Podcast: BS Jobs
Bologna Sandwich maker? Barber Shop singer? Nah, not those BS jobs. In this episode we dive into what the late David Graeber defined as jobs that are “so completely pointless, unnecessary, or pernicious that even the employee cannot justify its existence [but] feels obliged to pretend that this is not the case.”
If your job that fits that description, you’re not alone. Some say the growth of BS jobs has outpaced non-BS jobs in recent decades, but that’s just the tip of the paradoxical iceberg we explore in this week’s show. We also dig into Graeber’s observation that many BS jobs provide more pay, prestige and security than non-BS jobs, such as those performed by the essential workers who have helped us survive the Covid pandemic.
We also discuss the tendency of BS jobs to inject administrative bloat into non-BS jobs through an “Infinite Loop of Busyness” that causes nurses to split their time between treatment and paperwork, teachers to spend more time documenting than teaching, and members of countless other professions to question the value of their work.
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