As the summer faded away and the leaves began changing colors, I found myself sitting at yet another evening staff meeting. This time there was tension festering between the owner and us worker bees. Her impossible expectations of perfection and ultra-efficiency clashed with our all-too-imperfect humanity on the clock. She rattled off a litany of improvements that needed to be made immediately including issues with the music we played on shift. She explained that it was a privilege for us to choose our own soundtrack and then emphasized: “The music is not for you. It’s for the customers.” It was a revealing moment, exposing the antagonistic dynamics between management, customers, and those of us that must sell our labor to survive to the beats and rhythms of the service industry.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Not for You? A short excerpt from the zine
Only about a week to go in the IndieGoGo campaign and I'm just putting the finishing touches on the zine, "Not for You: Stories of Music & Work from the Precarious Service Industry." Some people have asked me about that title and so I'd like to share the following excerpt where it originates. This is from the story about my first coffee shop job: