Is it strange to imagine that one day your job just won't exist anymore? Not as a position at your individual company, but as a job at all. Imagine a world with no secretaries, no servicepeople,no sales, no ... whatever it is you do - no you.
It might seem borderline impossible, but it's happened repeatedly throughout history. This Reddit thread ended up pretty fascinating, actually:
Honestly, we didn't even know half of these jobs were things!
My grandpa was a door-to-door encyclopedia Britannica salesperson.
Knocker upper. People employed to tap on your bedroom window to wake you up before alarm clocks were a thing.
And the knocker-uppers knocker upper. The knocker uppers had their own knocker uppers who essentially worked the night shift, staying up until the early morning, waking the knocker-uppers and then going to bed.
We don't know how they got up.
Haha, my paternal grandmother was British and when she went to a hotel in Florida once, she asked to be knocked up. She didn't know in America that it meant to get pregnant.
Some Screaming Dude
Unfortunately, town criars are no longer a thing. I think it should be brought back really. I'd rather get my daily news from some dude screaming in the streets than waste resources on newspapers that only 1% of people read.
The Entire Middle Class
An entire class of middle-class jobs that you used to be able to actually make a living off of.
For example, my grandmother worked at Sears for two decades. She was what is essentially now cashier/sales. She walked around helping people with clothing and then rung it up.
She made good money, plus commission, plus bonuses.
She had a retirement, a separate pension, great insurance, plenty of sick days and vacation, etc.
She was divorced with no child support but she raised 3 kids comfortably off that. She had her own home. She sent the kids to college on that money. She didn't have to work extra jobs or have a roommate or live off Ramen. She only had a high school diploma.
That job no longer exists. Sears no longer exists specifically but you will never see a department store cashier who could live a comfortable life off that salary alone and retire happily off it.
A "computer" - someone employed to do calculations
My Mum was a computer, and now I am a computer programmer which is a little weird
So the computer 3D-printed a computer programmer.
Organs Need Air
Organs were once pumped by hand. Now, push a button and the organ blower gets turned on to supply steady wind to the pipes.
Pretty Much The SameGiphy
Buffoon, or court jester.
In the UK, we still have an annual Royal Variety show where performers (many of which are comedians) will perform for the Queen.
Not entirely the same as a court jester, but it's damned close.
Before photocopiers were even a thought many documents had to be copied very carefully and exactly over to another sheet of paper by hand.
If someone asked me to do that job, I'd probably have to tell them that I'd prefer not to
Possibly interesting fact: in legal documents to this day, when a party has to amend a filing due to a typo, it's possible that it will be attributed to a "scrivener's error".
Retired From Tires
All of my uncles on both sides of my family, 9 of them, worked in tire plants. Two different plants for two different brands but only 30 miles apart. High school was their highest education. They're all in their 70s now living off a fat pension comfortably. All of the wives were housewives. All raised multiple kids and put most of them through college. Lived in nice middle class homes. They spent their entire adult working life doing entry level-type work and were making bank towards the end. Those two plants closed down 20 years ago at like the same time.
I'm Gen X so I don't really shake my fist at Baby Boomers as much as Millenials but they really did have way more opportunities to make a nice living right out of high school that is pretty much impossible to duplicate these days.