Jobs Confidential: 15 People Talk Anonymously About Their Jobs


The Guardian interviewed 15 different people about their respective careers, with each person speaking anonymously about their occupation, what people think of them, and what their jobs are really like. The jobs range from priest to dominatrix to brain surgeon, and covers a pretty wide spectrum.

Each “job” is a very small collection of paragraphs, and I wound up spending a great deal of time reading over each and every one. Here’s the opening lines to the brain surgeon, talking about his job:

I could teach you to do a basic brain operation in two weeks. But what takes time and experience is doing it without wrecking the brain. Learning your limitations takes years.

I don’t know exactly what it is, but the anonymity adds somehow to each description. Paired with Robinson’s illustrations, the descriptions felt more honest, more confessional in a way.

When I was reading the undertaker talking about his job, it made me think once more about Thomas Lynch’s brilliant book The Undertaking. It’s a fantastic collection of personal essays, and I can’t recommend it enough.

This article reminded me how much I enjoy talking to people about their jobs, and how much I enjoy learning about what people do. I’ve played around with the idea of making a website that’s just filled with different interviews of different people, each profile focusing on their jobs. Possibly spending a full eight hours with each person, documenting the start and end to their work day.

So far it’s a backburner project, but one I’d love to tackle if I had more time.

[via MeFi, illustrations by Craig Robinson]

Related:
Ten Years of “The Undertaking”
Dead Advice

This Post Has 1 Comment

  1. Riveting stuff. Reminds me of two equally riveting books: Studs Terkel’s Working, and a book called Sex: Real People Talk About What They Really Do by Harry Maurer. That is especially fascinating.

    (I had an idea to interview Olympic athletes. Developed the background for it for nearly a year. But it never came to anything because I was too chicken to contact the athletes and ask them a bunch of nosy questions.)

    Juliet Reply


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