People Explain Which Professions Have Become Obsolete

Knowable

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:

What job doesn't exist anymore?

Honestly, we didn't even know half of these jobs were things!

Encyclopedias

My grandpa was a door-to-door encyclopedia Britannica salesperson.

- appleseiter15

Let There Be Light

Giphy

The dudes who go around lighting oil streetlamps

- bumford11

Knock-Knock

Knocker upper. People employed to tap on your bedroom window to wake you up before alarm clocks were a thing.

- apintofbestplease

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.

- SaintPhoenix_

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.

- degrassibabetjk

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.

- oreo_salad

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.

- effieokay

Computers

A "computer" - someone employed to do calculations

- sdavid_benjamin

My Mum was a computer, and now I am a computer programmer which is a little weird

- Mr_Weeble

So the computer 3D-printed a computer programmer.

- alwaysafairycat

Organs Need Air

Organ pumpers

Organs were once pumped by hand. Now, push a button and the organ blower gets turned on to supply steady wind to the pipes.

- Bach2Bach


Pretty Much The Same

Giphy

Buffoon, or court jester.

- dodov21

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.

- joshi38

Copy Machines

Scriveners!

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

- Snapplefacts32

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".

- sophocynic

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.

- sumuji

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