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loaded questions

The loaded meaning behind 'What do you do?': [Deb] Fallows says the questions are meant to tease out socioeconomic status, political viewpoints, and cultural background. “You know that somebody’s kind of digging for information to put you into their world – how do you fit into my world?” [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 7, 2014 - 355 comments

"And you think Mark ignored you because you're a woman?"

The Ping Pong Theory of Tech Sexism by Ariel Schrag. A web comic about the subtleties of workplace sexism in male-dominated industries.
posted by Librarypt on Jul 5, 2014 - 118 comments

Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 49 comments

Service with a Smile

On being a barista in San Francisco: But I had set up a trap for myself. By smiling this hard all the time, by acting so very whimsical, I could not easily reveal any part of my true and at that time rather angry self.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 12, 2014 - 64 comments

"Je suis très, très fier"

Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
posted by zarq on May 27, 2014 - 53 comments

Work Hard, Work Hard

"Work is a large component of many types of game. The professional chess player competing in a tournament game does not have the carefree, leisurely attitude sometimes implied by the term “playing”: she is performing massive amounts of cognitive work. Similarly with poker players or tennis players: they are not merely fooling around but labouring mightily. [...] But videogames seem more and more to resemble work in a different sense: working for the Man ." [Previously]
posted by postcommunism on Apr 27, 2014 - 40 comments

Evenly distribute the future: Issuing more bio-survival tickets

VC for the people - "It's just that people who have options are much more likely to actually find success than people who don't." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 18, 2014 - 20 comments

Guests & Strong Martinis

What did Mozart do all day? A poster breaks down the daily habits and self-reported routines of hundreds of composers, painters, writers, scientists, etc to illustrate how people find the time to construct their work.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 30, 2014 - 68 comments

Speedy Gonzales

Fast workers:
Manual hand rolled bagel maker.
Lace Maker in Brugge, Belgium.
Beer bottle opener (9 sec.)
Dismantling a Jeep (4 min).
Apple cutter.
Veggie cutting (must be a re-post).
Also, watermelon. etc. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Mar 22, 2014 - 64 comments

Move your TOILET PAPER to the belt, you putrid jockey of filth.

A Preliminary Phenomenology of the Self-Checkout. An essay in six parts. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Mar 15, 2014 - 61 comments

“as both Pierre Bourdieu and latte orders have taught me…”

As it turned out, when I started working in Brooklyn, the most difficult to serve were the ones who wanted—or expected, really—for you to be cool, or at least receptive to a certain projection of hip-and-coolness. It was nice, at first, to have a job that let me swear and show my tattoos, but the pleasure of that freedom waned somewhat when most of my interactions became about the "fucks" and body modifications. If I had a quarter for every time I showed off my expensive liberal arts degree, holding up my end of a conversation about New York’s small presses or the most recent issue of The New Yorker, my tips certainly would have been better.
Molly Osberg: Inside the Barista Class
posted by RogerB on Mar 12, 2014 - 195 comments

"I guess [you] don’t care about hard work or loyalty," said the manager.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Cheap
posted by cosmic.osmo on Mar 11, 2014 - 241 comments

On Aging Out of the Modelling Industry

"I often think about my place in the modelling world and how my career is almost over. It’s sad and exciting at the same time. Once I’m not waiting for emails about castings or booking my next facial, I’ll put my energy into something that won’t make me feel worthless."
posted by rcraniac on Feb 2, 2014 - 39 comments

Dirty, Dull and Dangerous

What Jobs Will The Robots Take? Eight Ways Robots Stole Our Jobs In 2013. Who is next?
Soldiers?
Rescue teams? Managers?
Astronauts? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 31, 2014 - 91 comments

Livin' like a Swede

Here's a video about the swedish part model (aka parental leave) and an intro to German Elternzeit (Parent's time). In Germany "both parents can claim parental benefits (...) the benefit is calculated at 65 percent of the parent's previous monthly salary, though it gets boosted slightly if they were earning €1,000 or less. (...)" ... "The parent intending to take time off work must apply seven weeks in advance, and must limit their periods of leave to two during the three years - but each period can be as long as they want." Here's the offical guide to working in Germany (PDF) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
posted by mathiu on Jan 26, 2014 - 22 comments

Of Facebook, Feet, and Mouths.

Sheryl Sandberg, who has been a bit of a controversial figure in the past(Previously, Previously-er) has just rounded the bend on her fortune surpassing the 1 billion mark. Bloomberg reported on this, and included a quote of David Kirkpatrick; “Did she do a billion dollars-worth of work? I don’t know, She had the good fortune to land in the right place where her talents could really be applauded”. This of course begs a very valid question, Would anyone ask a man this?
posted by emptythought on Jan 23, 2014 - 65 comments

The Library as an Economic Model in the Second Machine Age

Congress takes a casual look at the peer-to-peer economy - “Finding new ways to monetise used or existing assets has the obvious and immediate effects of raising their value and the wealth of their owners, while simultaneously reducing the value of comparable stuff owned by incumbent companies — for whom monetisation already wasn’t a problem, and who find themselves burdened by the newly competitive environment. The innovations also provide a surplus to those consumers who previously would have paid more to an incumbent. And all without any new stuff actually having to be made.” [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 23, 2014 - 23 comments

Have you ever wanted to do some yoga?

DoYogaWithMe.com is a free, constantly expanding resource of online yoga videos created by a passionate group of experienced instructors. Our yoga videos include classes, poses, breathing techniques and anatomy videos. Search their entire collection by difficulty, length, style, and teacher or start in the Beginner's Studio. Yoga has a unique way of strengthening and toning your body, improving flexibility and enhancing your sense of well being.
Clear some of your floor, put on some comfy clothes, turn off your other electronics and turn on a video. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of that great journey for you!

posted by Blasdelb on Jan 8, 2014 - 28 comments

Camel-ology

Do not pamper your animal. A camel is your partner in work, not a pet. You must look into its gigantic, sable eyes and address it firmly. You can reward it with ear scratches.
posted by stoneweaver on Jan 3, 2014 - 40 comments

Beyond a boundary

We overwork like cyclists dope: because everyone does it, because it’s what you do to get by, because in the moment we argue to ourselves that it feels like health and freedom.
posted by latkes on Dec 10, 2013 - 23 comments

Bootstrapping Young Lads

Just two sentences make Americans as pro-welfare as Danes People’s attitudes to welfare depend on their perceptions of welfare recipients. If they believe that welfare recipients are lazy, they are unlikely to support welfare. If they believe that welfare recipients are making an effort to find work, they are likely to take a different attitude. Aarøe and Petersen conducted survey experiments in the United States and Denmark to investigate whether stereotypes shaped Danish and European attitudes. They randomly exposed some participants in both countries to canned information suggesting that a welfare recipient was lazy, others to information suggesting that a welfare recipient was motivated to find work, and others to no substantial information about the recipient. They then asked people to evaluate social welfare benefits. On average, Americans were considerably more likely to associate welfare with laziness than Danes. But what’s interesting is that these stereotypes were largely overwhelmed by the canned information when it was available. When the man on welfare was described in the following terms: "He has always had a regular job, but has now been the victim of a work-related injury. He is very motivated to get back to work again" the differences between Americans and Danes disappeared. Both were largely willing to support social welfare measures. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Dec 10, 2013 - 29 comments

El Empleo / The Employment

El Empleo / The Employment by Santiago 'Bou' Grasso
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 3, 2013 - 5 comments

Bias for Action

I am working at the new Amazon fulfillment center in Haslet, Texas as a seasonal, part-time picker.  It is winter. We aren’t workers here: we are associates. It is a job that I can do hung-over and high and I can make just enough money here to technically have my own apartment, a place to store all my empty beer cans and all my crumpled Taco Cabana wrappers and all my stacks of shitty sci-fi novels. - Fulfillment
posted by Artw on Dec 3, 2013 - 87 comments

Where would be the fun in watching a driverless Formula 1 race?

Brad DeLong, recently installed at Equitablog, lays out a future (wonkish) where the returns to capital keep increasing relative to labor: "What do we people do to add value? Eight things... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 9, 2013 - 29 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Watching a thing done well is a pleasure in itself

Jimmy DiResta has made a lot of videos for MAKE Magazine over the past year, and here he shares his five favorites: http://makezine.com/​video/​diresta-celebrating-one-year-on-make/ [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Sep 5, 2013 - 6 comments

The Chasing Out Room

With mass layoffs still taboo in Japan, senior workers who refuse to resign are sent to "chasing-out rooms" instead of being allowed to work. (SL NYTimes)
posted by reenum on Sep 4, 2013 - 48 comments

Learning how to live

Why do we find free time so terrifying? Why is a dedication to work, no matter how physically destructive and ultimately pointless, considered a virtue?
posted by Anima Mundi on Aug 26, 2013 - 68 comments

Being loyal to a corporation is sick. It is genuine madness.

A corporation is not a living creature. It has no soul. It has no heart. It has no feelings. It can neither experience towards you nor enjoy from you even the concept of loyalty. It is a legal fiction, and it exists for one purpose only: to make profit. If you assist in this goal in the long term, your ongoing association with the organization is facilitated. If you detract from it consistently, you will be cut. Family is “where they have to take you in no matter what you’ve done.” A corporation is… well, it’s sort of the exact opposite of this.
Be loyal to yourself.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 20, 2013 - 88 comments

Bullshit Jobs

"In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen."
posted by chrchr on Aug 19, 2013 - 116 comments

The Opt-Out Revolution, Revisited

In 2003, the New York Times published a lengthy article by Lisa Belkin about women who were choosing to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms: The Opt-Out Generation. In the the last ten years, the article's conclusions regarding upper-middle-class women's choices about work and motherhood have been debated, studied, rediscovered, denied, lamented, and defended. It's been noted by many that "most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t." Ms. Belkin's piece also never mentioned what what a disaster divorce or the death of a spouse can create for dependent women in such situations. After a decade, the Times is revisiting the topic: The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2013 - 64 comments

Lucy Kellaway's 'History of Office Life'

A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2013 - 22 comments

Eat Ice Cream

In his meticulous diaries, written from 1846 to 1882, the Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley complains often about the withering summer heat: “The heat wilts & enervates me & makes me sick,” he wrote in 1852. Sibley lived before the age of air-conditioning, but recent research suggests that his observation is still accurate: summer really does tend to be a time of reduced productivity. Our brains do, figuratively, wilt. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 23, 2013 - 128 comments

I Come With The Property

At age 99, Mr. Newton still gets up and goes to work 3X a week. The company doesn't need him to do the work, and in fact the company didn't actually hire him. He showed up at age 86 on a Monday after the property had been sold. He worked for the previous owner, and he came with the property.
posted by COD on Jul 19, 2013 - 85 comments

Bon Mashups

The Bon Iver Mashup Album is now available for download, and it's excellent. Check out the trailer for a preview.
posted by spiderskull on Jul 6, 2013 - 21 comments

The Expendables

Many of America's biggest corporations rely on temp workers to make up an ever increasing portion of their work force. This has led to a boom in the temp agency industry and a sharp decline in temp workers' quality of life.
posted by reenum on Jul 2, 2013 - 32 comments

Rape on the Job in America

Rape in the Fields is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters. NY Times [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 26, 2013 - 19 comments

A Woman’s Place

The year was 1986, and Lynda had just joined a small cadre of female engineers working for FI, a groundbreaking IT firm that laid the foundations for outsourced development and women’s rights in the workplace. The company, originally called Freelance Programmers, was founded in the early 1960s by Stephanie Shirley, a German who had been evacuated to Britain — along with many fellow Jewish children — as part of the kindertransport shortly before the Second World War.
Gender equality is still a major issue in the technology industry, but 50 years ago one British company was blazing trails.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 1, 2013 - 14 comments

Corporate Spirit: how many times did you cry yesterday?

Corporate Spirit uses stock photography to tell a deranged tale about living the corporate life.
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 24, 2013 - 36 comments

'workers who are "flexible"—that is, dispensable'

"Everyone Only Wants Temps" - My stint doing "on demand" grunt work for one of America's hottest growth industries
It's not a pretty formula, but it works. With 600 offices and a workforce of 400,000—more employees than Target or Home Depot—Labor Ready is the undisputed king of the blue-collar temp industry. Specializing in "tough-to-fill, high-turnover positions," the company dispatches people to dig ditches, demolish buildings, remove debris, stock giant fulfillment warehouses—jobs that take their toll on a body.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 20, 2013 - 120 comments

Generation Y

31 percent of employers involved reported parents submitted resumes on behalf of their offspring and 14 other things you should know about the Millennial genearation.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 18, 2013 - 162 comments

The Day Care Dilemma

"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do — and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five — spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares.... In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian."
posted by zarq on Apr 15, 2013 - 139 comments

Son of a bitch I got stuck on a pitch.

Notes from meetings. Madeleine Di Gangi (very creatively) doodles the (very boring) goings-on during meetings. Via Free Range blog from Working Not Working.
posted by sweetkid on Apr 12, 2013 - 22 comments

Are you a giver, a matcher or a taker?

Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead? [Adam] Grant, 31, is the youngest-tenured and highest-rated professor at Wharton.... Grant might not seem so different from any number of accessible and devoted professors on any number of campuses, and yet when you witness over time the sheer volume of Grant’s commitments, and the way in which he is able to follow through on all of them, you start to sense that something profoundly different is at work. Helpfulness is Grant’s credo.... For Grant, helping is not the enemy of productivity, a time-sapping diversion from the actual work at hand; it is the mother lode, the motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. In some sense, he has built a career in professional motivation by trying to unpack the puzzle of his own success. He has always helped; he has always been productive. How, he has wondered for most of his professional life, does the interplay of those two factors work for everyone else? [more inside]
posted by caddis on Mar 28, 2013 - 46 comments

Backlash against Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In"

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book Lean In aims at women to address what is holding them back from leadership positions. But it has been the subject of a feminist backlash calling it "Facebook's attempt to hi-jack feminism", distracting from more important issues of institutional change, part of the "war on moms" and irrelevant to all but the 1%. Is the backlash an unfair reaction to unapologetic feminism and an unfair dismissal of an inspiring woman?
posted by melissam on Mar 27, 2013 - 101 comments

Work, leisure, and AI.

Rule No. 1 is tomorrow we die; and Rule No. 2 is nobody, not even the most helpful robot, can change Rule No. 1. The Barbed Gift of Leisure in The Chronicle Review looks at how robots, by replacing our need to work, can change our relationship with leisure. The problem with robots is that (1) they are scary and (2) if you don't have to do any work, your ability to enjoy your time-off dissipates. It's nothing that Veblen, Marx, and Debord didn't anticipate.
posted by stinker on Mar 26, 2013 - 56 comments

A priest, a dominatrix and a brain surgeon walk into a bar

Fifteen people summarise their jobs
posted by hoyland on Mar 24, 2013 - 65 comments

Don't Hate Her Because She's Successful

Don't Hate Her Because She's Successful: The Last Psychiatrist on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
posted by prunes on Mar 22, 2013 - 157 comments

The Feminist Housewife

Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’ ” And she is not alone. Via.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Mar 18, 2013 - 258 comments

The Work Magazine Reprint Project

Brooklyn-based Tools for Working Wood are in the process of weekly reprinting every single issue of Work: An Illustrated Magazine of Practice and Theory on their blog, having just finished the first year. The original magazine's first issue was published March 23rd, 1889, and the blog is republishing 123 years after the original. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 on Mar 13, 2013 - 6 comments

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