Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Talking Union

By Sarah Jaffe

No, that waitress isn’t flirting with you.

Neither is the barista at your local Starbucks, nor the counter server at the Pret A Manger near your office, and you might be surprised to learn that the stripper at your local club doesn’t have a deep fondness for you, either.

Pretending to love one’s work, to be overjoyed by the ability to serve you coffee or pizza or dance for your tips, is an integral part of the job for service workers. “Service with a smile” is expected from anyone who deals with customers, and as Josh Eidelson and Timothy Noah pointed out last week at The Nation and The New Republic respectively, sometimes low-wage service employers require much more.

Eidelson reported on the recent move by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to push baristas to write “Come Together” on coffee cups in support of “bipartisan” deficit fear-mongering—to “draft…

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