I’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices.

English translation: start looking at the obituary notices because...

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:I’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices.
English translation:start looking at the obituary notices because...
Entered by: MariYajima

11:03 Jun 25, 2018
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Fiction
English term or phrase: I’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices.
Could you please help me understand what "I’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices." mean?

"Have you ever been a secretary before? No? Well, if seventeen-fifty a week is fine, then you can be one now. The going rate is twenty, but good luck finding a job that pays the going rate. I’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices. Also, you can answer the phone, which shouldn’t be hard, as it doesn’t ring very often.”
MariYajima
Japan
start looking at the obituary notices because...
Explanation:
it just means that if you start looking at the death notices every day you might see there is a job opening for you (because that person, the incumbent, has died) so you may be able to get a job at the right rate. It's a joke really!
There used ti be a TV programme "The Golden Girls" and one of them used to look for a widower to date by looking to see whose wife had died in the death notices l

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Note added at 12 mins (2018-06-25 11:15:41 GMT)
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So, someone who has been in the job a while (and has died!) was getting the "going rate" of twenty but if you want to start a job right now you will only get seventeen-fifty a week. As I said, you have to see it as a tongue-in-cheek humorous remark

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Note added at 1 day 2 hrs (2018-06-26 13:54:45 GMT) Post-grading
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Glad to have helped. Yes, this sort of joke can be difficult to understand. It can be used in a variety of situations: e.g. someone waiting for a hospital or nursing-home bed might be told in a joking way to check the death notices!
Selected response from:

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 21:22
Grading comment
Thank you very much!!!
Your explanation fits perfectly into the storyline, and now I can understand what this person wanted to say in his dialogue.
It is also true that this person is humorous and likes to make jokes.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +12start looking at the obituary notices because...
Yvonne Gallagher
5Announcements in newspapers
kmtext


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
i’d start by keeping an eye on the death notices.
Announcements in newspapers


Explanation:
People take out notices in newspapers to announce the death of friends or relatives to the general public and to give information relating to the time and place of the funeral etc.



kmtext
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:22
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GaelicGaelic
PRO pts in category: 36

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: True, but this doesn't explain what is being said here
2 hrs

agree  Sarah-Leah Pimentel: Yes, if there is announcement of a death, then there might be a job opening
7 hrs

disagree  Daryo: and there are also notices about marriages, births, christenings, or whatever was fashionable to put in the newspapers at that time [$20 a week is not today!] ... // TOO VAGUE
9 hrs

neutral  EdithK: not to the point
22 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +12
start looking at the obituary notices because...


Explanation:
it just means that if you start looking at the death notices every day you might see there is a job opening for you (because that person, the incumbent, has died) so you may be able to get a job at the right rate. It's a joke really!
There used ti be a TV programme "The Golden Girls" and one of them used to look for a widower to date by looking to see whose wife had died in the death notices l

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2018-06-25 11:15:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

So, someone who has been in the job a while (and has died!) was getting the "going rate" of twenty but if you want to start a job right now you will only get seventeen-fifty a week. As I said, you have to see it as a tongue-in-cheek humorous remark

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day 2 hrs (2018-06-26 13:54:45 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Glad to have helped. Yes, this sort of joke can be difficult to understand. It can be used in a variety of situations: e.g. someone waiting for a hospital or nursing-home bed might be told in a joking way to check the death notices!

Yvonne Gallagher
Ireland
Local time: 21:22
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 436
Grading comment
Thank you very much!!!
Your explanation fits perfectly into the storyline, and now I can understand what this person wanted to say in his dialogue.
It is also true that this person is humorous and likes to make jokes.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Evelyne Trolley de Prévaux
27 mins
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Sarah Lewis-Morgan
59 mins
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  James A. Walsh
1 hr
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Lisa Jane
1 hr
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  writeaway: oeuf corse
1 hr
  -> Many thanks:-) But not easy or straightforward for a non-native imo. Certainly not as easy as some of the questions left as "Pro"

agree  AllegroTrans
2 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Jack Doughty
3 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Robert Forstag
6 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Daryo: although I'm not sure to which extent it's meant as a joke ... sounds also like good "lateral thinking" ... ALSO, depending on local customs, these "death notices" might not be in newspapers, or not only in newspapers [limited context info]
9 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-) Ah I've heard it said as a joke on quite a few occasions and death notices used to be in newspapers but are also online now. But it seems like it's very little money on offer so probably an older text.

agree  katsy
10 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  EdithK
22 hrs
  -> Many thanks:-)

agree  Adela Porumbel: lovely :)))
1 day 15 mins
  -> Many thanks:-)
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