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How do you do things?
July 24, 2014 3:46 PM   Subscribe

I really like interviews about how people do their work, the tools they use and why. I regularly read The Setup and Lifehacker's "How I Work" series. What other sites should I be reading?
posted by rensar to Work & Money (11 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
 
I found this lovely post -- Dee Tocqueville, Lollipop Lady -- on Spitalfields Life. You could do worse than to peruse its Human Life archives; it includes conversations with/profiles of booksellers, a seamstress, a master printer, a butcher, and people in many other professions. I suspect you are looking for a more technical, rather than reflective, look at everyday work, but these mini-profiles are delightful.

From Stephen Armstrong, postman:
Once you have got all your work, you make it into bundles with those elastic bands – the notorious ones that we drop all over the place. You pack your bag with the first bundle of work, it cannot be more than sixteen kilos. Some postmen have a trolley but I don’t, instead I have dropboxes where the rest of the mail is dropped off to me at each end of my area. Generally, it takes about two and a half to three hours walking to make my deliveries. There are lots of streets where no-one notices you, you become part of the street furniture. A few old ladies ask you to do this and that and I don’t mind. I’m not a friend, I’m an acquaintance – but I like to think I can be trusted.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:00 PM on July 24


Sometimes what you're looking for is right here. Check out this thread in MetaTalk about people and their purses.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 4:55 PM on July 24


You might be interested in reading Studs Terkel's stuff, especially Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

That's nonfiction, but Upton Sinclair's The Jungle might also interest you, about workers and the historical working conditions in the meatpacking industry.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 8:42 PM on July 24


The Paris Review's interview series of different types of writers is wonderful. I particularly recommend Kay Ryan's, Ted Hughes's, and Ernest Hemingway's.
posted by sallybrown at 9:08 PM on July 24


(Oh hah, glad you like The Setup!)
posted by waferbaby at 12:46 AM on July 25 [2 favorites]


It's maybe a little tangential, but you might like the Great Discontent which makes a weekly interview of people involved in a creative process.
posted by mugitusqueboom at 4:14 AM on July 25 [1 favorite]


Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs is a nice follow-up to Working. The stories were collected from a website but I don't remember which one.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:42 AM on July 25


In The Make describes itself as "a collaboration that offers an intimate look at current art practice. Through visiting artists in their studios we learn about each artist’s space, process, influences, and the behind-the-scenes elements that are often unseen in a gallery or museum setting. We document these visits with the hope of revealing both the richness and the daily realities of creative work."
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:30 PM on July 25 [1 favorite]


You might like Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.
posted by gudrun at 7:40 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]


For crafty people (mostly professional craft people), you might like Fringe Associations' Our Tools, Ourselves. It's an ongoing series.
posted by purple_bird at 9:14 AM on July 28 [1 favorite]


I asked a similar question awhile back.
posted by quadog at 11:16 PM on July 28


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