Old Titles

How do we feel about old titles for jobs that sound like “fun”, like scullery maid and chamber maid, or liveryman and manservant? 

If you were in America 100 years ago what job would you be willing to take versus one that you would be forced to take? 

Last week I found myself in an unusual situation, I was going back and forth to NYC reading an historical fiction novel. It was set in Manhattan, Chelsea and Brooklyn – more specifically – Coney Island.  The years were 1905 to 1911.

It was an interesting backdrop to a tale of labor unions being formed, immigrants being mistreated and – now,  this is the best part – and a freak show. 

In NYC. 


Would you rather have been placed in a museum because of some oddity, deformity, an abundance of tattoos or excessive body hair? 

Or, would it have been better to be working on the ninth floor in an un-sprinklered, not air-conditioned factory, sewing clothes for a taskmaster; one who clearly didn’t care about humanity, let alone titles as long as you worked full days without taking a break? 

There were hundreds more who would gladly have taken your place. Until they weren’t. Enough of them finally said, “NO.”

So, old titles go the way they should, replaced by better ones, more meaningful (perhaps) but at least, certainly, ones that state – You Matter. Your life matters. Your contribution is valuable. I hope it is…because if it isn’t, and you don’t feel like you are making a difference, then you should take advantage of the freedoms we have here now that we’re non-existent a century ago. Make those lives matter. Say thank you to the strong-willed, trying to survive so that we could live better. Do what you know you can do and be better. Change the future for our coming generations. It’s ok if your title, shift supervisor, project manager, sales rep, or even union leader doesn’t exist 100 years from now.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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