A favorite book of mine as a kid, the book “What do people do all day?”  by Richard Scarry is humorously deconstructed through the filter of our current society:

Gender roles could also use some deconstructing, for while it is nice of the author to acknowledge that ‘Mother’s work is never done’, it would be even nicer to give the poor woman a scene in which she’s not wearing an apron. In this section we also find one of the most striking images in the book, that of the mother struggling to keep a brush salesman at bay.


Which rather begs my usual question: so why is it that we no longer make these kinds of books? Why is it that we have shifted our focus to how things work or how people used to work as opposed to how people work now? Is it that work is too elusive, that new economy jobs are harder to draw? Can we not deal with the fact that Alfalfa has become a derivatives trader? But work of course is far from invisible. It’s not just that we do so many of the occupations lovingly drawn by Scarry, and in more or less the same way. It’s also that people still work in manufacturing, only mostly elsewhere. We could teach our children about that, just like we teach them that everybody poops. They both seem worthy topics. And it will be fraught, of course, and the politics of it will seem hard to navigate – because they are – but that’s not a valid reason not to do it.

So then, What do you all day? Would you be proud of Mr. Scarry’s portrayal of the work you’re doing?  Reminds me of this post by Marco and the takeaway:

If you had to explain your job the way other people do, would you be ashamed of what you do, or would you be proud?

If you can’t be proud of your real job title, maybe it’s time for a change.

Via Bobulate and Kottke