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 Post subject: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 12:23 
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what job would have suited her?

She was very lucky to be in a position where her sister and brother in law could support her while she wrote her first book (which wouldn't have earned her anything like enough money to support herself). Then her early marriage also obviated any need to earn a living.

Nowadays, I could imagine Joey being a journalist. She's a good writer, has an inquiring mind, enjoys travel and has a lively personality. But that wouldn't have been a likely option in the 1930s when Joey left school.

Most middle class girls would probably have trained as secretaries, nurses or teachers back then. Joey hated teaching, would have been a shocking secretary, and would have driven any hospital matron mad within about 5 mins (although the patients would have loved her).

So I'm just wondering what kind of job Joey could have done to support herself until Dr Right came along?


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 13:06 
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Interesting question - allowing for the decade, I could certainly see her joining an advertising agency, as Dorothy L Sayers and a number of other writers have over the years, and coming up with quirky ideas and slogans for advertising campaigns. Plenty of outlet for her creativity and gregariousness there, possibly opportunities for travel too, and it might help her in her career as a writer anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 13:12 
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She'd have gone to Belsornia as Elisaveta's lady-in-waiting, I guess.

She could have done something similar to what Ros Lilley initially wanted to do: a lady courier type of job. She's fluent in several languages and an experienced traveller, good at dealing with strangers and knows a lot about local procedures, history and customs. I think that's probably her best fit career-wise, utilising her interest in languages and history, and providing plenty of material for any books she wanted to write.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 14:22 
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That's what Maeve was planning to do, although we don't hear about her after she leaves school.

I think Joey had got too settled in Tyrol and wouldn't have wanted to move away from Madge and Robin, and would probably have ended up working at the school, which would have been awkward for everyone because she didn't really have the necessary discipline to be a teacher. I was going to suggest a secretarial job in the diplomatic service, using her languages, but she'd have blabbed state secrets to all and sundry! Maybe she could have done a Jo March, and written penny dreadfuls for cheap newspapers and magazines :D .

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 15:40 
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I do actually think Joey would have resigned herself to a career as a teacher. She enjoyed being in a school environment, even if she didn't enjoy the role of teacher, and I don't think she'd have been happy moving away to work in an office or a hospital.

I think she'd have eventually adapted to the role of teacher and would have thrown herself into the life of the school. In fact, it would have ended up being her life, and retirement would have come as a terrible trauma.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 19:42 
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I see her as going as a "mother's help" to a family friend or friend-of-a-friend. She was good with (and used to) small children, and everyone's expectation would have been that, like all nice girls of that class, she was just filling in time until she married. She could have got on with writing her book in her free time.

Actually, very much as she did at the Sonnaple but with someone else and with a small salary attached.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 20:34 
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Possibly become a singer ? travelling the world doing concert work and having the Robin as her general factotum


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 21:31 
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Honey&nuts wrote:
Possibly become a singer ? travelling the world doing concert work and having the Robin as her general factotum

There's a drabble about that http://www.sallydennylibrary.co.uk/viewstory.php?sid=123&warning=1

Another possibility might have been to stay on India and do something there. Helping the management of the local Club? She would enjoy being sociable.

How about being one of those people who stand/sit in art galleries/museums to make sure no one touches the exhibits? I'm sure she would have loved to sit in the Invalides stopping other people throwing flowers at Napoleon's tomb. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 21:43 
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I think Jo would have had to acquire a great deal more self discipline, tact and discretion to be successful in most careers. She'd have had to be willing to work at things she didn't enjoy or found boring and to get along with people she didn't like and who didn't think she was the cat's bathmat. I think she'd have been a disaster as a lady in waiting, and not sure she'd have been willing to put in the work to make it as a singer.

I wouldn't have thought of the lady courier idea, but I do think it would have suited her when she was a little older, say in her early twenties. She'd have had to learn to mind her manners if she was landed with someone like Frau Berlin, but she'd have been good with girls; she could have specialised in chaperoning schoolgirls and 'finishers' around. There'd have been enough variety to keep her from getting bored.

Realistically, though, I suppose if she'd absolutely had to earn her living she'd have ended up teaching at the school. And if she'd never married she'd have found herself at an increasing disadvantage after the war, having left school at seventeen herself with no training or qualifications.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2017, 12:49 
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If she hadn't married young and had children soon after, I wonder would she have been called up during the War? Or would her delicate health have exempted her?

She might have enjoyed working in the WRENS or the WAAF. She'd also have made a good landgirl if she was up to the physically strenuous work. She was used to rural life and to living as part of a female community.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 00:47 
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I have trouble picturing Joey of 18 or 19 holding down a steady job - she's still pretty impulsive and immature at that age, and I have a feeling that in those days, an 18 year old going out to work to support themselves wouldn't be given the kind of "kids will be kids" leeway an 18 year old with a summer job might get these days. If she had needed to support herself, I think Madge would have needed a different approach in raising her.

She'd be a terrible secretary or nurse - she'd have trouble mastering the skills, and she'd run into problems with the expected demeanour. A secretary is a support role, and nursing is a patient focused role, and Joey is emotionally volatile and likes begin the centre of attention. Likewise, she'd be a dreadful lady in waiting, and would likely be sent home in disgrace fairly quickly, either for general unladylike behaviour or causing a diplomatic incident.

I think she'd actually quite like teaching, but I'm not sure how good she would be at the nitty gritty details. She'd give vivid lectures, but there's also lesson planning, teaching to a curriculum, classroom management and marking and evaluating. She subs three times. The first, she's specifically told not to give marked written work. The second, she threatens to quit after a tiff with Miss Bubb. The third, she drives the seniors up the wall by scheduling extra classes at random when she can get there (to make up for bad weather), without considering their other work.

Teaching at the CS would be a problem, because by that point in the school, they're hiring teaching staff with degrees, and Joey would be a clear nepotism hire. And I can't see Joey managing a degree - her work is too erratic, she'd overdo things and collapse, and I think she'd really struggle going from the CS, where she was special, to being an average (or struggling) member of the crowd.

I could see her working at the school as sort of a general assistant. Someone to mind the phones at the office, run errands in town, sort and address mail, supervise students when the staff or prefects were occupied, escort students to and from the Sonnalpe for visits with parents, watch a class if a mistress was ill, help with organizing. It would be useful, the school would be more forgiving of personality quirks than a random employer, and she'd still have some time to put her hand to writing.

During the war, without kids, I could see her as something like a land-girl. By that time, she's not really delicate physically, but in a high stress job she'd have a high risk of collapsing due to mental delicacy.

For other random jobs, I could see her as a tour guide. She's got multiple languages, experience travelling, natural charm and a good sense of story-telling.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 01:22 
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Vintagejazz wrote:
Nowadays, I could imagine Joey being a journalist. She's a good writer, has an inquiring mind, enjoys travel and has a lively personality. But that wouldn't have been a likely option in the 1930s when Joey left school.


I was a journalist and editor for more than 20 years. It constantly bemuses me what people think is required to be a 'good' one.

Bluntly, none of what you have mentioned is needed.

I have worked with journalists who were terrible writers but they got the interview and quotes, and the editors and sub editors cleaned up the copy.

Travel - what travel? You stay in an office all day and use the phone. If you are lucky, you get out to a press conference once a week.

Even the so-called 'travel writers' are freelancers, not full time journalists. Newspapers/magazines cannot afford to have their full time staff out of the office and travelling all the time.

A nose for news is far more necessary than an inquiring mind. The ability to ferret out information that noone else gets and keep going even when doors are literally slammed in your face.

And Joey is simply too spoilt in that noone says 'no' to her. So I can imagine her giving up at the first "no comment." Noone actually says that BTW, it's usually much ruder than that.

And why not teaching? Or private tutoring? Joey does teach for a little while after school and apparently is not terrible at it, even though she says she doesn't enjoy it.

But the CS would give her a job for life and even if she wasn't a full-time teacher she could do some odd bits of part time tutoring to help pay the bills.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 06:51 
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Wow - what a lot of negative views of Joey...

The Jo I know worked hard and was very able at the subjects she loved, and became a successful published writer. If she needed to work for a living, I'd expect she would have gone to university to study either literature or history (and grow up a bit), and then likely become a writer - just maybe in a different field to stories for girls.

Or possibly she would stay in academia researching in one of those areas she was passionate about, and then writing about it. With her charisma and people skills, she might even have ended up on TV presenting documentaries in her field, interviewing fellow academics and experts...


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 15:10 
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I've just written and lost an impassioned defence of Jo as presented by EBD - I hope it doesn't turn up anywhere else!
Anyway, I was saying that as EBD sees her (and I know she tells not shows, sometimes, but we need to believe the authorial voice on this), Jo has excellent empathy, she is kind, she know what to say - what we call people skills, now.
She is a highly successful author, so is hard working, able to work to deadlines, can research her facts. can self-assess, can proof-read - these are skills that could transfer to many jobs if needed.
I can take or leave Jo personally, but I'm surprised at the number of people who see her as pretty useless!


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 17:01 
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I think Jo's success as a teacher would depend on whether she went to university or not. If she did, I expect she'd study history (Miss Annersley says in Jo Returns that history is Jo's 'own subject', i.e. specialism) and would come back to the school just in time to take over when Miss Stewart leaves to get married. University would allow Jo to learn to cope on her own, manage workloads etc. and do the sort of maturing she does between Jo Returns and Exile, and IMO she'd come back to the school as a perfectly capable mistress. I certainly don't think she'd fall apart at university as a result of not being the centre of attention or anything - she managed perfectly fine before the CS at Taverton High as an average schoolgirl - and she'd be studying her own particular subject, not maths or art or the stuff she was famed for hating and not working at.

If she didn't go to university and just went straight back to the CS as a teacher, I think it would be a lot more difficult. As others have pointed out, her lack of qualifications would put her at an ever-increasing disadvantage, and she'd probably struggle to teach a full curriculum reaching across multiple age ranges and covering many different areas she maybe hadn't covered in any real depth. Her best bet would probably be to do a Miss Denny and just teach oddments rather than a set subject - she could coach new girls who needed to get up to speed in French and German, do a bit of tutoring in English and history, that sort of thing.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 17:26 
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I think university would have done Jo good. We're never really allowed to see her having to cope on her own: whenever there's a problem, either Madge or Jack is there to sort it out. If she had to cope, I'm sure she would have done.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 23:25 
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Jo's success as a writer came too easily. She also didn't know when she left school her first book was going to be written and accepted so quickly.

Would she really have been happy going to the Sonnalpe and such an uneventful life? I don't think university was the answer. EBD would have had to have her heading that way for a couple of years before she left school. Also I doubt if she would have wanted Jo away from the series for that time and it would have messed up the plans with Jack.

Could she not have had Jo down at the school for a couple of days a week getting singing lessons from Mr Denny and helping out with language or history lessons? She could have been at the Sonnalpe the rest of the time and in the bad winter weather she could have stayed at the school and even gone to Innsbruck for a night or two a week unless the weather was really dire.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 29 Oct 2017, 00:59 
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When I look at it, it's not so just about Joey herself, but it's the combination of her personality and skills, the way she's been raised, and the reality of working life for women in the 1930s.

Personality wise, she's intelligent, very good at languages, naturally charming, musical, and has a good imagination. Those are strong skills. She's also disorganized, impulsive, and emotionally volatile, which are things that tend to be a problem when holding down a job.

Joey has been rather coddled as she's been growing up. Her delicate health means she's used to authority figures hovering, monitoring her to make sure she's taking care of herself, packing her off to rest if she's overdoing things. Her position at the CS means that she's used to being a person of importance, with special privileges and knowledge, and people who understand her personality and accommodate it. And she *hasn't* been brought up to expect to earn a living. She takes her schoolwork very casually, and doesn't particularly care if she does badly in math exams, or gets thrown out of art for obnoxious behaviour. In her last term, she openly feuds with a new mistress.

Then there's the reality of the working world. Career options were limited for women - dominated by the big three (nurse, secretary, teacher), or things like working in a shop or as a maid. There were limited university positions for women, and stiff composition to get in, and at this point the CS is not a school that's focusing on that - most of the girls leave school and return home. The three girls at this point who have gone on to university, Juliet, Mary Burnett and Simone, are hard-working and driven. And the reality would be that most jobs wouldn't tell Joey that she's been overworking and pack her off to bed for a week to recuperate (the sort of treatment she's used to) - she'd be expected to show up and do her job. Plus, some of the things Joey is particularly good at - writing and singing - are notoriously hard to earn a living from.

The counterpart I see for Joey in modern times would be the kid who crashes and burns their first year at university, because they're not used to doing homework without a parent monitoring them, and the freedom of being out from their parents' eyes goes to their head. Or the kid who is not a bad kid, but gets fired from their first job or two because they're totally unprepared for a reality where they're expected to show up reliably and do work for pay.

If Joey had needed to earn her way, though, I think Madge would have needed to take a different approach raising her. Stricter discipline, higher expectations for responsibility, probably a less carefree adolescence, and a constant pushing towards thinking and preparing for working or serious training after leaving for school. So a Joey who was raised like that would likely be quite different than the charming and talented, but impulsive and rather irresponsible, girl who leave the CS in New House.

tl;dr - I actually quite like adolescent Joey, but I wouldn't have wanted to be her boss in an entry level job, or her instructor at university.

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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 29 Oct 2017, 13:18 
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If Madge hadn't married Jem, then I suppose she would have brought Jo up with the idea that Jo would join her in running the school when she was old enough. If she could have afforded it, it would have been a good investment to send Jo away to get a degree or some training.

I don't think the Jo we know was degree material (imagine her coming up against Miss Hillyard at Shrewsbury, for example!) but if she'd been brought up knowing she'd have to earn her living, she might have taken her schoolwork more seriously.

Jo had largely outgrown her physical delicacy by her mid teens - her last serious illness was in Rivals, when she was fifteen. After that, it was emotional resilience she lacked, and I think Madge without Jem would have been more brisk in her approach to dealing with it.

Jo would still have met Jack, through Miss Maynard, but possibly never got to know him well enough to think of marriage.


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 Post subject: Re: If Joey had been required to earn her living....
PostPosted: 29 Oct 2017, 18:29 
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In many ways, it's odd that Madge, who didn't expect to have to earn her own living and was suddenly forced to do so, isn't making sure that Joey is brought up to be able to earn her own living even if she never needs to.

At the beginning of the series, there's every likelihood that Joey will need to be able to earn yet, at no time, is her education taken particularly seriously. Even Madge's marriage to Jem doesn't preclude the possibility of needing to work at some point but Joey becomes one of the girls who is just going to go home and "help" once she finishes school.


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