Friday, March 06, 2009

The new economic reality, part XVLII

To the pictures of shell-shocked laid-off workers add this story from the LA Times (courtesy Valleywag). The lede sums it up:
Sitting in a bare cubicle, with her reading glasses perched halfway down her nose and typing away on a laptop she'd brought from home, Lois Draegin looked a bit like the extra adult wedged in at the kids' table at Thanksgiving. This accomplished magazine editor lost her six-figure job at TV Guide last spring and is now, at 55, an unpaid intern at, a fledgling website with columns and stories that target accomplished women older than 40.
Even more compelling is the picture that runs atop the article, showing an already-exhausted Draegin being helped, no doubt for the 68th time, by a patient, fetching young blond.

The telling detail in the lede is the "empty cube." For me it evokes every unwanted, dusty spare cubicle into which I've been plopped as a temp or a contractor -- that and the picture showing the spiral notebook next to the keyboard, in which the new intern has undoubtedly written at the top her username, password, and the first of several URLs and directory names where things are stored.

Of course, it's sadder not to have a job at all -- even that unpaid one.

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