I read an article today about how the accomplishments of our generation have lead to the “death” of certain jobs. They are blaming the current economy as well as our dependence on technology. While this may be true, I think this is an issue that has been bubbling under the surface for some time now and we can’t completely blame the current generation for the loss of positions.
I remember when I was a child and you would go to the grocery store, you would find just that, groceries. If we wanted clothes we had to walk to the K-mart that was at the end of the shopping center. I also remember when you checked out you did so through a human, not a machine. The article really got me to thinking about some of the jobs that we once greatly depended on and now don’t really give a second thought about.
Postal Carrier: I’m really quite surprised they lasted this long. I suppose some people still depend on them to deliver packages especially around the holidays, but it seems to me like the creation of logistically specific package handlers would have done away with the United Postal Service completely. Seriously, when was the last time you got a letter from your friend via snail mail? It just doesn’t happen all that often. And honestly, when you want to mail something, do you really think of the Post Office first? Possibly, but FedEx and UPS also come to mind pretty quickly. Even online shopping sites use either their own form of transportation or a third party so it would seem that the only thing keeping the Post Office alive are bills(which are mostly paperless now as well) and junk mail, I think I speak for all of us when I say, we could do without both of those!
All of this being said, I am one of the awkwardly unique people out there that actually looks forward to checking the mail on a daily basis in hopes of finding something interesting. It makes me sad to open an empty mailbox. For that reason, I think I’m going to get to work on writing my pen pal!
Real Estate Agent: So it’s no secret that the real estate industry has been up and down lately. I’ve heard reports that it’s on a rebound but the thing is, after the economy bottomed out, people have learned to value their money just a little bit more and aren’t nearly as “gung ho” to spend like they used to be. People want more for less and out of desperation, sellers are often forced to give that to them. With this fluctuation in the industry, real estate agents are forced to lower their cut. The good news however, is I don’t really see how they can go away completely, at least not anytime in the near future. I’ve never had to sale a house but I do know when I bought mine there was so much stuff going on behind the scenes that I would have had to have some sort of rocket science degree to understand it. I’m sure one of these days, someone will invent computers that can sale houses but, until then, real estate agents will still be around.
Video Store Clerk: I said earlier that I was surprised postal workers were still around, well same with video store clerks, even more so! Netflix, Redbox, Gamefly: Why in the world do I need to go to a video store and deal with the people there when I can go to a Redbox and spend a couple bucks and be able to return it wherever I want? Granted, Netflix found themselves in a PR nightmare this year and pissed a few people off; they still offer a better solution than the video store. In my opinion, it’s better off that we don’t “Be kind, rewind.”
Toll Collectors: I’m pretty sure I personally have never seen one of these. Where I grew up, we didn’t have toll roads and I can remember when we would travel somewhere that did, even then it was run by computers. Now that I think about it, there may have been people on site for those that didn’t have exact change but the machines can do that as well now. With the creation of toll tags and money vending machines, there’s just no use for someone sitting in a toll booth. As far as I’m concerned, they can just get rid of the toll roads too!!!
Newspaper Reporters: This one actually makes me sad. As a writer, I can’t help but think I have contributed to some Clark Kent type fellow losing his job. However, I have to admit, I have three papers sitting in my driveway as we speak because I just won’t read them and forget to pick them up. They are giving me free papers and I’ve even called them asking them to stop it! The good news it, just because we don’t want it on paper, doesn’t mean we don’t still want to know about current events. Hopefully the internet will find a way to create more jobs for those in this industry, it may be electronically but it’s still a job!