Late blog: Phenomena Article

“On The Phenomena Of Bull(Crap) Jobs” was a (ridiculously short) pleasant read; also I don’t curse so don’t expect me to use the actual title of the story. I think out of all the other stories, this one had the strongest impact on me outside of the classroom. I had a friend who was doing an internship, and was assigned to some white collar department for answering the phone. He, on record, did about 200 phone calls per day. And to make it worse, he only got paid by the amount of people that actually lasted long enough to hear out what he was advertising (I believe it was stocks), and invested it. Note he told me maybe one person a day showed any interest per day, most didn’t even let him finish, and those who did hung up anyways because what he was selling was a stock worth over 20,000 dollars! To be honest, I’d hang up too.

I’ve gotten calls like that, and I never even imagined that people actually get paid by the amount of people who said yes. The other day a girl called me telling me about signing up for some survey (I’m not sure I wasn’t paying attention), and this story actually crossed my mind, and I almost gave in, but then my friend’s asking of his caller to dish over 20,000 bucks hit me and I pretty much immediately hung up. I know I didn’t make her job any easier, so that’s why I apologized more than necessary before I hung up (must’ve sounded weird but that’s water under the bridge now). Still, throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but think she was thinking, behind that sweet voice, “kill me kill me kill me now please.”

Worst part is, my friend’s account on his job wasn’t too different from that of described in article. All the work he had, even his low intern, less than 40 hour work week status, could’ve been done effortlessly in done in a bulk in, maybe a day. However, he wasn’t as fortunate as one might think. The job, which required him to sit motionless for HOURS and call up random numbers placed on dingy little desk and hope that someone would fork over some dough. After about 2 weeks of that, he had a few weeks before being switched over to full time status and he’d have to work over 8 hours of day, doing nothing but calling. The first thing he was annoyed with was the fake smile he had to put on, and the fact that it was his job to try to force his callers to giving in, which he strictly opposed (he doesn’t like making people do things they don’t want to do). It got so unbelievably boring and “unnecessary” that he once contemplated injuring himself so he could miss work for a few days. Which I’ll admit was a little extreme.

The big thing that really got me thinking was the “imagine if [a random class of workers] disappeared. Would you notice a difference?” question that was brought up near the end. I got me thinking things like, what WOULD happen if big name bosses just disappeared? It did honestly feel like the world could’ve benefited from some random phenomenon like that. Not to say that white collar jobs are all useless, but there are some that, honestly, aren’t necessary, and if anything, feel like they’re just there to waste money so the lower classes can’t have it (yeah I said it, it’s all a part of the government’s plan to take over the world! Sue me!). The way it was written, I got a vibe that told me that these jobs are really just there to keep people calm and from rioting from starvation or what have you. Sure, you make lots of money working these lame jobs, but they’re also so boring it makes you wanna kill yourself. While the lower end jobs try to kill you physically, the middle class is so clean and tidy that it prefers to kill you mentally (got an image to maintain, y’know?). Now whenever I see a (potentially) white collared job, I asked myself, just how important is this job to me, society, humanity, etc. You actually get some interesting ideas when you finally answer these (and weird looks on the train for talking to yourself).

After reading, and hearing my friend’s account, lead me to think of the question, would I rather have a bullcrap job or a low wage job, and it honestly disappoints me that those are basically my biggest options without a degree higher than a Masters (which is terrible news for someone as lazy as me).
I’ll be frank, there isn’t really much to talk about, since the article is really short and really compact. It hit every issue it intended to nicely. It was a nice read on the train though, since it was actually short enough to do in a commute (as opposed to literally every other piece we’ve ever read in this class). I actually recommended this article to a friend, so you KNOW it’s worth the read.

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