Barbara Ehrenreich

A Quote by Barbara Ehrenreich on labor, work, and corporations

[Networking] feels "fake" because we know it involves the deflection of our natural human sociability to an ulterior end. Normally we meet strangers in the expectation that they may truly be strange, and are drawn to the multilayered mystery that each human presents. But in networking, as in prostitution, there is no time for fascination. The networker is always looking over the shoulder of the person she engages in conversation, toward whatever concrete advantage can be gleaned from the interaction-- a tip or a precious contact. This instrumentalism undermines the possibility of a group identity, say, as white-collar victims of corporate upheaval. No matter how crowded the room, the networker prowls alone, scavenging to meet his or her individual needs.  

Barbara Ehrenreich

Source: Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Pages: 62

Contributed by: aarons

A Quote by Barbara Ehrenreich on work, labor, corporate, new age, and skeptic

Among other things, [books by Bruce Doyle III and Mike Hernacki] explain the importance of the "winning attitude" I have been urged to adopt: a positive attitude "attracts" or "fulfils", depending on which author's weird science you go with, postiive results, with little or no action on your part required. Herein, too, lies the answer to the question I once posed ...: would it be enough just to fake a winning attitude? No way, according to Doyle:

'People who just pretend to have a positive attitude may be more acceptable, but they will still attract according to how they are really vibrating-- the energy they are emanating will attract their circumstances.'

The obvious liberal rejoinders come to mind: What about the child whose home is hit by a bomb? Did she have some bomb-shaped thoughtform that brought ruin down on her head? And did my [fired white-collar workers] boot-camp mates cause the layoffs that drove them out of their jobs by "vibrating" at a layoff-related frequency? It seems inexcusably cruel to tell people  who have reach some kind of personal nadir that their probem is entirely of their own making. ...

But from the point of view of the economic 'winners'-- those who occupy powerful and high-paying jobs-- the view that one's fate depends entirely on oneself must be remarkably convenient. It explains the winners' success in the most flattering terms while invalidating the complaints of the losers. Patrick's clients, for example, came to the boot camp prepared to blame their predicament on the economy, or the real estate market, or the inhuman corporate demands on their time. But these culprits were summarily dismissed in favor of alleged individual failings:depression, hesitation, lack of focus. It's not the world that needs changing, is the message, it's you. No need then, to band together to work for a saner economy or a a more human-friendly corporate environment, or to band together at all. 

Barbara Ehrenreich

Source: Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Pages: 84..85

Contributed by: aarons

A Quote by Barbara Ehrenreich on labor, work, and skeptic

Career coaches can perhaps be forgiven for using baseless personality tests [Myers-Briggs, Enneagrams, etc] to add a veneer of scientific respectability to the coaching process. But the tests enjoy wide credibility, not just among coaches, but among corporate decision makers. .. . So why is the corporate world, which we think of as so fixated on empirical, in fact quantifiable, measures of achievement like the "bottom line", so attached to these meaningless personality tests? One attraction must be that the tests lend a superficial rationality to the matching of people with jobs. ... Of course, if the function of the test is really ideological-- to promote the peg-in-hole theory of employment-- they do not have to be in any way accurate of predictors of performance of satisfaction. They serve more as underpinnings of corporate etiquette, allowing employers to rationalize rejection or dismissal in terms of an inadequate "fit". We believe that there is a unique slot for each person, the tests announce-- even though we may fail to find it in your particular case.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Source: Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream, Pages: 32..35

Contributed by: aarons

A Quote by Barbara Ehrenreich on ethics and politics

I was raised the old-fashioned way, with a stern set of moral principles: Never lie, cheat, steal or knowingly spread a venereal disease. Never speed up to hit a pedestrian or, of course, stop to kick a pedestrian who has already been hit. From which it followed, of course, that one would never ever -- on pain of deletion from dozens of Christmas card lists across the country -- vote Republican.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Source: unknown

Contributed by: kerryg

A Quote by Barbara Ehrenreich on work


Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed quietly and unobtrusively by someone else.

Barbara Ehrenreich

Contributed by: Zaady

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