How rich this world is

From The Guardian’s blind date bit:

Maria, 24, fashion PR, meets Jacob, 27, charity fundraiser

These are professional jobs now. How wealthy we’ve got to be to be able to afford people doing that….

20 thoughts on “How rich this world is”

  1. What makes a job “professional”?

    I get lawyers and doctors have to have some professional qualifications but what other criteria do we use to determine if a job is considered “professional”?

    Not saying these jobs aren’t professional, just wondering how we decide that.

  2. In letting agent speak (at least, as I remember from years ago when looking for house shares etc.), “professional” means someone with a job, or possibly someone with a “nice” job (i.e., not blue collar, or a mucky tradesman)

  3. Silverite,
    Along the same lines it used to mean a salaried employee rather than hourly paid.

    Generally though I would say beholden to a body that can strike you off for misbehavior.

  4. Architects, doctors, lawyers, vets, civil engineers, parsons, …

    RlJ has a good point.

    (I didn’t list accountants for tuber-related reasons.)

  5. When my grandparents became teachers in the 1950s, they’d “made it” as professionals, on a par with the town Solicitor and Doctor. Not today, teacher is just “a job”, what you do when you’ve failed at everything else.

  6. I thought I’d google the word “professional”, see what it said. Derives, of course from profession. Which itself derives from profess.

    Learn to pronounce
    verb: profess; 3rd person present: professes; past tense: professed; past participle: professed; gerund or present participle: professing

    claim that one has (a quality or feeling), especially when this is not the case.
    “he had professed his love for her only to walk away”

    About sums it up, I’d say.

  7. The meaning of the word “Profession” is subjective: I prefer RlJ’s definition (and I have to sign a statement every year when renewing my membership that I haven’t been a naughty boy apart from any traffic offences) but “the oldest profession” does not have that sort of requirement and many people will classify any “white-collar” job that they do as a profession.

  8. Dongguan John raises an interesting question:

    What makes a job “professional”?

    I get lawyers and doctors have to have some professional qualifications but what other criteria do we use to determine if a job is considered “professional”?

    Not saying these jobs aren’t professional, just wondering how we decide that.

    Basically, they do – you don’t.
    There are two categories. Skilled or professional. Former, you get to see whether the service they performed actually did something useful. It didn’t, you don’t pay them. The latter, mostly you don’t know until long after you’ve paid them. If then. Many of them want paying in advance. Most want paying whatever the outcome.
    See plumbers/lawyers

  9. Quite a good example of this.
    During my late father’s final weeks his professional investment manager decided it was a good time to do a major overhaul of his share portfolio,, of which he had discretionary control. To the extent of selling & reinvesting a considerable portion of it. Despite my father being in his late 80’s, a long term cancer victim, seriously ill in hospital and on a Do Not Resuscitate Notice. A situation he was made fully aware of in a letter postponing a scheduled meeting with him. Justification being the portfolio, that he’d been managing for more than a dozen years, was poorly balanced. The stockbrokers did very well out of the resultant commissions. My father died just over a month later. As the beneficiary of his reduced estate I complained first to the firm & then to the Financial Ombudsman. The ground of complaint being the expenses incurred in the transactions would be unlikely to be balanced by the advantages they were supposed to provide, except in the long term. A long term that was very much in doubt at the time they were done.
    The Ombudsman’s finding was the investment manager had acted entirely in line with his professional responsibilities.
    Imagine you took your car to the garage mechanic for an MOT & he subsequently told you it had failed, was likely beyond economic repair. But he’d resprayed it for you. “I debited your credit card. Have a nice day”
    Wouldn’t happen, would it?

  10. Professions are largely comprised of people who have to make a big deal of having ‘standards’, because they can screw you over with virtual impunity if they fancy it (and often do but always get their mates to see them right – see BiS tale above) while the trades are people who if they screw you over its blatantly obvious and often lands them in hot water of some kind.

    Its akin to the old quote ‘the louder he talked of his honour the faster we counted the spoons’. When dealing with ‘professionals’ always count your spoons.

  11. @Mr Lud: here’s a little ‘professional standards’ question for you – does a solicitor have any duty of care to the other party in a legal transaction (ie the person his client is dealing with) if the solicitor knows that person has no legal representation? I know of a case where an old man has been tricked into selling his property for far less than the market value (maybe a third at best, possibly far less) and had no solicitor representing him during the sale, the entire thing was done by the scumbag property developer’s solicitor, who is most like as bent as his client. But are there any professional standards that he would have breached by acting in such a manner?

  12. Jim, the solicitor’s professional duty is simultaneously to his client and to the court – albeit in this case it sounds like there is no court but, filing official documents, signing-off on them, would occupy the same position: in such regards, the lawyer’s (solicitor and barrister) duty is not knowingly to mislead the court, but there is a sub-division of that rule inasmuch as the lawyer is required actively to promote correct law even at his client’s expense but may keep schtum if the other side makes an incorrect statement of fact. In that latter case, the lawyer is not required actively to correct the incorrect statement but must, if asked the direct question (whether or not on paper), correct it.

    So there is a tension between the lawyer’s duties – to the client and to the court/official documentation.

    There is no duty to the other party, save insofar as it might impinge on the duty to the court/official documentation.

    Saying all of which, when I started out it was in the criminal law. There were then very few litigants in person but, if you prosecuted such you were advised to a) keep your dealings with LiPs limited and within earshot of others, in particular making clear you were prosecuting them and owed them no duty of confidentiality or anything else, b) keep it simple, don’t get drawn into their case, and c) don’t stick the boot in, in court – partly as it will alienate the jury, partly because the Court of Appeal might take a dim view of whether D got a fair T.

    I haven’t kept detailed track of all recent case law on LiPs, and at the same time I’ve left criminal law (and I think it now sees far more LiPs), whilst in civil the case law seems to have moved against giving LiPs any slack at all.

    On the other, other, other hand (why, oh why, can’t you bloody lawyers just give a simple bloody answer?), your friend was not a litigant. He was a party to a transaction who, all other things being equal, is assumed to have ‘capacity’ and therefore to be capable of acting in his own best interests. So, my question to you: you say he was tricked. Well. There’s an essay hiding in that word, but did the solicitor for the other side falsify documentation? How was your friend tricked by what that solicitor did?

    If you want to take this further, Tom has my email address. That might be the better way of doing it …

  13. “So, my question to you: you say he was tricked. Well. There’s an essay hiding in that word, but did the solicitor for the other side falsify documentation? How was your friend tricked by what that solicitor did?”

    The elderly chap was ‘befriended’ by a property developer type who fed him a pack of lies about want to buy his farm/small holding for his son, and it wasn’t worth much as it would never get planning permission (despite being in a prime location on the edge of a rapidly expanding town), visited him when he was ill in hospital etc etc. And convinced him to sell him the property for a laughable sum that would hardly buy you an ‘executive home’ on a new cheek by jowl development, let alone a farmhouse, buildings and 30 acres of land, and thats without even considering the development potential. The nature of word of the buyer being shown by the fact as soon as the ink was dry on the sale he had a planning application in on the whole site for houses.

    The old chap is well into his 80s, had no direct family, his wife is either dead or in a home with dementia, not sure which. So he had no-one to run their eye over what he was proposing to do, and was convinced to use the buyers solicitor, as that would be ‘cheaper’. Any professional looking at the deal would know right off the bat it was dodgy. Someone had to deal with the transfer of the land, I doubt it was registered at the Land Registry as the chap had lived there since before WW2. So a solicitor must have been involved somewhere and he would have known the the old man had no legal representation, as he would have had no communications from any representing him.

    I just wondered if a solicitor in such a scenario had any professional standards to uphold about not being involved in what is potentially fraud, and if so would he have breached them in such a case? I thought that maybe the weak sport in the deal was the solicitor, as I doubt the police would consider it a civil matter rather than fraud, and chasing the developer would be about as easy as fighting a barrel full of greased eels.

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