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  • Sorry, you missed your life!


    Konrad Wakolbinger

    Open exploitation can be combatted while subtle forms are not so easily recognizable and harder to fight.

    In Ken Loach’s film “Sorry, we missed you” (2019), we expe­ri­ence how companies exter­na­li­se market risks, using the example of a family living in the deindus­tria­li­sed North of England. They impose them onto those who can no longer pass on the pressure. The workers at the base are almost crushed by the burden.

    If Rick’s calls are unans­we­red to hand over the parcels, he sticks a notice on the door saying “Sorry, we missed you”.  This is always a defeat for Rick, because he is paid per package delivered. Each negative even­tua­li­ty falls back on Rick. He has already invested his time to reach the delivery point, his money to buy the van and the rent for the scanner. The return on invest­ment depends on many factors that Rick can barely influence. During the job interview, the branch manager of the delivery service congra­tu­la­ted Rick on his decision to take his life into his own hands. He will soon put so much pressure on Rick with the threat of cutsbacks (because you can’t call it wages) that Rick is putting his health and his family at risk. The super­vi­sor doesn’t want to let the sta­tis­tics go to waste.

    Rick’s wife Abbie is in a different but equally stressful job as a home nurse. She has a zero-hour contract.  In the UK and also in the Nether­lands this form of employ­ment is widespread. The contract binds the employee to the company, which is free to decide how many jobs per month it gives to each employee, down to none at all. In a zero-hour month there is zero money. Abbie is extremely caring to her clients, they have almost become friends, however the time she invests in this care work is not well compensated.

    In “Sorry, we missed you” Ken Loach breaks the reality of life for labour entre­pre­neurs in neo­li­be­ra­lism down. With a great deal of empathy for his cha­rac­ters, inter­pre­ted by great actors, he candidly takes us into a world that none of us wants to get to know personally.

    Sorry We Missed You - Trailer 

    Tags

    Sorry, you missed your life!

    Konrad Wakolbinger

    Open exploitation can be combatted while subtle forms are not so easily recognizable and harder to fight.

    In Ken Loach’s film “Sorry, we missed you” (2019), we expe­ri­ence how companies exter­na­li­se market risks, using the example of a family living in the deindus­tria­li­sed North of England. They impose them onto those who can no longer pass on the pressure. The workers at the base are almost crushed by the burden.

    If Rick’s calls are unans­we­red to hand over the parcels, he sticks a notice on the door saying “Sorry, we missed you”.  This is always a defeat for Rick, because he is paid per package delivered. Each negative even­tua­li­ty falls back on Rick. He has already invested his time to reach the delivery point, his money to buy the van and the rent for the scanner. The return on invest­ment depends on many factors that Rick can barely influence. During the job interview, the branch manager of the delivery service congra­tu­la­ted Rick on his decision to take his life into his own hands. He will soon put so much pressure on Rick with the threat of cutsbacks (because you can’t call it wages) that Rick is putting his health and his family at risk. The super­vi­sor doesn’t want to let the sta­tis­tics go to waste.

    Rick’s wife Abbie is in a different but equally stressful job as a home nurse. She has a zero-hour contract.  In the UK and also in the Nether­lands this form of employ­ment is widespread. The contract binds the employee to the company, which is free to decide how many jobs per month it gives to each employee, down to none at all. In a zero-hour month there is zero money. Abbie is extremely caring to her clients, they have almost become friends, however the time she invests in this care work is not well compensated.

    In “Sorry, we missed you” Ken Loach breaks the reality of life for labour entre­pre­neurs in neo­li­be­ra­lism down. With a great deal of empathy for his cha­rac­ters, inter­pre­ted by great actors, he candidly takes us into a world that none of us wants to get to know personally.

    Sorry We Missed You - Trailer

    Tags


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    About this blog

    By selecting a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. They are both based in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their cor­re­spon­ding articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.

    About this blog

    With picking a film or an image, this blog literally illus­tra­tes the vast sphere of work, employ­ment & education in an open collec­tion of academic, artistic and also anecdotal findings.

    About us

    Konrad Wakol­bin­ger makes docu­men­ta­ry films about work and life. Jörg Mar­ko­witsch does research on education and work. We both work in Vienna. Infor­ma­ti­on on guest authors can be found in their respec­ti­ve articles.

    More about

    Inte­res­ted in more? Find recom­men­da­ti­ons on relevant festivals, film collec­tions and lite­ra­tu­re here.