Books that help make sense of work

Looking at the blogs myself, and considering the remarks made by those who have filled in questionnaires, I can't help feeling that a highly common theme in all of this are multiple attempts to make sense of work in some shape or form. Making sense of something, however, can take on many different formats and what is being made sense of will be particular to each blogger. For instance, I get the impression that some blog about work as a means to decide whether to stay in a job or not and some feel frustrated by the restraints put upon them by their organization, but don't want to leave. This blog is about helping that process somewhat by referring to a number of books that may help with the blogging process. To prevent any more ramblings I'll introduce some books with brief commentary.

The first is THE SCHEME FOR FULL EMPLOYMENT by Magnus Mills. This tells the tale of two groups of workers who are dispute with each other - one wants to work the full eight hour shift (full dayers) and the 'swervers' are in favour of getting off early on a regular basis. The twist in the tale is how two sets of similar workers end up destroying their comfortable and stable working regime. For me the point is conflict in the workplace is just as much about in-fighting as it is about conflict with the objectives of more senior employees or the organization itself.

Three similar books - HARD WORK: LIFE IN LOW-PAY BRITAIN, NICKEL AND DIMED, BELOW THE BREADLINE are very easy to read books that obviously refer to workers dealing with not only low paid jobs, but poor treatment and little job security or satisfaction. They all involve the authors (all female) going undercover. All of these books could have started as a blog so if this is you get writing!

A range of books published in the last ten years look at THE CORROSION OF CHARACTER under new capitalism, being DISGRUNTLED and THE DARKER SIDE OF WORK, how OVERWORK is turning many into WILLING SLAVES, and, NO LOGO considers how massive corporations hyper-exploit workers in rich and poor country.

Other books include Pat Kane's PLAY ETHIC that seriously questions our (not that encouraged by our employers) work ethic and how to resist the onslaught of 'info-capitalism'. On a more playful note Carl Honore's IN PRAISE OF SLOW gets the reader to think about the extent to which any regular person had a say in why our lives are becoming so fast that we can rarely take stock of what is going on around us. Finally, if you can speak French (I can't, but I've read interpretations - and it's due to be published in English) then consider Corrinne Maier's book called HELLO LAZINESS! WHY HARD WORK DOESN'T PAY. I think the title gives the plot away, but if you don't have the opportunity or will to fight your employer head on and fed up of chasing that carrot that you can never quite get your hands on, then this is for you.

Happy reading! However, buy the books from wherever as I only link to Amazon for convinience sake. Also, let me know about any other good work-related books.

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