Recently I went with family to the old Empire Mine in the gold country of California. It's one of the oldest, deepest, and richest mines in California. It produced 5.6 million ounces of gold before it closed in 1956.
In the display cases I happened to notice a brief description of the typical tasks and competencies required of a miner (a mini-job analysis if you will):
How would you have selected people for this job? Physical ability test? How about some type of personality test that measured flexibility and stress resistance? Might a realistic job preview have been a good idea?
Note it includes the traditional "what would happen if this job was done incorrectly..." question. This takes on increased meaning when you look at the shaft that the miners traveled down every day on their "way to work":
You may not be able to tell, but that sucker's pretty much straight down.
Suddenly my cubicle's looking a lot better.