On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane

On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane

by Emily Guendelsberger


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" Nickled and Dimed for the Amazon age," (Salon) the bitingly funny, eye-opening story of finding work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly low-wage 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 U.S. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316509008
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/16/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 84,846
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Emily Guendelsberger has worked at Philadelphia City Paper, the Onion's A.V. Club, Philadelphia Weekly, and the Philadelphia Daily News, and has contributed to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Politico magazine, and Vice.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Introduction: In the Weeds 3

Part 1 Amazon

One Month to Christmas 15

Three Weeks to Christmas 58

Two Weeks to Christmas 90

One Week to Christmas 94

One Day to Christmas 103

363 Days to Christmas 106

Part 2 Convergys

Week 1 Twenty People 126

Week 2 Sixteen People 152

Week 3 Thirteen People 169

Week 4 Twelve People 195

Week 5 Nine People 221

Part 3 McDonald's

Number 1 237

Number 2 257

Number 3 277

Number 4 282

Number 5 289

Number 6 305

Conclusion: Out of the Weeds 308

Acknowledgments 317

Selected Reading 319

Notes 323

Index 325

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On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Emily seems a breath of fresh air. Her voice is one that I have yearned to hear for what seems like decades now. A smart girl, E. Gruendelsberger, transcends the banal and the quotidian. If I could read something like this each day I would. Stellar work is what I crave and E G gives it.