Tell Us About the Job You Would Create in a Swedish Train Station

show-and-tell
trains

#1

There’s a new job opening in one of in Gothenburg, Sweden’s underground train stations. It could be your dream job, if you dream it up yourself. Trains will begin circulating through Korsvägen station in 2026, and when they do, there’s a position waiting for someone to do whatever they like there, for the rest of their lives. Whoever gets the job will have a guaranteed income for as long as they want it, and the opportunity to shape what work means for themselves. It’s a golden ticket to (geographically-contained) freedom. We want to know what you think you’d do with that kind of freedom.

Before joining Atlas Obscura as a fellow, I worked mainly as a poet, which is notorious for being perhaps the least-lucrative form of employment even if you go corporate, and sometimes as a musician. If I were Korsvägen station’s eternal employee, I’d do what I love to do –– write a lot, talk to strangers about their lives, experience strange synchronicities. But I’d also want to do the things that are more constrained by a definite 9-5 or the pressure to make my art economically viable: I’d like to do things I’m bad at, like playing the guitar and embroidering, and the time to get better at them. I’d like to make things just for people I know, and to use the time and openness to attempt surrealist capers that might not succeed, like creating an underground chorus of untrained musicians or inventing new ways of walking. I’d also probably try to learn Swedish, and improve my Arabic. Hey, it’s a lifetime we’re looking at. How about you?

Tell us what you’d do with Korsvägen station’s invent-a-job. Tell us how you’d spend your days, how close your dream job is to your current position, and whether you’d try and transform the space. We might share your response in an upcoming Atlas Obscura article. Thanks again for making our dreams come true, Sweden.


(Image: Anna Heymowska)


#2

I like the idea of learning languages while on the job, and perhaps even practice them with the passengers.

I’d probably also try to sell/give/talk to people about books. Something, anything, related to books. It’s what I do now (I work at a library), and I just can’t give up on that…just yet.


#3

I couldn’t think of anything better than getting paid to learn…life tends to have that sequence in reverse.


#4

I could think of a million things to do and this may have something to do with my research lately but I would want to study and learn all the outs and ends of Japanese history, particularly during the shogunate/feudal days, there are so many names, connections, and betrayals, splitting of clans, war, its dizzying but fascinating. Also, learn how to read and write in characters, I learned a bit as a child but my handwriting was to sloppy to go forward. lol


#5

I would seek out the worlds best buskers, and invite them to perform in the new station. It would become a feature of the station itself, as the single best place in the world to go see world class street performances. But it would also keep the station fresh and engaging, as every (month?) there would be a new act to go see. Also a great way for people waiting for trains to pass the time.


#6

It’s so inspiring to hear that people want to learn for a job, and share knowledge.


#7

A stadium for buskers! Great idea.


#8

Birch branch flogger in the underground sauna.


#9

Train-station platza! The perfect way to relax for a trip. I’ve long wanted to create a public bathhouse with the architectural feel of the subway


#10

To spend my days doing things I love would be my heart’s desire. I would take the time to start an exercise regimen, which I never have time for. For part of the day (or alternate days) I would write, I have novels and stories just sitting in my brain waiting. Other times/days I would paint, draw and sculpt, and if I could sell the products, form a charity to help develop inexpensive, prefab home units for the homeless everywhere. I would write letters, learn Swedish, Italian and Welsh, and spend the rest of the time playing with my cat. I’d like to bake every single recipe from all the seasons of the Great British Bake Off. These things couldn’t be further away from the job I have. I commute a very wasted three-hours a day by car to a job where I am useless unless there’s some problem. I feel as though the last ten years of my life have been squandered earning money to pay debts that will never be paid. Thanks for the opportunity to whine a little, I have so much more than many people could dream of.


#11

It’s important to keep dreaming, too :slight_smile: thanks for sharing. what an interesting mix of languages you’d learn!


#12

I’d walk around picking up trash, helping people with their bags and generally trying to make the station run more smoothly. I know I could do something cool, like teach myself something new or write on my laptop, but I’d feel bad taking money and not giving anything back.


#13

I’d have a speed-therapy center. People coming off the train, or between trains, could come into one of two small rooms and sit down with a friendly cat or dog to have a few minutes of petting or play. Animals always make people feel better. If they wanted to feel really good, they could donate on the way out to whatever passes in Sweden for the Humane Society.


#14

Interesting question. Maybe a book reviewer/reader who gives reviews on books and/or reads extracts from books.

Or some kind of free exhibition hall / museum with temporary exhibitions on all kinds of subjects which passengers can visit , kill some time while waiting for a train and expand their minds.


#15

Set up a Information kiosk, have some band play, showcase the US on Video,
Promote Hyperloop & EVs, Give ideas about seeing the US to any interested traveller,
work on RR Tech, share ideas.


#16

Among other things, I’d set up a donation station for articles of clothing, toys, books, etc., that are in good shape and ready for more love. If you rely on public transit, a train or bus station is exactly where you need donation — drop-off or pick-up — opportunities to be.


#17

I would sit on a chair in the middle of the walkway & pass comment & small pieces of wisdom to q=anyone who needs it.

  • The Useless Information Kiosk -
    Maybe also try guess peoples weight as they walk past, for a small fee.

#18

I hear you, but there are many ways to “give back” right?


#19

I first read this as a way to recover from speedy life on trains. As fantastic as convenient and speedy travel is, it’s always nice to slow down (especially with a furry friend)


#20

Fairy Godmother in real life. Matching up peoples needs with other people’s wishes to give.