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Author Event: On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane By Emily Guendelsberger
Thursday, August 8th at 7pm
On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane by Emily Guendelsberger
Please join us on Thursday, August 8th at 7pm for a book talk with Emily Guendelsberger who will be visiting Longfellow Books to talk about her new book, On the Clock.
About the book:
The bitingly funny, eye-opening story of a college-educated young professional who finds work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly labor
After the local newspaper where she worked as a reporter closed, Emily Guendelsberger took a pre-Christmas job at an Amazon fulfillment center outside Louisville, Kentucky. There, the vending machines were stocked with painkillers, and the staff turnover was dizzying. In the new year, she travelled to North Carolina to work at a call center, a place where even bathroom breaks were timed to the second. And finally, Guendelsberger was hired at a San Francisco McDonald's, narrowly escaping revenge-seeking customers who pelted her with condiments.
Across three jobs, and in three different parts of the country, Guendelsberger directly took part in the revolution changing the U.S. workplace. ON THE CLOCK takes us behind the scenes of the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce to understand the future of work in America - and its present. Until robots pack boxes, resolve billing issues, and make fast food, human beings supervised by AI will continue to get the job done. Guendelsberger shows us how workers went from being the most expensive element of production to the cheapest - and how low wage jobs have been remade to serve the ideals of efficiency, at the cost of humanity.
ON THE CLOCK explores the lengths that half of Americans will go to in order to make a living, offering not only a better understanding of the modern workplace, but also surprising solutions to make work more humane for millions of Americans.
"Emily Guendelsberger's On the Clock is among the best of these new accounts of multibillion dollar corporations maximizing profit at the expense of their workforce. In Guendlesberger's case, there are some familiar villains-Amazon and McDonald's-along with a call center job, but what really separates this diaristic account is that it's funny. Which I suppose you have to be when you're doubleshifting in an Amazon warehouse a month before Christmas and the vending machines are stocked with painkillers and you don't even know if you'll have a job in the New Year." — Jonny Diamond, Lit Hub Editor-in-Chief
"ON THE CLOCK is a bracing, revealing tour through realms of the low-wage economy that remain invisible to too many Americans. Emily Guendelsberger is a compelling guide into this world, recounting her experiences in prose that is both barbed and appealing. ON THE CLOCK is the NICKEL AND DIMED for our even more harried and dehumanizing times." — Alec MacGillis, author of The Cynic: The Political Education of Mitch McConnell
"ON THE CLOCK reads like a dystopian travelogue, the deckhand's journal from a flaming garbage barge on the shoals of late-stage capitalism. Guendelsberger's journey 'in the weeds' of low-wage America is mordantly funny, devastating and rigorous, a broadside against the exploitation of the many by the few and a warning of how easily our sociopathic economy could all come crashing down, leaving even C-suite executives to subsist on ketchup packets and worthless stock options." — Jessica Bruder, author of Nomadland Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century
About the author:
Emily Guendelsberger has worked at Philadelphia City Paper, the Onion's A.V. Club, Philadelphia Weekly, and the Philadelphia Daily News, and has contributed to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Politico magazine, and Vice.