In days of yore, people had job titles that seem quaint (and sometimes incomprehensible) to us now. Like swingler (someone who beat flax) and feather dresser (who cleaned them for sale).
The industrial revolution swept away old ways of working, and with it, old job titles. Progress and technology then went from a trickle to a rush. Someone born in say 1890 could have witnessed the Wright brothers’ first stumbling efforts at powered flight – and watched man land on the Moon just six decades later.
They’d have watched that on television, unimagined when they were growing up.
And progress continues apace.
The World Wide Web was invented in 1990 – and has been a second industrial revolution in its effect on society and work.
And as globalisation has ended many traditional jobs in western countries, we’ve had to find new ways to earn a crust.
All this has meant that census returns now contain some job titles that are just as strange as those of the forgotten industries of centuries gone by.
Here are some I have collected from news stories in local papers. Some are puzzling, some are unintentionally ambiguous (does the anti-social behaviour co-ordinator organise bad behaviour?!). Some just sound plain silly.
- Achievement director
- Agile business analyst
- Anti-social behaviour co-ordinator
- Built Environment and Democracy (council department that seems an odd combination)
- Champion for carbon management
- Community focused schools co-ordinator (no idea)
- Corporate responsibility executive
- County butterfly recorder
- Crime and disorder reduction officer (title held by a police constable)
- Crime prevention design advisor
- De-clutterer – housing association post
- Decorative manager
- Eco-arts therapist
- Found lost property clerk
- Harm reduction adviser (police)
- Happy schools co-ordinator
- Head of school effectiveness
- Locality youth facilitator
- Online community content creator
- Parenting facilitator
- Project partner participation co-ordinator (??? Getting people to work together?)
- Specialist environmental health officer (in story about dog mess)
- Supporting people officer
- Sustainable hubs development officer
- Traffic management ambassador
- Visible Services (council department)
- Whole school site manager (ie caretaker)
- YMCA facilitator
© Oxdown Gazette and Non-Advertiser (Oxdown GNA)
Other strange job titles welcome!