Your Dissertation Lit Review was a Waste of Time, and Other Lessons from the Service Economy

An interesting point about alienation of labor in the service economy.

A Post-Academic in NYC

The last few posts have described my latest post-academic gig at a tech firm where I am paid hourly to do administrative work. (“Administrative” is a fancy word for “secretary,” of course.) The office where the firm is located is temporary. The firm may be temporary too. Who can tell? My employers seem to have a lot to do, though I am only vaguely aware of the services they offer to the people who pay them.

My employers sit at computers all day and have frequent conference calls with clients. They complain constantly about being overworked and about the stress they’re under to make this new company a success. Inexplicably, I am very sympathetic to their plight and would like to help them succeed. Yet, from a proper perspective, their success means nothing to me.

I am rarely told what I will be doing each week in advance. I…

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2 responses to “Your Dissertation Lit Review was a Waste of Time, and Other Lessons from the Service Economy

  1. Wow, that’s depressing. To me, the worst part is how much educational debt people are shouldering to hold jobs that never needed those degrees.

    • I’m lucky enough, as a teacher, to feel that I’m not alienated from my work within the classroom. But I guess that what I could identify with in this post is the alienation that arises in teaching when so many new rules and mandatory tests are ordered by politicians and policy types who don’t seem to understand what classroom teaching is really like.

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