Friday, November 1, 2019

The Library Gig in the year 2026

I have library degree, but I don't have a full-time job. I don't have health care, but I have a library gig in a library where I perform research services and provide technology assistance via requests made through the LybÜ jobs app.

I work as an independent contractor for LybÜ, the library research company that became dominant when most public libraries became privatized.

I don't have a base salary, but I get paid for monitoring my app while I'm in the library. And for pinging the various "interactivity" points around the building, basically the stacks and tables, where people might need assistance. I make nothing for answering the phone, but I get paid for completing the tasks related to the call. And I have a minimum number of interactions I need to provide to keep my employment active (not get fired). But once I reach my minimum, I can adjust my "value" fees to accommodate the high demand for services.

For example, if my base service requires that I assist 50 times at the printers, once that is met, I can ignore anyone who needs help with printing until they "add value" to the request. So if it's near closing and someone has to print their airline or concert tickets and they send the request through the app, if I'm the only librarian working, I can demand pretty much any extra fee. I can ask $10 or $15 or even $25 for just printing a single document.

If the clock is ticking and someone needs something badly enough, I can rake in the added fees. And since I negotiate these on my own, I get to keep 60 percent and LybÜ gets the rest.

So the goal is to find the people with the greatest need, the most money and the least technical knowledge. I make an extra $30 a week downloading ebooks for little old ladies. I get a ton of money for editing resumes (depending on the job they hope to get), and from proofing school essays (from the parents).

I hear the older librarians talk about the time when they worked a 40 hour week and got 2 or 3 or 4 weeks of vacation per year and had medical and dental insurance and good job security. But I don't believe a word of it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How Writing Got Ruined: Dystopian Fiction in the Age of Trump

The reality of Donald Trump as President of The United States of America has spoiled (destroyed?) how authors create their dystopian villains. The writer's imagination, however nimble, can't hope to keep up with the variety and volume of Trump shenanigans.

So, after eliminating his scandals, his tweets, his slavering approbations given to dictators, the only plausible scenario for a writer of dystopian novels using a Trump-like character as the villainous tyrant is this:

Since, as I said, there are no other options for this type of character, and so some author must be arriving at this same conclusion, and I don't wish to tread on any toes, I'll refer to the dystopian leader as "President Turnip."

A billionaire runs on an anti-Turnip campaign, promising to seize President Turnip's assets and put him in prison. On the eve of the election, as Turnip realizes he will lose, he evades capture by disguising himself as a woman (and not a "10" as his looks are harshly criticized by witnesses). And frankly, everyone was glad to see him go.

But as he alienated every world leader with his attacks and insults, no country will have him. In the only move that makes sense to him, Turnip converts to Islam and joins ISIS in its fight against America.