No time left for some jobs
WHERE did my job go? Many years ago, when my Dad was still with us, he’d delight in taking our dog to the tonsorial artist. Lately I’ve been feeling I might be a bit overdue for a trip to the tonsorial artist.
So what activity could I share with the family dog?
A trip to the hairdresser. In times past they let blood, set bones and cut hair.
The red and white striped barber’s pole symbolised blood and bone, the bowl on the top was for the blood.
All this thinking started me wondering which professions had become ‘‘ re-badged’’ which led to the question, ‘‘ Which had completely disappeared?’’
I remember years ago we would chat to the trunk calls operator while waiting for her to connect us to my grandparents in Wales.
The advent of email has wiped out the need for copy boys in newspaper offices and is making inroads into the work of the post office as we seem to turn away from the gentle art of letter writing.
Those of you who go ten-pin bowling may be interested to know that up until 1946, the pins were set up by girls and boys employed to do the job. Some places had a semi-automatic setup, but most were entirely manual.
I wonder where the lamp-lighters went, and the bottle washers who initially washed and recycled our milk and other bottles by hand, then supervised the machinery, and, finally, were automated right out of existence.
Who employed all the conductors from trams and buses?
Perhaps they just went the way of the ice-men who used to deliver the ice.
I remember as a child entering the lift with my Mum and being asked by the driver what we required so he could deliver us to the right floor.
A trip long ago with my Nanna to a department store in the city also holds memories of a floor walker offering her a seat while she waited to be served.
Those were slow, gentle and considerate times.
It seems that these jobs have passed as our demand for ‘‘ faster’’ increased.
I enjoyed the slower times and the interesting people who worked within them.
Feeling concerned, I started writing a list of vanished jobs but it became too long and I wondered when ‘‘ column writer’’ might join the list so I stopped.
words and trivia: