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From Politico Reporter to Retail Worker

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by YankeeFan, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    You might remember Joe Williams getting fired from Politico after he made some dumb comments on MsNBC, and on Twitter.

    Here's what he's been up to since:

  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Buried the lede a little, did he not?
  3. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    1. Yes, retail employee pat downs are a way of life. Toys R Us did it to me every shift. Deal with it.

    2. Yes, I lied my ass off about my health and dumbed down my application to get the Toys R Us job. Deal with it.

    3. Yes, retail involves more than running a cash register or stocking. I cleaned people's shit - literal shit - and used tampons. Deal with it.

    4. Yes, you will inevitably run into people from your old life, sources, co-workers, friends. Yes, it's humiliating. Deal with it.

    (Edit to add)
    5. Yes, if you've worked behind a desk for a while, you're going to be sore for a while when working retail. Your body will adapt, your muscles will strengthen, you'll live. I worked with a broken back and still walk on a cane. Deal with it.

    For those in similar situations, good luck and try not to let the depression kill you.
  4. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    The writing alone is bad enough to not hire him. In the last quoted paragraph he uses the cliche "Fishbowl", says "in the wake of" -- just say "after" unless you're talking about boating -- and also says that he "signed a court order." The last time I checked only judges sign court orders.

    Sorry, Joe, you should have never been working in journalism to begin with. The wife-assaulting, verbal diarrhea on MSNBC and ill-advised tweets just confirm a more general lack of competence and integrity. If it weren't such a waste of breath, I would advise you to try and rebuild your life out of the public eye.
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Maybe he can ask his dad for a few bucks?
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Pretty interesting story, really.

    I think of Michael Moore's movie, Roger & Me, where the laid-off auto workers couldn't hack it at Taco Bell because the line was too fast.
  7. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Who's his dad?
  8. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Thought of you right away Bradley. Glad you weighed in.

    Having to eat (or clean) shit sucks, but lots of us who have had to change careers, or take a step down, have had to deal with it. If you think you're too good for it, you're going to have a tough time.
  9. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    I don't know...

    My entry, or rather, re-entry (also from long years ago), into the retail world also was prompted largely by desperation and a willingness, by then, to do just about anything in order to be working regularly again.

    Since then, though, my experience has apparently been much different from that of Joe Williams.

    I've never been asked to work off the clock, and, by contrast, have been told, pointedly and more than once, not to do it rather than ever having been forced to do it. It sounds like Williams shouldn't have been doing it either, and he should have called his bosses/company on that. Whatever they had him doing during work, he should not have been dumping trash or cleaning restrooms after his shift.

    I've never been patted down, either going out of, or coming into, work, and I've never had any bags searched. I would quit if any pat-downs without reasonable suspicions of theft ever occurred (although I might tolerate bag-searching). Fortunately, I've not had to make any decision along those lines).

    I also never lied, made stuff up, or dumbed down my application for a retail job. It's disappointing to read of a once-successful journalist doing that and it would raise a red flag for me regarding him as a journalist.

    There are lots of issues in the retail business. People do tend to think there's nothing to it, and, while it's not rocket science, there's a lot that goes into it (including the surprising amount of strength, and especially, stamina).

    I've learned to respect many/most of the people, in all jobs and at all levels, who work in the business, and I haven't lost any self-respect in the process. If anything, my own self-esteem and development has been fostered by the constant drive for productivity that is part and parcel of the retail industry.
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    My old place was across the street from a $30,000 a year private grade school.

    One day, I ran into the wife of my old Sr. VP at Continental Airlines, as she was picking up their son from school. (They had moved to Chicago, post merger.) I was unshaven, in ripped jeans and a beat up hoodie. When she approached me, I was in the process of jamming trash into my beat up car to drive it around the corner to my dumpster.

    I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm homeless, living out of my car, and collecting trash.

    I can imagine the update she gave her husband when she got home.
  11. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Makes you wonder if anybody fact-checked this rubbish before publishing it in The Atlantic.
  12. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    For the most part, Toys R Us treated me well. Yeah, pay is lousy but where is it not in that kind of work? I knew I was temp, I was told my end date, I was told I'd be told if they wanted to keep me on (though I'm not so stupid to think there's a high demand for a year-round greeter who has to sit in a chair most of his shift). When I was able to do it, I enjoyed walking the floor and helping people find toys because I'm a 32-year-old kid. I still like to collect Superman action figures. But there's a certain amount of shit to eat if you need the money. Do it or quit. It's not like they were beating us black and blue or anything.
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