100 Weeks of Scotland: Scotland’s jobs, part 2

Roberta, the Lollypop Lady. Picture: Alan McCredie
Roberta, the Lollypop Lady. Picture: Alan McCredie
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Continuing on from the theme of last week, are more portraits of people whose job descriptions are easily understood.

Week 70

To find some examples of job titles that are less clear I had a quick look on the internet expecting to find job descriptions such as Management Implementation Consultant. What I find however was very different. Some genuinely real job descriptions I stumbled upon were; “Head of Potatoes”, “Bear Biologist and Paperfolder”, “Cat Behaviour Specialist”, a man representing The Shredded Cheese Authority, and far and away my favourite, a man described in a BBC TV interview as a “Writer/ Wizard/ Mall Santa/ Rasputin Impersonator” – It’s good to diversify.

So feeling rather depressed that I hadn’t thought of photographing people with the above job titles, for the second and final time (I don’t think I can stretch this out any longer…) I soldiered on with my Ladybird Book job descriptions. This week we have the simplicity of The Teacher, The Nurse, The Lollypop Lady and The Geologist. All solid, no nonsense job titles, with not a hint of a Pork Rind Expert amongst them – more’s the pity.

On a freezing morning, with a wind straight from a Nordic icy hell, I found myself wandering the streets in search of a female Lollypop person. It took some time but eventually I found Roberta, who was slap bang in the middle of her morning shift. I dutifully stood shivering until she was done and was amazed by how busy the job is. I was there for about forty minutes and not once in that whole time was she not helping people across the road, smiling with the children, or chatting to the parents.

For my second subject I had to visit a High School. It all came flooding back – I have barely been back in a school since I left (on my very last day, and for the first time ever, I bunked off a couple of hours early only to be captured and returned to school. Really Mr Carr – was it necessary?) and the overwhelming urge to run down one of the corridors was great. I’m an adult now so they couldn’t tell me off – could they? I kept my desire in check just in case. I photographed Jean in the Home Economics Department where I had hoped I might stumble upon a spare Apple Crumble. Sadly, I did not.

My third subject this week was Hazel, who described herself as both a Geologist and Oil Industry Engineer. Obviously I have gone for the former job description otherwise it wouldn’t fit into my carefully constructed theme. I photographed her on a break enjoying a well-deserved cup of tea.

Lastly this week I photographed Louise, a nurse. I have been incredibly lucky in very rarely having to spend any time in hospital. Two years ago though I had my appendix out and had to spend about ten days in hospital. To say the nurses and staff and were magnificent would be a massive understatement.

Perhaps not in my case, but they are literally lifesavers. If I had my way they would be the highest paid earners in the land. A little outpouring of love then, from me to the NHS - the finest, most noble contribution that any country has yet made to the long, stuttering march of civilisation. If we lose it, and we might, a light will have gone out that will not be relit.

• Alan McCredie began the ‘100 weeks of Scotland’ website in October last year, and it will conclude in Autumn 2014. McCredie’s goal is to chronicle two years of Scottish life in the run-up to the independence referendum.

Alan says ‘one hundred weeks...’ is intended to show all sides of the country over the next two years. On the site, he says: “Whatever the result of the vote Scotland will be a different country afterward. These images will show a snapshot of the country in the run up to the referendum.

“The photos will be of all aspects of Scottish culture - politics, art, social issues, sport and anything else that catches the eye.”

Follow the project at 100weeksofscotland.com. You can also follow Alan on Twitter @alanmccredie.

• All pictures (c) Alan McCredie/100 weeks of Scotland