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Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations

We grew up in a house where we would send each other postcards of jackalopes and giant ears of corn. I got a book of postcards when I was a kid called the World’s Worst Postcards or something similar. The image on the cover was of a woman sniffing a man’s armpit. The bad part wasn’t that she was doing this but that she was paid to do it as part of her job as a deoderant tester. The same woman appears on the cover of Schiff’s book. Schiff has photographed many people with quirky, interesting or oddly anachronistic jobs doing whatever it is they do. Some are more normal-seeming than others. Other jobs -- like the man who escorts the ducks at whatever hotel that is in the South -- are clearly throwbacks to a bygpone era when we valued full employment a bit more then we do now. The photos are lovely, the descriptions are brief [boy did I want to know more about the day to day life of the glass eyeball painter, or the person who messed with the old clocks in New York City] and the book all in all isn’t more than an hour’s worth of amusement, but it’s a fun conversation piece and sends you off thinking of other places, just like a good book. [artist’s site]