9.07.15: A World Without Work, The American Vacation, & In Defense of the Office

Sep 7, 2015

Machines will soon take over for humans and slog through the dirty work, leaving people free to do whatever they choose in a world without work. We talk about what a post-job society might look like, and how we might prepare for it. Then, from 9 to 5 to The Office, we’ve got plenty of examples of cookie-cutter cubicles where workers toil away in soul-crushing boredom and fatigue. On today’s show: in defense of office life. Plus, we discover a class that brings a serious approach to leisure. 

Listen to the full show. 

A World Without Work

A post-job society sounds like a utopia or a set-up for science fiction. Turns out, it might be less futuristic than you would think. Derek Thompson is a senior editor for The Atlantic, where we found his article "A World Without Work."

Uncommon Core: The American Vacation

Susan Birrell is a Professor of American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Iowa, where she teaches a course called “The American Vacation.” 

Hollywood's Richest Extras

Hillel Aron is a staff writer for L.A. Weekly where we found his article, “Some Hollywood Extras Suffer, But Others Are Rolling in It.”

In Defense of the Office

Jennifer Senior is a contributing writer for New York Magazine where she wrote about the upside of office life: "To the Office, With Love." Jennifer is author of the New York Times best selling book on parenting, All Joy and No Fun, which is now available in paperback.

We've also got a list of films that don't exactly paint the office in such a shining light. Check them out at this here.

The Jerk at Work

You know the guy who uses your salad dressing without asking? The lady who somehow gets everybody else to do her work? If someone is known as a bad apple, you’d think it would show up on their performance review, right? Not likely, say two management researchers. Lilia Fuquen reported on the study, highlighting the consequences of rudeness in the workplace. 

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org