Just a tiny little thing

Needed an image from a photo library just moments ago. Wanted something for “work” so put “work” into the sites search engine.

Which gave me rows and rows of images of people in meetings or sitting in nice dry and warm offices. Absolutely no one at all standing out in the rain shovelling shit at all.

No, not complaining at all. It’s just an interesting little sign that this is what work is these days. The imagery is perhaps a little in advance of reality in that there are some still out there in the environment among the ordure but not that far.

14 thoughts on “Just a tiny little thing”

  1. Had a blocked sewer over the weekend. After a bit of ineffectual fiddling around, I phoned the water company.
    Within the hour, two men in a van showed up, dressed up in serious protective gear.
    They then spent some time lifting manhole covers and clearing sewage. In the pouring rain. Blockage was actually in the next street, so took some finding.

    Problem swiftly sorted, they knew their stuff and had the right gear.
    Essential job, but not one many would want to do.
    I wonder if it pays as well as sipping latte in a meeting?
    Oh, they were both blokes – not a big queue from the feminists for that work.
    Their quiet professionalism was most impressive.

  2. There was a piece in The Guardian a few years ago about how parents should be allowed to take their children into work to avoid having to use a nursery etc.
    At no point in the piece was there even a hint that the author knew that many people work in places which are dirty, dangerous, noisy, cold, wet, mobile or in any other way unsuitable for childcare.
    Even for office work neither the author, nor many of the below the line commenters, seemed to have any idea that there could be a job which was actually important, needed concentration and which couldn’t be interrupted at a moment’s notice to take care of a sprog.

    These people were no doubt among those absolutely astonished by Brexit, Trump etc.

  3. Philip,
    Take a photo? Out in the rain?
    My latte would get cold, and who would mind the children?

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    I was chatting to the owner of the drains company I occasionally use. They’re rushed off their feet and can’t get people to apply for the jobs they advertise. He reckoned it was the same with his competitors.

  5. Been well said above but worth pointing out, office work is a minority proportion of the work people do. The vast majority of people are doing the work enables them to be able to sit in offices. Like the blokes Tim the Coder mentions. Even in London, epicentre of office dronery, they’re still in the minority.

  6. Bloke in North Dorset said:
    “I was chatting to the owner of the drains company I occasionally use. They’re rushed off their feet and can’t get people to apply for the jobs they advertise. He reckoned it was the same with his competitors.”

    BiND, my old chimney sweep used to say the same. Couldn’t get staff, and when he did get someone, they wouldn’t even last a week.

    And that was when employment was lower, but he still couldn’t get anyone to do it. Must be completely impossible now. Not bad money either, once you’ve a bit of experience and your own business. Yes, we’re both in Dorset, but even here there are some young people, and not all of them are well qualified.

    He retired, no-one took on the business, I couldn’t find anyone else to do mine (well, not without waiting four months), so I bought a set of rods and now do it myself. Rods cost slightly less than a single visit had.

    Mind you, it’s easy enough to do my couple of chimneys, but I wouldn’t want to do it all day. I can understand why people prefer the soft indoor work, it’s what I do myself. It’s just their lack of understanding that there is other work that’s needed.

  7. bloke in spain said:
    ”Even in London, epicentre of office dronery, they’re still in the minority.”

    Is that true? I was trying to find some figures on it, but couldn’t.

  8. There was an article locally about last typewriter repairman in the area retiring, he couldn’t find anyone to take over the business despite the fact he had a backlog of work

  9. @RichardT
    I don’t think you could. How many self employed tradespeople live outside London but do the majority of their work there. How many Uber divers live outside, drive in? etc etc They’re not going to show up in anyone’s figures.
    From a purely personal point of view, I lived in London & didn’t work in an office. And hardly anyone I socialised with did. It’s the other bubble from the one Tim’s encountered. The two don’t intersect that much apart from where the functions they perform overlap

  10. @JS


    Imagine a steeplejack bringing his 5-15 year old child to work with him – SS would have child in care home for their ‘safety’ and bloke in a cell

    ‘safety’ probably safer with dad than In Care


    Office workers may be outnumbered by non-office in London, but most of non-office are inside employees too: retail, hospitality, health, transport; even delivery who spend more time in cab than outside.

  11. @Pcar
    Indeed, comes up often on Tim the Oils’s site: Feminism only applies to nice inside jobs with no heavy lifting (thanks Pterry).
    Since he mentioned it, I’ve been taking notice. Spot on!.
    Somebody brave might almost be able to make a value metric rule out of tuis….!
    “Does this job add real value…..”…Start by measuring the M/F ratio….

  12. I make this point in undergraduate classes when I have students list out the promises of politicians. Why are they so interested in manufacturing and farming when no one in college wants to graduate and get a job in manufacturing or farming? It might be because they’re idiots.

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