This morning, whilst waiting patiently for the edit system to reboot, I perused a NY Times magazine circa 1999. Therein, i found a column called “The Ethicist” which appears to be something like a “Dear Abby” for the civilized, urban soul. The Reader’s Question (paraphrased)
“i am in charge of this slacker temp. I would like him to do better work, but appreciate and pity the unenviable position of being in a shitty, low-paying job where you do nothing but data entry all day. I also am hesitant to report him, cause his job sucks so bad I would just feel guilty for making his life even more worthless and miserable. What do I do?”
the querent’s answer is not so important as this sentence, which almost made me laugh and cry at the same time.
“… if anyone’s acting unethically here, it’s your boss; it’s ignoble to force people into soul-deadening, pointless, poorly paid jobs. Organizing work into tedious, repetitive tasks, while profitable for the few, makes life miserable for the many; some political economists have called it a crime against humanity.” (Randy Cohen)
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