Call Center Purgatory <$BlogRSDURL$>
Call Center Purgatory
Saturday, April 17, 2004
  Nickel & Dimed......

Recently I have read part of a book called Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. The author's name is Barbara Ehrenreich. I also heard her interviewed in depth on NPR*. She sets out to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is impossible to get by on minimum wage, and that the ideas of people moving from welfare to unskilled jobs and making it out of poverty is a lie. She does this by leaving her prosperous job as a writer and take a series of low paying jobs and living in different efficiency apartments and trailers. Even if you don't agree with her politics, it's a good read.

I came to a lot of my more economic and social liberal leanings late in life. I am still struggling to reconcile republican morals and democratic compassion. I was raised to believe everyone can make it if they just work hard enough. But my own parents struggled and declared bankruptcy, a lot of people around me struggled. When I finally joined the work force I learned about this same struggle, and the long hours, the indignities, never getting ahead, the raises never materializing, and utter frustration. I knew that something was not right, but never knew how to describe it. In the last couple years I was introduced to the term: False Consciousness.
This is a sociological term coined by Karl Marx. Here's some definitions from Google**

An awareness mystified by ideology and unaware of its own basis in relations of oppression; failure to recognise one’s own oppression as a result of internalizing dominant political discourse.

Simply put, society has programmed us to believe that by working harder we will be rewarded, as a way to control us by following it's rules and norms. Many of these rules and norms are actually meant to keep us quiet instead of working towards a true meritocracy like we believe they are meant to.

I'm not advocating the overthrow of society***. I don't want to distribute the rich people's properties to the poor. I just think it's time that we stop gobbling down every pile of Purina sheep chow**** that the government tries to put in our feed dish. We need to speak out. We need to fight the concept that economics is always about giving the rich more tax breaks and being so stingy with social benefits to those that need it!

*no link today, haven't I linked enough? this isn't Air America for crying our loud.

** Ok, one more link, but I still don't like Al Franken...

***You hear that Mr. Ashcroft? I'm not trying to start any trouble. me good prole. In case you may be monitoring this,thanks to the patriot act.

**** New formula with valium-filled alfalfa pellets! stop that persistent bleating about health care for all, fair minimum wages and ending corporate welfare!
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Exploring the mind numbing insanity and childish corporate culture of an unknown call center employee.

Purgatory: A place of suffering and torment with an unknown duration. In Roman Catholic Theology-the place where the dead are purified from their sins.

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"One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better." -Blaise Pascal

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