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Bullshit jobs

Funky Family Finances

RIP David Graeber

Many people hate their jobs, and David Graeber, an anthropology professor at the London School of Economics, told us why. David Graeber died today, so in his honor, let’s review the five types of bullshit jobs.

  1. Flunkies serve to make their superiors feel important, e.g., receptionists, administrative assistants, and door attendants.
  2. Goons oppose other goons hired by other companies, e.g., lobbyists, corporate lawyers, telemarketers, and public relations specialists.
  3. Duct tapers temporarily fix problems that could be fixed permanently, e.g., programmers repairing shoddy code, and airline desk staff who calm passengers whose bags don’t arrive.
  4. Box tickers create the appearance that something useful is being done when it isn’t, e.g., survey administrators, in-house magazine journalists, and corporate compliance officers
  5. Taskmasters manage—or create extra work for—those who do not need it, e.g., middle management, and leadership professionals.

In a 2013 survey of 12,000 professionals by the Harvard Business Review…

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