Here I am at six thirty in the morning facing another 9-10 hour day filled with stress. Before me is a huge cup of coffee, the legal stimulant drug that gets me through the day. Along with “energy drinks”.
I go to work where conformity is demanded and individuality suppressed. Out on the floor the disgruntled murmur and anger runs skin deep. The name of the game is selling, pushing product with smiling enthusiasm even if the product has so much fat in it or so much sodium that it should wear a skull and cross bones.
Workers are treated like children and act out in a passive aggressive manner.
The stress of part time work in retail is brutal with its fluctuating hours meaning one can never count on a certain amount of pay when ones check come out.
Workers can be forced to pee in cups or the more modern swab instant drug test that gets so many false positives particularly in older workers who are often on a shopping list of medications.
Coffee is the perfect drug. It helps the focus and boosts both energy and fake enthusiasm. Work turns us into corporate liars and caffeine helps us with the guilt. We learn to project a false sincerity in order to sell and keep our jobs secure.
Insecurity is the life blood of the retail slave. We eat insults and customer condescension with a smile knowing that many doing the condescending are but one more economic down turn, one more round of out sourcing or right sizing by the corporate raiders and junk bond peddlers, from joining us. Welcome to Thomas Friedman’s globalized flat earth. Welcome the race to the bottom when it comes to paying workers.
So lift your cup of coffee high in a toast to the death of the middle class. Welcome to the world of the bottom line.
Welcome to the world created by the “free market” and the class war that created the super rich. Thank the neo-cons and neo-libs who brought us here.
And if you are a straight person of color or a white LGBT/T person welcome to the world where we waste our time on horizontal hostility while those with the money who created this world use us as scapegoats to distract us from who the real oppressors are.