More People, Less Jobs

So I don’t have an issue making coffee for a living. I also write content for a broker, which is awesome–I mean, I’m a freelance writer who works at a coffee shop also. How Seattle is that? But what I do mind is people thinking those who don’t have jobs are lazy. See there’s a real problem in our society that equates work to productivity and your contribution to society. But making coffee for people doesn’t make the world a better place. It just feeds people’s caffeine addiction. Writing copy for corporations–and I’ve written for companies you’ve definitely heard of, doesn’t make the world better, it just tells people they should buy more things they don’t need.

Now I’m really lucky because with the advent of the internet I was given a job. Freelance writing from home is a great privilege and it’s a job I would not have had even 3 years ago. Or even 2 years ago. However, for every job the internet creates many are destroyed. I mean Amazon has made bookstores basically obsolete. Right now we have Uber and Lyft that provide jobs and autonomy to people, but what happens when Google’s driverless cars are everywhere. We won’t need human drivers to take us places. So technology is getting better and better and jobs are fewer and fewer. When do we, as a culture, a society realize, oh, there are way more people in the world than there are jobs. So the people who don’t have jobs aren’t lazy, there just isn’t paying job in existence for them. Do we let these people starve? Why would I need a janitor if we have a robot who can mop?

Look, I know it feels like homeless or jobless people are lazy sometimes. And some of them are. But many have skills that are simply not used anymore in the work place. A man who used to manufacture cars is no longer needed. Robots do his job and there’s another robot that fixes those robots. Just one guy is employed to fix that one robot, and that’s only part time. So what happens when work ends? I don’t know. But we need to come to an understanding that the end of work, isn’t as far away as we think.

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6/3/15 Do it right

Working in a fast paced environment is a lot of fun for me. I enjoy the feeling of getting a lot done by the end of the day. I think it comes down to work ethic. It pervades my writing habits as well. When I wake up and don’t get my writing done, I feel as though I’ve wasted the day. It’s like a nagging sensation, as though I’ve forgotten something that day. The truth of the matter is not that I’ve forgotten something, instead it’s that I’ve chosen not to do something that is part of my routine and routine is the way I can write. If I’m on a tangible schedule it’s a much easier for me to sit down and write.

The same is true when I come to work. It’s like changing your face. Getting ready for the game, preparing yourself to perform to a certain standard. By the end of the day, I like to be able to look back on the things I’ve done and say, “yes, I did a lot today.” When it comes to working a job, it’s always nice to be kept busy. The last thing I want to do is be costing the company money by standing around while no customers are there. The whole point of a job is to be useful. If I can’t be of use to the company at that time, I shouldn’t be standing around trying to make myself busy. Conversely, if there is lots to be done, time can fly when you are busy. It’s fun to look at the clock and realize you’ve been working for hours and not even known it.

Pulling your own weight at a busy job also can make you feel like part of the community. If other’s are busy and working with purpose it’s easier to live up to those standards. When I’m working in an environment such as this, I want to be a model in this regard. If I’m working hard and getting a lot done, hopefully that encourages others to do the same.

While I like being fast and efficient, I’m also of the school of measure twice cut once; I rather ask for specific directions if I’m unsure what my superior co-worker and do something right, than guess and do something wrong. Communication is something that is always important when on the job, even during busy hours and stressful circumstances. Sometimes it’s best to take your time and communicate with customers and co-workers in order to get the best results even if it takes slightly more time. The point is: accuracy matters and there isn’t any point in doing something fast if it’s done wrong.

5/29/15 Bookstores

Bookstores aren’t just a layover in someone’s life. They aren’t on an errand list when someone is going about their day. With Amazon taking so much of the business away from bookstores, the one thing a bookstore can offer that you can’t find anywhere else in such a centralized location, is community. Bookstores are a place for people to gather. A place for discussion about literature, about marketing books, about how the book selling process works and how it is changes–as it is changing with such speed.

While it’s easy to focus the sales aspect of books, it’s also important to remember the quiet and calm bookstores provide. People come to bookstores for similar reasons they go to a library. To pick out a couple books, stack them on a table and rest in an armchair or on a couch in a quiet, dusty corner and dive into the pages of potential love affairs.

Bookstores also bring a certain amount of discussion to the choices of literature. Be it nonfiction, fiction, or poetry, bookstores are a place to discuss our favorite stories, reason through our favorite philosophies, glean more from simple lines pack with so much meaning as poetry is want to do. A bookstore is like one big book club, with everyone reading different books and then sharing ideas of why they did or didn’t like each volume they’ve poured over. And this all circles back around to community. A customer of a bookstore isn’t there because they know exactly what they want. They are there to discover, to listen for recommendations.

Bookstores are also a platform for authors, publishers, editors, and other gears in the publishing world. That book sellers are just the front lines, can’t be forgotten. Bookstores are a stage for those who aren’t usually in direct contact with customers. They are the link between industry and populace and provide a chance for writers to see and meet the people who spend so much time pondering their craft, examining their characters, and debating their ideas.

See, a bookstore is much more than a bookseller. It is an institution that provides a connection between an industry that often times feels and looks far away. Bookstore are the great bridge. They are the high stage for aspiring writers and best selling authors. They are discussions waiting to happen, and a quiet place to curl up and lose on oneself in the pages in a book. They are for book clubs and homebodies, bookworms and the lost and confused. For those who have a destination in mind, and for others who just want to enjoy the journey of finding that perfect book. With so much revolving around bookstores, with so many thoughts, so much relying on the continued institution bookstores have become, it’s difficult not to admire these spaces, to want to be part of those communities that bring free speech, free thought, and such art to the lives of the people who are stepping into a bookstore, whether in a hurry or not, but arrived within this space to pursue a journey