alec ramsdell a_ramsdell at
Wed Sep 23 18:29:40 PDT 1998

I fear my posts are tending to become a little all over the place, since I don't have time to read all the posts and engage with others (I have to get off my arse and set my computer up and get an internet provider). I did want to write a little about my current temp job.

I am at law firm X for one of those grand industry-demanded conversions, from Word Perfect to Word, where much labor is exploited for totally non-productive ends. I'd like to say it's the technocrats and software fetishists, but it's such an entrenched thing. I'll just say it's Bill Gates' fault. It is so stupid that this happens. And frustrating, to put it mildly, for the workers. Days of retraining on software that's full of bugs, months of tedious conversion for no other reason than document re-compatability. Fuck Bill Gates. We should have stopped at the telephone, no, make that the telegraph.

My new buddies in word processing are pissed off because of the following. As a paliative or "incentive" (fuck paliatives and incentives) they were given raises. However, they received lower raises than the core administrative staff. The reason? Money was needed to pay temps like me to come in and do a lot of make believe labor along with them. Only we can't even do the make believe labor yet because the Word software is so crappy it keeps bugging out. My co-workers in Word Processing recieved about a 2% raise when the norm is 5-7%, which is what the other administrative staff received.

At this point their is a move among the word processors to confront management and demand an equal raise. All I can say is, I hope it happens for their sake. One of them told me it really fosters an individualistic, looking out for myself kind of attitude. It was the first time I saw even a hint of collective activity in this kind of firm. They can be a feisty crew, so it could happen. We'll see.


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