In order to be a wage-hour slave, a person must satisfy a certain number of conditions:

1. One must hold a job or set of jobs where pay is calculated as a function of hours worked. Typically, such a person would say they make “ X dollars an hour,” and their pay would be calculated by multiplying X by the number of hours they work in a given workweek.

2. One must work a job or set of jobs at least forty hours a week. This is an important distinction between wage-hour slaves and college or high school students, who often hold jobs that satisfy condition (1), because people who spend all of their time working – as opposed to working less than thirty hours a week while also attending school or university – have a fundamentally different outlook and class than students. Most particularly, unlike students, wage-hour slaves have no hope.

The ideal wage-hour slave will hold several part-time jobs, combining for a total of more than forty hours a week, but will not work enough at any one of them to qualify for meaningful benefits. Thus, personnel cost for their employers is minimized.

3. One must work a job or set of jobs where the job duties are mindless, mundane, trivial, boring, dirty, demeaning, or generally unpleasant, which is to say, something in the service or retail industries. Wage-hour-slave-like jobs outside these industries (such as manufacturing) are usually shipped overseas, where labor laws are lax, or are kept in this country (such as meat-packing) and reserved for illegal immigrants.

4. One must make enough money to pay rent, buy food, and generally to get by, but not enough to make major purchases or do anything really life-changing without going significantly into debt, thus locking them into the whole debt-work-repayment cycle (upon which the economy depends). Thus, the wage-hour slave sees no end to their situation, if they even envision a future as it is.

5. Despite their employers’ claims to the contrary, there is no real opportunity for advancement for the wage-hour slave. Granted, after working at a supermarket for a year, one might become eligible to “move up” to a position where one tells other people what to do. But, make no mistake about it, counting bean-counters is still bean-counting, even if one does get to wear a flashier nametag. As long as the other conditions are met, one is still, unequivocally, a wage-hour slave.

Those are the conditions that must be met in order for a person to be a “wage-hour slave.” Some commentary:

While the wage-hour-slave class itself exists in an almost horrific, interminable banality, this class provides goods and services with which the rich butter their cheese, thus fueling the consumerism that eats away at the core of all that is good. At the same time, the rich are often rich because of the subjugation of unskilled laborers, since it is at that level, where a person’s time is traded for money that money is actually made. Which is to say, the transaction of product and services for money between corporations and consumers occurs primarily through the hands of wage-hour slaves, therefore, all wealth depends on the wage-hour-slave class.

The wealth of the rich is directly proportional to the poverty of the poor.

That said, I believe that living as a wage-hour slave is the only way for a person in post-post-post-whatever-modern society to live a truly substantive life, because it combines both a forced poverty, which puts a severe clamp on consumerism, and a freedom of mind, which you won’t find in the upper echelons of corporations, where the mind is used, however mundanely, as a tool of the workplace. While the wage-hour slave is typically inundated with propaganda and other brain-washing techniques, it is not difficult to avoid them, and thus, one’s mind is free to think whatever one wishes to think, whenever one wishes to think it.

Further, working as a wage-hour slave provides a unique perspective into patterns of consumption and the behavior of one’s contemporaries, the only one that is true, really. It is thus a connection with reality in a world that is increasingly virtual, fantastic, and TV-obsessed. Which is just as well, because the wage-hour slave won’t be able to afford a TV anyway.