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The Assistant Economy (dissentmagazine.org)
29 points by sergeant3 on Apr 7, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 2 comments

One problem is that the assistant’s diligence cannot lead to a promotion. Technically, promotions don’t exist. You can’t become the person you assist, and so the strategic assistant curries favor, an especially fickle and undignified form of wage labor.

This pretty much sums up my experience in the US corporate working world, where the vast majority of senior employees are (or are nearly) senior citizens, who, for whatever reason, can't afford to (or simply refuse to) retire from the labor force. They will churn low-level employees on a two-year basis, give or take, as the employees realize to get a meaningful raise means leaving the firm. I've witnessed this in health care, finance, and other white collar environments, both first and second hand. YMMV.

I worked for a talent agency for four years, and the problem in that world is that promotions were a possibility, yet rarely given. The agency would generally hire junior agents from outside the company rather than just promoting those who had 'paid their dues.'

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