Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor - Joseph Williams - The Atlantic

"After veteran reporter Joseph Williams lost his job, he found employment
in a sporting-goods store. In a personal essay, he recalls his
struggles with challenges millions of Americans return to day after day."

"Mop the floors in the bathroom, replace the toilet paper and scrub the
toilets if necessary. Vacuum. Empty the garbage. Wipe down the glass
front doors, every night, even if they don’t really need it. It was all
part of the job, done after your shift has ended but without overtime
pay.    "

"I imagine the unstated objective was to send another subtle message
about employee theft: Someone is always watching, even when you take out
the trash."

"Of course, I had no idea what a modern retail job demanded. I didn’t
realize the stamina that would be necessary, the extra, unpaid duties
that would be tacked on, or the required disregard for one’s own
self-esteem. "

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