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On the Clock
On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane | Emily Guendelsberger
13 posts | 4 read | 35 to read
In the tradition of Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickle and Dimed, journalist Emily Guendelsberger describes her own experience working in the automated and time-starved world of hourly labor, showing what life is like for millions of other Americans today On the Clock is a bitingly funny firsthand account of what happens when a college educated young woman finds herself back at the bottom of the wage-earning ladder in a job which, like 40% of the jobs in America today, pays less than $15.50 an hour. After losing her job as a reporter, Emily Guendelsberger took a job in a call center. Living out of her car, she hoped to be able to get her financial footing before heading back into the reporting world. What she discovered in that first low-wage job, and at two others like it, is a world unto itself where hourly wage work is undergoing a critical transition that we haven't fully grappled with. Advances in monitoring and scheduling technology have sped up the pace of work for millions of workers, fundamentally altering their lives. Exposing the large scale stress of trying to meet robotic work standards, On the Clock shows how the way millions of Americans work today tells us something fundamental but little-understood about our country. To understand this world, Guendelsberger walks 15 miles a day in a vast Amazon warehouse with several conveniently located pain-medicine vending machines, is closely timed at each call center bathroom break, and gets pelted with mustard by a revenge-seeking customer at McDonald's. From her own often comic perspective Emily analyzes the physical and mental effects of chronic stress - from heart disease, obesity, and drug abuse to depression, belief in conspiracies, seeing immigrants as outsiders, and a preference for a strongman leader. On the Clock offers a better understanding of not just low-wage work and how we got to this moment in American history, but the surprising ways that things could get better.
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Woo hoo!!! Big congratulations to @GrilledCheeseSamurai !!! Much love to you for reaching 100k!! 🍾🥂😘🎉🎉

The tagged book has probably become my favorite nonfiction read of all time. Such an eye-opening important read!

I am tagging @bromeliad whom I have loved having on my #BFCr3 team and is an outstanding Litten! 💜


Megabooks Without Litsy, I wouldn‘t have a love of audiobooks, and Littens have recommended so many awesome books I wouldn‘t have otherwise known about. There are also several Littens who have been here personally for me which I very much appreciate!! 💙💙💙 Thank you so much for this giveaway @GrilledCheeseSamurai !! (edited) 2w
bromeliad Aww shucks, you're so sweet! ♥️♥️ 2w
Megabooks @bromeliad 💜😘💜 2w
GrilledCheeseSamurai Thanks for playing along. 😁 2w
Megabooks @GrilledCheeseSamurai Thanks for doing this!! 👍🏻🎉 2w
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I always try to go above and beyond to be the most polite customer that I can be. I empathize with those working these stressful service jobs after my own experiences in food service for almost a decade. I have always said that I think everyone should have to work a customer service job at some point in order to better understand and respect one another. Either way, this should be required reading.

Megabooks For sure! 1mo
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough. If everyone isn't required to work a shitty service job at some point, they should at least be required to read this book.

Megabooks 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 This is one of the best of the year for me! 2mo
Jilly6183 @Megabooks Absolutely! Thanks again for reminding me of it and getting it zoomed to the top of my TBR. I can't stop telling people to read it! 2mo
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I read 25 books in July!! 🥳🥳📚🎉🎉 The best four are above. Y‘all know me, I read a lot of #nonfiction, and all of my top four were nonfiction.

On the Clock should be in everyone‘s August #botm if you at all like sociology or the book Nickel and Dimed. If you like memoirs, Maybe You Should TtS is still available, too, from BOTM.

The Buried has beautiful maps & storytelling, & The Collected Schizophrenias shines light on a rare mental illness.

erzascarletbookgasm Wow! 👏 2mo
JenReadsAlot The Buried was great! 2mo
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Megabooks @JenReadsAlot It was fantastic! I love Hessler‘s work. 2mo
tammysue 👏🏻🙌🏻 2mo
Megabooks @tammysue 😊😊😊 2mo
lele1432 I have all 3 of those BOTM nonfiction! I'm sad they're not going to be adding many new nonfiction add-ons anymore. No new choices this month. ☹️ I was always super interested in their nonfic picks! 2mo
Megabooks @lele1432 They‘re so on-and-off with nonfiction. They had a lot in 15 and 16. Then less last year. I picked up two of the older ones this month. 2mo
lele1432 Yeah, someone mentioned they did away with the beta nonfiction box so there won't be as many anymore. I hope it isn't true. They were on a roll for a few months this year! 2mo
Reviewsbylola I just added Clock to my box based on your rec and got Maybe You Should Talk from Audible last night! 2mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola Yay!! I also listened to MYSTtS, and the narration is great!! Enjoy both 😊😊 2mo
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1. This is the best book I‘ve read all summer, and everyone should add it to their August #botm!!
2. I don‘t even know. It‘s been at least 3 years!
3. 🍒🍑
4. Officially 2, unofficially 4
5. Will do! 💜💜

#friyayintro @howjessreads

Susanita ❤️❤️ 2mo
Jess Do you have the August #botm titles? 2mo
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Megabooks @Susanita 😊😊 2mo
Jess Thanks! 2mo
Reviewsbylola I will def choose this in August! 2mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola it‘s an add-on. (I got it in July, which was the first add-on month.) I cant recommend it more highly. 2mo
lele1432 I'm so glad I got this one this month! I'll move it up on my TBR! 2mo
Megabooks @lele1432 For sure! It really is the best book I‘ve read all summer. 2mo
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On The Clock turned into a more substantive look at the history and future of exploitive labor practices than I expected. The author embeds herself in 3 notoriously unforgiving work environments and shares her experiences. More than that, she castigates the systems that rewards profit before people. For a book on labor and capitalism, it‘s a fun read. If you think automation isn‘t coming for your job, think again. #botm

Nute Nice review and so on point! 2mo
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Easily one of the best books of the year! Emily works at an Amazon warehouse, a Convergys (AT&T) call center, and a McDonalds to find out what life is like across the country in the age of poor pay, high turnover, & chronic, purposeful understaffing.

This should be required reading for every member of Congress and people who pass down the policies of timed bathroom breaks and unpaid leave points. A true must-read! Add it to your August #botm! 5⭐️

Carolyn11215 Did you read Nickel and Dimed? Another great book on similar topic. Stacking this one!! 2mo
Megabooks @Carolyn11215 I haven‘t read it yet. Part of her inspiration was to update Nickel and Dimed. I‘m definitely going through her suggested reading in the back and that is the first book! 2mo
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Megabooks @EchoLogical 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
kspenmoll Nicked and Dimed was great reading, so my guess is this will be too! 2mo
Megabooks @kspenmoll I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
RachelO You are FLYING through the books this month! (Can you read some for me? 😉) Seriously, this sounds great, if a tad stressful! 2mo
Megabooks @RachelO Thanks!! 😊😊 it‘s a fantastic book! 👍🏻 2mo
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I‘ve had an anxious day yesterday (by the clock), but I‘m going to read a few pages before bed. I saw this and had to share! FYI, white badges are temp employees.

And I just want to thank everyone for being so supportive yesterday. 💕🥰💕 It truly meant a lot!!! 😘😘

BookwormAHN 😺😺 2mo
Crazeedi Hope all is well with you today!😘 2mo
Megabooks @BookwormAHN 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
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Megabooks @Crazeedi much better, thank you! 😊👍🏻😘 2mo
Scochrane26 One of my friends works for amazon. When they increased the wage to $15, they got great PR. What they didn‘t mention is they stopped giving everyone a stock in amazon every yr, which is worth more than $15/hr. 2mo
Megabooks @Scochrane26 oh yikes! Yeah, as long as amazon stays afloat, that‘s worth A LOT more. My dad worked at Lowe‘s in the 70s and he got 10 shares of stock. His boss was really crooked, so he sold back 9 when he quit, but kept 1. 🤷🏻‍♀️ He just let the Lowe‘s market do whatever with the stock (he just reinvested everything back in more Lowe‘s, let it split, double, etc.) it‘s worth 70k today!! 😱😱😱 2mo
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Call center exhaustion! I haven‘t made it past training yet because I keep having to do other stuff.

I cannot wait for next weekend when I can fully devote myself to reading!! #24in48 There‘s still time to sign up even if you can‘t do the full 24!

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Finished part one: Amazon fulfillment center. On to part two: call center.

I don‘t know how I‘m going fit a review of this in 451 characters!! It comes out Tuesday or add it to your August #botm box!

PS I love my new bookmarks from FunUsual Suspects!

sudi The book sounds interesting 👍. And that bookmark is too cute 😍 2mo
Amor4Libros I work in the CC world, getting this for sure! 2mo
Daisey This book does sound interesting, but I love the bookmark! 2mo
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Megabooks @sudi Thanks! 😊😊 And it is! I‘ve been working along on other projects this afternoon, too, but I‘m continuing to make progress! 2mo
Megabooks @Amor4Libros Oh, you will probably find it so relatable. I‘m really interested to see your thoughts on it!! 2mo
Megabooks @Daisey Thank you!! 😊👍🏻 2mo
crazyspine Such a cute bookmark 2mo
BiblioLitten Cutest bookmark!! 2mo
Megabooks Thank you @crazyspine and @BiblioLitten !! 😊😊 2mo
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Sorry I‘m not catching up with everyone‘s check ins, but I can‘t put this book down. Seriously, what kind of sociopath makes it so people have to take 12+ Advil per shift!!

Lucy_Anywhere 😮 wow. 2mo
Megabooks @Lucy_Anywhere It‘s crazy. This book is fascinating! 2mo
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Just started this, and I am loving it so far. I am on such a sociology kick!! It was a #BOTM add-on, but I haven‘t seen anyone else posting about it. Did anyone pick it up?

The author worked undercover at an Amazon fulfillment center, a call center, and a McDonald‘s in different parts of the country after the newspaper she was working at folded.

One of my favorite booksleeves, too! 🥰

SassyBookworm Sounds very interesting! I read Nickel and Dimed back in college and this is along those same lines! I definitely wanna check this out! 2mo
Megabooks @SassyBookworm She mentions reading Nickel and Dimed when she worked in service in college, and I think part of her inspiration is to update that book. Apparently, and I believe her so far, it‘s a very different ball game now. 2mo
SassyBookworm @Megabooks how awesome! I would imagine things have changed quite a bit! It‘s was our required read as incoming Freshmen (in 2003 😬). I can‘t wait to check this out! Reading Nickel and Dimed was eye opening then this sounds great! 2mo
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It‘s rare that I start three new books at once, but I‘m excited to have decided on these three. Forward, I‘ll start on my walk tomorrow morning. On the Clock is a #BOTM July add on. Dapper Dan is a library ebook. #nonfictionjunkie #sendhelporfiction 🤣🤣

Freespirit Some good reading there😄 2mo
Megabooks @Freespirit Thanks!! 2mo
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