The Guilded Sweatshop (cont.)

"Welcome to the wonderful world of work. From the moment God threw Adam's sorry ass out of Eden and told him to go work for a living, we have toiled to get our bread from the sweat of our brows. For many of us, the hot sun may have been replaced by the harsh glow of fluorescent bulbs, the green fields by gray cubicles and the physical strain by that unique brand of torment that could only come from working for someone stupider than ourselves, but it's work just the same. If the existentialists are right -- that action defines being -- then we are what we do and what we do is work. It defines us and consumes us. When we are not at work, we are driving to it or escaping from it, doing it at home or preparing for it. If our struggle for the legal tender has put us a bit on edge these days so that we go home and yell at the kids or kick the dog now and then, that's too bad. But it's part of making a living and they probably deserve it anyway." 15

"If it seems like we are working a lot harder and longer for less, that's because we are. The economic data paint a grim statistical portrait of what lies behind the amorphous mix of grief and anxiety that has caused many of us to develop sudden cravings for Hamburger Helper….in fact, about the only economic indicators that are setting records these days are corporate profits and executive compensation."16

"One study of low-pay temps found out that 'in general, temporary workers wre assigned the least complex, most repetitious and most dispensable jobs on the assembly line.' This is not self-actualizing work. This is drudgery...(they) frequently report being treated as somehow less than human because of their status in the workplace. Sometimes temps are shunted into dangerous jobs, because companies don't want permanent employees to risk injuries and thus jack up worker compensation costs. But most mistreatment is less office temp describes the indignity of being forced to wear around his neck all day a large badge that proclaimed, "TEMPORARY." Another says, "They know I'm 'The Temp,' so conversations with me are, in a way, forbidden.""17 (note: this author follows with more specific examples and ways to remedy the problems and empower temps to gain greater power as free agentss)

15-16 -- "Disgruntled," Daniel S. Levine, A Berkley Boulevard Book, 1998
17 -- "Free Agent Nation," Daniel H. Pink, Warner Books, 2001.

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