Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bored at Work

Anyone who thinks America has many fulfilling jobs using their many educational skills should know that Craigslist personal ads like the one mentioned below are common. As bored at work ads go though this one stands out, even among bored at work ads. We cannot help notice the 41 minutes. That is not 40 minutes. That is not half an hour; that is 41 minutes.

“I have only been at work for 41 minutes and feel like I have been here for hours. Because of the holidays coming up my days at work are spent looking at websites like [sic] please come talk to me. I can only chat through e-mail, but it is on all day. My job will allow me to look at a lot of websites while I sit here bored, but I can't us[sic] IM, so we have to chat through e-mail. Care to talk?"
-Personal Ad Craigslist website, Washington, DC, Dec 2005

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Job for You

Daycare Attendant - FT position 7am - 4pm M-F, and occasional Saturdays 9-4pm (rotate Saturdays every 4-5 weeks). Starting salary $9/hr. Job responsibilities include supervising dog play activities, keeping the play area clean, and walking dogs at predetermined times. Candidate should have strong dog behavior skills, an understanding of pack behavior, ability to remain calm and react to aggressive play, dog handling skills, timely, responsible, strong communication skills, flexibility, and enjoy work as a team player. Candidate must have more than just a LOVE for dogs.

-Internet Job Advertisement, 2005

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gas and Service

There was a time long ago when a trip to the gas station brought a service station attendant to the driver’s window. It was always a he in my experience and the usual practice was for the driver to say “fill’er up” or maybe, “10 gallons” or something like that. The service station attendant might nod but then usually it was “Check your oil?” The oil check was an option, but they would always clean your windshield. That was assumed.

In the present self service world the gas station attendant has given way to the cashier. However, service station attendant remains as a defined job in the Standard Occupational Classification. In the Standard Occupational Classification a service station attendant may lubricate a vehicle, change motor oil, install antifreeze or replace lights or other accessories in addition to fuel service.

Service Station attendant is 4 to 5 percent of gasoline station employment nationwide. Oregon is one of only several states that does not permit self-serve gasoline stations. A service station attendant must pump your gas. Apparently in the state of Oregon the driving public cannot be trusted to avoid smoking, lighting matches or leaving their car motor running when they fill up. Safety requires a service station attendant.

In 2004 the 50 states average of service station attendants per 100,000 population is 412, but 34 states have 412 or less. The low is South Carolina with 132 service station attendants per 100,000 population. In Oregon it is 2,163 service station attendants per 100,000 population, more than 5 times the national average.

Self-serve gas is a do-it-yourself job for everybody: a true social leveler. In the Washington, DC area it is not uncommon to see someone in fancy business clothes pop out of a shiny BMW and pump their own gas. These people may be going off to important policy meetings with gas on their hands, but not in Oregon. Oregon’s regulation helps us notice the trade off between jobs and social equality. Viva la service.