A teenage girl finds a wallet and has to decide whether to return it. That, and other stories of people trying to do the right thing, and it not working out the way they thought.
Guest host Chana Joffe-Walt talks to a carpenter whose job output went from fixing doors to something more urgent in the last year. (9 minutes)
When Adele wrote into our show last summer, she described herself as “the worst phlebotomist in the whole hospital.” Producer Diane Wu couldn’t resist calling her up to find out exactly what she meant by that.
Reporter Nancy Updike spends two days with Neal Smither, who cleans up crime scenes for a living, and comes away wanting to open his Los Angeles franchise, despite the gore — or maybe because of it.
A story about polygraph operator Doug Williams, created by the podcast Love + Radio, that’ll be part of their upcoming season. Produced by Jacob McClelland, Ana Adlerstein, Steven Jackson and Nick van der Kolk.
In New York, like in lots of cities, you can call 3-1-1 for help with city services, but there's lots of things that people call in for that operators don't have answers for. And so they improvise.
Seth Freed Wessler reports on people going the opposite direction over the US/Mexico border. Each year hundreds of thousands of people are deported from the US to Mexico — tens of thousands more choose to leave on their own — and lots of them make the journey after years and years living in the states.
We hear from the people in the land of the non-working: Fred Beaton on hislast shift driving a shuttle bus at Logan Airport before he retires; LincCohen and Sandi Weisenberg talk about what chores get done once retirementbegins; and Angela Jane Evancie tries to get her boyfriend, Morgan Peach, tostop relaxing quite so much.
There are so few farmers in the United States that in 1993, the census stopped counting the number of Americans who live on farms at the time. But in China, despite the vast migration to cities in recent years, more than half the country still lives in rural areas.
Ira plays tape of a man whose job is plowing snow. He'll plow your driveway for money...or, if you're extra nice, he'll do it for free without even mentioning it.
Some adventures you seek out on purpose, and others hunt you down. Producer Alex Blumberg tells this story, about the experience a guy had in China...which started out as first kind of adventure, then quickly turned into the second kind.
Ira with former baseball player Bobby Morris, on leaving baseball.
Marian Fontana, whose husband was a firefighter who died on 9/11, originally appeared on our show in 2005. Ira talks with Marian today, about what has changed for her over the last 10 years.
Host Ira Glass walks through a Kansas City Missouri amusement park called Worlds of Funwith Cole Lindbergh, who had a season pass to the park as a little kid,starting working there summers at 14, and then just stayed. Now he's afull-time, year-round employee, running the games department.
Ira continues with Cole Lindbergh and the hundred teenagers who work for himin the games department at Worlds of Fun. We watch them compete againsteach other to see who can do the most business, in Cole's Sweet Sixteenbracket tournament, which pits all 32 games in the park against each other.
Jonathan Goldstein returns to Wildwood, New Jersey, where he spent one not-fateful summer when he was sixteen. Jonathan's the host of the podcast Heavyweight.
Reporter Laura Beil tells the story of a kid named Kenneth Williams and an adult named Ton'Nea Williams (who share a last name but are not related).
Host Ira Glass tells the stories of two professors, each making a calculation that no one had made before. One gets acclaim.
In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison.
Host Ira Glass talks to Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri on a press conference he held to announce the creation of just one job.
Chana Joffe-Walt visits a governor who first became famous for promising hisstate he'd create jobs: Scott Walker of Wisconsin. (Yes, he's famous forsome other things since.) Walker promised 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 newbusiness in his state by the end of his first term.
In this terrible economy, we wanted to hear the sound of someone actually getting a job, and producer Lisa Pollak recorded it in the Holland Michigan office of Novo 1. On Tuesday of this week, Deborah Ozga was interviewing applicants for 15 new call center jobs.
For a look at the nuts and bolts of government job creation, This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder and Planet Money correspondent Adam Davidson attend a meeting of the International Economic Developers Council in San Diego.
Unemployment is 9 percent, but it's worst among high school dropouts andpeople with only a high school education. Adam went to a place that'strying to help them find jobs: an organization called Pathstone, inRochester, NY.