My fury

Some, including the friends I have left behind, would likely accuse me of nursing a grudge over my failed job search for far too long, since 2001, in fact. They might even accuse me of addiction to that grievance.[1]

I will leave the psychoanalysis for others. I have been diagnosed with a post-traumatic stress disorder-related condition, stemming in part from the abuse I suffer on the job market, that exacerbates traumas from my childhood and employment experiences.

What I know now, whenever I go on line with Uber and Lyft, because driving for those companies is the only employment I can find, is that Uber has cut driver pay to such an extreme[2] that a majority of orders aren’t worth accepting.[3] I’m not making nearly enough money—less than minimum wage—and I need money. Desperately.

Simultaneously, my present and former experience reinforce a realization that while others profit vastly from my labor, I am viewed as utterly expendable, disposable, and not even as worth the cost of living.

The dissonance between my reality and the situation that my accomplishments, including a Ph.D., say I should have is intense, especially when I’m wondering whether I’ll ever get another order worth accepting, or even get enough orders to top up my bank accounts so I can continue to pay my bills, including, not insignificantly, the car costs that keep me in operation. That dissonance reflects an extreme and ongoing injustice. It is trauma heaped upon trauma.

It’s easy, far too easy, for others to say from vantage points of relative privilege, that that’s life. I should let it go.

But I suffer the precarity of my finances. I suffer the loss of the social contacts I would have in academia. I suffer the indignity and feel the disdain of being regarded as nothing more than a glorified taxi driver and as accordingly expendable, disposable, and infinitely replaceable. I suffer these every day.

This is not a single event constrained in time. It is every fucking day, seven days a week, whenever my car isn’t being serviced, because I can’t even afford to take time off.

And it is the knowledge that I will have to do this every single fucking day until I die. That I haven’t even a clue what I will do if I live longer than I can drive.

This page is part of a series on my job hunt:

  1. Grievance as fury

  2. Poverty, as a constraint on networking opportunities, as a constraint on social mobility, and as rationalizing dehumanization, but also as a perspective on what I am expected to do to find work and its absolute futility.

  3. The transparent absurdity of my job search since 2001 and, after twenty long and infuriating years, the inescapable conclusion that yes, the job market really is a scam.[4] and that I face discrimination, it which it is apparent that there is nothing I can do to overcome biases arrayed against me.

  4. The denial of my human rights and therefore, my reduction to subhuman status.

  5. That which I am not, whether or not neoliberalism or any other expression of power relations requires it.

  6. That which I should be, largely as a consequence of my education.

  7. That which I am, including my résumé

  1. [1]James Kimmel, Jr., “What the Science of Addiction Tells Us About Trump,” Politico, December 12, 2020,
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A life worth living,” Not Housebroken, January 3, 2023,; Mariella Moon, “Uber and Lyft rides are pricier due to a lack of drivers (and the waits are longer, too),” Engadget, June 1, 2021,; Edward Ongweso, Jr., “Uber and Lyft Can’t Find Drivers Because Gig Work Sucks,” Vice, July 8, 2021,; Faiz Siddiqui, “You may be paying more for Uber, but drivers aren’t getting their cut of the fare hike,” Washington Post, June 9, 2021,; Alissa Walker, “Why Your Uber Ride Is Suddenly Costing a Fortune,” New York, June 4, 2021,; Yujie Zhou, “Uber is hiding customer payments from drivers. Again,” Mission Local, November 16, 2022,
  3. [3]Even with a hybrid vehicle, operating costs often mean that by the time I’ve driven to an order, picked the passenger up and driven them to where they’re going, I’ve already spent whatever I’d have earned on the trip, at which point I’m really just working for tips—and many people don’t tip. I therefore am categorically refusing orders under $10 because I simply don’t have time or the means to do the mathematics properly when deciding whether or not to accept an order and I need to be making money, which I’m more likely to be doing with a high value trip.
  4. [4]David Benfell, “About that alleged ‘labor shortage,’” Not Housebroken, May 12, 2021,