Jobs Are For The Little People

Via Wolcott, we find The Anchoress’s commenters making fun of bookstore employees and plotting murder:

The staff of book stores are almost always out on the left tail of the curve of political opinion. They either don’t realize that setting the temperature that high will drive away customers or they don’t care all that much since it is just a slightly above minimum wage job to them and if the store closes they will either write that great novel that they have been thinking about or go to work at Tas-T-Freez. The Democrat bigshot already lives in a gated community and with his family already secure in government jobs is not likely to experience any of the less pleasant consequences of massive immigration.

[snip]

Can you hear the “Let Them Eat Cake” attitude coming out of the mouths of those “gated community” inhabitants?

We all know what happened the last time someone said precisely that: head, guillotine, some assembly required. That’s something to ponder on.

Right out of college, I worked part-time in a little bookstore. We didn’t have sub-zero air conditioning, either, not because we were conserving energy but because thanks to the Dickens characters that were our landlords, the store barely broke even and there wasn’t enough money in the budget to double the electric bill every day in the summer. So yeah, it was warm, we kept the windows and door open, sold used books and hosted whoever wanted to make our place their hangout, recognizing that the more people who spent time there, the more stuff we sold. Like Wolcott, I hear the dulcet tones of utter bullshit in the unsolicited political commentary from the clerks and fellow customers; never once does anyone in a service job do that to customers, not and expect to keep her position. But what really stood out to me in these comments was the sense that the clerks … eh, fuck ’em, they’re just losers, really, who don’t need the job anyway. Because jobs are just toys, really, and another one can always be had.

Back then I badly needed that job to pay my own rent, since freelance writing then as well as now doesn’t exactly rake in the big bucks. It wasn’t something I was doing to pass the time before I wrote my novel (though I can’t speak for my fellow employees) and it certainly wasn’t something I was doing because the burger joint wasn’t hiring. I would have worked at that job quite happily the rest of my life had I not had to leave town, and to this day I consider the owner the best boss I ever had. I was working there because I loved books and literary people, because I needed a paycheck, because it was what I’d wanted to do since I first set foot in there years before.

Oh, and last I checked, writing a novel wouldn’t have gotten me out of part-time work, either. People who aren’t writers need to talk to a few before they mouth off about how we’re all living like Stephen King these days.

I’d say — without even touching the charming call for guillotining imaginary gated-community Democrats — that this is your typical rightwing contempt for the little people who need their jobs to survive, but that would be engaging in the kind of generalizations that, as the Anchoress herself so charmingly puts it, just alienate us from one another. God, I hate when that happens, too.

A.

9 thoughts on “Jobs Are For The Little People

  1. spocko says:

    You know the other thing about the “you can always get another job attitude”? Sometimes it comes from the rich who know people who will give them a job in some wing nut think tank. Some times it comes from people who have never had to struggle to actually DO a job.
    What if you don’t have mad works skillz? What if you don’t have people who will hire you even if your resume doesn’t look great, but luckily you have relatives who are good to know?
    I’ve spend most of my life feeling like the dumbest person in the room. Yes I was hanging with some really smart people, but it was humbling realizing just how much I didn’t know and how competent others were in their thinking, writing, organization skills, people skills or management skills.
    And then when you run into the people who are in jobs that they aren’t really qualified for who don’t get that they really should be sweating every day to hold onto a job and that they chose to be born to the right parents and the right color, well you just want to shake them. “Have you no empathy? Are you so g-d oblivious that the rest of the world doesn’t have all your blessings and advantages?”
    And if perchance they are suddenly challenged, they whine about how unfair the world is and how someone is out to get them. Wingnut welfare will be all the rage after Bush is ousted. And they will see it as their due. It might be fun to expose some of these welfare jobs and compare them to their rants about other forms of welfare.
    Maybe the think tanks should start outsourcing right-wing pundit work to India. HA!
    Ohh I think I have the makings of a Onion-esq Post!

  2. vwcat says:

    I have worked bookstores and did so because of my love of books. No one I ever worked with had an attitude or prattled on about things they did not know about and were really just nice and down to earth.
    I don’t know where you live but, where I do, in the bookstores I go to I find the people just the same as the people I use to work with.
    But, sometimes you do get into heavy conversations but, only because a customer has begun it and wants to get into conversations like that.
    Oh, love the pictures of your cats. I lost one of my babies today. He was 10 and the best cat ever.

  3. Nora says:

    And I bet that if you did some surveys and some real research, you might find out that most of the people living in those gated communities are Republicans and not Democrats, though of course it’s much more chic to pretend that all Democrats are hypocrites (we call that projection).

  4. BuggyQ says:

    Yeah, I particularly love the idea that the owner of a bookstore is going to live in a gated community. The only bookstore owner I’ve ever known who lived in a gated community? The community was a trailer park. Every extra penny she had went into making the bookstore survive. You don’t start a bookstore to become fabulously wealthy. You start it because you really love books.
    Jeez, these people really do make up their own reality, don’t they?
    p.s. vwcat, I’m sorry for your loss.

  5. Athenae says:

    vwcat, so sorry about your furry friend. Scout’s actually the one with the kitties, I just enjoy them vicariously.
    A.

  6. donna says:

    Why anyone reads that vile bitch is beyond me.
    Honestly, I used to read both liberal and conservative blogs when I started getting interested in politics, but now, I can’t even read the right-wing tripe. It is just too hostile.

  7. thebewilderness says:

    The part that tickled me was the bit about how all those book store clerks are lefties, cuz you know, they read and stuff.

  8. The_Other_Sarah says:

    oh, vwcat, I am sorry for your loss.
    The staff on site trying to help global warming probably did need to do a little more research — an HVAC system NOT running properly (ie shut down during the hottest part of the day) is a bad thing indeed, and in a bookstore, the opportunity for bad things to start happening to the merchandise makes me shudder!
    (but then the clerk’s probably never done an indoor air quality investigation in a school library where the “money saving” aspect of “energy management” meant the HVAC shut off at 4 p.m. sharp every day and came on at 7:45 a.m. every schoolday morning — causing all the warm moist air that had built up overnight in the building to drop its moisture load on the books, leading to rot, mold, and binding failure. The school was not yet five years old. The library was a travesty, but the real gross sight was the band hall: every leather instrument case in there had a thick film of green slime.)
    On the other hand, why was the “Christianist” looking at the girl’s rear? Pedophilia?
    That part of the story really creeped me out.

  9. Virginia Berry says:

    I am a little person looking for a job. For over 30 years I was a legal secretary. I have am now looking for employment as a legal secretary, secretary or receptionist. I live in Belleville, New Jersey and would like to work in the area, particularly in Newark, since I use mass transit to get around. I would appreciate any help; if you know of any job openings. My e-mail address (I use the public library)is Virginia_berry@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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