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The Workers Who Bring You Black Friday

Source: The Nation

My life as a temp in California’s Inland Empire, the belly of the online shopping beast.

The call from the temp agency comes in late October. I’ve passed the drug test, cleared the background check, sat down for a quick interview—“Can you lift fifty-pound boxes?”—and completed a worksheet of basic math problems. Now there’s a job. A warehouse just outside the city of Ontario, about forty miles east of Los Angeles, needs more bodies to meet the holiday crush.

They do work for Walmart, Best Buy, “all sorts of big companies,” says the female voice on the line. Orientation starts at 8:15 am; pay is $9 an hour. “Make sure you’re early.” Before hanging up she repeats the order. “Be early.” read more

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Indigenous Recipe Tackles Diabetes With a Return to Desert Foods

Source: Yes Magazine

The Desert Rain Café brightened a space in a small shopping complex, drawing dozens of curious ­customers who filled patio tables by noon. Its menu, local by design, featured ingredients from the café’s own farm: desert squash enchiladas, mesquite-flour muffins, hummus made from tepary beans. The café recently extended its hours to take advantage of its booming business. read more