Help me learn about other peoples' lives through blogs.
December 15, 2008 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for blogs talking about the daily life of someone with a job (or other life experience) that I don't have (and that is interesting). I want stories the layperson can relate to, not minutiae for the people already in the field. Any suggestions?

I really love blogs that give me an insider's look into the daily life of someone who does something I don't know anything about. So, for example, I was hooked on this blog by a medical student (before he stopped posting), that had stories about dealing with the dead bodies, exams of fake patients for tests, etc. I also was addicted to many of the customer service ranting sites for a while (before the stories all started to blend together), and of the lawyer blogs (like this one) that would talk about interesting stories involving clients.

I'm looking for the same kind of blogs, but for different jobs/lifestyles. So maybe a chef talking about running a restaurant (I'm addicted to Top Chef), a therapist on counseling, or a fashion designer on the working up, pitching, and ultimately selling their designs.

What I *don't* want is a blog for the medical community that deals with interesting (to them) news on the latest research, or opinions on the best kind of medicine. Or a fashion designer talking about whose clothes are interesting this year, or who wore what dress where. Basically, I want stories. Any ideas?
posted by kingjoeshmoe to Society & Culture (36 answers total) 237 users marked this as a favorite
You definitely want Feel Good Librarian. I think I burned through her archives in two days. She has fascinating things to say about her job.
posted by bristolcat at 3:24 PM on December 15, 2008 [4 favorites]

Welcome to Random Acts Of Reality, a Blog based in London, England, written by an E.M.T working for the London Ambulance Service. It's another medical one (I realize you're asking for all sorts), but it hooked me for a long time.

I used to enjoy this blog by a criminal defense attorney, but he no longer does the "day in the life of" stuff. The archives are still there, however.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:33 PM on December 15, 2008

How about Lileks?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:38 PM on December 15, 2008

Waiter Rant is an amazing blog, but you'll have to delve into the archives. Waiter Rant is now more of a "what's next on my book tour", but still has some great stories on occasion.

I'd also strongly recommend Behind the Counter (wal-mart worker), but it seems to be down a lot. Try the Way Back Machine, and be sure to check out the really good, older stuff.
posted by niles at 3:39 PM on December 15, 2008

Elyse Sewell is a third-tier model (you may know her from America's Top Model, Season one) who works mostly in Hong Kong, China, and sometimes Singapore and wherever else her agent will send her. The archives are priceless.

The Boob Mines is a new blog written by someone working as a "graphic artist" for a famous porn magazine. The images are usually NSFW.

DadHacker doesn't blog much about his job anymore, but if you look back in his archives he talks a lot about what it was like to work in the Silicon Valley back during the birth of modern computing (mostly, designing video games). Sometimes there's some technical stuff, but I don't feel like I'm missing anything when my eyes glaze over.

Ben Heckdorn builds custom cases for video game systems. It gets sort of technical sometimes, but I'm fascinated by the minute little frustrations in his work.
posted by muddgirl at 3:39 PM on December 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

I seem to recall there being a lot of good stuff in this vein at Not My Desk, from the perspective of a temp.
posted by brennen at 3:43 PM on December 15, 2008

Best answer: It's no longer updated, but I really liked Mr. Babylon, a blog by an English teacher in one of NYC's worst high schools.
posted by phoenixy at 3:47 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Letters from Working Girls is facinating (if really depressing), with various stories from prostitutes.
posted by NoraReed at 3:49 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Adrian of Cablog drives a taxi in Sydney.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:01 PM on December 15, 2008

abortionclinicdays has some of this. There are some articles and links to interviews, etc. but mostly it's first person accounts of interactions with patients and stories about work.
posted by peep at 4:05 PM on December 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Try The Angry Pharmacist.
posted by crazycanuck at 4:33 PM on December 15, 2008

Christian Sings the Blues (NSFW), about the daily personal and professional life of a male porn star. Surprisingly well-written, detailed and thoughtful plus (obviously) lots of sex and pictures of boobs. He's giving up blogging at the end of the year, but there's plenty in the archives.
posted by thebergfather at 4:50 PM on December 15, 2008

Best answer: 19 Months chronicles a student's life in cooking school, at the Culinary Institute of America.
posted by kathryn at 5:02 PM on December 15, 2008

True Porn Clerk Stories is really good, although no longer updated.
Operators Standing By is also no longer updated, but there is a huge archive. True stories from people who work at an answering service/call center.
Tales from the Boobie Bar (NSFW) is written by a topless dancer.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:18 PM on December 15, 2008

Ask The Pilot over at
posted by abdulf at 5:28 PM on December 15, 2008

What School Doesn't Teach About Being a Nurse Practitioner is a great blog about being a new NP. (Found via AskMe, thank you whoever posted it!)

She has moved on to a new project, but Frida's Notebook was a gorgeous blog about being an aid worker in Afghanistan. The archives are well worth reading.
posted by min at 5:31 PM on December 15, 2008

Response by poster: You guys are all awesome. Virtually all of these are exactly what I want. There are enough here that I think I'm going to have to start rationing myself, and only working through a few at a time.

Best answers to kathryn and pheonixy only because those are the two I think I'll start with. The pharmacist and librarian are next. Really, everyone's a best answer, but I always thought it was lame when I saw others do it. So I'm refraining.

Oh, and for anyone else reading this, I can second "True Porn Clerk Stories". Sisterhavana, I read all of that in two or three sittings at the most.

Please don't stop posting. I promise, I'm taking a look at all of these. Thanks everyone.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 5:35 PM on December 15, 2008

6 Year Med is a personal favorite but, oh, how I'm loving this question of yours.
posted by teremala at 5:50 PM on December 15, 2008

"Doddery Old Fart" maintained Rest Area 300 ("Confessions of a New Zealand road worker) up until his recent death. It was good stuff. See here, for example.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:56 PM on December 15, 2008

Jim Plagakis is another pharmacist and a very good story teller.
posted by little e at 6:15 PM on December 15, 2008

I don't read it regularly anymore, but the Customers Suck community on Livejournal has a lot of good stories. I don't know of a good way to sort through it and get to the good ones, but maybe someone else in the hivemind does?
posted by NoraReed at 6:25 PM on December 15, 2008

Surgeon's Blog is dormant, but not yet declared dead, and the archives are plenteous. I never imagined handling a liver was so sensuous, till this man wrote about it.
posted by eritain at 6:56 PM on December 15, 2008

I love The Barmaid Blog,written by a female 20-something bartender in NYC. It followed both her work and personal life for a few years and is very well-written, though, like a lot of these, has tapered off. All the entries are archived though. It's at, HTML doesn't seem to be working for me right now.
posted by lunasol at 6:57 PM on December 15, 2008

And once you run out of blogs, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Gig -- 700 pages of people talking about what it's really like to work in their jobs.
posted by mothershock at 7:02 PM on December 15, 2008

Slow Children at Play is written by a guy who works at a home for disturbed foster children.

Gaijin Smash is by a guy who taught English in Japanese middle schools.

Both are hosted on a site with dozens of blogs, and more than a few fit your criteria, but these two are by far the best imo.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:04 PM on December 15, 2008

I burned through FemaleScienceProfessor in under a week. I think she works in a similar field to my husband so I kept hoping she would give away some detail that would help me figure out if we'd met her. Anonymous blogging FTW.
posted by crinklebat at 8:40 PM on December 15, 2008

"i am throwing your life away", a blog by a garbage man in San Francisco, maybe?
posted by emhutchinson at 9:27 PM on December 15, 2008

Tard Blog isn't updated any more, but was written by a Special Ed teacher. (If you couldn't tell from the name, it is pretty un-PC, but admittedly very funny.)
posted by cosmic osmo at 9:50 PM on December 15, 2008

I love Tiny Farm Blog, (Organic micro-farming with two acres and some tools ~ a daily photo journal...) the pictures are awesome being opposite seasons to me, and they have WWOOFers, something I'd love to do.
posted by b33j at 11:59 PM on December 15, 2008

It's apparently fictional, but BabyBarista is about a junior barrister going through pupillage to gain a tenancy at a London chambers. It's very funny and well written, and has lots of 'feels real' minutae about the British courts system.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:05 AM on December 16, 2008

Nee Naw - a paramedic in London.
posted by svolix at 1:11 PM on December 16, 2008

Melissa's Flight Attendant Blog - still active and the archives are great

Could also second most of those posted here
posted by TravellingCari at 8:25 AM on December 18, 2008

It's a self link, but . . . if you wonder what it's like to work at a farmers market, you might check out Fruit Slinger. [On seasonal hiatus now, but it's all there for the readin'.]
posted by veggieboy at 10:43 AM on January 3, 2009

I just found this post via the podcast. This blog is no longer active but the archive is worth a read through.

posted by Bonzai at 6:08 PM on January 4, 2009

oops... I read through this too quickly. Never mind.
posted by Bonzai at 6:09 PM on January 4, 2009

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