Summary of “Why Millennials Should Lead the Next Labor Movement”

After years of studying our bathroom’s stack of union publications, I grew enthralled with the existence of union negotiator guys who looked just like my dad, dressed in the Midwestern anti-fashion of workboots and fleeces to guard against our seemingly eternal winters.
Belonging to a union is a form of education that the current national political regime opposes and that states have been working to weaken so that we are unable to be fairly compensated for our work.
The dangers of not being able to receive information about wages, hours and working conditions or the bargaining power that unions provide are legion.
As just one example, back in my native state of Wisconsin, after Gov. Scott Walker passed an anti-collective-bargaining law that sharply curtailed unions’ right to fight on behalf of their workers, he was able to pass another law a few months later that eliminated Wisconsin factory and retail workers’ right to weekends off.
At a time when the government wants to disembowel public and private health care and when wages are on the decline, our best recourse to these threats is to join existing unions or unionize ourselves.
The last big boom for American unions came during a period that resembles the present one: The Great Depression, like the ’08 recession, left workers deeply unsatisfied with wages and working conditions.
Thanks to the New Deal’s favorable collective bargaining legislation, Americans felt free to organize unions and petition their employers for labor rights; there were 12 million labor union members by the end of World War II. People like me, who have mental museums filled with memories of the stability that came with our parents’ union jobs, could be the perfect leaders of the next labor union renaissance.
The union newsletters my father kept in our bathroom magazine rack may have faded, but their message – about the value of jobs that provide a fair wage, reasonable conditions and the ability to care for a family – is as timely now as it ever was.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Are We So Unwilling to Take Sylvia Plath at Her Word?”

Back in April, the Guardian dropped an apparent literary bombshell-new letters had been discovered from the poet Sylvia Plath, alleging horrific physical abuse at the hands of her husband, the British poet Ted Hughes.
Even, from time to time, by Hughes himself, who casually claims to have burned Plath’s journals from the last two years of her life, in his forward to the 1982 Journals of Sylvia Plath.
In the hunt for a deeper understanding of Sylvia Plath, things are always going missing.
The only way we can discount the certainty of that abuse is if we choose to disbelieve Plath at her repeated word in her journals, reports to friends and family, and now, it seems, letters to Dr. Ruth Barnhouse, Plath’s therapist-turned-confidante.
Paul Alexander’s Rough Magic contains a dramatic account of Hughes attempting to strangle Plath on their honeymoon in Benidorm, Spain-a grim tale supposedly told to the author by Aurelia Schober Plath, Sylvia’s mother, who allowed herself to be interviewed for the book.
Plath, the Real Plath, always elusive, was in here, I felt.
Barely a year later, as the newly married couple was teaching in Massachusetts, Plath caught Hughes with another woman, a co-ed; this erupted in a spectacular fight, which left Plath with a sprained thumb and Hughes with “Bloody claw marks.” Again and again, some similar fight; again and again, she forgave him, sometimes turning the blame on herself.
Ted Hughes gaslit Plath for the seven years that they were married, and when she died? The bulk of the American and British literary establishment picked up where he left off.

The orginal article.

Summary of “As a Guru, Ayn Rand May Have Limits. Ask Travis Kalanick.”

Rew F. Puzder, Mr. Trump’s first nominee for secretary of labor, is described by friends as an avid Ayn Rand reader.
The Whole Foods founder and chief executive John Mackey, an ardent libertarian and admirer of Rand, last month had to cede control of the troubled upscale grocery company to Amazon and Jeff Bezos.
“Rand’s entrepreneur is the Promethean hero of capitalism,” said Lawrence E. Cahoone, professor of philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross, whose lecture on Rand is part of his Great Courses series, “The Modern Political Tradition.” “But she never really explores how a dynamic entrepreneur actually runs a business.”
Rand’s defenders insist that the problems for Mr. Kalanick and others influenced by Rand aren’t that they embraced her philosophy, but rather that they didn’t go far enough.
Yaron Brook, executive chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute and a former finance professor at Santa Clara University, who teaches seminars on business leadership and ethics from an Objectivist perspective, said, “Few business people have actually read her essays and philosophy and studied her in depth.” Mr. Brook said that while Mr. Kalanick “Was obviously talented and energetic and a visionary, he took superficial inspiration from her ideas and used her philosophy to justify his obnoxiousness.”
Rand “Had enormous respect for people who worked hard and did a good job, whether a secretary or a railroad worker,” he said.
Mr. Allison handed out copies of “Atlas Shrugged” to senior executives and is a major donor to the Ayn Rand Institute.
“Mention Ayn Rand to a group of academic philosophers and you’ll get laughed out of the room,” Mr. Cahoone said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What to Do When Your Heart Isn’t in Your Work Anymore”

What if they’re not? What if you’re stuck in a job or a career that you once loved, but your heart isn’t in it anymore?
According to a 2017 Gallup survey, only one-third of U.S. employees feel engaged at work; that is, only one of three workers brings a consistently high level of initiative, commitment, passion, and productivity to their job.
You might question the ultimate meaning of the work you’re doing.
According to research by Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski, people tend to fall into one of three categories: Some see their work as a career; others see it as just a job; and still others see it as a calling.
Even if you don’t find your true calling, you will at least increase the odds of finding a meaningful work experience.
What novel tweaks can you make to redesign your job, even slightly? Sometimes even the smallest adjustments can lead to qualitatively meaningful changes in your work experience.
Having an outlet for your passion outside of work can counterbalance the monotony of nine-to-five daily work.
These inspirational endeavors can even have unintended positive spillover effects at work, giving you energy and inspiration to craft your job or reengage with parts of work you actually like.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A 3-Step Process to Break a Cycle of Frustration, Stress, and Fighting at Work”

Bring to mind a conflict at work, and you’ll probably have the perpetrator in mind: your incompetent boss, that passive-aggressive colleague, or the resource-hoarding peer in another department.
Frustration, low-grade fear, irritation, and even rage are familiar companions at work.
We don’t thrive physically, we are disengaged and unhappy at work, and our brains don’t work properly.
If you want to break this cycle and have fewer destructive conflicts at work, the first step is to become more aware of your feelings and reactions to pressure and stress.
Telling yourself you don’t have time or are not inclined to “Work on yourself” will keep you stuck in a bunker mentality at work.
To minimize stress and conflict at work, we need to replace “I, me, mine” with “We, us, ours.” We need to stop seeing each other in terms of what we can get, and replace it with what we can give.
Developing self-awareness, increasing your emotional self-control, and recharging relationships at work takes commitment, but you don’t have to remake yourself to improve how you deal with strife.
As tempting as it is to blame others for our strife-ridden companies, the best way to make work a more enjoyable, productive experience is to lean in to our natural empathy, learn to care for ourselves and others, and take responsibility for our feelings and actions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Rise and Fall of Working From Home”

Last year, Richard Laermer decided to let his employees work from home on a regular basis.
Flexible work remains popular at many organizations, but most companies want workers at work at least some-if not most-of the time.
Telecommuting comes in many flavors, and 77 percent of organizations don’t let people work from home on a full-time basis.
Most employers allow ad-hoc remote work for the person who needs to stay home for the plumber or wait for a package.
Technology such as chat programs and collaboration software made remote work feasible for many white collar workers in the last couple of decades.
Some organizations found the most lenient work-from-home policies kept workers too isolated for that kind of work.
Earlier this year the tech giant told 2,000 U.S. workers they could no longer work from home and about the same number of employees that they had to commute into offices more often.
“IBM’s strategy is about adopting the best work method for the work being done,” said an IBM spokesperson.

The orginal article.

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If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time.
The basic message is that great things-projects, inventions, works of art, personal goals-take time and effort to produce.
Still, there’s something more to Epictetus’s comparison to figs and other fruits.
Not only does it take time to grow a fig, but there are several stages and transitions for the fig to reach its complete, edible stage.
You may hear tales of overnight successes from time to time, but you’re not getting the whole story.
You may be seeing their “Fig” for the first time, but they spent a lot of time and energy growing it.
Even a success as small as a fig, a fruit you can devour in a matter of seconds, requires time, growth, and milestones that must be met along the way.
Focus on turning your work into a plump, juicy fig that dangles temptingly from the tree of life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Making the Most of Working From Home”

How is it possible to work from home and be productive with so many distractions and temptations? Your mindset and environment are just as important as good old-fashioned self-discipline as a recipe for remote work success.
Offsite workers tend to be productive even when they’re sick, and typically work five to seven more hours per week than their on-site counterparts.
One of the biggest perks of working alone in your home is boundary blurring.
Working in a chaotic house full of teens or kids, or just an elbow’s length away from a sink full of dirty dishes are both distractions you don’t need.
Work in small, intense periods of time, and can get work done in significant chunks.
“I work from home three days a week and am able to keep work and home separate simply because I have a six-year-old that demands my attention once she gets home from school,” says Beth Faris.
Many off-site workers stay glued to their work space all day, even when they can take breaks.
Ultimately, working off-site is best if you’re disciplined.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ask Polly: I Moved for My Job, and It Was a Huge Mistake!”

What’s crazy about overachievers who take big risks but who are also neurotic is that we expect ourselves to FIND A SOLUTION using our minds instead of allowing our feelings to tell us what should come next.
Slowing down to feel your feelings doesn’t mean not exercising, which you know manages to keep you afloat moodwise.
You’ll get upset about something, but because you’re feeling it completely instead of pushing it away and bellowing GET BACK TO WORK, YOU FAILURE, you will be able to follow your instincts for a change.
Sensitive women who work their asses off and don’t feel their feelings enough tend to have a lot of trouble standing up for themselves in work situations.
So we’re always paranoid about being “Bitchy.” We ignore our own feelings and we try to ignore other people’s feelings, too, to compensate.
Knowing how you feel and being able to stand up for how you feel instead of defining yourself as a fuck-up and a judgmental bitch is pretty much essential to every woman, and it’s particularly essential if you want to enter middle age without constantly hating yourself for not having “Arrived” in some magical place by now.
No matter what you do next, you have to honor your feelings and give yourself more credit for working so hard to get to this point.
Not in a place or in a job, but in that good feeling inside your heart that says, “I am doing my best. I took a big risk and I floundered but I’m still trying so hard, and that’s a beautiful thing, maybe even more beautiful than sailing across some imaginary finish line.” There is promise in this false start.

The orginal article.

Summary of “No, research does not say that you produce more when working 40 hours per week”

Last week, a debate flared up on twitter on working hours in academia and there was the claim that it is irrational to work over 40 hours as output actually goes down.
Cross-country studies will also often impute the legal work hours to workers in different countries even though these may not correspond to hours worked.
It should also lead us to distrust the anecdotal reports of people who say they work 60 hours per week or those who have impressive CVs and claim to work only 35 hours and take long holidays.
As more hours are worked, one can become tired, and the additional hours start producing less than 15mIF. As we take it to the extreme, our academic becomes so tired, he cannot produce anything at all or even produces negative IF. If you are hiring people by the hour, you want them to work to the point where output/hour is optimized, which is the traditional justification for why companies should have shorter work weeks.
Looking at some empirical work, it does seem that while the point of productivity inflection is just about 40 hours per week, the point of maximum output is above 50 hours/week.
Thus, if you are managing a widget factory, you may not want your workers working more than 40-45 hours for your own selfish reasons.
Anecdotally, it does seem that many people work 40 hours at their main jobs and still engage in either a second lower-paying job or in non-leisure cost-saving activities.
I keep reading/hearing this claim that “Research shows that you shouldn’t work as much” or that “Research shows that 40 hours per week is the best”.

The orginal article.