‘I Would Prefer Not To’: The Origins of the White Collar Worker

Longreads

Nikil Saval | Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace | Doubleday | April 2014 | 31 minutes (8,529 words)

Below is an excerpt from the book Cubed, by Nikil Saval, as recommended by Longreads contributor Dana Snitzky.

* * *

I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils…

—Theodore Roethke, “Dolor”

The torn coat sleeve to the table. The steel pen to the ink. Write! Write! Be it truth or fable. Words! Words! Clerks never think.

—Benjamin Browne Foster, Down East Diary (1849)

They labored in poorly lit, smoky single rooms, attached to merchants and lawyers, to insurance concerns and banks. They had sharp penmanship and bad eyes, extravagant clothes but shrunken, unused bodies, backs cramped from poor posture, fingers callused by constant writing. When they were not thin, angular, and sallow, they were ruddy and soft; their paunches sagged onto their thighs.

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10 Things You Discover About Yourself When You’re Diagnosed With Borderline Personality Disorder

Thought Catalog

You must meet 5 out of 9 criteria to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (this is from DSM-IV):

  1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in.
  2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation. This is called “splitting.”
  3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
  4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in.
  5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
  6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
  7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays…

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To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth

Tales from the Mommy Trenches

I met you in the elevator on my way back from the pediatrician’s office. It was just me and Wren, and you looked at her fondly in her stroller. When the elevator doors opened, you very kindly held the doors open for me. As I clumsily maneuvered the stroller past you, I accidentally ran over your foot. “Don’t worry about it,” you assured me over my profuse apologies. “I have three children myself,” you revealed to me. My eyes traveled to your big belly. There was an awkward pause as I wondered if I could assume she was pregnant. “And I’m expecting my fourth,” you admitted. “Congratulations!,” I tell her. “That is wonderful!” I see the relief spread across her face. “Thank you!” she says, and I could tell she meant it. “You have no idea how many people offer their condolences when they find out this is my fourth…

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Toddler hurt by razor blades on local playground

What the hell? What kind of sicko does this?

WQAD.com

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A two-year-old was hurt after razor blades were placed on playground equipment at Millennium Park in East Moline.

A police department spokesman said police found several razor blades glued to various pieces of equipment at the park, at 5101 Archer Drive, just before 1 p.m. Monday, March 24, 2014.

“Officers collected the razor blades and other evidence,” according to a statement from East Moline Police Captain John Reynolds.

Reynolds said a two-year-old child was injured.  The child’s mother says he will be okay.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Capt. Reynolds at (309) 752-1552 or Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at (309) 762-9500.

Razor blades taped to playground equipment photo shared by Nicole LeAnn via Facebook Razor blades taped to playground equipment photo shared by Nicole LeAnn via Facebook

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