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CodfishCartographer
Feb 23, 2010

Gadus Maprocephalus


Pillbug

Reminds me when words per minute was like, A Thing. I remember my mom taking typing courses to improve her wpm for a secretary position, now it's bizarre when someone can't type quickly.

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BlankSystemDaemon
Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found



Anne Whateley posted:

Stenographers might be the biggest one recently
My drunk brain read this as steganographers, and I wanted to know if that was a real occupation, because that sounds loving rad.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

BlankSystemDaemon posted:

My drunk brain read this as steganographers, and I wanted to know if that was a real occupation, because that sounds loving rad.

Steganography is a thing.

The_Franz
Aug 8, 2003



Anne Whateley posted:

Court reporters still exist, but it's a whole different world from the one where every big office had a steno pool and women routinely trained in Gregg or Pitman shorthand. I bet there are fewer people who use that today than there are sheep-shearers.

I remember seeing a class on Gregg shorthand in the class listing in high school around the turn of the century. i don't know of anyone who took it, if it was even seriously offered at that point or, were someone actually interested in it for whatever reason, if they actually had someone in the building who could teach it.

BlankSystemDaemon
Mar 13, 2009

System Access Node Not Found



Oh, it's not just a thing, it's an artform (check out the spoilers if you're too lazy to find them yourself).

Inspired by POC||STFU, there's also a NES ROM which is a ZIP file, but using a different mechanism.

BlankSystemDaemon fucked around with this message at 00:20 on May 2, 2021

Arsenic Lupin
Apr 11, 2012

This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.





I type very fast, but typing tests penalize you for making errors, so I'd score disastrously after years of riding the backspace key like it's a Hitachi wand.

Cobalt-60 posted:

Pre-paid phone cards; used to be they were sold everywhere. I had one I carried and recharged for years, so i could make pay phone phone calls without needing change, or call my friends without my parents asking questions about the bill.
Still are in neighborhoods with a big Hispanic population; I see ads for them all over windows. Wouldn't surprise me if the same were true for other immigrant populations.

CodfishCartographer posted:

Tangentially on topic, but I feel within the spirit of this thread: what are some jobs that don't exist anymore? It's interesting to think about professions that people devoted their lives to that are entirely irrelevant. Are operators still around?
There are multiple kinds of operator. Most of the "diagnose what's going wrong" can be done remotely nowadays, but somebody still needs to skate up and down the racks pulling bad boards, replacing memory, that kind of thing. (Probably pulling entire bad systems nowadays, just unracking them and sending them to the repair area.)

There was a good interview in the San Francisco Chronicle (sorry, I can't find it) with a former toll-taker on the Golden Gate Bridge. They'd been planning on shutting down all the manned tollbooths, but coronavirus sped that up. Nowadays the toll plazas just scan for your LastPass (local electronic toll-paying device) or, finding no LastPass, scan your license plate and send the toll to the address associated with that plate.

There used to be a service advertised at dry cleaners called "invisible mending" in which the mender unraveled threads from the side seams of your suit or jacket and used those threads to weave in and out of a hole/tear so that it looked just like the original fabric. Haven't seen those ads in a while.

Bucnasti
Aug 14, 2012

Listen to him, men. He's just crazy enough to do it!


CodfishCartographer posted:

Huh, I always assumed copilots were there for safety purposes. Make sure there's nothing key that the main pilot forgets, or in the event that main pilot had a heart attack or something and someone needs to take over.

That's what I mean by redundancy, they don't actually do anything that the pilot can't do on his own. The plane can be piloted by a single individual but they have a second pilot always on standby in case something goes wrong.
At one time the co-pilot was literally co-piloting the plane, helping with the various controls and monitoring instruments to help the pilot.

Some other once prolific jobs that are now gone:

Elevator operators - There was a time when every elevator car had a person who spent all their time controlling it via a hand controller.

Manual/Mechanical/Photographic Typesetters - less than 50 years ago typesetting was a career that employed thousands and thousands of skilled people.
- Manual typesetters assembled blocks of text for printing from individual metal letters. Until as recently as the 1980's big department stores still employed manual typesetters to create all their price-tags and in store signage.
- Mechanical typesetters operated massive machines that produced and arranged the metal letters for blocks of printed text in newspapers and magazines. Big newspapers would have entire floors of their buildings devoted to rows of these machines and the people who operated them.
- Photographic typesetters used a photographic process to create printing sheets instead of metal type but still required a manual operator to enter and arrange the letters.

There are also dozens of very specific specialized jobs with printing, like color separators, but they were never as numerous as typesetters.

Vietnamwees
May 8, 2008


'Gregg or Pittman' shorthand??

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007
i like nice words


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_shorthand
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitman_shorthand

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Anne Whateley posted:

Court reporters still exist, but it's a whole different world from the one where every big office had a steno pool and women routinely trained in Gregg or Pitman shorthand. I bet there are fewer people who use that today than there are sheep-shearers.

Sheep-shearing hasn't gone away at all AFAIK. it's a seasonal job, but in-season a skilled shearer can earn quite a bit.

Original_Z
Jun 14, 2005
Z so good

I'd say that the typical store salesman job has gone away for the most part. Back in the day you'd go to your department store and it would be staffed by usually older gentlemen, wearing a suit and being very attentive to what you're looking for and could give relevant information on all the different types of products they stocked. More of a personal experience and maybe you'd ask for their help if you returned to the store for another purchase. It would be enough to make a living on and raise a family, possibly be your job until retirement. Nowadays the stores are run by what seems like a skeleton crew of non-commissioned teenagers who couldn't care less whether or not you make a purchase and probably couldn't even tell you what products they even stocked.

Imagined
Feb 2, 2007


To be honest I prefer the current way to dealing with a pushy salesman pretending to be my buddy, but you're right. If I actually go to a store, I've already decided what I want, I just need to know if they have it.

Edit: in my hometown there's a local furniture superstore that grew to the point where all the other furniture stores opened on the same street as them. Eventually, though, the superstore bought out most of the competitors but kept the names the same. The funny bit is that the superstore is known for having REALLY attentive old-fashioned salespeople. The competitor across the street always advertised that they weren't pushy and would leave you alone to shop.

They still advertise that now, but they're owned by the same people.

Imagined fucked around with this message at 01:08 on May 2, 2021

CodfishCartographer
Feb 23, 2010

Gadus Maprocephalus


Pillbug

The Lone Badger posted:

Sheep-shearing hasn't gone away at all AFAIK. it's a seasonal job, but in-season a skilled shearer can earn quite a bit.

Sheep shearing is 100% still a thing because sheep have been bred to grow such insane amounts of wool that they will die if they aren't sheared.

Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012



Arsenic Lupin posted:

There was a good interview in the San Francisco Chronicle (sorry, I can't find it) with a former toll-taker on the Golden Gate Bridge. They'd been planning on shutting down all the manned tollbooths, but coronavirus sped that up. Nowadays the toll plazas just scan for your LastPass (local electronic toll-paying device) or, finding no LastPass, scan your license plate and send the toll to the address associated with that plate.

It’s the end of an era.

Bucnasti
Aug 14, 2012

Listen to him, men. He's just crazy enough to do it!


CodfishCartographer posted:

Sheep shearing is 100% still a thing because sheep have been bred to grow such insane amounts of wool that they will die if they aren't sheared.

Also we can't make a machine that can sheer an irregular shaped and often wiggling animal without killing them.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat



Grimey Drawer

CodfishCartographer posted:

Yeah I was thinking about these too. Watch repair is maybe the one thing that still sticks around cus rich dudes love their watches.

It sucks as a hobby photographer cus a lot of old film cameras benefit a lot from regular service, and sometimes there's only a handful of people in the country (sometimes world) that regularly service some models.

Quality film development is hard to come by too, though surprisingly lots of drug stores still offer 1hr photo services.

Film development is weird. A lot of niche developers have popped up recently. Like I don’t shoot film often at all, but it went from having to send the occasional roll to Dwayne’s to suddenly having a lot of other smaller options. I have noticed they focus on development and scanning rather than printing though. Also ‘quality’ can be suspect, although I’ve been lucky so far.

Servicing cameras though is terrible. I remember getting my old 35mm serviced locally like it was no problem. It might be cheaper now to just buy ‘new’ used cameras and hope they last a couple of years.

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007
i like nice words


The Lone Badger posted:

Sheep-shearing hasn't gone away at all AFAIK. it's a seasonal job, but in-season a skilled shearer can earn quite a bit.
The job still definitely exists -- my point was it's much more common today than shorthand. But it's also a lot harder to find one than it used to be in 1850 or whatever.

AmbassadorofSodomy
Dec 30, 2016

SUCK A MALE CAMEL'S DICK WITH MIRACLE WHIP!!


Vietnamwees posted:

I don't think I've EVER seen a porn with a milkman scenario, but then again, I don't really watch pornography for the plot anyway.

I have a VHS porn tape where that is exactly the plot of one of the scenes.

subpar anachronism
Jan 15, 2005

...I can't!



Medical scribes, who would take notation for doctors. Transcriptionists are also slowly going the way of the dinosaur for most common jobs.

DACK FAYDEN
Feb 25, 2013

Bear Witness

ultrafilter posted:

Elevator operators.
The fun fact I know about this one is that it's the only job that was common enough that it literally completely disappeared from employment statistics in the last 75 years. It was big enough to be listed, unlike the other valid ones mentioned earlier.

subpar anachronism posted:

Medical scribes, who would take notation for doctors.
These are back in style, weirdly enough - a vocal subset of (mostly old and wealthy) patients hate when doctors go "talk to you, look at computer" and would prefer talk to the doctor, have the doctor look at them while they talk back, and have insurance pay for a separate loving amanuensis like it's 1300 to type all the poo poo into Epic or whatever other EMR is being used.

Slimy Hog
Apr 22, 2008



If anyone wants to see a real-life elevator operator you should check out this bookstore on Michigan Ave in Chicago. Looking at Google maps, it may have been The Dial, but the name doesn't ring a bell.

VideoGameVet
May 14, 2005

It is by caffeine alone I set my bike in motion. It is by the juice of Java that pedaling acquires speed, the teeth acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my bike in motion.

CodfishCartographer posted:

Reminds me when words per minute was like, A Thing. I remember my mom taking typing courses to improve her wpm for a secretary position, now it's bizarre when someone can't type quickly.

My daughter had the record for Mavis Beacon Typing at her high school,

More than 160 wpm

VideoGameVet
May 14, 2005

It is by caffeine alone I set my bike in motion. It is by the juice of Java that pedaling acquires speed, the teeth acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by caffeine alone I set my bike in motion.

Blue Moonlight posted:

We made flash cards out of 3x5 notecards for our kids, and my wife still uses them as an outline/organization tool sometimes.

I suspect they’re largely relegated to school speeches and exam “cheat sheets” otherwise.

My first produced mobile game was flash cards. 2000.

You would go to a website, put in questions and answers ... and then on a phone students would see the questions via. WAP (crude mobile browser), think of the answer, press a button to see the answer, and then press buttons to indicate if they had guessed right or wrong.

Then they could do the questions they had gotten wrong the first time.

Kidsmedia was the company.

NOTE: I had forgotten about this, but the flash card thing reminded me.

Imagined
Feb 2, 2007


In this day and age I imagine bragging about your WPM is like bragging about your IQ: impressive in theory, but in practice people will either be unimpressed, assume you're lying, or think you're a weirdo for even caring what your score is enough to remember it and brag about it.

Cobalt-60
Oct 11, 2016

Over time, random factors add up. What is chaos in the moment becomes systemic over time and space. As data accumulates, a pattern emerges.



My school had typing in middle school. 45 WPM, 95% accuracy was the goal. Never quite got it. Didn't like Mavis Beacon because you had to go back and change your errors; being off by one character would make all the rest off.

Data entry used to be a job you could get fairly easily; I remember applying for a couple jobs.

Ice delivery used to be a thing, although that vanished with milk delivery.

Full service gas stations used to be a thing; now I don't see them outside of New Jersey.

Unreal_One
Aug 18, 2010

Now you know how I don't like to use the sit-down gun, but this morning we just don't have time for mucking about.



Our middle school typing program counted hitting enter as a full line with one error. Could get as many wpm as necessary with that.

CodfishCartographer
Feb 23, 2010

Gadus Maprocephalus


Pillbug

Cobalt-60 posted:

My school had typing in middle school. 45 WPM, 95% accuracy was the goal. Never quite got it. Didn't like Mavis Beacon because you had to go back and change your errors; being off by one character would make all the rest off.

Data entry used to be a job you could get fairly easily; I remember applying for a couple jobs.

Ice delivery used to be a thing, although that vanished with milk delivery.

Full service gas stations used to be a thing; now I don't see them outside of New Jersey.

Oregon still has attendants to pump your gas, and you're not allowed to pump it yourself. It's always jarring and even the teenagers employed to pump it always shrug and go "I dunno why it's like this either"

Ironically it's probably good for lessening covid spread, though.

kaschei
Oct 25, 2005



People used to be employed as "knocker-uppers," at least in London. Their job was to bang on peoples' windows and wake them up. But who knocks up the knocker-uppers? And how did it take so long to invent a reliable alarm clock?

There was also a great migratory species, the lamplighter, which would circle the earth twice a day lighting and extinguishing their lamps with sunset and sunrise. Except at the North and South poles, which it visited only twice a year.

feedmegin
Jul 30, 2008




AmbassadorofSodomy posted:

Milkman.

Except in the porn industry I guess.

They're back as a kind of retro hipster thing in some places.

Ugly In The Morning
Jul 1, 2010

So pat yourself on the back and give yourself a handshake
'Cause everything is not yet lost




Pillbug

DACK FAYDEN posted:

l

These are back in style, weirdly enough - a vocal subset of (mostly old and wealthy) patients hate when doctors go "talk to you, look at computer" and would prefer talk to the doctor, have the doctor look at them while they talk back, and have insurance pay for a separate loving amanuensis like it's 1300 to type all the poo poo into Epic or whatever other EMR is being used.

That’s not the only place you see them at all, they’re everywhere in ERs. Turns out having someone take your notes for you is super useful when you have a lot going on. Trying to take notes on a conversation you’re having also sucks and makes it easy to miss stuff.

Antivehicular
Dec 30, 2011

I wanna sing one for the cars
That are right now headed silent down the highway
And it's dark and there is nobody driving
And something has got to give


BonHair posted:

Filing clerks. The guys putting all the memos and poo poo into physical files and also were able to find them again.

These are less common, sure, but filling clerk is definitely a living job at any office with a requirement for physical document retention. I work at an IRS facility with a standalone file warehouse, and our clerks sure as hell earn their pay.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




kaschei posted:

People used to be employed as "knocker-uppers," at least in London. Their job was to bang on peoples' windows and wake them up. But who knocks up the knocker-uppers? And how did it take so long to invent a reliable alarm clock?

There was also a great migratory species, the lamplighter, which would circle the earth twice a day lighting and extinguishing their lamps with sunset and sunrise. Except at the North and South poles, which it visited only twice a year.

I was surprised to learn recently that there is still a small crew of lamplighters operating in London, tending to the gas lamps that still work there. Of course they're resident now and not migratory.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat



Grimey Drawer

I’m not sure why, but I felt a little sad when I learned Mavis Beacon wasn’t a real person.

A Festivus Miracle
Dec 19, 2012

I have come to discourse on the profound inequities of the American political system.



People literally sweeping streets is slowly dying the death of automation. Maybe one day in techno-hell future, we'll have automated street sweeping roomba's to do all the hard work of keeping the sidewalks clean.

Bucnasti
Aug 14, 2012

Listen to him, men. He's just crazy enough to do it!


Antivehicular posted:

These are less common, sure, but filling clerk is definitely a living job at any office with a requirement for physical document retention. I work at an IRS facility with a standalone file warehouse, and our clerks sure as hell earn their pay.

Yeah considering the ream of papers I had to physically sign to buy my house, escrow agencies must still have file clerks.

Imagined
Feb 2, 2007


Bucnasti posted:

Yeah considering the ream of papers I had to physically sign to buy my house, escrow agencies must still have file clerks.

I would guess all that stuff gets scanned and tossed in a dated box somewhere never to be seen again by human eyes unless you go to court over something sometime, because I work in local government and that's what happens to the paper part of our paperwork. Just have a warehouse full of boxes of already-digitized papers dated from X date to X date, and only keep them for the legally mandated minimum number of years before shredding them. In the off chance someone needs it, they just look up the date it came in and dig through the box from that approximate date.

Imagined fucked around with this message at 13:46 on May 2, 2021

Slimy Hog
Apr 22, 2008



Imagined posted:

I would guess all that stuff gets scanned and tossed in a dated box somewhere never to be seen again by human eyes unless you go to court over something sometime, because I work in local government and that's what happens to the paper part of our paperwork. Just have a warehouse full of boxes of already-digitized papers dated from X date to X date, and only keep them for the legally mandated minimum number of years before shredding them. In the off chance someone needs it, they just look up the date it came in and dig through the box from that approximate date.

Why bother digitizing if you're just gonna search through them by hand anyway?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Used to be, you could hire a "clipping service" to send you a copy every time a particular topic was mentioned in the newspaper. You'd have hundreds of people per firm employed in reading every major newspaper in the country and literally cutting out the article to mail to you if it mentioned your name/your business/your industry/your product/your research topic/etc. This later expanded to transcribing or sending recordings of radio and TV broadcasts.

Basically Google Alerts, but done by hand.

killer crane
Dec 30, 2006


Slimy Hog posted:

Why bother digitizing if you're just gonna search through them by hand anyway?

retention laws are a thing for a lot of industries, especially ones where lawsuits and fraud are common. they likely are required to retain physical documents for a few years, and digital documents for a decade.

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Teriyaki Hairpiece
Dec 29, 2006

Ask me about my dream Frasier episode where Frasier and Bulldog oil their heads and then rub them together. It's definitely not a fetish of mine, I swear!

A Festivus Miracle posted:

People literally sweeping streets is slowly dying the death of automation. Maybe one day in techno-hell future, we'll have automated street sweeping roomba's to do all the hard work of keeping the sidewalks clean.

In South Philly they stopped street sweeping because people very very much didn't want to move their cars. However, there's lots and lots of trash everywhere. So they've been experimenting with a labor intensive street sweeping operation with crews using leaf blowers to clean the streets around the parked cars.

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