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On the Clock

What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane
Lu par : Christine Lakin
Durée : 12 h et 6 min
5 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

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Description

The bitingly funny, eye-opening story of a college-educated young professional who finds work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly labor....

After the local newspaper where she worked as a reporter closed, Emily Guendelsberger took a pre-Christmas job at an Amazon fulfillment center outside Louisville, Kentucky. There, the vending machines were stocked with painkillers, and the staff turnover was dizzying. In the new year, she travelled to North Carolina to work at a call center, a place where even bathroom breaks were timed to the second. And finally, Guendelsberger was hired at a San Francisco McDonald's, narrowly escaping revenge-seeking customers who pelted her with condiments. 

Across three jobs, and in three different parts of the country, Guendelsberger directly took part in the revolution changing the US workplace. On the Clock takes us behind the scenes of the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce to understand the future of work in America - and its present. Until robots pack boxes, resolve billing issues, and make fast food, human beings supervised by AI will continue to get the job done. Guendelsberger shows us how workers went from being the most expensive element of production to the cheapest - and how low wage jobs have been remade to serve the ideals of efficiency, at the cost of humanity. 

On the Clock explores the lengths that half of Americans will go to in order to make a living, offering not only a better understanding of the modern workplace, but also surprising solutions to make work more humane for millions of Americans.

©2019 Emily Guendelsberger (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critiques

"When former Onion editor Emily Guendelsberger explores how the non-college majority scrapes by, she uncovers a Darwinian hellscape where the richest man on earth munificently bestows painkillers upon his warehouse serfs, telemarketers pitch products to the newly bereaved, and the customer is always right-even when she's lobbing McNugget sauce at your head. Filled with compassion, fury, and an invigorating dose of hope, On The Clock is the laugh-till-you-cry exposé our laugh-till-you-cry nation deserves." (Daniel Brook, author of The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America, A History of Future Cities, and The Accident of Color: A Story of Race in Reconstruction)

"Guendelsberger's narration is vivid, humorous, and honest; she admits to the feelings of despair, panic, and shame that these jobs frequently inspire, allowing for a more complex and complete picture of the experience. This is a riveting window into minimum-wage work and the subsistence living it engenders." (Publishers Weekly)

"Detailed, intelligent, and well-researched, the book provides a sobering look at the inhuman world of blue-collar work while suggesting that creation of a better world starts by connecting to others who also believe 'the status quo is cruel and ridiculous.' An eye-opening, unrelenting exposé that uncovers the brutal wages of modern global capitalism. A natural choice for fans of Nickel and Dimed." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Irksum Ink
  • Irksum Ink
  • 28/09/2019

wow you need to hear this

I read Nickel and Dimed long ago. It really changed my thinking. It's about time we have another book on the topic. The author creates a deep.and meaningful image through a combination of narrative, reflection, and vibrant splashes of history and science. You will be a better, more empathetic person for reading this book.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James Grigsby
  • 26/07/2019

Fantastic

very accurate depiction of the current work environment in many low-wage jobs where workers rights have been reduced to almost nothing and anyone who complains about it as seen as weak.

3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Nor'easter
  • Nor'easter
  • 02/11/2019

Life in the US, 2019

An extraordinarily prescient book about how this country has lost its way. Leave , if you can.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy J McGinnis
  • 22/10/2019

Timely and important.

Timely and important book written with irreverent humor and empathy for those toiling on the ground floor if neoliberal late capitalism.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 02/09/2019

Great substitute to actually working at Amazon.

Compelling account of the day to day drudgery of low wage work along with a historical account of the struggle between management and labor. End of the book gets a little political, which is an unwelcome contrast to the rest of the book but is absolutely worth a read if you want to understand how the majority of the country lives.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael F.
  • 16/08/2019

Couldn't stop listening and was left wanting more

As a late 30s white collar professional, this was an eye-opening experience and I found myself listening to the audiobook at every opportunity possible. This book highlights the humanity of the people working low-wage jobs taking you on a journey through three very different industries and the challenges the low-workers have to endure in order to make enough to live in poverty.

The author is absolutely right, I wouldn't last a day in these jobs.

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  • Global
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  • B D
  • 16/08/2019

Stellar reporting and retelling of...

what happen On The Clock. Ms. Guendelsberger shares her experience at Amazon, Convergys and MacDonalds as an undercover author after hearing horror stories of the working conditions/daily work of these companies. The book is parts retelling, comedy, tragedy and extrapolation. The book made me laugh as well as depressed, but still hopeful. She also masterfully works in scientific theories as well as a few studies on depression, history of Taylorism and Henry Ford and capitalism in America. It was entertaining AND informative, AND relatable as a low wage worker. The reader is also great :) she did a fantastic job and I love that she gives all the characters different voices when they are speaking (I know that's childish but I love it) 11/10

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 16/12/2019

Service work conditions are horrifying.

I worked in fast food for years before landing a white collar job. I've been going through a jarring transition as I find myself immersed in a different culture. Here, everyone has hope, nobody is stressed to the breaking point, and the bosses never try to restrict access to the toilets. On the Clock explores this transition in reverse, as the author immerses herself into the world of service work after a life spent in the middle class. All her observations ring true. In particular, the depiction of the first month at a call center was uncannily accurate. It was painful to read, because remembering my experiences also awakened the despair I had been living in at the time. It made me physically ill.

Much like the author, I used to remark that everyone should have to work a service job at least once, so that they understand just how we shit on them as a society. This book honestly captures some of the experience. I now believe that everyone should have to read this book. If our upper classes understood the horrors we're inflicting on our people, things might change. It starts with everyone respecting the people who are being crushed by our systems, and it ends, I hope, with nobody needing to work in such degrading conditions.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura Ross
  • 15/08/2019

Actually binged this book

I was fascinated by the descriptions and details of the different work environments the author experienced. She beautifully relayed these experiences and I was completely appalled at the conditions these workers dealt with. Haven’t thought a lot about minimum wage conditions since I got out of college. Her descriptions about how rude the customers behave towards minimum wage workers spot on match what my barista daughter tells me, something that I have shrugged off in the past, and this has me reflecting a lot on this trend of abusive customers ( it would never occur to me that I know more than the employees and demand they open a second register, who does that? ) I could have done with a little less analysis in the end, I was happy with the work stories, though I am never going to forget how rats react to being shocked.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Megh
  • 08/08/2019

Interesting Perspective

You know how people say, "everyone should work a service job"? Now I understand why they say that. This book has also made me better at my sales tech job.

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