Sunday, January 08, 2017

More jobs that never returned

And they are not riding beneath the streets of Boston.

Film processors and film manufacturers.

Once upon a time, it was easy to get a job at Kodak in Rochester making film.  Now it is hard to even find a place that sells film.  The new jobs, but not many, are converting slides and photos to digital images.

Parking lot attendants

Parking meters on streets have been around for decades, but often parking lots had attendants who either parked your car or took your money when you left.  At least on parking garage in Duluth is fully “automated”.  You take your ticket when you enter, go to a machine to pay when you leave, and insert the ticket at the gate.  Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport has more automated exit gates than attendant gates.


One hundred years ago there were 40,000 longshoremen in New York Harbor.  Now most of the work is done by less than 3,400 longshoremen in New Jersey operating cranes and straddle carriers.  You have to read “Along New York Harbor, ‘On the Waterfront’ Endures” to get an idea how big some of these straddle carriers are.

Shoe shiners

How do you shine “athletic” shoes?  It is rare to see a man wearing glossy dress shoes.  If you wear glossy shoes you will either have to polish them yourself or go to a major airport.  I know there is no shoe shine stand in the Duluth airport.

Movie ticket sellers, ushers, and projectionists

Once upon a time ushers found a seat for you, then they only took tickets, now there are hardly any neighborhood movie theaters.  Until I was in high school, I could walk to a movie theatre.  Then I had to go downtown to see a movie.  Now there are only four movie theaters in Cleveland proper.  Surprise, two neighborhood theaters that I had walked to still exist, but there is only one downtown theater.


A well-crafted watch, even for middle-class people was a pride to wear.  And if it had a problem, there were several watch repair shops in any major city.  In Duluth, Google lists four watch repair shops.  None are downtown and one is Batteries Plus.  I think the last, and probably the others as well, offer only battery replacement.  There are two downtown jewelers who sell watches and change batteries.

You can probably see ads for fine watches on sites like the New York Times, but few of would consider them.

I think the reduction in watchmakers started with Timex.  Just looked at my wrist: I have a Timex.  $50 at a downtown jewelry store, after the buttons on my previous, more fancy Timex, became inoperative.  Was there anyone to repair it for less than $50?

See also "No, the jobs never returned”.