Invisible Workers

April 3, 2016
(was 06.14.2015)

If you think about it, every day we receive countless services from complete strangers — the newspaper delivered to your door, the trash picked up at the crack of dawn, the fresh fruit for sale at the supermarket. There's a whole army of invisible workers powering our economy who we rarely get to hear about. From the warehouse workers who fill out our online orders, to the migrant laborers who pick our food, even down to the unpaid office intern, this hour we're talking about the hidden workers who make it all happen.

  1. True Stories Of A Warehouse Worker

    A few years ago, journalist Mac McClelland went undercover to find out what really happens when you order something online from a site like Amazon. As it turns out, all that ecommerce is still largely driven by humans, many of whom work backbreaking temporary jobs in massive warehouses. 

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  2. A Day In The Life Of A Migrant Worker

    For two years, medical anthropologist Seth Holmes followed and worked alongside migrant farm laborers all along the west coast. As part of his research, he even snuck in to the U.S. from Mexico, all in order to find out what life is like for an agricultural worker. 

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  3. Questioning The Ethics Of Unpaid Internships

    In 2009, Eric Glatt did the unthinkable for an unpaid intern — he sued his employer, Fox Searchlight Pictures, alleging that they violated the Labor Department's standards for internships. He describes why he believes unpaid internships threaten workers everywhere.

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  4. The Hidden Jobs That Fill Your Day

    There was a time when others bagged your groceries, planned your trips and pumped your gas, but now they're just another part of our daily routines. Craig Lambert says these are a few examples of the "shadow work" we've unwittingly taken on in service of companies and other organizations. He warns that it's chipping away at our leisure time, and turning us all into middle class serfs.

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  5. Dangerous Idea: Embrace Laziness

    Philosopher Lars Svendsen's Dangerous Idea? We shouldn't fear being lazy.

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  6. Christie Watson on her novel 'Where Women Are Kings'

    Christie Watson's latest novel, "Where Women Are Kings," tells the story of a couple who adopt a seven-year old Nigerian boy named Elijah. The young child has a history of child abuse and violent behavior, and also believes he's possessed by a wizard.

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