How do people do their jobs?
May 7, 2015 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Are there more podcasts (or books or movies) like the first season of Slate's Working?

I really enjoyed the first season of Slate's Working podcast, which consisted of interviews with people about their jobs. What I liked was how most of the interviews were practical, talking about what each person did during a day (e.g., David Plotz often began interviews by asking the interviewee what happened after they woke up in the morning). I loved it.

Unfortunately, with the second season, a new host has taken over (Adam Davidson, ugh) and it's missing everything I liked about the first season. It's dull and abstract. I want to know what people actually do all day, not just what role their job fills. That's interesting too, but I'm interested in the labor as well as the product.

Is there anything else out there that might replace Working for me? I just want to know what other people do all day; is that so much to ask?
posted by ddbeck to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
This might be a little weird, but there's a show on Netflix, which I'm pretty sure is called Kinky Business about a UK sex toy distributor. I really find it interesting because it Follows these workers actually doing their jobs and covers everything from customer support to returns to the order fufullers etc etc
posted by KernalM at 9:53 AM on May 7, 2015

It's a novel, but Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan really goes into the day-by-day minutiae of being a manager of a Red Lobster restaurant.
posted by Lucinda at 9:54 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Working always struck me as something of a knockoff of (the now defunct)'s earlier, similar series Gig.
posted by eschatfische at 10:04 AM on May 7, 2015

What about the collection of interviews in Studs Terkel's "Working"?
posted by icemill at 10:05 AM on May 7, 2015 [6 favorites]

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey
posted by PaulZ at 10:10 AM on May 7, 2015

+1 for Terkel's "Working". It's exactly what you're looking for.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 10:13 AM on May 7, 2015

There is this Real Job Description website, created by a Mefite inspired by an AskMeFi question.
posted by Fig at 10:17 AM on May 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

The Working Now Project.
posted by mykescipark at 10:37 AM on May 7, 2015

The Guardian has a series called "How do I become ... " which describes how a person arrived at a certain career, and their day-to day routine.

How do I become ... a royal footman

How do I become ... a chocolate taster

How do I become ... a Legoland modeller
posted by needled at 11:29 AM on May 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for your suggestions, everyone. I'm reading Studs Terkel's book now. It's not exactly what I was looking for —it's more about how people feel about their work than the work itself—but it's fascinating. I'm looking forward to getting to the other suggestions, soon.
posted by ddbeck at 7:13 PM on June 8, 2015

Hey ddbeck, in case you gave up on 'Working' entirely, there's a new season up and it's back to the format of the first season. I really enjoyed the first episode, which was about the life of a medical resident.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:30 AM on July 13, 2015

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