They reinvented indentured servitude

They reinvented indentured servitude
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A dragonfly bungled its way into the car as I was pulling into the parking lot at the new Market Basket up the road and I tried to backhand shwoop it out but it got itself turned around somehow and started ping-ponging between the dashboard and the windshield real fast like one of those videos you see now and again where the guy is twenty feet behind the table and still fucking wailing winners across the net bink bonk bink bonk bink bonk bank. Both of the guys. Like missiles. Like dragonflies honestly. Look at this dumb idiot though. With its wings flapping so invisibly. How fast they go but useless now. A helicopter in a garage. Hundreds of millions of years of evolution only to be defeated by the sensible and safe affordable interior of a Toyota Corolla. This guy’s ancestors had two foot wingspans and knew what dinosaur blood tasted like. I thought of our own great great grandfathers stepping out of the time portal at five foot eight with the vest on with the rustling watch chain and the high pants and their stinking dirty asses all spitting in god’s face if they lived to sixty five and here’s us now sitting on our computer nineteen hours a day being allergic to milk and living to one hundred without even noticing that it’s profane. I turned the defogger on high cool and hoped it would sort of wind-pulse him toward the open passenger window but despite having a head almost entirely made of eyes and being able to fly in a way that every evil scientist defense contractor alive is trying to replicate with robots he was totally chunking it. He was gonna die in the cranny there for nothing. In the nook. Just on account of how the wind blew him into my car. I was going to let it all play out off camera while I went inside to purchase the water and bread I need to make me alive but I felt bad so I went to gingerly nudge the guy onto my outstretched downturned hand so I could usher him back out into the sky world but he moved weird at the last second bink bonk bink and I put my finger through his little ancient skull and some of it ended up on the glass and the smudge stayed there for a good long while. All those scary little teeth accounting for scale of course and it came to nothing with respect to self defense. It was like the bugs got together and put on a production of The Opposite of Jurassic Park where the people were the monsters. I guess they must have had their own version of Sam Neil and all them on their side trying to save this guy and save the day for everyone but I wasn’t aware of them as of yet and there was no way they were coming up behind me laying an elaborate trap. There was nothing that was ever going to get my ass as far as I knew. I was doing what came naturally. I thought maybe in the original movie the dinosaurs were just trying to help the humans get back to where they belonged.

What do we prefer of these options for titles for my book? I am partial to the first two myself.

A creature wanting form
There's something in the water
The sea is never full
Like waiting to be hung
A conceivable tragedy
The sound of the Atlantic
A burnt child dreads the fire
Maybe a period of grace
Each day a last minute reprieve
The universal cannibalism of the sea

Oh right that reminds me I still need a couple more blurbs so if you are a reasonably to exceptionally well known writer or media type or whatever who would like to see the manuscript and (ideally) say something good about it please let me know!

Thanks for reading. It would be nice if you purchased a subscription please and thank you.

If you didn't read this piece from last week for paid subscribers here's a pretty good recommendation for it.

Liberal Democrats Enter their Charismatic Phase

I forget if I ever shared this piece in the newsletter or not but I posted it to the site the other day so check it out if you are one of the people who "read Hell World for the music."

If it’s supposed to be sad why are we all having fun
This essay is the foreword to The Anthology of Emo: Volume 2 which is great and which you should buy here. For an excerpt of the book featuring an interview with Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World go here. Jimmy Eat Hell WorldIt’s like the defining point where the


Ok here's some news to get mad about.

Photo By Susan L. Angstadt/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

For people who really love animals working at PetSmart as a groomer no not that kind probably seems like a great job right? You get to take care of pets working for a nice reputable company and they'll even teach you how to do the work you love "for free"! One drawback however is that once you complete that on the job instruction at their Grooming Academy (during which the company is still profiting off your labor as customers pay a discounted rate for trainees' grooming services) you are subject to to the terms of their Training Repayment Agreement Provisions and yes that abbreviates to TRAP. My apologies to sci-fi writers whose world building I have judged harshly for being too on the nose.

These terms quite literally trap workers into two years of employment at PetSmart. If you leave before that time period is up – or even if you are fired – you will be expected to pay back the $5,500 the company estimates it has invested in you.

That's all alleged in new class action suit brought against the company in California by former employee BreAnn Scally.

It's a pretty good deal for the largest retail pet store in the U.S. you have to admit. They get to underpay workers who are not allowed to seek out better pay or better working conditions elsewhere without the looming threat of being forced into sizable debt. I believe that used to be called indentured servitude. It's also a sort of workaround for saddling workers with a kind of "student debt."

Scally said that she was regularly made to handle an unreasonable number of pets and to work through her lunch and breaks among other things all while being paid minimum wage. She had wanted to leave for a while but was worried that she might be retaliated against by the company and sure enough when she eventually did quit there came the debt collector used by the company who wanted the $5,500 back. Where's the fucking money we want the money. This naturally fucked up her credit score preventing her from being able to apply for a lease for an apartment and stopping her from being able to take out loans to go to veterinary school she said.

“PetSmart is just another company cynically engineering new forms of student debt as a tool to trap workers,” Mike Pierce of the Student Borrower Protection Center said in a statement. “Rather than compete on wages and benefits in a tight labor market, PetSmart turned to contractual tricks to lock its employees into a hamster wheel of financial harm. Today’s action should send a clear warning to anyone interested in turning on-the-job-training into a debt trap: keep your paws off working people’s livelihoods.”

Probably didn't need the two animal references there bud but it's fine.

It's not just PetSmart who trap workers to be clear. It's actually a pretty common set up in a number of industries as the SBPC laid out in a recent report titled Trapped At Work.

Firms ranging from hospitals to roofing contractors are harnessing risky and lightly regulated credit products to stifle competition and trap working people in low-paying, substandard employment conditions. These firms’ weapon of choice is “shadow” student debt, or non-traditional forms of credit used to finance higher education and job training. By trapping workers in shadow student debt, employers belie the promise of on-the-job training and ensure that workers will face massive financial consequences if they exercise their right to find work elsewhere.
This report outlines the results of an investigation by the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC) into the role of Training Repayment Agreement Provisions (TRAPs) as a form of shadow student debt. The investigation reveals that TRAPs have become more prominent in use by major employers, which often control a large market share of their respective industry, affecting millions of workers every day. Although employers argue that these provisions are a way to recoup the cost of teaching useful skills to employees who may depart sooner than anticipated, TRAPs are instead often used to trap people in poor working environments and low-paying jobs. In other words, TRAPs function in the real world as a penalty for leaving a job. And, even if the TRAP is not enforced, its presence has the power to accomplish the intended consequence of pressuring workers into staying.
This scheme may sound familiar—TRAPs are often structured with the stifling of labor market competition in mind, in an attempt to evade existing state and federal worker protections including state-level bans on noncompete clauses. Much like other nefarious contractual clauses that are intentionally hidden from plain sight and specifically designed to restrict workers’ freedom and rights (such as arbitration agreements, which aim to limit a party's ability to access the courts for legal redress), TRAPs are merely a manifestation of employers’ tendency to abuse a legal regime highly deferential to contract enforcement to bolster their control over many workers. Quite simply, TRAPs are part of a much larger problem.

Read the rest of the report here.

Perhaps if you don't care for animals you might consider working at another popular chain like Chick-fil-A. Well not working working in the sense that you exchange your labor for money. More like volunteering your time and then they'll toss you some chicken.

That was the deal recently being offered by a Chick-fil-A location in North Carolina.

Unsurprisingly and understandably people lost their shit when they saw this post on Facebook. Chick-fil-A as you probably know is a very popular chicken store! They do around $11 billion in revenue per year. They can afford to pay people money.

Vice called up the store and spoke to manager Ryan. Ryan said people love the famous chicken so much they actually do want to volunteer there just to be associated with it.  

“What happens with some brands in a community is that they establish a relationship with the community. As a result, there’s an expression of desire from the community to be more a part of what that brand is doing,” he said.

“We get people all the time that want to be a part of what we’re doing. This is designed to be an opportunity for that.”

There was also a statement from the store saying it was basically fine and anyone who doesn't want to do it doesn't have to what is the big deal?

“Thanks for everyone’s concern on this matter,” the store said in response to a post that said it should not be offering “volunteer” positions. “This is a volunteer based opportunity, which means people can opt in to volunteer if they think it’s a good fit for them. We’ve had multiple people sign up and enjoy doing and have done it multiple times. People who sign up for this chose it voluntarily. We are still hiring full-time and part-time team members, so if you are interested in working in our store, we pay $19/hr.”
“During the launch of our new drive thru express we offered opportunities for customers to earn free food to simply traffic direct other guests,” another post by the store read. “Usually a win-win for us and the volunteer who gets free Chick-fil-A! That way, our team can focus on serving the guests in what we do best.”

I don't feel good man. I mean I usually don't feel particularly good but worse than that like. Here let's watch this video together to somehow dig deeper.

Look at this smug fucking piece of shit. This fucking turd. Doing shtick about his absolute unchecked power and his subjugation of women.

I may not be much of a Catholic anymore besides the guilt and self-loathing and giant Irish head but let us pray that someday soon he will be embraced in the arms of our lord and savior Jesus Christ. :)

Don't read about this case of sexual assault by a cop by the way. I'm just putting this here so you don't read it. It's good that qualified immunity was reversed here but disgusting that it was granted in the first place.

It's fucking brutal man it's like watching a predator in the water circling and circling and taking its time.

On September 18, 2018, Wade Tyson called the Sheriff’s Department
of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife, Melissa
Tyson (“Tyson”). Wade reported that he was out of town and worried about his wife, who was home alone and distressed. Defendant Deputy David Boyd called Tyson that evening and told her that he would visit the next morning to conduct a welfare check. He introduced himself as a sheriff. He told her that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher. During the call, Tyson overheard Deputy Boyd tell other officers not to respond to Wade’s request for a welfare check on Tyson because he was addressing it.
The next morning, Deputy Boyd showed up alone at Tyson’s home in
a plain car and wearing a shirt identifying himself as a “Sheriff.” He was not visibly carrying a weapon. Tyson offered a handshake but, instead, Deputy Boyd hugged her. Deputy Boyd asked if there was a place that they could talk. She led him to chairs and a table on the side porch of the house. Before sitting down, Deputy Boyd asked if she had security cameras or neighbors, and he began to search the exterior of the home. Tyson said that she did not have cameras and her neighbors were usually not home. He commented that Tyson “must be lonely with [her] husband being gone” and “living . . . by [herself] the majority of the time at a dead-end road.” Tyson said that she wasn’t lonely, she was fine. She testified that she thought the officer’s behavior was strange, but she gave him the benefit of the doubt because he was helping her.

Read the rest of the case here but like I said do not.

Ok well that all fucking sucked so here's something joyous to think about for the road. See ya!