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“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

The view from here

This is my window. Or my windows—the view from my living room, where I sit and write. Might not seem very inspiring. I wish I could offer green mossy lava, roaring waves, a glacier mountain top. I do have other spaces—in an abandoned powerstation, a favorite fisherman’s cafe by the harbor, a summer house on the arctic circle—but this is my honest view, what I really see most of the days. This house was built in the 1960s when people were fed up with lava and mountains; they were migrating to the growing suburbs to create a new view for themselves. The young couple who dug the foundation with their own hands dreamed of a proper garden on this barren, rocky strip of land. They dreamed of trees, flowers, shelter from the cold northern breeze. What is special depends on where you are, and here, the trees are actually special. They were planted fifty years ago like summer flowers, not expected to live or grow more than a meter. The rhododendron was considered a miracle, not something that could survive a winter. It looks tropical, with Hawaiian-looking pink flowers; Skúli, the man who built the house and sold it to me half a century later, took special pride in it. I am not a great gardener. We are thinking of buying an apple tree, though they don’t really thrive in this climate. I would plant it like a flower, not really expect it to grow, and hope for a miracle. —Andri Snær Magnason [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 9, 2013 - 3 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

The Good, the Bad, and the Billy Joe Tolliver

Carles of Hipster Runoff discusses the relationship between mediocre quarterbacks and office jobs:
The most intense forms of competition, stress, conflict, and insecurity that most of us will ever feel take place at work. We embrace mediocrity as a safety net to alleviate our minds from these uncomfortable thoughts, and hide from the idea of heightened accountability and expectations. Instead, we choose to live vicariously through other people we don't know who are actually 'special.' Athletes, technological entrepreneurs, and other people who are recognized for being legitimately 'gifted and talented' serve as our daily inspirations and escapes. While society tends to praise greatness and unique achievement, the public ceremony of 'exposing' mediocrity provides us with the opportunity for humor and hyperbole that inspires a dark breed of empathy and fan interest.

posted by Copronymus on Jan 9, 2012 - 47 comments

Zagat's for Revolutionaries?

Diner's Guide to the Working Conditions of American Restaurants [PDF] published by labor advocates at Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.
posted by Miko on Dec 7, 2011 - 68 comments

I could not stand it any longer

Back hurting from sitting at a desk reading Metafilter all day? Trying standing up for your rights! Or, just walk it off.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 11, 2011 - 51 comments

It's a cat eat mouse world out there.

Amid the iron jungle of the metropolis lies one of nature's most cunning and noble beats, the Bodega Cat. Sing of their glory!
posted by The Whelk on Aug 7, 2011 - 36 comments

To Crank and Crank

Cranking. "She couldn't really help my Dad. My Dad couldn't really help her. But they sure tried. She cranked and cranked. I was seven. I didn't know how to help anyone." - A brief essay on life, happiness and work by Merlin Mann.
posted by Memo on Apr 24, 2011 - 50 comments

Laptopistan

Working best at coffee shops. Destination: Laptopistan. Why work doesn't happen at work.
posted by AceRock on Apr 21, 2011 - 73 comments

The End of Men

The End of Men, in The Atlantic. An article about the rise of women (now over 50% of the U.S. workforce), and implications of the attendant changes for both women and men. [more inside]
posted by marble on Jun 10, 2010 - 161 comments

Tracking the Knowledge Economy

It has been looked at for many years (link to a 2003 PDF revised edition of a 1983 report). Inspiring reports trying to predict where this was heading, the knowledge economy is incredibly difficult to get a grip on, mainly because its products are intangible. [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007 on Mar 6, 2010 - 8 comments

"The cat... quickly got bored of it and meowed to be let out."

From Matthias Wandel, the inventor of the wooden marble calculator and the non-wooden eyeballing game, now comes the wooden Jenga pistol and its successor, as well as the wooden geodesic cat storage device and wooden wasp sucker.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 20, 2009 - 18 comments

Got my mojo working.

Got My Mojo Working was written by the little-known Preston Foster and first recorded in 1956 by the only slightly better-known Ann Cole. It was, of course, the Muddy Waters version that became the hit and a signature song for him: he sang it throughout his entire career, and it has become one of the best-known blues standards of all time. The song itself just has a lot of mojo, you know, so naturally plenty of others have covered it through the years: a small sampling from the YouTubes would include Carl Perkins, Willie Dixon, Elvis Presley, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, JJ Cale, Pinetop Perkins and Louis Jordan. Hell, even Bobby Darin couldn't resist the mojo!. NOTE: Check hoverovers for link descriptions. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jan 6, 2008 - 19 comments

Why do you have to be a strike-breaker, is it a lesson that I never knew?

NYU President John Sexton warns striking grad students that they must resume teaching or lose their benefits. After weeks of marching outside Bobst library and refusing to teach classes, NYU grad students have been sent a letter from President John Sexton, warning them that any TA who does not return to work next week will lose their stipends and eligibility to teach next semester. Until recently, NYU was the only private school that allowed graduate teaching assistants to unionize, following a 2000 NLRB decision, which was subsequently reversed. NYU claims that it has negotiated in good faith and that the union's demands would limit decision making that should remain in the hands of academics, while the grad students argue that they cannot trust NYU's admistration to take care of them without unionization (and representation by the UAW). Meanwhile, many undergrads paying tuition upwards of 50K/year will have to retake classes or opt for pass/fail. Do you sympathize with highly educated American grad students who receive free tuition, health insurance, and stipends in exchange for modest teaching duties (when many other students depend on student loans), especially compared the with 19th century coal miners, third-world factory workers, and modern-day wage slaves we normally associate with unions and strikes?
posted by banishedimmortal on Nov 30, 2005 - 98 comments

Management methods, models, theories

Management methods, models, thoeries Kick off 2005 sounding and/or being smarter than everyone else. Minds will spin given the amount of info available here.
posted by Voyageman on Dec 25, 2004 - 13 comments

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls.
posted by hama7 on Dec 6, 2003 - 7 comments

The Ubiquitous Tip Jar

Why does everyone have a tip jar now? And where do you draw the line when it comes to baiting the jar? Starbucks? Take-out counters? Drive-thrus? How about the girl that takes your money and stamps your hand at a nightclub? While tipping is the economy of an underpaid service industry, it seems the jar itself has gotten out of hand and onto every counter with a dollar already conveniently inside.

If it is appropriate for everyone who performs any kind of public service to be entitled to a tip, why aren't we tossing our coin to police officers, teachers, or flight attendants?
posted by FearTormento on May 12, 2003 - 68 comments

Get that MP3, and get the boot

Get that MP3, and get the boot In a -IMHO- patetic effort to try to stop what can't be stopped, the RIAA and MPAA are urging companies to monitor their employee's downloading habits or face suing, damages, sanctions and what have you against them. In other words, inciting companies to treat their employees as potential criminals and dispose of them accordingly. While the risks of using P2P at work such as virii and leaking of private files do have a point, this is really about the RIAA/MPAA resorting to more desperate measures each time to try to stay afloat with their jaded business model, which will do nothing but accelerate their long-forecast demise in the "real" new economy.
posted by betobeto on Feb 15, 2003 - 16 comments

Facing Serial Unemployment, it's Time for a New Game Plan.

Facing Serial Unemployment, it's Time for a New Game Plan. Anyone else frustrated with jobs that disappear out from under them? What is the "new game plan" that works? (Say an unemployed person realizes that these Boston Globe articles disappear just as fast as their jobs do. In solidarity with other unemployed workers, they violate copyright and cache this article on a website. Do we prosecute?)
posted by sheauga on Jul 19, 2002 - 4 comments

German Town Promotes Sleeping on the Job.

German Town Promotes Sleeping on the Job. So when can we expect to see this system go into effect here in the U.S.?
posted by kingmissile on Mar 4, 2002 - 8 comments

What's a working mother to do?

What's a working mother to do? Funny...I have started wondering about this myself-and of course I read this at work...
posted by bunnyfire on Jun 15, 2001 - 25 comments

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