Thinking About Work

Anne Helen Peterson had a piece in her Substack recently about work patterns among people in supposedly higher end jobs. It’s all about how they put in the extra hours, never take all their vacation time, and so forth.

People in less prestigious jobs do not work extra, but of course they don’t get paid well and these days are often stuck with jobs with erratic hours and no benefits.

The solution to both these problems is unionization, as Peterson points out. Of course, people in white collar jobs think they’re too good for that and people in a lot of service jobs are risking their rent and food money when they organize.

It occurs to me that when I went to work as a legal editor and reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (known as BNA) — a major publisher of notification services for lawyers and other professionals that was at the time I went to work for the only legal publisher in the U.S. that was not owned by a foreign company — I ended up in a white collar salaried job where I worked the stated hours every week and went home and left the job behind.

After some years of practicing law, especially in a nonprofit firm that specialized in low income housing and never had enough resources, it was a relief to go home and forget about work.

Here’s the thing about BNA: it was owned by its employees and we had a union. Continue reading “Thinking About Work”