Posts Tagged ‘labor’
I don’t mind that History Channel has given up on history. If you’re just flipping through channels Pawn Stars is probably the best thing on. But I do fault History Channel for stripping ancient people of their achievements like cheap sci-fi grave robbers and encouraging people to believe what’s fun rather than what has evidence. The whole premise of the show is “Humans are too stupid to build anything of value”, but the only good argument for this is made unintentionally, through the existence of the show itself.
In the one episode I watched, a plumbing company’s CEO uses a fake name to attempt entry-level work at his own company. After realizing how difficult life is for his underlings, he grants a few of them privileges (healthcare for one employee’s autistic son, a promise not to outsource his factory’s workers) that in a decent society would be entitlements. This program teaches that cross-class understanding, historically the least effective means of obtaining justice, is the only way.
(I’m also uncomfortable with A Christmas Carol.)
America’s Funniest Home Videos
If you were a dictator who wanted to deaden the empathy of your subjects, can you imagine a better show than AFHV? This man is hurt! Look! Laugh! You are not him!
I was recently paid to enter information from several hundred business cards onto a spreadsheet. The easiest on my eyes were those that followed these suggestions:
1. Print as large as you can.
2. Think about your text/background combination. Gray on white is a bad combination.
3. Don’t use more than one font. Certainly don’t use more than two.
4. Put dashes or spaces or something in phone numbers.
Millions of people like you struggle to find employment, a scarce but vital resource. Instead of working to remove one of those adjectives, use these tactics to get the jump on your brothers and sisters.
That’s the tone of a lot of “job search tips” articles, and it’s fucking insufferable. Look at this one:
New college grads are not known for their copious amounts of spending money. However, there are a few things you will need to spend money on to be prepared for those first interviews. Think of these items as long-term investments in your future. They are as necessary as your new degree to score a good position out of college.
As good as my degree, eh?
For men, this means at least one pair of nice dress slacks, which fit you well and look expensive. … White, royal blue and silver are the hottest fashion colors but are also classics that make any many look sleek, professional and sexy.
Pretending to be rich: a reasonable requirement for entry-level positions. Also be sexier.
Ladies, you will need a similar job interview wardrobe, but you may do a knee-length pencil skirt instead of slacks. You may also want to swap the suit coat for a hip-length blazer. Choose simple dress shoes without the sexy details. A sleek peek-toe or Mary Jane with a one to two inch heel is ideal. Avoid boots, high-heels or strappy sandals which can appear too sexy and backfire.
But not too sexy! Try mind-reading to find the sweet spot that fits the interviewer’s arbitrary prejudices.
Next, purchase one package of nice resume paper with a watermark. Add a package of letterhead and envelopes which match the color. If you get cream resume paper, you should get cream letterhead. Avoid extreme yellows which can look cheap. Go for a subtle off-white tone.
The kicker is that none of these tips would work if everyone followed them. The message is exclusive–follow these tips so that you, individually, can avoid the rest of your generation’s sorrows.
The average job search can take more than six months, and this is especially true for recent college graduates seeking their first entry-level positions.
Searching for unemployment is unpaid, unpleasant, unproductive labor. Expecting people to do this for six months for the privilege of paid work is not a rational way to run an economy. And encouraging young people to see their peers as rivals in an arms race of conspicuous consumption can’t be healthy for a culture.
“Idleness, indifference, and irresponsibility are healthy responses to absurd work.” —Frederick Herzberg, via the delightful Alfie Kohn
“Come on,” said my roommates, “it’s not bad. Just get high and you’ll have fun.” But I didn’t. You’d think mowing a lawn high would be great–you’re outdoors, you don’t have to talk to anyone or focus on much–you’d think mowing grass would perfectly complement smoking it, but you’d be wrong. Because lawn maintenance is bullshit.
Other writers are anti-lawn for all sorts of laudable environmental and urban design reasons. Now I’m all for striking a blow against monoculture or Puritanism, but my overriding objection is mortality. I have a limited amount of time left before I’m not “I” anymore, and I’ll be good and goddamned if I’m going to spend it doing counterproductive manual labor without pay.
This shouldn’t be the “deviant” position. The weirdos here are the lawn maintainers, who feel entitled to enlist everyone in their crusade to blanket the world in monotony and pesticides.
A Roland Emmerich-style 100-foot wave was attacking my city, and the sturdiest building to hide behind was the pharmacy. I met up with my coworkers there, and said (since I have a one-track mind for politics), “Now’s the perfect time to demand a union. Hell, we could probably kill the boss and blame it on the wave.”
They didn’t seem convinced. One coworker argued against my plan. “This wave won’t kill anyone, they’d find out.”
I wasn’t having it. “Come on,” I replied, “people die in heat waves. Surely THIS will kill people.”
“No,” she continued, “our boss is a racist.”
I was puzzled. “That’s an even better reason to kill her!”
Having convinced no one, I went in alone. I stole a pair of scissors right in front of the boss (“for self-defense” I told her). But I reconsidered the murder plot and decided to steal a pair of glasses instead. The wave might cut off the supply of replacement contact lenses, and I knew at least I deserved to see clearly.