Rise of the shit jobs

Hospital staff, Logistics industry and retail employees: The current crisis also shows in Kassel, whose work is essential for our society. A conversation with Luisa, who works in a supermarket.

By Arthur Becker

A few years ago the anarchist theorist David Graeber coined the name Bullshit-Jobs. These are jobs, which are usually well paid, but are actually useless, because they bring little or nothing to society. It's an army of people, whose main occupation it is, Powerpoint presentations, Create documents and service processes about problems, which would not even exist without their imagined line of business.

The exact one They are the opposite of that Shit-Jobs. These are indeed useful and meaningful, but are usually poorly paid and experience little appreciation. Or in Graeber's words: "If got a shitty job, the chances are not bad, that he so that it still does something good in the world. "

The actual Crisis now shows particularly clearly, whose work is essential for our society is. Suddenly many places are from “Systemically relevant professions”, and are not meant by it CEO, Investment bankers or top managers, but before especially nurses or employees in retail as well as the Logistics industry. However, these jobs can easily be put into the sort in the second category: True, they are useful and important, but the working conditions are often bad and the wages are still poor worse. This injustice is now caused by the Corona crisis clearer than ever.

With irritating Suddenly, even large media recognize and surprise conservative politicians: The human, who care for us, when we get sick are, who bring us parcels home, the shelves in the supermarket or transport goods across Europe for days, to earn Recognition for their work.

Both So far, employees in the supermarket have not received much of this. Many customers are stressed and from the access restrictions of the supermarkets annoyed, tells Luisa *, the one in the branch of a large one Supermarket chain works in Kassel.

“It is true that every now and then someone says something like 'Stay healthy!'Or' You are totally important!‘But there are also many, who sniff at us, because they are stressed themselves. Overall, however, more people are slowly starting to notice, that you also deserve recognition as a cashier. "

However, no one can earn rent or bills from recognition alone pay. It is a sign of a rethinking, that many people through agreed, common claps or small gestures of theirs Express appreciation. Employees can buy on lower end of the food chain of this, however, in the truest sense of the word Word nothing. As long as there is nothing in the poor pay changes, will also change the image of the Shit-Jobs not improve permanently.

But a higher one Salary and better working conditions must above all from the Employees themselves are required. The current Discourse and the broad debate about the lack of recognition in help certain professions and employees more Giving confidence. So far, the mood in your company not particularly combative, however, says Luisa. Still be she and her colleagues become closer together due to the exceptional situation moved.

“We talk a lot more, are now much more there for each other. That feels more solidarity than before. "

Also within of the company is mainly about the Corona crisis and its consequences, because the impression prevails, that's not enough for safety done by the employees. There are many Safety precautions in the supermarket, but above all they aimed on it, protect customers. Many of her colleagues are that opinion, that the high risk of infection, which they do through their work are delivered, not enough counteracted. Who of the For example, an employee wants to wear a face mask, would have to Bring your own and gloves are only available for the checkout staff. Older colleagues in particular are afraid, to get infected.

While the Managing other supermarket chains special payments for their Employees plan, there was for Luisa and her colleagues from the Corporate management so far just got it a bouquet and a Thank you letter from the boss.

“The bouquet was pretty, but maybe has in purchasing 3 Euros. We would have been more pleased about a raise. "

*Name changed