The new necessity of the clerk

May 26, 2020 4:15 pm


Go back some two hundred years or so and the last job you would expect to have is that of a clerk or an admin role. Offices were few and far between and those that were were usually attached to a larger workplace like an industrial, manufacturing site or great rural estate. The majority of us would be working down a mine, manufacturing something in a mill or working in the fields on a farm. In fact, the humble clerk was seen as something of pitiable character, crushed by the overbearing boss, trapped in a series of menial tasks. It was also considered unmanly work for a male to do. Writers such as Charles Dickens were interested in the plight of the clerk, for example, Bob Cratchit inĀ  A Christmas Carol or the evil Uriah Heap.

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As the world of work changes into the twentieth century there is a slow shift away from the primary (mining, steel work etc) and the secondary (manufacturing and millwork) to the more office and service based norm that we see today. This change did not come overnight and there were several events such as the Great depression and two World Wars that made a huge mark on how we work.

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Office work is still varied and includes everything from the delicate and highly skilled secretarial work in a Solicitor Gloucester firm such as right through to finance administrators. It seems that the office will hold sway in our working lives for now.