Unemployment remains at 9.7% nationwide meaning that over 30 million Americans do not have jobs. Those that do have jobs often have jobs that require them to wear a tie they don’t like and get yelled at when they get the wrong coffee for everyone at the lunch meeting. No one does statistics on the amount of people who have jobs they actually like, but I’m willing to bet those are pretty low too. Almost everyone I know, and I know pretty much everyone in America, works some kind of service sector job. Most of my friends have college degrees and they are either out of work, or sitting in a Taco Bell being asked, “Are you sure you don’t have too much experience?”
I think they should start measuring job happiness as fervently and regularly as unemployment, after all, having a job you like is just about as important to your psychological well being as having a job at all. My friends that are scrambling to find work are no less happy than my friends that call me at seven p.m. when they get home and complain about how they had to listen to “Rick” all day telling them to “make sure they grammar check all their emails” even though “Rick” spells tomato with an “e” at the end. Because if you don’t measure job satisfaction, and demand that as an inalienable right, then you end up working in a coal mine for three dollars an hour to pay for a house owned by the company you work for.
Over the course of the last fifty years, more and more jobs have sprung up in the service sector as independent business vanished and was replaced by large multi-nationals who need peons rather than independent thinkers. As a result, where our parents and grandparents once dreamed of “owning their own business” we now dream of “working at Starbucks because at least they have health care and the manager has a Mohawk so he’ll let you do whippits in the storeroom.”
This is not ideal. I say everyone who graduates college in the next five years hold a collective nationwide “work we want strike” and only try to get jobs they actually care about doing. If that many people didn’t enter the workforce to perform menial shitty tasks that no one wants to do, then those tasks would have to get rethought, or eliminated.
I’m fortunate enough to be able to do something I really like for a living, but I had to work really hard and only eat on Tuesdays because they had three for one tacos at Del Taco for like eight years to get to a point where I could do that. Not everyone has the resolve or wants to only eat Del Taco 59 cent tacos for eight years to get to the point I’m at, and it’s high damn time we worked together collectively to say that if more than 60% of the American workforce wakes up every Monday wanting to die because they don’t want to spend 60 hours of their week getting yelled at by some prematurely balding guy they’re smarter than to smile more at the customers, then something had ought to be done.
(Photo Via: Zepfanman)