“I get to leave.” That was the mantra going through Emily Guendelsberger’s mind as she endured almost a year of low-wage jobs. Unlike her suffering co-workers at Amazon, Convergys, (a call center used by AT&T) and a San Francisco McDonalds, Emily knew that her time at each position would only last a few months.
When her newspaper folded, reporter Emily Guendelsberger decided it was the optimum time to fling herself into the low-wage workplace, to see for herself the indignities and despair dished out to those at the bottom of the labor market. A year later, she left with burns, a recurrence of PTSD, bad feet, a repetitive-motion injury to her wrist, and never-ending respect for the people stuck in such thankless jobs.
Like many people, Guendelsberger worked fast food in her teen years. She was raised on the rule “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” She thought she had a good idea of what would be asked of her, but instead she entered a new era of technological surveillance. Time management studies, scheduling software, and the ability to track every minute of a worker’s day has made even the thought of having “time to lean” an impossibility.
Amazon stocks vending machines with pain killers workers can access with a swipe of their badge, because that wastes less time than going to see the nurse. Convergys has mind-numbing acronyms and procedures that must be precisely followed – until they’re changed the next week. There’s always a line at McDonalds and the McFlurry machine is always broken because the algorithm scheduling workers ensures that no one has a minute of extra time for preventative maintenance. Fed up enough to quit? Go ahead, no one cares. Constant turnover is just one more accepted business practice.
On the Clock has terrific insights about how these types of jobs deal out stress and despair along with low wages. Guendelsberger provides clear explanations on the beginnings of time management studies, human anxiety, and the current business practices that suck all the personal control and joy out of a multitude of jobs. Why do we have our present government? Why are people so stressed out? Why is there an opioid crisis? Read this book and you might begin to understand why.
It is my pleasure to present to you Ink Cloud 2020. It has been a gift during quarantine to put this edition together for those who were able to participate.
Please take a few moments to enjoy the transformative effects of art created by Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff. We do not typically receive much traffic on this blog, but if you do stop by and one of these poets or artists reaches you, please let them know in the comments!
Let’s give everyone a reason to keep creating and sharing.
This is the true story of Jesse Brown, the U.S. Navy’s first black carrier pilot.
It is a story of an unconventional friendship that developed between the son of a poor sharecropper from Mississippi and a rich white kid from New England.
It is a war story from the Korean War. It portrays the horrors and heroism that can be found when nations collide. Being a true story, the good guys don’t always win.
But it is also a love story. You will follow Jesse as he meets the love of his life and starts a family.
This story will make you laugh, cry, shake your head at events that happened. But it is for me ultimately an inspiring story of a young black man who overcame prejudice and racism to make history.
Warning: This book is an unflinching telling of Jesse’s life. It begins in the South of the 1920s. Some readers today may find it hard reading about what Jesse and his family endured. But you do not learn from history by running away from it.
Well at least he doesn’t have to worry about coronavirus. Talk about social distancing!!
This is one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.
For those who have not seen the movie, this story follows an astronaut/scientist who is accidentally stranded on Mars. What follows are his endeavors to survive while back on Earth they are trying to figure out if a rescue mission can even be attempted. You will love this guy. He is funny (in a self-deprecating way), very innovative in his solution to problems (and they are nonstop), strong of spirit (never give up). But he is also very aware of the dire predicament that he is in.
For those who have seen the movie, it closely follows the book. But due to time constraints, you have only seen a small part of the story. If you liked the movie, I think it is worth your time to continue with his story.
Andy Weir was a software engineer and follower of science before turning to writing. This book is not science fiction portraying events hundreds of years from now. I think it is an actual attempt to place this event in our very near future and follow what might really happen if a rescue mission was ever needed.
In 1996, the Academy of American Poets designated April as National Poetry Month “to remind the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters.” Twenty-four years later, during this uncertain shelter-in-place April, we turn once more to poetry.
Poet Mary Catherine Harper, who gave a reading on the Warsaw campus in March, shares that during this time especially, “Poetry reading is a vital part of my daily routine. Poetry sustains me.” Adjunct English professor Shari Benyousky, who thinks of poems as conversations, says that writing poetry, “is really helpful therapy these days of being cut off from so many people.”
This year both the Warsaw and Fort Wayne campuses are actively celebrating National Poetry Month. Ivy Tech Warsaw is posting a poem a day to its Facebook page drawing from a range of poets, styles, and themes, including Lynn Ungar’s timely poem “Pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the Ivy Tech Fort Wayne Library is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to write and contribute poems toInk Cloud, the annual poetry publication which showcases campus poetic and artistic talents. With an extended deadline of April 19th, time remains to submit!
Interested in exploring poetry and making it a sustaining part of your life? Here are some resources to start with.
I would heartily recommend this book to other closet scientists like myself.
It looks at 50 topics and tries to explain in real-life terms whether these things could happen. Is The Force real? How much would it cost to build a Death Star? Could a single blast from the Death Star destroy the earth? Can you build a light saber? And many more.
Mark Brake developed the world’s first science and science fiction degree in 1999. He also launched the world’s first astrobiology degree in 2005.
If you have advanced training in the sciences, this book may not be detailed enough for you. But the book is written in a way that I understood it while I was reading it. It was fun and thought provoking at the same time.
While isolating ourselves for the remainder of the semester, wellness may be demanding priority in your daily routine. Among the many national observances that the library will be recognizing this month, Stress Awareness Month is particularly relevant. Home life can sometimes compound stress. Whether or not we now have time for ourselves, take time for yourself.
Here are three eBooks available to Ivy Tech students and faculty that may provide some ways of mitigating stress:
More specific to the challenges we face from the ongoing pandemic, you may have noticed a number of emails from the college itself. Included were references to Ivy Tech programs like IvyCares and IvyAssist, which assist students in connecting with critical social services or other vital community resources.