and on about the difference between human and vampire bodies and never touched on menstruation fits into that dichotomy.

    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

      My guess (totally spitballing here) would be that menstrual blood smells significantly different than fresh-from-your-veins blood in a way that doesn’t quite trigger that flipping. After all, a relatively small proportion of it is actual fresh blood — there’s a lot that is soft tissue.

      1. AFT123*

        Ya maybe it’s like sharks – it’s “dead” blood and therefor not interesting.

      2. pomme de terre*

        Excellent theory! I still wish it would have been explained, though. It just seems like something Bella would have asked about — if not of Edward then of Alice or Esme.

        I hardly ever read sci fi or fantasy for precisely this reason — I get bogged down in the details and suck the fun out of it. One of the few things I actually liked about Twilight was that it did a decent job of explaining stuff like that and throwing away traditional vampire stuff (like the exposure to sun thing) the author didn’t care about. So this oversight feels glaring to me!

    2. The Expendable Redshirt*

      How does Carlisil deal with blood at the hospital? You’d think in his line of work, he would come across fresh blood during a surgery or whatnot.

      1. pomme de terre*

        I’ve thought about that too — they do say that Carlisle is an exceptionally old vampire and therefore has tons of self-control. But you’d think a rough surgery would still be more than he could bear.

      2. MissDisplaced*

        It was mentioned I believe. He’s older and has exceptionally good self-control.
        It was kind of a “master your desires” kind of thing for him I believe. He works around so much blood all day, he becomes immune/impartial to seeing it. Plus, I suppose he really likes and enjoys being a doctor and saving humans.

    3. Sarah*

      Technically, menstrual fluid isn’t even really blood; it’s endothelial tissue that happens to be extremely iron-rich (thus the color), so basically completely different types of cells from the stuff running through your veins. Also, humans can’t smell blood itself, but we can smell iron because the oils on our skin break down when they come in contact with iron and produce that distinctive smell (see also: rubbing a coin all over your fingers and then smelling your fingers).

      So if vampires are smelling *actual blood itself*, rather than the iron-on-skin smell, it would mean that the fact that menstrual fluid is iron-rich wouldn’t matter to them at all.

      1. pomme de terre*

        Ahh, that’s a perfect explanation! Thank you!

        That said, I still think it’s something BELLA would have asked in the books, if not of Edward then of one of the lady vampires. :)

    4. Jennifer*

      I read somewhere that the author just was too squicked out to deal with the period question, so she ignored it.

  23. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

    I will admit to having considered this question with regard to Highlander immortals, too.

    1. Ghost Town*

      I remember one episode where Duncan went to a bank, claimed to be his own grand – son or nephew, his inheritance.

      1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        Yep. And I’ve always thought that a great way for an immortal to make a living would be to set up somewhere (on holy ground, of course) and just get really really good at making forged legal documents. “Oh, the John Smith identity is starting to get on in years? Well, how does being his son Bob strike you? Let’s get a driver’s license and birth certificate worked up here….” You get plenty of repeat clients that way, and ones with an interest in seeing you don’t lose your head.

        1. eplawyer*

          actually it was referenced in a season 6 episode. IN the 1920s, Fitz was getting ready to move on when he was “killed” at a house party prematurely. He hadn’t finished the paperwork for his new identity yet. So he had to stay dead while McLeod solved the “murder.” One of the more hilarious episodes.

          1. MentalEngineer*

            There were *six* seasons of the Highlander TV show?! Every time I think my youth was sufficiently misspent watching late-night SciFi channel reruns, I learn something like this that puts me to shame.

              1. Chinook*

                Yeah – another Methos fan. You weren’t, perchance, a member of his Harem, were you? (I lost track of that particular fan group)

                Signed, Chinook – Keeper of the Master’s Tongues (languages, of course).

              2. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

                Methos was the reason I originally got into the series! He’s the best.

            1. Jennifer*

              Really, there were five good seasons and then the uh, “gas leak season” in which the actor playing Duncan had a foot and a half out the door and they were just trying to come up with various female immortals out of nowhere that could pull off a spinoff series. (Then they just went with Amanda, but….let’s just say the commentaries on the spinoff series are hilarious trainwreck material.)

        2. JessaB*

          Also if you’re smart you do this in advance. Let’s say you want to keep it to about 50-60 years per identity, somewhere around age 30 you start setting up the birth of New You.

      2. Parfait*

        I was just coming here to say that! It was a great scene. Great Grand-Dad left all this money in the bank and now I’m here with the same name . Thanks to the power of compound interest, yay I am rich!

  24. Charlotte Collins*

    One of the things I loved about Being Human was that this kind of thing was addressed in the show. (Lost Girl also delves into it a bit. Apparently, it really helps to have some members of your Fae community on the police force.)

    1. Not IT but can relate*

      Yes… Being Human did address those burning questions a bit more (except for the ghost girl).
      TruBlood also had some of the Vamps working and leading fairly more normal lives. Especially as they had a artificial source of blood.

      But honestly, if you became an immortal vampire, would you want to keep working?
      I mean, why bother? Unless you have a desire to help mankind solve their many problems.

      1. Elizabeth*

        In the books that were the source material for TruBlood, only a few vamps were wealthy. Most of them still had to work, because they needed a source of income to buy the synthetic blood product, plus there was a tribute to be paid to the hierarchy of vampires above them, from the local sheriff to the territory’s queen or king and so on.

        1. MissDisplaced*

          I seem to recall that some of them had some pretty crappy jobs in TruBlood too. Same with the werewolves.
          So getting supernatural powers didn’t give one supernatural smarts or anything.
          Most seemed to become Vamps and just kept on at their old jobs for a while. LOL! But I guess that’s more realistic than becoming a rock star like Lestat. There were RULES.

      2. Noah*

        I can’t imagine not working. I would probably do the jobs that don’t pay well but I’ve always wanted to try.

  25. Valentina Warbleworth*

    If Carlisle is a rich doctor, then ostensibly he could just drift into to town and set up a private medical practice. If he stuck to rural areas in desperate need of a doctor close by, his documents likely wouldn’t invite much scrutiny.

    1. AMT*

      That was my first thought, too. He could practice for ten or fifteen years in one location, then move a couple of towns over once people got suspicious. There’d be no massive hospital HR department to comb through his credentials (something I’m dealing with now!) and no coworkers asking prying questions (you graduated from Stony Brook in 2010? So did I!).

    2. ApparentlyMoreIntoTwilightThanIThought*

      Hence Forks. In the books it is mentioned that they were desperate and very much appreciated such a skilled surgeon (which is why he was allowed back after leaving abruptly.) They didn’t have a lot of motivation to do a rigorous check.

      I also suspect that working in a hospital and keeping the ultra rich knowledge suppressed helps make you more sympathetic/heroic/valued member of the community.

  26. De Minimis*

    I think they could do it if they worked in a professional favored by younger people with relatively high turnover…

    Vampire Big 4 CPA. Work all night [and it would be easier if you had the looser vampire rules where they can be in daylight] make manager in 4-5 years, then “move on to private industry…” and start again as a summer intern at another firm. Except you’d run out of bigger firms after a couple of decades…

    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

      Stretch out how long you’re there, and by the time you’ve done the circuit of the big firms, you come back and no one who was there before is still around. When people see you every day, it’s harder for them to notice that you’re not aging like you should. You could probably wring a solid decade out of it, especially if you get good enough at makeup to do a bit of subtle contouring that ages you a bit.

      1. De Minimis*

        This is true, even if you had some partners who were around it’s doubtful anyone below manager would even get on their radar screen….and you could do something like work in audit the first time then come back and work in tax. And then there are other areas that are unrelated too like advisory or transfer pricing. A vampire could probably keep busy for a century at least, jumping from firm to firm. And that’s not even bringing into play the larger regional ones—or going overseas.

  27. Thomas E*

    After investing considerable amounts of time and effort in a project that would enable me to outcompete my rivals, a human king defeated my military division and cut my superweapon (which was supposedly all powerful) off my hand causing my minions to run away. I’ve invested considerable time and effort in hireing Sauron, a lieutenant, who was meant to recover this but instead hired a sun-hating exhobbit who appears to covert my ring for himself. My main opposition appears to be a misfit group of adventures that are lead by an eccentric Chap who is the brother of Sauron.

    Considering their CV’s I believe my evil minions ought to have recovered the ring years ago.

    Have you any suggestions for instituting a interview process that results in better skilled evil minions? How do you know your evil minions aren’t going to stab you in the back?

    1. FD*

      There’s really a few factors to consider. First of all, you need to look seriously at the culture of your organization. There are a few red flags I see from your question. First of all, when you had a setback, most of your minions left. Secondly, your second in command isn’t doing what you want him to. Finally, you’re very concerned about betrayal.

      It sounds to me like you’re having trouble building an organization that’s committed to your mission, and that will be resilient even in the face of setbacks. How’s your salary and benefit package? It can seem easy to hire the cheapest orcs available, but remember that the best minions have options, and can easily hire on with other warlords if you don’t treat them well. Second of all, are you making sure to reward success rather than only punishing failures? If you ignore victory and punish setbacks, people will avoid telling you what you need to know, and they’ll have little reason to stay with you when things don’t go your way.

      In regards to your second in command, it sounds like you need to sit him down and have a real heart-to-heart with him. Set out your expectations clearly, and define what he needs to do to meet them. Make it clear that his job is on the line if he can’t meet those expectations, and take action if he can’t. If you have to hire a replacement, look for someone with a proven track record of defeating questers, preferably in a command role.

      Best of luck!

  28. C Average*

    Pause for just a moment and ask yourself this: How do you know–really KNOW–that your colleagues are NOT vampires?

    Think about the preternaturally knowledgeable twentysomething.

    Think about the middle manager who has been there for as long as anyone can remember, but doesn’t look a day over forty.

    Think about the alleged germ-phobe who won’t shake hands, and the grumpy lady who gets all bent out of shape when someone wants to take a picture of her.

    Think about the IT guy who brings his lunch to work in a cooler he keeps in his desk drawer–even though his cube is right next to the kitchen, where there are two perfectly good fridges.

    Think about the night janitor. Does anyone really know what she does during the day?

    1. Lemon Zinger*

      One of the managers at my previous workplace is definitely a vampire. I ran into him outdoors a few weeks ago, and was genuinely shocked.

      1. Collarbone High*

        Heh. I work nights, and on the rare occasion I have to go in before noon, my entire office freaks out. It’s like seeing a bat in the daytime for them.

    2. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

      If he didn’t go running in the sun so much, I’d be convinced my ex-father is a vampire. The man is pushing 70 but he doesn’t look a flipping day over 40, and in high school I got to have a bunch of friends go “That’s your dad? Oh my god, he’s super hot!”

    3. Pennalynn Lott*

      Ha! I am that grumpy woman who won’t let her picture be taken. I once won a handful of sales awards, and my manager wanted to take my picture to put it in his annual “Look How Good My Team Is Doing” presentation. I genuinely asked him if my photo was a condition of employment. When he said No, I told him to take a picture of the stuffed animal mascot I kept in my cube (and that everyone who knew me knew about) and use that instead.

      I might be a vampire. :-)

  29. Not IT but can relate*

    I have to think that Carlisle must be a VERY good doctor by now.
    Perhaps he also “goes back” to medical school every 10-20 years or so under a new identity? That would be a good thing, as he could keep up with new technologies, surgical specialities, etc. Especially if he loves being a doctor.
    Cold hands to shake? Hospitals and labs are typically cold places! Probably no one notices.

    The Cullens must have a very exclusive and extremely discreet legal team at their disposal. If you’ve ever read the precursor to Twilight, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, this is what the Vampire Lestat did. I believe he had a number of Swiss bank accounts for his vast wealth, and a team of legal and business trusts that were managed. I seem to recall that at least one person seemed sort of “in the know” if you will, and he changed them every 50 years (imagine that a lifetime position working for a Vamp!) or so. Same thing in the original Highlander film (he was immortal, but not a vamp).

    Why the Cullen “teens” attend high school is a mystery though. I mean, why not college at least! Let’s be useful citizens here people!
    And why, if Vamps are immortal and so inclined, do they not become scientists or volunteer for deep space travel or some such–I can’t think of people more suited to space travel (provided they have a food source)? Imagine all that time at your disposal!

  30. The Expendable Redshirt*

    Vampire Employment Question

    How do traditional vampires deal with mirrors in the workplace? (I don’t know if Twilight addresses this). Suppose a typical vampire works as an overnight doctor in a hospital. How do they deal with the numerous mirrors and shiny surfaces that do not show their reflection? I’d think that Nurse Joe is going to notice eventually during surgery that Dr. Vampire has no reflection.

    1. Charlotte Collins*

      I think it depends upon whether you’re a folklore, classic literary, movie, or modern literary vampire. Folklore and classic literary vampires will do OK here, and can even go out during the day (they just don’t have full power when the sun is up). But movie and modern literary vampires will have some problems.

      On the other hand, lugging around the soil from your gravesite/homeland is a pain for the folklore/classic literary vampire.

    2. Kiki*

      Watching the Twilight movie, (in between my snort-laughs at the number of dramatic teenage sighs that passed as acting…) I was wondering what would happen if Blade came to get sutured up. Would Cullen Sr be a professional about it? Would Blade be nice? Would Blade be waiting in the parking lot later?

      1. jamlady*

        If it was Dean Winchester, he’d probably give him one free pass and keep an eye on him. If it was Sam, he’d be convinced by Dean that Carlisle deserved a free pass and then Sam would sulk until he forgives Dean when he dies. Again. For the 10th time.

  31. Not Karen*

    I knew someone who went to high school at 10 and when he graduated at 14 his parents didn’t know what to do with him, so they sent him back to high school again. He does not recommend doing high school more than once.

    1. Sarah*

      They missed a perfectly good opportunity to turn that kid into a secret agent, is what they did.

    2. RinCat*

      Ugh how awful! He could have gone started at college or something. There are plenty of people who have done that, it’s not unheard of (and not just for geniuses! I started classes at a community college when I was 15).

      1. Not Karen*

        He eventually did at 16 (which is how we met). I guess they couldn’t find anywhere that would take him earlier.

  32. Dust Bunny*

    “Dead Like Me” handled this via reapers: There are other reapers working in government agencies who help them reinvent their identities every so often.

    1. MissDisplaced*

      I loved that show! Sad it didn’t last. The lead actress was really funny in a very dry, droll way. So very GenX.

  33. Oryx*

    This is part of The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness — the vampire (1000 years old) has gone by different names over the centuries and changes his field of studies as times goes on, so he’s got multiple PhDs and such in a wide variety of scientific fields and has basically worked his way through almost every college at Oxford, sometimes multiple times.

      1. RinCat*

        Me too! If I had unlimited funds, I’d be a lifelong student at universities all over the world.

    1. Hlyssande*

      Yes, that is what I was going to chime in with! I’d certainly do the same thing if that were me. I just finished rereading that trilogy last week but now I’m wanting to start it over again.

    2. Chinook*

      Wait, so does that mean that, since you have multiple phd’s under multiple names, you could start a crazy theory and then, over the centuries, through carefully crafted research of your previously published papers, you could then prove your theory as crazy because various (supposedly unconnected people) also came up with the same conclusion.

      That would be a great way to become an evil mastermind with legit credentials!

  34. Kiki*

    I am always bothered by CSI, law enforcement, or medical characters when played by a woman with long flowing hair that isn’t tied up. Your hair in the crime scene or patient should definitely get you fired! Not to mention getting your hair all bloody. Or when they are wearing gloves at the crime scene or autopsy then answer their phone with the gloves still on. Health and safety violation!

    1. Charlotte Collins*

      I agree! It also bothers me to watch a cooking show or show with a female cook who doesn’t tie up long hair. Who wants hair in their food?

    2. Sarah*

      Oh my god, the answering-their-cell-phones-with-gloves-on thing bothers me every time. That and when they show medical-type characters (surgeons, coroners, researchers, etc.) doing blatantly unsanitary things like eating Ramen while standing over the body they’re in the middle of cutting open or using lab equipment as Tupperware. I think it’s supposed to read as “This character’s an old hand at this! Germs don’t bother them anymore!” but it really reads as “This character has no idea what the hell they’re doing! Get them out of the lab!”

      1. Aurion*

        I have given up on any sort of realism to do with law, medicine, or police in entertainment. The things TV characters can get away with that so would not fly in the real world…

      2. Charlotte Collins*

        In Midsomer Murders, why do they keep questioning witnesses/potential perpetrators together? I once witnessed a car accident that I was completely not involved in. The police questioned me and the other (disinterested) witness out of hearing range of each other. (Note to readers: when making a left turn from a right lane (US), make sure that you are NOT on a two-lane one-way street where someone could be passing you on the left.)

      3. Kiki*

        Yeah…on one episode of E/R, which was normally great as to accuracy, one of the characters was a surgical intern, he scrubbed, gloved, then stood watching the surgery with his hands at his sides. You are Fired, Doctor, Good Day! (If you don’t know, once scrubbed and gloved, your hands never go below the surgical table. You are usually taught to clasp your hands over your chest.)

      4. DMented Kitty*

        We caught our lab techs cooking ramen using a beaker and the magnetic stirrer/hotplate one night as we went about our thesis — they were there to supervise us so they had very long nights in the lab.

        I also interned as QA assistant in one food manufacturing company (among other things). Sometimes they send food into the lab for testing – chocolate syrup, for example. A huge tub of it, to ensure the fat content is consistent in their batches. I only needed a small amount of these (probably a couple cups), so there were leftovers. Then R&D brought in an excess of pancakes from their “research” – so we had pancakes with chocolate syrup parties once in a while. :D

    3. GigglyPuff*

      Or they’ll go back to the crime scene for some reason, be looking around, see something and pick it up, and they’re not wearing gloves! I notice that every time.

    4. DMented Kitty*

      Try watching the movie Sand Sharks (it’s about the same caliber as Sharknado but I watch these movies just for giggles) – I just watched it and I was just appalled at how one of the characters played the least convincing marine scientist ever – I kept yelling “Why is there no gloves while handling specimens? She should have gloves – she shouldn’t be handling pieces of shark with her bare hands! Why is her cop friend also touching the shark piece WITHOUT a glove – then answering his phone with that same hand a few seconds after? Why is she not wearing a lab coat — a lab coat is part of safety procedures!” LOL

  35. bentley*

    Anyone here remember “Forever Knight”? Nick Knight, a vampire, was a police detective working the night shift. Another vampire was a late-night DJ and another ran a nightclub.

    1. Muriel Heslop*

      I loved that show! It was the one and only time I enjoyed anything vampirical.

    2. LawCat*

      Yes, I loved that show! As I recall, Nick et al. used forged identity documents (I think there was a member of their vampire community with this skill?) as well as their ability to hypnotize/persuade humans to believe them.

  36. Rowan*

    Everyone who’s enjoying this thread might also enjoy Charles Stross’ Laundry File series. (link coming in reply)

    1. Jennifer*

      I don’t think I could even pull off writing a letter from that series.

      Dear Ask A Manager:
      My husband and I work for the same government agency and for the record, quitting is not an option. While we do love each other, our respective job responsibilities are driving us apart to the point where we can no longer live together. Unfortunately, separating him from what he needs to work on is not an option, as he’s the only Teapot Whisperer at the company. I’ve recently separated from my own major job responsibility that was interfering with the marriage, but I’m suffering from a case of major burnout after my last case. But again, quitting isn’t an option. I don’t want to end my marriage and neither does he, but how do we work around huge work problems we can’t just quit?
      Lost Without My Violin

  37. Kelly L.*

    He’d just have to work in my office.

    (Totally windowless. Just have to make sure to get here before dawn and leave after sunset. Which, admittedly, in the summer months, would be quite workaholic.)

    1. DMented Kitty*

      I would just work like Richmond from The IT Crowd — the pale guy locked up in the server room. :D

  38. Camellia*

    We finally got into “The West Wing” a couple of weeks ago and are loving it, but I have to bite my tongue to keep from constantly saying, “That’s terrible management/HR/whatever!!”. Also, when do these people ever sleep?

    We love looking for new series and binge watching the ones that we find make us laugh hysterically. Our last two were “The Ranch” and “Republic of Doyle”, which we are just finishing up.

        1. Alucius*

          Given how Bradley Whitford’s shows have done since West Wing, the original Josh might be available for snapping up.

  39. LuvzALaugh*

    I am sending my teen daughter this link. She is the biggest Twilight fan. Me eehhh not so much. I can’t reconcile choosing Edward over Jacob. It is just too inconceivable :) ha ha

  40. Cath in Canada*

    For people who love thinking about these kinds of logistics, I highly recommend The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Touch by Claire North. She does an outstanding job of figuring out all the nitty-gritty little details of how the lives of people with extraordinary abilities would actually work – how you’d make a living if you could live your life over and over again, or jump into other people’s bodies by touching them. The plots of the books are good, but for me at least they’re secondary to my enjoyment of these very satisfying logistical details! She has a new book out this month that I’m very excitedly saving up for my vacation reading :)

    1. Pickwick the Dodo*

      First Fifteen Lives is SUCH a great book! I got into a weird reincarnation kick (Bone Clocks, First 15 Lives, Life after Life) and it was fun to see all the ways it can play out.

    2. Caledonia*

      I loved that book (Harry August). I’ve got her new book just waiting for me to start.

  41. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.*

    If he has cold hands he’s obviously a gynecologist. No one would question that.

      1. The Alias Gloria Has Been Living Under, A.A., B.S.*

        I don’t know why they would but they always seem to.

      2. MissDisplaced*

        I think it’s because they (all doctors) wash their hands before touching you and/or just wash their hands a lot due to they job. Plus, medical offices are always cold!

    1. DMented Kitty*

      Surprisingly, mine hasn’t had cold hands (and the gloves also help) – it’s the speculum that just gets me, but otherwise she’s pretty great.

  42. AVP*

    My country has invested most of our defense resources into creating a large machine that can instantly blow up other planets, called a Death Star.

    The first one we had, someone destroyed. The second one we made, someone destroyed. We made a MUCH BIGGER one, and someone destroyed it. Do you think we should make a fourth? An even bigger one should be destruction-proof and exactly what we need, right?

    1. Thomas E*

      While it seems unlikely that such a plan will work given its failure on three previous occasions you have to ask yourself whether the culture of your organisation is open to critical feedback or if informing them of the probable consequence of their plans might have unfortunate repercussions.

      Given what you’ve said, you have to consider the possibility that your company will fail in which case looking at different employment options might be wise.

      Your competitor sounds like it has an go-getter startup culture which may be open to new hires.

    2. Anonsie*

      I say go for it! Perseverance in the face of adversity shows gumption. The other planets will have to respect you for it.

    3. Jennifer*

      Maybe you need to start building a different giant weapon, one that everyone in the universe doesn’t already know about. Also, changing your building plans might be smart.

    4. DMented Kitty*

      I actually thought – why are they building it with the same spherical shape like the previous one? And why did they have the same design of having a “core” that is still quite exposed (or at least accessible through the ridges)? They need to fire the guy who keeps designing it!

  43. Tyrion*

    There’s a movie called “The Man From Earth” that deals with this. It’s very talky, but interesting. Except that instead of a couple hundred year old vampire, it’s a 14,000 year old survivor from the Cro Magnon era.

  44. Amanda*

    Carlisle would never drink blood at work he would go without hense why part of the issues during the series with the family is that they go for many days without feeding. The Cullen’s only feed on the blood of animals anyway.

  45. ShrinkMe*

    The biggest issue is state medical licensure. It’s different for each state but many use a federal credentialing service that contacts your undergrad school for transcript, then your medical school, and confirms completion of residency. Then they follow up with each job you’ve listed to confirm you were in good stead when you left. It’s expensive and very time consuming, that’s why there are very people who have successfully faked their way into state licensure. Hospitals do additional credentialing before they bring you on board, often focusing on your malpractice having no gaps in coverage. Cullen would have a hard time faking later med school and undergrad graduation dates, plus couldn’t really leave off old employment because gaps in medical practice are considered suspicious.

    1. Jennifer*

      Yeah, I honestly think what with computers and credential programs these days, it would be hard to fake. You can’t pay off or glamour a computer system. If an employer called to verify his degree, the employer would get a random student employee looking things up on a computer. I think he’d need to go back to school at least every few decades to have a legit degree/update his skills, but forging transcripts and degrees is getting harder. Especially since the requirement is that the school itself send the information sealed–I’d hope a medical establishment is smart enough not to buy “Oh, they can only send it to ME and then I send it to you.”

      If he wants to glamour/pay off someone, he needs to pay off whatever computer programmer is running the system, and even then I don’t know if all of that could be faked.

  46. Kobayashi*

    I’ve thought about this and decided I’d just “come out” in a highly spectacular way, like saving a bunch of children from a burning building, or something, then granting interviews and cooperating with scientists on ways to study my physiology to solve things like cancer and aging :)

  47. Mint Julips*

    O-kay…I have to admit I am not very invested in this thread and wanted to throw my opinion in. Point by point
    1. His work history – because he doesn’t age – he has to keep moving – let’s say he has 5 fall back plans per country – depending on where he started – he can keep going back to one of his fall backs – say yes…i do look like Dr. Cullen…I am his son or grandson or great grandson – crisis averted
    2. His work history would maybe contain 5 years….maybe 7 years at each hospital – which I’m sure is fairly verifiable…still averting disaster by said HR going..doesn’t he look just like his dad/ grandfather/ great grandfather? Crisis averted
    3. As a doctor he can keep going back to school to learn the new tech…using himself as an alma mater sponsor…now that’s cheating…but who cares…crisis averted…career extended…skillz!!
    4. He’s a doctor – hello blood banks…and has anyone watched Grey’s Anatomy? Apparently there are a number of supply closets that are abandoned in hospitals –
    5. Really…he could live in Hollywood – where apparently no one ages and everyone lives in cryochambers…

    So…IMO – Dr. Cullen has got his poop together! Ofcourse I might be totally off but that’s just my opinion!

    1. Jennifer*

      On the one hand, I agree that he’d need to keep going back to school (indeed, I think I’ve seen that mentioned in other vampire/immortal novels).

      On the other hand….eh, I guess nobody cares if he sparkles in Hollywood. But then again, lotsa cameras.

  48. Brian*

    I’m a 38 year old mortal and I am already having trouble holding my tongue when colleagues or leaders continue making stupid decisions that predictably flame out. Another 100 years of this plus superhuman strength and i would definitely be an unpleasant office-mate.

  49. Maria*

    These are books that claim you can AVERAGE TOGETHER chromosomes, for crap’s sake. They say that human have 23 pairs, vampires have 25 pairs, and so their hybrid baby has 24. If the author can’t even manage to make sense of middle school biology, why should an immortal going through medical school make any sense?

  50. Dale*

    I think it’s more related to vampire super powers than resume presentation. He glamours them. Remember vampires are masters of mind control. He just shows up to the new town and meets with the staff and poof! he’s on staff. Same for the kids. Even transferring schools require the new school to contact the old system for records. So they glamour the staff of the schools.

  51. Caroline*

    Don’t forget blaming good genetics. Speaking as someone who frequently is mistaken for being up to 10 years younger then my age, Dr Cullen could easily massage his resume to that of an older person, and shrug off his apparent youth as “lucky genetics.”

    1. Jennifer*

      I’m nearing forty and can pass for a teenager. Muahahahahah. My fat head pays off.

  52. Hannah Rossiter*

    Why aren’t vampires finding cures for cancer or some such?
    They live for centuries so you can do a longitudinal study of the causes of cancer. Obviously they will they win the Noble prize for medicine.

  53. Karin*

    I always assumed that, like the licenses and birth certificates that Bella pays to have forged towards the end of “Breaking Dawn”, that Carlisle gets medical school records and medical licenses forged for him every few years, when he changes jobs.

    And, as far as the cold hands thing is concerned, there’s one scene where Bella, after she becomes a vampire, holds her hands towards a fire to warm them somewhat so when she shakes hands with someone, the person isn’t jarred by their chill.

    I know way too much about these books.

  54. stevenz*

    I suffer from cold hands – had frostbite as a young adult – and I drink tomato and cranberry juice (not together) regularly. I do have a pretty fast gait, but if there are cars around I only walk with the slow ones. As you know, vampires are known to be incredibly sexually attractive and seductive (why else would they get the chance for so many love bites?), but I disguise this part of my persona very well. Very very well. So I could be a vampire – who would know? And who’s to say I’m not? Only my tailor knows for sure.

  55. Vicki*

    “The Cullen “teenagers” move from school to school, since they’ve been graduating every four years for the last 100 years or so.”

    I have to ask _why_? Are they really that bored? Can’t they pretend to be 18 now and at least go to College?

  56. Willow Sunstar*

    In most vampire fiction, they can hypnotize people to do/believe anything, so it’s not an issue. Forever Knight had a vampire working as a cop in Toronto. That was how he got hired.

  57. Anabelle McAllister*

    I actually kind of disagree about his education. Considering his vast sums of money, it would be a very good idea for him to return to medical school every few decades or so. This would not only provide him with a legitimate degree in the proper time period, but would also help to keep his knowledge relevant in the increasingly technological medical world. Knowing new procedures and technology would not only help him keep his cover (“you’re only 35, why are you doing this like my grandfather?”) but would give him an edge in the field, which he may need because, despite his vast experience, many patients don’t trust young looking doctors.

    1. Kali*

      I’ve not read the books in a while, but I have an idea that Carlisle does do that. I definitely know that some of the younger vampires went to medical school, which lets him update his knowledge that way.

  58. Kali*

    Vamped – my favourite vampire book – has the idea of holding cups of coffee so your hands don’t feel cold. Something Carlisle could definitely do!

Comments are closed.