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Pret A Manger: When corporations enforce happiness | New Republic
Pret doesn't merely want its employees to lend their minds and bodies; it wants their souls, too. It will not employ anyone who is "here just for the money."
Pret  emotionalLabour  work  labour  coercion  behaviour  happiness  employment  employers  affectiveLabour  PretAManger 
january 2018 by petej
Paul Myerscough · Short Cuts · LRB 3 January 2013
What Pret has understood, and its competitors haven’t (or not yet), is how much money there is to be made from what radical left theorists have been referring to since the 1970s as ‘affective labour’. Work increasingly isn’t, or isn’t only, a matter of producing things, but of supplying your energies, physical and emotional, in the service of others. It isn’t what you make, but how your display of feeling makes others feel. This won’t be news to mothers, nurses and prostitutes, but the massive swelling of the service economy means that emotional availability can no longer be dismissed as women’s work; it must be seen as a dominant commodity form under late capitalism.

And it has to be real. ‘The authenticity of being happy is important,’ a Pret manager tells the Telegraph, ‘customers pick up on that.’ It isn’t clear which is the more demanding, authenticity or performance, being it or faking it, but in either case it’s difficult to believe that there isn’t something demoralising, for Pret workers perhaps more than most in the high street, not only in having their energies siphoned off by customers, but also in having to sustain the tension between the performance of relentless enthusiasm at work and the experience of straitened material circumstances outside it. ‘Henceforth,’ as Carl Cederström and Peter Fleming put it in their recent jeremiad Dead Man Working (Zero, £9.99), ‘our authenticity is no longer a retreat from the mandatory fakeness’ of the workplace, ‘but the very medium through which work squeezes the life out of us’.
Pret  PretAManger  work  labour  jobs  emotionalLabour  affectiveLabour  performance  authenticity  surveillance  monitoring  assessment  coercion  tradeUnions  Pamsu  immigration  pay  wages  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=MyerscoughPaul 
august 2017 by petej
"Can I help?" Emotional labour and precarity | openDemocracy
"Post-crash, the psychological power play between managers and the managed is more fraught than ever, with far more at stake. But employees, especially women, are no longer allowed to separate their working life from their personal life. Much of work now relies on emotional performance and projecting the impression that your working self is your whole self - the long term implications for women are yet to be seen."
work  labour  jobs  zeroHours  precarity  employment  affectiveLabour  emotionalLabour  affect  emotion 
june 2015 by petej

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