A lot of people ask: “What exactly is The Underemployed Life? Who are you guys? What are you about? Also, where are my pants?” These are all good questions, especially the one about your pants. Your pants are on the closet floor where you threw them last week. Now the question about who we are – that is not as simple to answer.
I can see where a cursory look at our website would inspire questions about what our main focus is. After all, we have a variety of material on our pages. On one day you can read about dealing with an abusive boss. On another day, you can check out a tongue in cheek story about getting along with your robot co-workers. On Mondays you can read Kay Smythe’s columns which are about anything and everything.
So the short and obvious answer to the question of “who are we,” is, we don’t know. Really, we have no clue. None whatsoever, but thanks for playing. Drive safely on the way home. Kidding (Really, we are kidding) The short, but obvious answer is, we’re a website that takes on the topic of Underemployment. However, there’s a longer, less obvious answer.
Underemployment has a fairly standard definition. It’s when someone doesn’t have enough paid work or they aren’t doing work that makes full use of their skills and abilities. That definition, as concise and simple as it is, doesn’t cover the full impact of underemployment.
Underemployment affects much more than just someone’s employment situation. It affects their economic circumstances, their social status, their place in the world. You might see a news report on labor numbers, but not what or who is behind those numbers. Those topics are rarely discussed. We tell those stories. We reveal them through informative interviews, passionate essays, and articles that brim with energy, humor, and intensity.
We want to shed light on the human cost of underemployment. We want to connect with others out in the world who may feel frustration about the state of their lives in an unforgiving economy. There are millions of underemployed people around the world. We want to tell their stories
We want Underemployment to get the attention it deserves. There’s a big misconception out there regarding employment in the US. People tend to think labor numbers have gotten better since the 2008 crash. They have, in number of overall employed, but a lot of that growth is misleading. There are a lot more part time workers now than before the crash.
The truth is, most people either are or know someone who is underemployed. It’s not exactly a rare condition, and it isn’t new either. Did you know that Albert Einstein used to work the ticket booth at Disneyland and wear a Goofy costume. That was until Aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin, took a chance on the young scientist. Yes, I’m lying, but hey, you almost went to Google to check, didn’t you. It’s ok, the truth is, any new Einsteins out there could possibly have that fate befall them.
Our world is going through significant changes. Most of them aren’t so great. At least economically speaking. Automation, outsourcing, loss of brick and mortar stores due to eCommerce are just a few reasons why underemployment is up. So yeah, it sucks out there, but we take care not to focus solely on the negative. However, we are realistic. For every inspirational article, you may read one that’s deeply personal, and even sad. We also believe humor plays an important in who we are.
Ultimately, this site is about detailing what living The Underemployed Life feels like. And it feels different to each person who lives it. I’ve told stories of working for unrepentant assholes, slimy small businesses, and big corporations so corrupt, one of them, AT&T, is still paying me in settled class action lawsuits four years after I left the company. Other writers for the site have told stories of struggling to pay student loans or finding their way forward during tough economic times.
So, who are we? We’re The Underemployed Life. That’s who we are. The only website putting a well needed spotlight on a problem that’s been in the shadows for far too long. And for godsakes, make us a favorite and join our email list. We promise not to spam you with meaningless crap. Thanks for reading, and contact us anytime with questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome and need your feedback.