Issue #[[item.issue__number]] published [[timeFormat(item.date)]]

41 items in OBSCURA

The best stuff from ancient history is always the routine records of humans going about their day. Or bunking off their day and doing something else, like drinking with Khonsu. The more things change, the more the stay the same.
Issue #307 published 28 Aug 2022
One of the revelations of archaeology is that earliest forms of writing cover the most prosaic topics - complaints on bad business deals or unpaid taxes and the like. This one, seems to be a record of excuses ancient Egyptians used to skive from work. More the world changes, the more the world stays the same….🤣
Issue #293 published 22 May 2022
Bet you never thought you’d read an article about people using the occult as a labour management tool, did ya?
Issue #287 published 10 Apr 2022
Fascinating piece of research, based from taxation data in the city of Montpellier in the 15th century. The five most common jobs in Medieval Europe? Farming, carpentry, butchery, shoemaking and Church-related work. Accessible and immersive post.
Issue #281 published 27 Feb 2022
There are no end of scandals these days, and for anyone caught in the eye of the storm of public outrage, there are legitimate concerns as to the damage to your future employability. In the free market economy, this is of course, a business opportunity.
Issue #279 published 13 Feb 2022
So what do you think of Bill Gates’ CV in 1974? Got to be honest, first thing I noticed was the inclusion of ht / wt information - was this ever a standard?
Spoiler alert: young Bill was a lean and mean 5'10, 130Ib at aged 18
Issue #277 published 30 Jan 2022
This person looks like he is being seconded in to do this, but you do wonder there may be a future career path as cybercrime becomes ever more pervasive. Interesting interview on what might be somebody’s full time job one day
Issue #266 published 14 Nov 2021
If Brainfooders can get a new job board, why not mercenaries? The market for trained killers is hot and there is actually a job board for them to find the work. Distasteful as this example certainly is, it is nevertheless fascinating to see common models of connecting labour supply / demand replicate across very different industries. Have a read here
Issue #252 published 8 Aug 2021
TechEmails has turned into one of my favourite twitter accounts - sharing previously private, now public emails between figures in tech. This one is with Steve Jobs vs Bruce Chizen is about recruiting, specifically, the practice of targeting competitors. Short, brusque exchange, but fascinating insight on an aspect of hiring few ever get to see.
Issue #246 published 27 Jun 2021
In this case, it seems like the scammers were too generous with the fake offer and too quick to demand the personal ID, but you can imagine them iterating on this and becoming more sophisticated and convincing as this scam matures. The data quality on LinkedIn is, compared to other social networks, extraordinarily high, but it’s security little better, leaving users and candidates alike vulnerable to scams of this type. Obviously a must read
Issue #242 published 30 May 2021
Alice Bordon says she is still shocked co-worker drugged her to make her underperform
Shocking story of hobbling a colleague in order to safeguard your own job. Crazy stuff - add it to the long list of reasons not to return to the office….
Issue #210 published 18 Oct 2020
Imagine if your occupation had such a cultural impact that it actually became (mis)understood as an ethnicity? Black haired Viking raiders came from all over Northern Europe, often times peoples who adopted the pillaging way after encounters with earlier raiders. Not really recruiting, I must say (or maybe it is?)
Issue #206 published 20 Sep 2020
Subreddit which consists of images of the crazy job titles, as seen on TV. Most of these must come from bored sub editors who wanted to a sneak in a laugh for posterity. My personal favourite?Alan Moore as Novelist / Mall Santa / Rasputin Impersonator. You’ll like this - click here
Issue #193 published 21 Jun 2020
How do we judge success and what standards do we apply to those who have had to dramatically change their work? Have a read and a think here
Issue #159 published 23 Apr 2020
Amazing list on Wikipedia of the oldest companies in the world. The Japanese got into the hotel business early, whilst no one can be surprised that Ireland’s first business was a pub - Sean’s Bar - which is apparently still running. 
Issue #71 published 23 Apr 2020
Japan: the only place in the world where Yahoo! is still a thing, also has some very strange professions. Not just obscura, this type of ‘emotional labour’ might be a future for us in robot dominated workforce. Have a watch
Issue #113 published 23 Apr 2020
Starving artists can’t be helped, says this study from University of Göttingen - it’s all about hard wiring in dopamine reward system. Kind of comedy piece I thought at first, but then, maybe some deeper implications on pay equity here.
Issue #93 published 23 Apr 2020
“It’s the best job, on or off the planet”
Says Brandi Dean, a spokesperson for NASA, who are looking for new astronauts to crew its Artemis mission, which aims to set up a Lunar Station before launching a crewed mission to Mars. Exciting and excitable read from BI. Shame the official NASA website is somewhat in need of an update.
Issue #176 published 23 Apr 2020
Primetime TV would prove the inspiration for one of the most shambolic managerial appointments in football history. And yet, the manager appointed by public vote turned out to be pretty decent. Crazy story of Luton Town FC’s Manager Idol competition - a potential future avenue for exec appointments?
Issue #105 published 23 Apr 2020
“Not great” is the short answer to this macabre read of one of the most iconic occupations in the Middle Ages. Turns out, being an executioner was both a necessary and despised position in society, so much so occupants were often ordained to do it
Issue #151 published 23 Apr 2020
Leonardo Da Vinci’s entire Codex Atlanticus - 1,000 pages of diagrams, sketches, blueprints - digitised for the first time. English language toggle on the bottom right. Amazing to explore the thinking of a man who might also the be most famous job applicant of all time.
Issue #136 published 23 Apr 2020
You have to say Ken Ham has a recruiting challenge. The entrepreneur behind the ’Ark Encounter’ theme park employs only Creationist / Young Earth Christians who need to accept an ITunes like ‘Statement of Faith’ before accepting an employment contract. He’s now struggling to find employees - can anyone here help?
Issue #80 published 23 Apr 2020
Wonderful vignette of the weird jobs people do. Philip Broughton tells the story of how he accidentally became a barkeep in one of the best bars in …Antartica. In these chilly times, it’s a story to warm your heart
Issue #121 published 23 Apr 2020
Sherrie Gulmahamad watches 20 hours a week of TV and movies as part of her job as an originals creative analyst at Netflix. She’s a Netflix tagger, and this is her story. NB: also a link at the end on how to get to do what Sherrie does. 
Issue #77 published 23 Apr 2020
In our obsession with the future, we can often overlook the lessons of the past. Professor Anne Murphy from the University of Hertfordshire chronicles how the Bank of England managed organisational change during the social and technological change of the 17th and 18th century. It’s a fascinating piece of history.
Issue #114 published 23 Apr 2020
“The sensational, over-the-top violence that’s inventive and gratuitous on a level that doesn’t exist anywhere else…” 
But what is it like to have to imagine, sketch out and then programme the infamously NSFW fatalities? Fascinating read on one of the stranger occupations you’re likely to find on Earth Realm.
Issue #137 published 23 Apr 2020
What did people do before the daily schedule became fixed and turning up on time became mandatory? You might be surprised to find that there was a chance you’d be woken up by a person with a peashooter. 
Issue #89 published 23 Apr 2020
Deep inside the company that dominates the business of making tomato ketchup, there’s a man who makes sure that every squeeze of this all-American condiment comes out just right. He’s the Ketchup Master. Not sure whether Hector Osomo has a good job or not
Issue #153 published 23 Apr 2020
‘Well-capitalised start-up seeks extremely talented C/C++/Unix developers to help pioneer commerce on the Internet…’
h/t brainfooder Matt Bradburn for sharing this piece of internet history. 
Issue #99 published 23 Apr 2020
Given the popularity of last week’s post on Executioners, it would be amiss of me not to continue the theme with another cameo portrait of medieval jobs we no longer do. What was life like for a blacksmith in medieval society? Find out here
Issue #152 published 23 Apr 2020
Recruiting Sergeants, a common sight in and around the pubs of Westminster in the 19th Century, finding and ‘persuading’ the working poor to sign up for war. Stunning colourised photo from Marina Amaral, of recruiting from a different era
Issue #87 published 23 Apr 2020
It’s not a myth: William Shakespeare really did write ‘King Lear’ during the plague. From Edvard Munch to Isaac Newton, here are a few more people who made the most of being isolated. NB: best I’ve managed so far is a pretty decent beetroot & potato stew
Issue #181 published 23 Apr 2020
COBOL never dies. And neither does the COBOL programmer market, as demand increases as supply continues to dwindle. Those programmers who are still active are in higher demand than ever, demonstrating the efficacy of a countervailing career strategy - never keep your skills update - just get really good on tech that cannot be replaced.
Issue #184 published 23 Apr 2020
“It is useful,” Leonardo da Vinci wrote, to “constantly observe, note, and consider.” But when you are Leonardo, what sorts of things are buzzing around in your head? Have a look at this translation of Da Vinci’s to do list. [spoiler alert: it’s a bit impressive]
Issue #95 published 23 Apr 2020
French artist Frank Le Pet’s Hatarakimono Project documents 102 Japanese workers in uniform. Amazing work of art about people at work. Trust me: spend a minute on this
Issue #133 published 23 Apr 2020
Baker, Barber, Butcher, Painter: why we want to see our own selves reflected in what we do for a living. ‘Implicit egotism’ is the term, and guess what? It can backfire. 
Issue #91 published 23 Apr 2020
There is town in Belgium - Oostduinkerke in case you fancy a visit - where horses plow the ocean instead of the fields. Fascinating essay on the dying tradition of fishing for shrimp on horseback - and some quality brainfood on how some types of work persist long enough to become curiosities. 
Issue #78 published 23 Apr 2020
The business model of outsourcing made manifest in this comedy crime story coming out of China. Looks like no one died so we can have some humour here but…. isn’t this really a story about what happens whenever we engage in outsourcing?
Issue #160 published 23 Apr 2020
Nerd culture, Stranger Things, and the gig economy have created a world where Dungeons & Dragons enthusiasts can host games for $500 a game. The pathways to tech generation unemployment are continue to expand….
Issue #155 published 23 Apr 2020
In the business for just 3 short months, Mia Khalifa became one of the most recognised faces on the Internet and with what turns out to be life changing consequences. Big questions for us in Talent Acquisition, the gatekeepers to the ‘normal life’. What role do we play in preventing sex workers like Mia from forgetting their past.? Have a read here, and Mia’s interview on Youtube here.
Issue #149 published 23 Apr 2020
Once upon a time, the job you did was a simple matter of family - that includes some of the oddest jobs in history. This is fascinating short on the job that no one ever applied for, but strangely, became respected in the community
Issue #70 published 23 Apr 2020