Air photographs are an important tool for the archaeologist contracted to discover the likelihood of discovering heritage resources on a particular piece of property. Each pass will show changes that have been made, either natural or by development. It gives me an indication or what might have been there, what might have happened to it, and what might be left behind.

I use a viewer when I examine air photographs. A viewer is a binocular lens that one uses to peer over two overlapping photos to create an illusion that you’re examining a 3-D image. Sometimes  this can reveal sole actual cultural material on the property. One time, for example, I examined a set of photos at the mouth of a slough in the Fraser River taken in the 1930s. A pointed beam  jumped off the photo and poked me in the eye. It turned out to be a spar First Nations inhabitants used to net waterfowl.

Another time, I noticed flecks of white all over the photo. At first I thought that I might have been brushing my teeth and sneezing. The explanation wasn’t that easy as I discovered the flecks were part of the photo. There was also an element of geometry to the flecks. They seemed to be in short lines.

“I wonder if this flight was taken on a Monday morning,” I asked myself. I checked the date, and sure enough – Monday morning.  Monday morning in the 50s meant laundry day. It was a universal routine. Monday was laundry day and that was that. Woe betide anyone missing laundry – the tell-tale  empty line was a clue that something might be wrong. Back in the 50s – the decade of Ward and June Cleaver, everyone looked out for each other.

I’m always finding ways to connect archaeology to employment counselling. That way, all those years of theorizing about sharp rocks were not wasted. I began thinking about how routines everyone follow may be holding some back from a successful job search. Here are some thoughts:

  • Using an old or outdated resume. What worked 10 years ago may not fly these days. In fact, some I have seen wouldn’t even make it out of the hangar
  • Using a standard cover letter. Instead of a cover letter, why not write a press release.
  • Checking the classified ads in the newspaper as your only source of leads. Try career fairs, speaking with friends, and doing some social networking on the major sites: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Not approaching relatives and friends and letting them know that you are looking for work
  • Not finding ways to hind honour in your job search. There is no shame in being unemployed and looking. The trouble starts when you stop looking.
  • Getting discouraged when you hear they aren’t hiring now. (They might hire tomorrow.)
  • Not being open to providing proposals for employment to businesses. They may have extra work that can be done on a contract basis. A few hours of contract work might keep the wolves at bay.

If things aren’t going your way in your job search, check to see whether some of your own routines are getting in your way.

Mike Broderick is an Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he finds employment for people with physical disabilities. Part of this work means affiliation with the Vancouver Board of Trade where he is a member of the Ambassador Club, the Burnaby Board of Trade where he is a member of the Labour Task Force, the Tri Cities Chamber of Commerce where he is an active member of the 10X10 initiative, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. He does some work as a field Archaeologist and is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to alive magazine in Port Coquitlam. You can reach him at home at   or at

If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates



  1. Sharon Says:

    Great lead in to good advice.
    Mom did laundry on Monday until she passed. I remember a discussion with a neighbor who complained that Mom shouldn’t hang undergarments on the line. Mom just asked how she was supposed to dry them.

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