Recent comments in /f/Worker

bloodrose wrote

I'm just hoping with how overworked everyone in my company is that no one has time to look at any of said data if my company is collecting it. I suspect if they are, they are using it either:

  1. To metric on a broad basis to justify not giving us raises or whatever (they'd find something to fit their hypothesis no matter what)
  2. To get ammunition if they have already decided to fire someone

In both cases, what I do on the work-provided laptop will have no meaningful impact.


Reply to comment by Tequila_Wolf in The leftwing deadbeat by Tequila_Wolf

Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

In particular, what I found good was the later stuff around these points:

  • the whole section on one-on-ones. In the little bit of organising I've done around rent strike, it seems to be the major thing that matters.

  • "The most capable, militant fighters who emerge in a given campaign are often people who had zero leftist commitments prior, or even any previous union experience. There’s a natural reason for this: folks are fighting from the heart, for what really matters to them and their family. Their motivation doesn’t come from abstract politics, as is the case for some leftists."

  • "Political ideology is, for many people, an identity, not a set of practical commitments."


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote has impressed me on multiple occasions with their articles.

I often get the sense that although they are doing workery stuff that a bunch of it is genuinely good. So I'd love to hear criticisms and what people generally think of this piece.


existential1 wrote

Framing actions in terms of popularity assumes the lens through which the majority view your work is well-informed and will listen to you good faith. That assumption is almost always wildly off-base.

Just do your thing, whatever it is. If the majority gets it, great. If not, great.


Kylie wrote

You have to protect the things you can, so when the cashier at the Harris Teeter checkout counter asked Matt Gillette if he wanted anything double-bagged, he considered the stakes.

“I’m really just worried about the eggs,” he said, before carefully wrapping a second bag around a carton.

The eggs were not his. Gillette, 36, makes shopping runs for customers who place orders via Instacart from the safety of their homes. On this day, Gillette’s cart held provisions for three households. He was worrying about their eggs so they didn’t have to.

He is part of a corps of workers who have become essential in the coronavirus pandemic: those who are willing to risk venturing out to places that many people are trying to avoid.

Gillette was dressed for the job in jeans and a T-shirt. No mask, no gloves. He had hand sanitizer and wipes in his car, for disinfecting after the fact.

“As an HIV-positive person, it does worry me a little bit,” he said. But, he added, “I am more cognizant of the fact that I’ve got to survive.” In this case, survival didn’t just mean avoiding infection; it also meant continuing to work so he could buy groceries of his own.

The eggs would make it safely into Gillette’s car and then safely up Connecticut Avenue, en route to their destinations: a large apartment building, a penthouse with a private elevator operated by a concierge, and a home in upscale Chevy Chase, where a voice would ask him if he would mind leaving the groceries on the other side of the door.

For years there has been talk of a divided America: those who have thrived in the modern economy and those who have been hurt by it. The wrath of a highly contagious coronavirus has made that dividing line bluntly literal: It’s about two inches thick, and it locks.

Gillette spent the past two years trying to make the gig economy work for him. He’s driven people around via Lyft, done their handiwork via TaskRabbit. It hasn’t been much of a living. He’s been on the verge of homelessness, crashing with friends and asking others to take in his beloved dog, a Labrador mix named Nitro. He’s currently living with a friend, kicking in rent when he can. Things had been looking up in early March, when he was in line to interview for a management position with a local parking company. Then came the novel coronavirus, the closures, the stay-at-home orders. Gillette sanitizes his car after completing grocery run. Gillette sanitizes his car after completing grocery run. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Health-care professionals warned that the coronavirus would not discriminate between rich and poor, black and white, insured and uninsured. But there is emerging evidence that covid-19 is killing a disproportionate number of African Americans, and the virus’s broader economic fallout is not egalitarian. Salaried workers fortunate enough to be able to work remotely have a couple of safety nets: the paychecks that are still being deposited into their bank accounts, and the health-care plans that will protect them financially if they do fall sick — a scenario made less likely by the privilege of teleworking. An Axios/Ipsos survey released last week found that 48 percent of upper-middle-class Americans are working from home, compared with 11 percent of their lower-middle-class counterparts. For the latter group, it’s seldom an option.

Among the most vulnerable to coronavirus: The tens of millions who carry HIV and tuberculosis

When Gillette signed up to deliver groceries for Instacart, he joined a small army of colleagues in the Washington area that he may never meet. You can spot them by their uniform, a lanyard around the neck, sometimes a T-shirt: green for Instacart, blue for Amazon Prime Now. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) And by the way they constantly stare at product details on smartphones as they attempt to do other people’s grocery shopping for them.

They are folks like Moe Ali, a 27-year-old tile salesman who can’t sell tiles during a quarantine but still needs to provide for himself and his wife, who is a student. Angelique Thornton, a 24-year-old with thyroid cancer who lives with her elderly grandparents. (“I’m extremely nervous,” Thornton says.) Nina Makel, a 32-year-old mother of four who estimates she has been working 60 hours a week lately — mostly at a Whole Foods in Friendship Heights that regularly has more shoppers-for-hire than regular customers these days. And ­Phyllis Greenhow, a woman in her 50s whose immune system is compromised because of kidney problems and a recent heart attack. She is giving half of her Instacart earnings to a friend who got laid off from a pizza parlor. Greenhow’s adult daughter wants her to stop but is not winning that argument. “I am one of these people that believes God has me,” Greenhow explains.

Some of Gillette’s new colleagues joined one-day nationwide strikes of people working for Instacart, Amazon and Whole Foods last week. The workers, who do deliveries or fulfill orders in warehouses, demanded increased hazard pay and safer conditions. The strike succeeded in garnering national attention and some concessions from the companies, though many workers say they still don’t feel safe.

Grocery shopping during the coronavirus: Wash your hands, keep your distance and limit trips

Still, for folks who need work, it’s one of the few opportunities available right now. Instacart says its orders have increased 300 percent in recent weeks, compared with last year at this time. And in the last week alone, 50,000 new people became Instacart shoppers. Some of them, surely, are among the more than 17 million Americans who have filed for unemployment in the past month.

Gillette did his first Instacart run the day after the strike. He was “a little overzealous” his first time out, he said, trying to fulfill multiple orders in a store he didn’t know well. Instacart calculates how long it thinks its shoppers should take to complete the shopping based on historical data it tracks through the app. Gillette took an average of 153 seconds per item that first day; the app suggested he step it up and “use these metrics to track your progress as a shopper,” a reminder that some of his pay would depend on speed.

“Our fastest shoppers earn the most,” Gillette read as he looked at the app. “Learning to shop faster will help you fulfill more orders.” Gillette makes a grocery delivery. Gillette makes a grocery delivery. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

On his second day, he went to a familiar Harris Teeter to fulfill a single order. At first the store’s WiFi wasn’t working well on his phone, which made it impossible to load the customer’s shopping list. Eventually the 27-item list loaded and Gillette, in a black vest and a gold-sequined baseball cap turned backward (still no gloves or mask), steered a shopping cart with a defective wheel through the produce section. Furrowing his brow, he examined a container of blueberries to see if it matched the brand specified by his customer.

Gillette spent years working in restaurants and cares too much about food to prize speed over quality. When he saw that the button mushrooms the customer ordered were out of stock, he dictated a text message recommending that the customer consider replacing the item with oyster mushrooms instead. “They’re $9.99 a pound,” he said. “And worth every penny.” Gillette prepares to fulfill an order at Giant. Gillette prepares to fulfill an order at Giant. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Every replacement required a consultation. Every unfulfilled item could cost Gillette a bit of tip money. The customer would take the oyster mushrooms, but the shortages kept coming and the responses to his questions slowed. No regular ground beef. Could he grab the grass-fed kind? Chicken drums were gone. Did they want wings instead? No answer.

Time was ticking, so Gillette moved on: to a soup aisle that was picked over, a pasta shelf that was nearly bare and a stretch of emptiness where the bread used to be. He stuck his head down the toilet paper aisle — “Nope!” Compromise would have to be the order of the day. After more than an hour in the store, he wheeled to the checkout area.

With travel time, the job took two hours to complete and paid just under $40. Gillette says most of his customers have been grateful and generous — one even handed him $20 in a zip-top bag. When customers request that Gillette leave their bags at the door, he understands. People are supposed to keep their distance.

Shopping for others won’t net Gillette a fortune, but it’s the kind of money that could help him stay afloat — if not indoors — while the pandemic runs its course.

And afterward? Maybe the TaskRabbit work will return. Maybe the position with the parking company will open back up. Maybe he can rent his own place and get Nitro back.

Gillette’s voice catches. Being apart from his dog, Gillette says, is “hard every day.”

Lately, everything has seemed hard every day.

But the nationwide strike by his fellow Instacart shoppers did bear some fruit: Gillette was notified late last week that Instacart would soon be sending him a personal safety kit with a thermometer, hand sanitizer and a reusable mask.

By Monday, he had already started wearing one. You have to protect the things you can.

“I hate things on my face,” he said. “But I would rather be alive.”


lautreamont wrote (edited )

It's not as much about having a "home", but what a home allows for maintaining a level of sustainability where most shit outside is shut down.

Like... Where will you have a regular shower/bath when schools, gyms and public pools are closed? How will you be able to maintain your bike when it's raining and chilly outside and got no place where to keep your tools and spare parts? So you end up relying on expensive services.

It's a bunch of details like these that makes homelessness suck really bad under Covid-19.


lastfutures wrote

Yeah grocery stores feel real fuckin sketch right now. Literally every other type of store in my area is closed right now, it's a ghost town, and then you go to the grocery store and it's chaos, but in a very weird quiet way. Honestly their mental health must be eroding pretty quick if they aren't taking good care of themselves.