Working anything but 9 to 5
August 14, 2014 9:33 AM   Subscribe

How can it be legal to work until 11PM and then be expected to be back at work 6 hours later at 5AM?
posted by Paladin1138 at 9:44 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]

From an NPR piece that ran last December, more on the topic of "on call" work scheduling. It's completely inhuman and evil, and should be illegal. Of course it's not, but it damn well should be.
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:44 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]

That's what decades of thorough crushing of labour movements looks like.
posted by Zarkonnen at 9:46 AM on August 14 [66 favorites]

It's not the software, it's business policies that totally disregard the lives or basic needs of their employees. You could use the same software and give people two weeks notice of their schedule.
posted by grouse at 9:47 AM on August 14 [47 favorites]

One thing that bothers me is the cluelessness of the advocates for the technology that enables this in the first place - they argue that their technology could be used to create more stable hours, ignoring that it caused the mess in the first place. Technology won't solve a societal problem.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:47 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

How can it be legal to work until 11PM and then be expected to be back at work 6 hours later at 5AM?

Just thought I'd mention that my old union has rules about not pulling that shit on people.

But I guess because it's a union thing, corporations aren't gonna like it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on August 14 [18 favorites]

Yup. When you hear "what have the unions ever done?" The best answer is "forced owners to treat their employees like human beings."
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:49 AM on August 14 [60 favorites]

Yeah. This is not a technology problem. This is a "willfully fucking people over because you can and you have some xlsx showing it'll boost quarterly eps by $0.005" problem.
posted by PMdixon at 9:49 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]

If someone is scheduled to work a shift, they should be paid for that shift if they are sent home! Sure, that means companies will "hire less workers," but that's a GOOD thing! They won't tie up workers who could get other jobs except they have to keep their schedule flexible. What a fucking farce.
posted by muddgirl at 9:50 AM on August 14 [23 favorites]

Fucking them over in this manner wouldn't be possible without the technology. I'm not anti-software but I can guarantee that the salespeople marketed it as a way to save money by micro-scheduling employees in this exact way. Anything else is spin.
posted by muddgirl at 9:50 AM on August 14 [7 favorites]

Which is why I tend to be skeptical of the effects of technology - too many times, the creators tend to not understand knock-on effects.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:53 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]

My sister-in-law works in a hospital and pretty much gets the same treatment from a manual schedule, including the "on call" bullshit. She'll be called in at 2am for a patient and then expected to be back at 8am for her normal 8-hour shift. She thinks it's just abuse that's within company boundaries to get the more senior staff to quit.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:54 AM on August 14 [3 favorites]

I think there is only one simple rule to being on call - "fuck you, pay me". The law needs to be changed so that on call time is considered work time.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:56 AM on August 14 [16 favorites]

Just make it law that on call time adding up to more than 60 hours a week will get a worker classified as full time regardless of hours scheduled.

The problem will evaporate.
posted by ocschwar at 9:57 AM on August 14 [10 favorites]

No, that's still too lenient. The answer is simple:

You're on call, you're on the clock.

Do that, and you'll see the practice vanish from anywhere it's not actually necessary.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:00 AM on August 14 [34 favorites]

It's not the software, it's business policies that totally disregard the lives or basic needs of their employees. You could use the same software and give people two weeks notice of their schedule.

Not necessarily. Worker scheduling is one of the most intractable mathematical problems. Solve it and you'll win the Fields Medal. Plus people get sick and have emergencies and all sorts of human problems that can't be foreseen two weeks in advance.

But none of this is the fault of computer scheduling. The source of the problem the widespread corporate policy to turn full time jobs into perma-temps, to avoid giving benefits. This is supposed to change under the ACA, which will require companies to provide health insurance to more workers that were previously considered temps.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:01 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]

Y'all are letting the software makers off the hook.

Yes, obviously, corporate policy is the main culprit. But -- and I am guessing a little here without seeing the actual software in question -- this has all the hallmarks of software designed with managers as the only user. If it had been designed as a tool for use both by managers and workers, treating workers as an equally important role, it would have included all sorts of features encouraging humane scheduling. Corporate bought the software and you have to sell it to them, but if you're a software designer or engineer, it is your responsibility to think of all of the users and the ethics of the software in use.
posted by feckless at 10:10 AM on August 14 [10 favorites]

Worker scheduling is one of the most intractable mathematical problems.

That's because it's not really a math problem, at least not one that doesn't resemble algorithmic Calvinball.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:15 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

Manager of software team here. I have two clients for every job: 1) the people who are going to use the software and 2) the people who are paying for the software. Vide feckless, if you aren't in one of those two groups, I literally can't afford to listen to you. It's a good way to get me fired.
posted by Mogur at 10:17 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

I have been a capacity analyst and have used this kind of software.

Our flexible scheduling system was entirely voluntary. We set eight-hour shifts and everyone had a permanent schedule. People might get a sucky schedule, like third shift double day weekends, but it stayed the same for at least a year at a time. We would offer uptime (more hours) and downtime (fewer hours) based on the overall demand forecast variation for the next two weeks but people chose to vary their schedules based on that plan. They were not allowed to schedule more than the legal maximum per day and could not work less than eight hours in between full shifts.

So people could do what worked for them as long as they covered their expected time per week, or just work their normal schedule every week.

However, we were planning for multiple thousands of people, so it's not going to be able to be quite as flexible with a smaller staff. Nonetheless, the kinds of things described in the article are utterly inhumane and should be illegal. What we did was basically formalize the process of people swapping shifts against the overall background of a flat staffing capacity plan - what they're doing in that article is managing their labor cost by screwing their staff to the wall because they can.

So yes, the systems can be designed to be fair and have labor safeguards, but it has to be in the rules the management sets.
posted by winna at 10:19 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

Well, it kind of is a technology problem insofar that technology has enabled this kind of dickishness to proliferate and thrive. Technology has made it too damned easy to pull this shit. Click-click-done. Nice and neat. Efficiency!!!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:21 AM on August 14

I honestly don't know if making this kind of software is unethical, but the fact that you'd be fired if you didn't do it sure doesn't have anything to do with the question.
posted by straight at 10:22 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Y'all are letting the software makers off the hook.

I worked for many, many years for a (non union) company in a call center which used exactly this kind of software and was, in fact, a big innovator on that front when most schedules were hand-done. Our software mandated a minimum of 10 hours between the end of one scheduled shift and the start of the next, and they did this not because it was humane (or, I guess, not ONLY because it was humane) but because it improved worker productivity and reduced absenteeism.

I'm certain the software could do it. The bigger question is do the managers want the software to do it.


I hope Ms. Navarro doesn't get corporate or managerial blowback because of all this. I hope, as has happened to other NYT profilees, that someone steps forward to help stabilize her living situation. I can't help but demonize her aunt a little bit, even though I know I shouldn't. I wish I could do something to help her.
posted by anastasiav at 10:24 AM on August 14 [6 favorites]

Nice and neat. Efficiency!!!

Plus no culpability. "Sorry, my hands are tied, corporate software says those are the shifts, lackey. I can't change them."

On call is just as hideous as part-time work and those jobs where you're expected to do something for work which isn't your job per se, and so which you won't be paid.

Hell, back in the 1980s at my crappy retail job for a store run by a guy who is probably a teapartier now, I got paid for my commuting time when he opened a distant store and wanted me to work there a couple days per week. I sincerely doubt that happens much now.
posted by maxwelton at 10:26 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

From my experience, working at a Starbucks 8 or 9 years ago, some of this is user error as much as software problems. Starbucks doesn't make the schedules, a manager or assistant manager does. These managers may or may not care about their employees. They may or may not enter requests for time off. They may or may not pay attention to the fact that employee X closes on the last day of one week, and opens on the first day of the following.

There's relatively high turnover in baristas, and it's not the sort of job where people give 2 weeks notice. The schedules are patchworks partially to prevent a gaping hole if someone gets a better job and quits with no notice.

As we saw with our protagonist, if you prove that you're a reliable, devoted worker, you can schedule in some regularity.

With regard to the time you find out when you're working, Starbucks training promised that you get your hours by Tuesday morning (IIRC) where a work week starts Sundays. In practice, lazy managers made it so that you didn't always find out until sometimes as late as Friday.

I don't mean to sound like a shill for Starbucks, but this is definitely a problem with our nation as a whole and our approach to labor and workers' rights. The issue is with the US, not just Starbucks. This story could have been written about an employee at nearly any chain as well as most non-chain restaurants. It's sickening.
posted by explosion at 10:28 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

When I was a waitress we often had weekend situations where a server who had worked Friday or Saturday night (so, until at least midnight, later if they were the closing server) had to come in to be the brunch opener at 7:30. And when I worked front-desk for hotels, it wasn't uncommon to be scheduled to work from 3-11 pm one afternoon, and then from 7 am -3 the next day.

While these schedules were exhausting and annoying for me, as a young person unencumbered by the responsibilities of childcare (or sick relative care, or any other serious life responsibilities), they were surmountable. I truly don't know how parents, especially single parents, do it.
posted by Aubergine at 10:30 AM on August 14

I spoke with hyperbole. I'm not going to get fired for ignoring my client's expressed wishes. I'd just ignoring my client's express wishes. In this case, it looks like whoever paid for that development project wanted to be able to do insane scheduling. Which is a point made earlier, but I just wanted to mention the dynamic.
posted by Mogur at 10:30 AM on August 14

Not necessarily. Worker scheduling is one of the most intractable mathematical problems. Solve it and you'll win the Fields Medal.

Worker scheduling is not just one problem. There are many different kinds of constraints one might attempt to satisfy with it, and many different variables one might attempt to optimize. The difficulty depends on what kinds of constraints you decide to try to satisfy. Simpler worker scheduling can be done with normal old polynomial-time network flow algorithms. Other scheduling variants are NP-hard.

One of my brothers is actually working on a humane scheduler for doctors and residents, under certain constraints like "everyone needs this much time between shifts" and "so-and-so needs such and such hours in these different units for their residency". In a practical sense, it doesn't need any novel computer science work. You can turn the human-specified requirements into language that a constraint solver can understand and throw computer time at it.
posted by Jpfed at 10:31 AM on August 14 [4 favorites]

Isn't worker scheduling only a difficult mathematical problem if you're trying to cut employee hours and numbers to the minimum possible? If you're willing to tolerate hiring a few more people and sometimes having slack times at work, doesn't the whole mathematical challenge become much easier?

"We can't do it because MATH" is often used to distract people from the real, reasonable choices that can be made if assumptions are examined for artificial limitations. This seems like it might be one of those cases.
posted by clawsoon at 10:40 AM on August 14 [24 favorites]

Software is written by people according to a request. It's not abstract. The buyer can choose the rules. And they mostly don't care how much their choices affect peoples' lives, just how much profit can be pried out.
posted by theora55 at 10:41 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]

Try not to have a job where you're fungible. If you are, then figure out a way to defungibilize yourself or look for a new job.

Also there should be laws against this crap.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:52 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

I keep seeing things that the SSC entry relates to, more traps for the competitive and general blameless participation in the civilization organism Moloch. It feels like the right framework to think of these things in, someone sacrificed a value first and outcompeted (but has not completely eliminated) everyone else who was bothering to abide by that value. When I see articles about lunch breaks being skipped, politicians who can't fight for workers values lest they be non-competitive to a jargon buzzing enemy, child care dropped from a district, three hour commutes for a barista job, pot smokers stamping out license plates for pennies in the state prison, and other day to day horrors I just think of Moloch.

I have no idea how to come back from where we are though, given how Moloch lives and how much Moloch reacts to attempts to limit its growth (and life).
posted by Slackermagee at 10:58 AM on August 14 [11 favorites]

If you are like me and read this article and thought "I HAVE TO HELP JANNETTE NAVARRO RIGHT NOW"* I emailed the reporter and asked how I can donate to Ms. Navarro and her son. She referred me to someone outside the NYT who has agreed to organize donations - MeMail me and I'll forward you the info.

P.S. I know that Ms. Navarro is just one of the the vast numbers of people who are hurt by this, and pushing for structural change is the key here, but sometimes micro actions are needed to make you feel that you can affect the macro problems. At least, for me, it helps.
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 11:20 AM on August 14 [8 favorites]

Local retail is in the process of being killed by rapid internet delivery so they only have a few precious years to crush the humanity out of their employees before they'll all be fired. They're doing the best they can, but time is short.

...I'd like to see any of you come up with a better plan for heartlessly destroying the family life of lower-class workers!

In short, have a little empathy for the midline manager, doing the best he can to break the spirit of his workers on slim margins in between rounds of golf with his best bros. Being a professional asshole is hard work!
posted by aramaic at 11:21 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Do you have to log in to read the article? Is there a link to an open copy?
posted by hot_monster at 11:24 AM on August 14

The worst problem with this is that, with erratic schedules, employees can't possibly work more than one job (or go to school). Then if you don't get enough hours at your one job, there is no way to make ends meet.

In nursing, some employees bid for shifts -- ie daytime could be $20/hr, but no one wants to work at night time on a busy holiday weekend, so the employer would raise the offered wage all the way up to $75/hr until they had enough people to cover. I always thought this was a good solution, but a side effect is that it could actually lower wages for some employees who currently work desirable schedules. My guess is that it would be very hard to jibe with existing labor laws too.
posted by miyabo at 11:32 AM on August 14 [1 favorite]

If you've run out of free NYT articles, then paste the headline (Working Anything but 9 to 5) into google and open it from the google search results. Or right-click this link and open it in a private widow - I think that works, too.
posted by rtha at 11:34 AM on August 14

When I was a waitress we often had weekend situations where a server who had worked Friday or Saturday night (so, until at least midnight, later if they were the closing server) had to come in to be the brunch opener at 7:30. And when I worked front-desk for hotels, it wasn't uncommon to be scheduled to work from 3-11 pm one afternoon, and then from 7 am -3 the next day.

This accurately describes my experience waiting tables, part time, during my first year of graduate school. A full courseload of night classes + 6AM opening breakfast shifts + closing (out at 1AM)-to-open shifts on weekends + the occasional split shift. Compound with bi-weekly arguments with the scheduling manager, who would consistently "forget" about my class schedule, the one thumbtacked to the walk next to the current shift schedule, which always resulted in the restaurant's GM changing the fucking schedule so I could make it to my classes.

I finally quit after nine months and went to work full time as a receptionist in the much saner environment of a collection agency. And ended up with more free time to finish my degree then at my "flexible" part time job.

But I also had the benefits of a BA, a car, no dependents and an employer who actually backed up their support of my pursuit of an advanced degree by allowing me to use work resources for my classes, assistance in getting to work when I totaled my car and giving me extra time to study during finals.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 11:44 AM on August 14 [2 favorites]

He could be kicked out of day care for having no home address.

What is this nonsense?
posted by desjardins at 12:05 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]

Yeah. This is not a technology problem. This is a "willfully fucking people over because you can and you have some xlsx showing it'll boost quarterly eps by $0.005" problem.

This. An asshole boss is an asshole boss, whether he has a software scheduler or a clipboard.

This kind of software in the right hands is a major boon to workers because you can, in fact, use it to add constraints like "Eorker ID#22's kid is in chemo every other Tuesday" and have it do the right thing.

Or use it to coordinate truckers so to minimize the distance any of them travel from their homes (i.e. driver #22 is to make rendezvous with #45 halfway through, trade trailers and both turn back towards their homes..)

And a software company has neither the means to know nor the means to act on what kind of customer just bought their scheduling package. This is why we have labor laws. It's a simple matter of making on-call time grounds for full time classification.
posted by ocschwar at 12:26 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]

Try not to have a job where you're fungible. If you are, then figure out a way to defungibilize yourself or look for a new job.

Wow. And then they should just earn more money, find better homes to live in, and spend more free time letting their kid sleep past 5am so they don't have to commute 3 hours, is that right? Are there any important steps I missed in "Improve your life 101" here?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:39 PM on August 14 [16 favorites]

Try not to have a job where you're fungible. If you are, then figure out a way to defungibilize yourself or look for a new job.

Absolutely no one is non-fungible.
posted by winna at 12:48 PM on August 14 [8 favorites]

Paladin1138: “How can it be legal to work until 11PM and then be expected to be back at work 6 hours later at 5AM?”
Being scheduled Close-and-Open means your boss wants you to quit.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:43 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]

A certain bookstore chain that is no longer in business (karma) used to do this to me. The final straw was a day where I showed up for work at 10am as indicated on my time sheet and was told that no, sorry, it was switched to a 3pm start when the manager got in that morning. I asked why no one called to tell me and was informed that I should call to confirm before each shift, which I did, for the next three shifts and then didn't show for any of them.
My apologies to any co-workers I screwed over, but man it felt good to screw over that manager.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:45 PM on August 14 [3 favorites]

It would be great if we could assist this obviously determined woman to get over the immediate problems in her life. Starbucks should think about promoting her, among other things, and hire her and others into 40-hour a week jobs.

She saved $900 for a car? That won't get her very far. What she needs is some child support from the boy's father, a place to live nearer her job and something to launch her a bit. She definitely seems one or two steps away from actually doing okay; getting rid of a three-hour commute would be a huge help.

I read through this story several times but never saw a location--is she in San Diego, based on the childcare outfit's name?
posted by etaoin at 1:59 PM on August 14

About the turnaround time--newspapers, which are notoriously unconcerned about how they affect your lives, also generally had union rules against this. Of course, one very major newspaper I worked for followed the rules but didn't care all that much. I was a new single mother, just coming back from my father's funeral when I discovered that on the next schedule, due to start in a week, I've been moved to a shift that had me getting out of work at 3 a.m. No way a babysitter would be available on that schedule, so I left. A couple of other, fellow newbies, were booked for the same schedule but neither had child-care issues.
posted by etaoin at 2:03 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]

I worked in a restaurant where the schedule was "posted" on a dry erase board. When management has the ability to change the schedule at any time, they will.
posted by peeedro at 2:18 PM on August 14 [1 favorite]

Being scheduled Close-and-Open means your boss wants you to quit.

That's a little naive, like you think the default state of the world is good working conditions for everyone and that people only create shitty working conditions for some individual out of spite. In fact people create shitty working conditions for their employees on a regular basis when they think that their employees will put up with it. There are plenty of places that do the open-close schedule simply as a normal expectation (including Starbucks - I have friends who have been good employees, gotten on well with managers, and regularly worked close and open).
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:35 PM on August 14 [6 favorites]

Software could easily make scheduling humanely EASIER. It's just a parameter that's built in to the system. Any one person cannot be scheduled less than x hours between shifts and must be given a minimum of x hours. It will only be used as a tool to squeeze out maximum profit unless laws or unions force the issue. Since we can't even get a living wage in the current market, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for more complicated quality of life issues to be addressed.
posted by Foam Pants at 3:22 PM on August 14 [2 favorites]

Ah, Metafilter naivete in the face of retail and restaurant work, hello again. Yeah, the schedules suck, most people don't get their schedules any more than a week before, and none of this even has to be automated. All that the software has changed is that they cut people more frequently now. It's all par for the course. See, one of the lessons management learned over the last few decades is that if your part time workers never know when they're working, they can't possibly get another part time job, so you can control them more completely. That way they are always on call and always hungry for hours. It works admirably. Everybody's part time, everybody's broke and there is no way to work two jobs and get ahead. I don't know anyone in retail or restaurant work - honestly, even the managers - who has a set schedule. I'm just glad that I actually had an office job during my single mom with young kids years. I was one of the lucky ones then.

As far as the turn and burn shift, I close the store on Friday evenings and open every Saturday morning because my boss gave me only one other alternative: work until 9:30 every Friday and Saturday night. This is because we all have to close here and there and the manager is too lazy to rotate people around through weekends. I'm okay with it. Sure it's tiring but there's something to be said for getting lots of hours in at once. Also I leave at 9:30 or 10 pm and get back in at 8:30 the next morning, not so bad. When I worked at Home Depot, though, they routinely scheduled people to leave at 11 pm and be back at 6 am. And restaurants schedule you for doubles all the time, too: 14 or 16 hours straight - I lived it in college and I have watched my kids go through it since. Again, standard operating procedure. Sometimes you get a delightful 2 or 3 hour unpaid break in the middle of those shifts. Yay.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:32 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]

Though its been 8ish years since I worked at a chain restaurant in college, this is exactly how we were scheduled, though solely by managers, who used a whiteboard instead of software.

We'd be cut if the place was slow; I remember finding a co-worker crying in the bathroom because she was cut from her shift and she had really needed a busy night.

Our schedule was posted around 4pm on a Thursday. That year, Christmas was a Saturday, and I asked a week or so in advance if the schedule would be figured out differently due to the holiday. I even offered to work either Xmas Eve or Boxing Day, just knowing in advance would be fine. I had a five hour drive to my family, and wanted to tell them what day I could come down. Nope, I was told. The schedule would go up on the 23rd around 4pm. "Everyone wants the holidays off," I was snidely told.

So with 24 hours notice, I'd learn if was closing on Xmas Eve, OR opening on Boxing Day. (Or working both!) I was genuinely happy to do either, but without knowing in advance, it was absolutely impossible for me to drive anywhere near my family. For Christmas. For less than minimum wage.

I walked off that job before Christmas hit, and it's not because I was smarter than that job, or because I valued my dignity too much. I got to walk off because my dad helped me with rent until I figured it out myself the next semester. Many, many people are not financially privileged enough to have their humanity count at their workplace and it breaks my damn heart that in such a wealthy nation it's the intense truth.
posted by missmary6 at 8:08 PM on August 14 [5 favorites]

Gavin was crying more than usual, exhausted and unsure of where Mr. Martinez had gone.

When they first mentioned her boyfriend and him helping her out at first, I just started worrying what would happen to them if he left, especially the little boy getting emotionally hurt.

How do you just play dad for a little while and then just end it and leave the little guy? How hurtful to that child who is already in a stressful situation.

Ugh everything else.
posted by discopolo at 8:18 PM on August 14

I guess I should note for the record I was eventually fired from that shitty retail job because I had noted my schedule earlier in the week and came in one day at noon to discover I was "supposed" to be there at 9, vis a vis the change to the whiteboard a day or so earlier.
posted by maxwelton at 11:13 PM on August 14

Many, many people are not financially privileged enough to have their humanity count

This just needed to be re-stated for emphasis.
posted by aramaic at 5:51 AM on August 15

I used to manage an independent bookstore where we had a fair number of part-timers, many students. I generally couldn't offer anyone a lot of hours. but I did offer them set schedules, and I worked Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas so they could have the holiday. I'll admit it wasn't all altruism; it gave me an excuse for not going to my dad's, which was usually a strained experience in those days.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:08 AM on August 15 [1 favorite]

I've been playing around with ideas for software that'll help employees build their own work schedules collaboratively. Please send me mefi mail if you've references, opinions, thoughts, etc. on this topic. Actually even if you just think you know lots about scheduling then I'd be interested in taking down your name to ask questions at some point.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:03 AM on August 15 [2 favorites]

This has been going on forever. I worked at The Gap in high school in 1990-1992 and I had "on call" shifts where I couldn't do anything else because I might be called into work.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:17 PM on August 15

“If you want something badly enough, you’ll get it done,” he told her.

That really jumped out at me. I don't know the context and I am going to assume good faith of Mr. Martinez, but that attitude is expressed by lots of people and it is dangerous.

For every slacker that was motivated by this, you'll find hundreds of people who tried to change their circumstances and were struck down. People have a finite amount of control over their lives. Pretending someone's situation is 100% a result of one's priorities is some infuriating just-world fucking bullshit!
posted by Monochrome at 10:54 AM on August 17 [7 favorites]

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