Labor Day’s Odd Jobs

Labor Day is so much more than moving the white clothes to the back of the closet. The holiday has a long, outstanding history, not just in the United States but all over the world.

For Americans, it’s celebrated on the first Monday of September and honors the American Labor Movement, a broad term that is used to describe the history of organized labor.

So to celebrate this national holiday, we’ve put together a list of jobs that no longer exist or maybe they do but there are so few people doing these jobs that no one even knows what they are anymore. Over time things like technology have made most of these jobs obsolete and they basically only exist on the silver screen and in our favorite Charlotte Bronte novel. Here are three of our favorites:

  • Newsboy
    First up on the list is the much missed newsboy. Not the paperboy riding his bike and tossing the morning paper on the lawn. We’re talking about the boys who stood in the middle of a busy square shouting the headlines and really selling the news. The decline of the afternoon newspaper all but eliminated this job. Don’t worry though; you can still appreciate the position and its history in the much-loved Broadway musical.
  • Knocker’s Up or Human Alarm Clocks
    Yep, that’s a thing. Someone would legitimately knock on the window to wake the sleeping tenants. The invention of the much-hated alarm clock made this job disappear.
  • Radio Actors
    Back, well before the time of any millennial reading this, before those crazy contraptions that feature moving pictures, plays were acted out on the radio. The listener wouldn’t be able to see     what was happening (because if they did it wouldn’t be a radio) but would have to use their imagination when listening to Hamlet. The introduction of the television in almost every           household in America has eliminated the need for radio actors, but it’s all good because those actors can just head over to the big screen.

That being said, for every crazy job that no longer exists, there’s one that was just invented and we’re going to tell you our favorites. We’re not talking about teachers or doctors and nurses or even firefighters, which can all be described as crazy jobs. We’re talking about things like golf-ball divers and paper towel sniffers because yes, those are both jobs and why wouldn’t you want to make a living sniffing paper towels.

  • Professional Cuddler
    Yes, that’s a thing. Because why not?
  • Pet Food Tester
    Because Max needs the finest quality food, no exceptions.
  • Furniture Tester
    We all love testing out a new couch and laying on every mattress in the furniture store so why not give it a go.

Enjoy the day off and update those resumés.

Hillary Terhune