BARBARA EHRENREICH ~ THE WHITE-COLLAR UNEMPLOYED ~ BAIT AND SWITCH ~ 2005

~ O-W-C-OG-D/L/T/CP-HDBACOS-AAS-FT-T-PS-UITETW-W-P-TEOSBTTO-BUBT-FOL-SOATFPAB-U-TDTA-AAA-E ~ Other – White-Collar – Occupational Groups – Doctors / Lawyers / Teachers / College Professors – Have Done Better At Carving Out Some – Autonomy And Security – For Themselves – Their – Principle Strategy – Undertaken In The Early Twentieth Century – Was – Professionalization – The Erection Of Steep Barriers To The Occupation – Backed Up By The – Force Of Law – Some Occupations Added The Further Protection Afforded By – Unions – To Defend Themselves Against – Arbitrary And Autocratic – Employers

~ TFO-W-CW-T-BT-A-D-TJ-A-TPA-IUATT-I-O-TA-UFIT-MC-OOC ~ The Failure Of – White-Collar Corporate Workers – To – Band Together – And – Defend – Their Jobs – And – Their Professional Autonomy – Is Usually Attributed To Their – Individualism – Or – To An – Unwarranted Faith In The – Meritocratic Claims – Of Our Culture

~WSTW-CWA-A-LTSV-I-TRTTI-AAU-W-TE ~ What Sets The White-Collar Workers Apart – And – Leaves Them So Vulnerable – Is – The Requirement That They Identify – Absolutely And Unreservedly – With – Their Employers

~ TW-CF-IETE-TF-TTCOOT-‘C-S’ ~ The – White-Collar Functionary – Is Expected To Express – Total Fealty – To The Current Occupants Of The – “C-Suites”

~ TCEOMBAF;TCBMBBC-A-SYARTSUAWTSQ-U-ATLNOL-OW-CWS-TLINRR ~ The CEO May Be A Fool; The Company’s Behavior May Be Borderline Criminal – And – Still You Are Required To Serve Unstintingly And Without The Slightest Question – Unfortunately – As The Large Numbers Of Laid-Off White-Collar Workers Show – This Loyalty Is Not Reliably Reciprocated

~ NGIBS-O-P-BM-TL-TDOTMC-T-TU-ATTC-RTCI-A-BTAAA-PF ~ No Group Is Better Situated – Or – Perhaps – Better Motivated – To Lead – The Defense Of The Middle Class – Than – The Unemployed – Assuming That They Could – Recognize Their Common Interests – And – Begin To Act As A – Political Force

~ T-W-CU-TPW-‘PBTR’-DER-A-SEUIR ~ The – White-Collar Unemployed – The People Who – “Played By The Rules” – Did Everything Right – And – Still Ended Up In Ruin

~ C:TCTCTAWFC-EITFOOO ~ Courage: The Courage To Come Together And Work For Change – Even In The Face Of Overwhelming Odds

BARBARA EHRENREICH ~ BAIT AND SWITCH ~ 2005

~ SWTEDO-2001-THBARIUAHCAEP ~ Starting With The Economic Downturn Of – 2001 – There Has Been A Rise In Unemployment Among Highly Credentialed And Experienced People

~ TEMBLU-TCMBRIC-A-STLC-LAPFONS-WOTTASAWATM-TPWPHBUVE:D/R-S/S-S/R/D-L ~ The Economy May Be Looking Up – The Company May Be Raking In Cash – And – Still The Layoffs Continue – Like A Perverse Form Of Natural Selection – Weeding Out The Talented And Successful As Well As The Mediocre – This Perpetual Winnowing Process Has Been Institutionalized Under Various Euphemisms: Downsizing / Right-Sizing / Smart-Sizing / Restructuring / De-Layering

~ H-L-EAP-T-OFTSPDOTTAL-PWEWMWTJIOTMEM ~ High-Level – Executives And Professionals – Today – Often Face The Same Punishing Demands On Their Time As Lower-Paid Wage Earners Who Must Work Two Jobs In Order To Make Ends Meet

~ MP-F-DHTDE-N-FTSFJAAATWOAWARR ~ Many People – From – Displaced Homemakers To Downsized Executives – Now – Find Themselves Searching For Jobs At An Age That Was Once Associated With A Restful Retirement

~ ‘CC’-YCDYAC-WAC-NATARALOYS ~ “Career Coaches” – You Can Declare Yourself A Coach – Without Any Credentials – Nor Are There Any Regulatory Agencies Looking Over Your Shoulder – Which Means That

~ IATTOM-AA-‘B’-O-ALA-P ~ I Am To Think Of Myself – As A – “Brand” – Or – At Least A – Product

~ ‘ES’-AT-TF-F-SS-A ~ “Elevator Speech” – A Thirty- To Forty-Five-Second – Self-Advertisement

~ A-POU-IALT-DOCR ~ A – Period Of Unemployment – Is Also Likely To – Damage One’s Credit Rating

~ E-ETLO-NLBTRRAA-TSTWCPSFT-DK ~ Employers – Especially The Large Ones – No Longer Bother To Read Resumes At All – They Scan Them With Computer Programs Searching For The – Desired Keywords

~ TW-CWSTCOTG:TWCFWAA-A-TWAEIJWTWMMTTWT ~ The White-Collar Workforce Seems To Consist Of Two Groups: Those Who Can’t Find Work At All – And – Those Who Are Employed In Jobs Where They Work Much More Than They Want To

~ TIOT-‘WA’-APA-‘A’-O-‘F’-DOWAWSYGW-PR-W-LONAOYPR ~ The Importance Of The – “Winning Attitude” – A Positive Attitude – “Attracts” – Or – “Fulfills” – Depending On Which Author’s Weird Science You Go With – Positive Results – With – Little Or No Action On Your Part Required

~ DM-BCM-C-TLTDTOOTJ-B-‘V’-A-AL-RF? ~ Did My – Boot-Camp Mates – Cause – The Layoffs That Drove Them Out Of Their Jobs – By – “Vibrating” – At – A Layoff-Related Frequency?

~ IS-IC-TT-PWHRSKOPN-TTPI-EOTOM-B-FTPOVOTE-‘W’-TWOPAH-PJ-TVT-OFDEOO-MBRC-IETWSITMFT-WITCOTL-INTWTNC-ITM-IY-NNTT-BT-TWFASE-O-AMH-FCE-O-TBTAA-WAOOE ~ It Seems – Inexcusably Cruel – To Tell – People Who Have Reached Some Kind Of Personal Nadir – That Their Problem 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 – 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 More Human-Friendly Corporate Environment – Or – To Band Together At All – We Are Our Own Enemies

~ ‘JC’-O-MA-JL-HBI-STIAL ~ “Job Change” – Or – More Accurately – Job Loss – Has Become Inevitable – Several Times In A Lifetime

~ TIITPA-A-HMOTU-MC ~ The Idea Is To Pass As – A – Hereditary Member Of The Upper-Middle Class

~ JS101:AES/APR/N-N-N ~ Job Search 101: An Elevator Speech / A Polished Resume / Network – Network – Network

~ TONW-“IWHATS’-O-S-“ISUATF’-B-ALOO-IRE-WHOTBLO-A-TRTPUAFDJO-RMSFOE ~ The Old Narrative Was – “I Worked Hard And Therefore Succeeded” – Or – Sometimes – “I Screwed Up And Therefore Failed” – But – A Life Of Only – Intermittently Rewarded Effort – Working Hard Only To Be Laid Off – And – Then Repeating The Process Until Aging Forecloses Decent Job Offers – Requires More Strenuous Forms Of Explanation

~ MTWPOA-CE-WIT-AUR-F-W-CE-ITITYTSSAKYEO ~ Maybe The Whole Point Of A – College Education – Which Is The – Almost Universal Requirement – For – White-Collar Employment – Is That It Trains You To Sit Still And Keep Your Eyes Open

~ WADF-R/W/S/L-NF-SUDAD ~ We Are Designed For – Running / Walking / Squatting / Lounging – Not For – Sitting Upright Day After Day

~ A-G-OAK-FAP-CR/CFAEP/RFAI-EC-IU-IYHSEMOYLMMFSE-YCFAGAJ ~ A – Gap – Of Any Kind – For Any Purpose – Child Raising / Caring For An Elderly Parent / Recovering From An Illness / Even Consulting – Is Unforgivable – If You Haven’t Spent Every Moment Of Your Life Making Money For Somebody Else – You Can Forget About Getting A Job

~ TFIOOCI-Y-POTD-Y-YAS-B-TDRSSIYF ~ The Feeling Is One Of Complete Invisibility – You – Pound On The Door – You – Yell And Scream – But – The Door Remains Sealed Shut In Your Face

~ IIM-R-T-CMTD-O-SAM-PA? ~ Is It My – Resume – That – Consigns Me To Darkness – Or – Something About My – Physical Appearance?

~ S-OYFIT-L-W-S-J-T-TAGCTYWRT-AUTFAMSAPW ~ So – Once You Fall Into The – Low-Wage – Survival-Job – Trap – There’s A Good Chance That You Will Remain There – An Unwilling Transplant From A More Spacious And Promising World

~ IASW-WIMEBIAP-DM-CASO-F/R/S ~ In A Society Where – Worth Is Measured Entirely By Income And Position – Downward Mobility – Carries A Sense Of – Failure / Rejection / Shame

~ HW-WB-RW-MCAS-THNBTOTWC-MOWTAAWIWTER-A-N-IIIUOT-EM-C-TSTCB ~ Hard Work – Will Be – Rewarded With – Material Comfort And Security – This Has Never Been True Of The Working Class – Most Of Which Toils Away At Wages Incommensurate With The Effort Required – And – Now – It Is Increasingly Untrue Of The – Educated Middle-Class – That Stocks Our Corporate Bureaucracies

~ SHHTCDITVSCTHUT ~ Something Has Happened That Cuts Deep Into The Very Social Contract That Holds Us Together

~ T-‘TI’-WIM-NE-T-U-AT-PE-CGT-TECBSFA-W-RD-LPTSKOA-NSDOAO-APSCATEAICGIS-‘ALIKTIANA’-WACR-B-HLCWO!-TAQ-WWILGWIGTCSM?-I-COBICBA ~ The – “Transition Industry” – With Its Many – Networking Events – The – Unemployed – And The – Precariously Employed – Can Get Together – Those Events Could Become Settings For A – Wide-Ranging Discussion – Leading Perhaps To Some Kind Of Action – No Such Discussion Or Action Occurs – Any Potentially Subversive Conversation About The Economy And Its Corporate Governance Is Suppressed – “At Least I Know That I Am Not Alone” – Was A Common Remark – But – How Little Connection Was Offered! – The Aching Question – Why Was I Let Go When I Gave The Company So Much? – Is – Cut Of Before It Can Be Asked

~ B-WDECTPJ-ALTITRGFE-C-TC/PS/LOR-EOCTCFOS-WAAT-TINOWTGJ ~ But – We Do Expect Corporations To Provide Jobs – At Least That Is The Rational Given For Every – Corporate – Tax Cut / Public Subsidy / Loosening Of Regulations – Elected Officials Coddle The Corporations For Our Sake – We Are Always Told – There Is No Other Way To Generate Jobs

~ ASP-TSWNLBATATWOTWHBE-NMHHTT-A-MAMWILTO-E-I-S ~ At Some Point – The Survivors Will No Longer Be Able To Absorb The Work Of Those Who Have Been Eliminated – No Matter How Hard They Try – As – More And More Work Is Left To The – Exhausted – Insecure – Survivors

~ EBPT ~ Empirically Baseless Personality Tests

~ IE-A-B-L-N-F-Z-B-WIEW-ACRW-AUTTTUTFAL-B-ATUH-PBC-A-STWMT-T-TTANFTTHBCOTHBOICAC-PTSA-W-TCEO-‘P’-A-‘A’ ~ I Expected – A – Brisk – Logical – Nonsense-Free – Zone – But – What I Encountered Was – A Culture Riven With – Assumptions Unrelated To Those That Underlie The Fact- And Logic-Based – Addicted To Untested Habits – Paralyzed By Conformity – And – Shot Through With Magical Thinking – Then – There’s The Almost Numerological Faith That Things Have Been Clarified Once They Have Been Organized Into Categories And Counted – Perhaps The Strangest Aspect – Was – The Constant Emphasis On – “Personality” – And – “Attitude”