It’s been a few difficult and long months – more on this soon –  but this week was the first time in I-can’t-remember-when that I was able to sit at a coffee shop with a book with no schedule, without a pressing sense to spend my time on more productive and pressing activities. I’ve missed it. At said coffee shop, a local chain called Serious Coffee,  I was reading Emily Guendelsberger’s On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane in which she describes what it is like to work at a McDonalds, an Amazon warehouse, and a call centre.

I’ve always been drawn to ethnographies, stories from the inside, and such – please offer favourite books and articles in the comments – and this quote was a good reminder of the challenges we face in our efforts to understand other people’s experiences (p. 56-57):

I came to SDF8 [an Amazon fulfilment centre] to try to understand what it feels like to work in a fulfilment center. But the thing I really and truly understand now is that, regardless of how broke I may be, I’m the upper class. I always will be. I won’t ever really understand what it feels like to work here, because I know that I get to leave.