Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs

Front Cover
John Bowe, Marisa Bowe, Sabin Streeter
Crown/Archetype, Feb 4, 2009 - Business & Economics - 688 pages
15 Reviews
“An engaging, humorous, revealing, and refreshingly human look at the bizarre, life-threatening, and delightfully humdrum exploits of everyone from sports heroes to sex workers.”
-- Douglas Rushkoff, author of Coercion, Ecstasy Club, and Media Virus

This wide-ranging survey of the American economy at the turn of the millennium is stunning, surprising, and always entertaining. It gives us an unflinching view of the fabric of this country from the point of view of the people who keep it all moving. The more than 120 roughly textured monologues that make up Gig beautifully capture the voices of our fast-paced and diverse economy. The selections demonstrate how much our world has changed--and stayed the same--in the three decades prior to the turn of the millennium. If you think things have speeded up, become more complicated and more technological, you're right.

But people's attitudes about their jobs, their hopes and goals and disappointments, endure. Gig's soul isn't sociological--it's emotional. The wholehearted diligence that people bring to their work is deeply, inexplicably moving. People speak in these pages of the constant and complex stresses nearly all of them confront on the job, but, nearly universally, they throw themselves without reservation into coping with them. Instead of resisting work, we seem to adapt to it. Some of us love our jobs, some of us don't, but almost all of us are not quite sure what we would do without one.

With all the hallmarks of another classic on this subject, Gig is a fabulous read, filled with indelible voices from coast to coast. After hearing them, you'll never again feel quite the same about how we work.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - anderlawlor - LibraryThing

I first read this (inhaled it, actually) while collecting NY State unemployment for the first time. Now I'm re-reading it slowly. People's relationships to their jobs are so interesting! Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ltjennysbooks - LibraryThing

I saw Gig when I was lolling around the Sociology section of Bongs & Noodles, and I inspected it closely and bought it a few days later. It is so cool! It is the result of interviews with people in ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
CORPORATE HEADHUNTER
10
SOFTWARE ENGINEER
20
WORKFARE STREET CLEANER
28
STEELWORKER
37
FORD AUTO WORKER
43
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
54
SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATOR
63
GAS STATION ATTENDANT
180
TRAIN ENGINEER
188
CAMPGROUND MAINTENANCE WORKER
201
FLORIST
208
RESEARCH BIOLOGIST
215
BUFFAL0 RANCHER
222
WAITRESS
232
DIET CENTER OWNER
241

KINKOS COWORKER
71
AUTOMOBILE PARTS SPECIALIST
79
TRANSPORTATION
85
CORPORATE IDENTITY CONSULTANT
87
CRIME SCENE CLEANER
96
COMPUTER CHIP LAYOUT DESIGNER
103
TAXIDERMIST
112
LEMONADE SALESMEN
121
GUN STORE OWNER
130
ADHES WES COMPANY SALES REPRESENTATWE
138
MEDIA
147
HIGHWAY FLAGGER
169
PRETZEL WENDOR
247
F00D STYLIST
255
FILM DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT
264
ACTRESS
276
CASTING DIRECTOR
283
PAPARAZZ0
306
TELEVISION GUEST COORDINATOR
316
ENTERTAINERS
327
LAWYERS
497
SALES REPRESENTATIVE
637
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

John Bowe is the author of Nobodies and the co-editor of Us: Americans Talk About Love and Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, GQ, and McSweeny's, among others.

Marisa Bowe, co-editor of Us: Americans Talk About Love and Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs, is a writer and web and video producer. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper's, and Vogue, among others. She was editor-in-cheif of Word until 2000.

Sabin Streeter is the co-editor of Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs and contributing editor of Us: Americans Talk About Love. An independent writer and filmmaker, his work has appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's, among others.

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