Saïd Sayrafiezadeh on Writing About Bad Jobs – The New Yorker

by | May 1, 2022 | Jobs

This week’s story, “Nondisclosure Agreement,” is about a young man who, in the age of e-commerce, has taken a job at a company making mail-order catalogues. Why did you choose this particular line of work? Did you want it to feel anachronistic?There’s a lot behind the decision, starting with the fact that the narrator has recently left his job working on the assembly line at an Amazon fulfillment center, and, at least on paper, his new line of work—in an office—should be a step up for him. But he soon begins to have a vague awareness that he may have actually got himself into an obsolete industry that’s on the verge of going under. I wanted this conundrum to be just one of many examples of the “defective wiring” in his brain that has rendered him unable to recognize what should be obvious red flags, otherwise known as scams, frauds, deceptions, and things too good to be true. Having his salary doubled without having to even negotiate is another example of this. But, as far as the narrator’s concerned, he’s finally found professional employment.So I was in need of a business that would have absolutely no utility in to …

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