Saturday, March 19, 2016

A strange business model

I had been doing some YA reading that hit upon a couple of my pet peeves. One of them is the part-time job with nothing to do. I've seen a lot of YA books where the main character has a job in a place that is constantly deserted, with barely any customers and little work, and I keep wondering: How does that place stay in business? And why haven't they laid off the main character, or why did they hire him/her in the first place? Sometimes this is explained by having the business owner or manager being an eccentric who is not overly concerned with profit, but most of the time it's just a mystery.

The only job I ever had with significant down time was baby-sitting: after the kid was in bed and the five million scattered toys were put away, you could read or watch TV. But at every other job, I've always had far too much work and far too little time to do it in. At the first minimum-wage job I held, the bosses were constantly watching us to make sure we were busy. They liked to motivate us with this stirring bromide: "If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean."

This pet peeve doesn't ruin a book for me, but it does take me out of the story a bit.

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