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AskReaders: What profession was once highly respected, but is now a complete joke?

We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What profession was once highly respected, but is now a complete joke? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.

1. Bank teller used to be a foot in the door to the finance industry. Now it’s basically 20 years old, credit card salesmen.

– rdight21

2. President.

– SATexas1

3. A town crier used to be a respected official who was the source of news and information for all the townspeople, but try walking up and down the street ringing a bell and shouting out the news at the top of your lungs now and see how much respect you get.

– VictorBlimpmuscle

4. Milkman.

It used to be a way to earn an honest living, now he’s only used to convey other person’s mom’s news.

– ButDrIAmPagliacci

5. News anchor. When I was a kid in the 80s, there were three channels, the nightly news was an important part of a family’s routine, and the anchor was respected as someone Americans trusted to tell them what was going on. Now it’s a bunch of people screaming.

– batnastard

6. A typist. In the 50s if you could type that was a real skill. And also a Government worker in general, back when Government work wasn’t used as a synonym for horseshoes and hand grenades.

– dangerousbob

7. Night’s watch.

Taking up the black used to be for men of honor. Now it’s full of thieves, rapers, and murderers.

– ButDrIAmPagliacci

8. On-air radio personality.

Not a complete joke, but unless you’re one of the syndicated giants, it’s not nearly the job it once was.

– Scrappy_Larue

9. Nigerian prince.

– -LifeOnHardMode-

10. Traveling Salesman.

– MrSenorSandwich


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  • Anything Social Science oriented. Their authority essentially derived from “There once was a study like this situation, and if we did it again the results would be completely different, and there are a number of other studies that contradict it anyway, but I’m not going to tell you that.” Now the information is readily available from the Web, and social isolation has been ameliorated by Social Networking.

  • Really, an Airline Pilot job is a joke? Wow, a captain making nearly 300,000 a year flying 737s in China would hardly qualify as a joke. Then again, maybe you’re thinking about regional airline pilots that are paid chicken feed in the U.S., but that is an industry problem that is very particular to the U.S. Trained pilots are in very high demand, specially in Asia and the Middle East. So you gotta move there, away from mama. Too bad.

  • Mainstream Journalist

    It used to be a respectable. Nowadays, most of them are purveyor of sensational fake news – sold to the highest bidder.

  • Any Journalist.

    Someone mentioned mainstream journalist but regional papers used to be hugely important and journalist a solid way to make a living. However with the internet anyone can get new from all over the world instead of their local paper or even the big national papers. News now comes from bloggers all over the world.


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