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Where are you spending your hours? 🕝
Because if the answer isn’t outside, it might be worth rethinking a few things.
Looks like we will be making the rounds of Chicago’s cultural institutions as the staff of the Museum of Science and Industry and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum are following the lead of peers at the Art Institute and Field Museum, and forming unions!
Or maybe we’ll go back to school, where Chicago State University staff are still on strike (with the support of new mayor Brandon), and now joined by Governors State University and Eastern Illinois University. The movement has even reached the ivory tower, where University of Chicago grad students have voted to unionize.
And of course longtime unionized workforces continue to make gains, like at Caterpillar, where workers have approved a new contract that includes pay raises and bonuses.
Fancy grocery Foxtrot announced slower, but still strong, expansion plans, including two new stores in Chicago. But it’s the booming world of veterinary services where the big money lies. GoodVets is planning 16 new clinic locations before the end of the year. The startup partners with local vets essentially on a franchise model, and its initial locations in Chicago and other cities are already proving profitable just a few years in — surprising absolutely no one who has ever paid a vet bill.
And deals continue to happen, even though it is clearly summer and time for all of us to go on vacation. Adeptia raised $65 million for its B2B data-sharing software, money it plans to use to increase headcount — currently split between Chicago and India — by 10% to 15%. CarmaCare raised $4.5 million for its car maintenance subscription service to hire more data scientists and underwriters, Aqua Cultured Foods raised $5.5 million to bring us seafood alternatives, Lumiant raised $3.5 million to provide values-focused financial advising and Coast raised $2.1 million to help companies show off integration capabilities.
The sneaky billions also continue to creep up on us, with private-equity firm Apollo Global Management making plans to buy suburban chemical distributor Univar Solutions for $8.1 billion. The deal is still pending approval, but if we know anything about PE takeovers, probably best to begin avoiding employment there now.
McDonald’s temporarily closed its corporate offices last week, so it could lay off hundreds of employees remotely. Some people seem to find this cruel, but we have a hard time seeing how it’s better to have folks commute in to their own executions. At least this eliminates steps between getting fired and crying in the shower.
Perhaps those folks can find new work with Barstool Sports when the publisher moves some operations to Chicago. They already have experience pushing insalubrious products on the masses, might as well switch to slinging horseshit opinions.
Speaking of opinion-slingers, consulting firm Accenture cut 19,000 jobs from its global operations, citing “gloomy” economic forecasts.
Salesforce and Meta, having already made big employment cuts, are now looking to shed downtown office space, 240,000 square feet altogether. Privately though, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan’s foundation is investing $250 million in the biomedical lab bringing University of Illinois, University of Chicago and Northwestern University together in the West Loop. Gotta say, it seems like not a fair trade!
Jobs, Glorious Jobs
Several Demanding and Occasionally Rewarding Jobs at the Chicago Reader
The highest listed salary for these jobs tops out at $75,000, with $50,000 being the high-water mark for three of the four editorial positions. That sucks! But we also love The Reader, and have taken that particular vow of poverty in the past. If you have the means and the interest, it’s an opportunity to do good work. But you really, really have to have those means.
Head of Marketing and Sales at Busy Beaver Button Company
Jobs section is looking like it’s 1998, but the thing about these indie holdovers is that they’ve held over — grown even — in mediums many have written off as archaic. To survive all they’ve survived isn’t an accident, it takes canny decisions and an enormous amount of effort and affection by people who are motivated by pure love of the game. If all you want is to work with people who honestly love what they do, it would be hard to find better candidates than a local alt-weekly and a pinback button manufacturer.
Inspiration of the Week
“Just think of how much work you’d be able to get done if you weren’t constantly fighting overt and covert prejudice related to your gender or race or sexuality or body size or accent. Just think how much work you could get done — for your job, but also for the things that matter to you outside your job — if you were thinking about the things you wanted to think about, instead of trying to anticipate and accommodate and counter a game where you’re always at a disadvantage.”
—Friends, it is all we think about, once again articulated perfectly by Anne Helen Petersen in an essay titled “Why Are (White) Men So Unambitious?” for good measure. Can you even imagine how fucking good our houseplants would look if we weren’t also trying to prove that we’re capable of doing the job we were hired to do while at the same time making sure that this outfit connotes the right amount of professionalism without totally erasing the person inside of it?! Our calathea leaves would never again be curled and crispy!
It can be genuinely painful to think about where you might be if you weren’t exhausted from knocking on five doors for every one that opened. Even writing that makes us wonder what we could have done with the time we’ve spent putting this newsletter together for the past eight years (really). At this point we’re talking about at least a year of full-time labor just to try and even the odds out the tiniest bit.
Is it worth it? We want to say yes — it’s created community and opportunity. But it’s not just about value. It’s about equity, and we know for a fact that it’s not fair.
We took a couple of weeks off after writing that and tended to our own garden, mostly literally, a little bit figuratively. And if you’re doing work that shouldn’t need to be done, we suggest you do the same. Because the extra work makes extra rest necessary too.
Forward this email to anyone who’s ready to spend their time on what matters. They can sign up here to get twice-monthly encouragement.