Business Technology Work

They don’t only take our labor.

Replied to This is a rant about beds at work by Meg Conley (homeculture by Meg Conley)

Last week, Twitter installed bedrooms for employees. They’re expected to be “hardcore” and being hardcore means working too late to go home. And then waking up and working some more. The rooms look like an answer to the alternative history question, “What if IKEA showrooms existed behind a 2022 Iron Curtain?” But they’re really just a reaction to the relative freedom of remote work and an empowered labor force. It’s just another lever to pull when seeking maximum extraction for maximum profit.

They steal our lives too.

My husband works in tech and in 2019 spent two months basically living in the office for a product launch. He’d already been working 60-80 hour weeks remotely, but then he had to add a commute — the opposite direction from my work. We only have one car so often I’d have to walk home — only 45 minutes but sometimes you’re wiped at the end of the day and just want to fucking sit down, not climb a giant hill.

But suddenly making his partner responsible for *everything* to keep our household going was a cost his work could extract from my body, though I wasn’t the one working for them.

His boss said he’d pay for us to go out to dinner when it was done. As if one meal makes up for months of missed dinners. There’s a photo of me with the fancy drink I got — I look exhausted, can barely smile. My husband was so wiped he forgot to expense it. And we don’t even have kids.

I have multiple friends who have nearly been driven to quit by the tech sector’s on-call schedule.

Because it’s a good-paying job, it’s hard to complain about the expectation to work long hours, knowing how many others have it so much worse. But even though we’re not in Silicon Valley, Seattle has a price bubble of its own. With shitty ramblers from the seventies starting at a million bucks, even tech workers can’t afford a home now without two salaries.

I wish white collar workers could recognize that while they’re rich compared to the poor, they’re not rich compared to the *rich*. If you have to work, you’re not really rich. Workers of all classes could build some solidarity together. There’s a lot of manipulative class warfare turning people who should be allies against each other, when workers are not the root of the exploitation problem: owners are.

Activism Finances Political Commentary

Wage stagnation vs corporate profit

Bookmarked Artists You Need To Charge More: Income Inflation (Lily Williams)

If we take the average woman artist’s 1980 income of $24,153 dollars and plug it into the US Inflation Calculator, we learn that in today’s 2021 money that would be $81,073.47. However, when we compare that $81,073 to what the 2020 Census numbers are for artists… we find that the average income in 2020 was only $52,340. Meaning, yes, artists income hasn’t adjusted for inflation since the 1980s.

We know worker productivity has gone up dramatically while wages have stagnated.

We know corporate profits have gone up and CEOs are making vastly more than workers.

We know the cost of most consumer goods as a proportion of income have gone down. (Though housing and medical care and education costs have skyrocketed. Stuff is cheap, but essential needs are laughably out of reach for many. No wonder we’re such a consumerist society, it’s all we can afford.)

So… basically all those CEOs and companies are stealing from their employees by not fairly compensating them and keeping all the profit for themselves and shareholders… and/or goods should cost more.

Why aren’t people angrier? Why are we so resistant to taxing the people who are stealing from us to provide services for all? Why are so many opposed to raising the minimum wage?

Is it possible to be rich and ethical? I’m rich as workers go, owning a house in the Seattle area in a DINK household, and have money in the stock market for retirement – so I am also stealing from the share of profits that should be given to workers. But not participating in this form of capitalism won’t help workers, it’d just hurt me by having no retirement money. Can I balance participating in the system with advocacy for workers rights?

Looking forward to reading this new book Wallet Activism by Tanja Hester. Hoping to think more about how to improve the world from within capitalism while also being skeptical of change through spending.


Watched “Crazy Office Worker’s Night Meal”


Clever live-action stop motion video of an irate office worker turning the reminders of his work life into sushi and eating them. Fun seeing an iPhone and a shoe get sliced and sushi-fied.