"This is not going to be a Dilbert Web site," said Jennifer Vogel, Managing Editor of New Media for Stern Publishing and Team Leader for Working Stiff. "Dilbert is the same every day, about the treadmill of the work place. And it is harmless. Working Stiff is the opposite. We aim to give people what they need to improve their working lives."
In a time of increasing work hours and declining privacy and job security, employees have few places to vent, share ideas, and band together. That's where Working Stiff, a webzine for working people, comes in. Various sections will give voice to, or offer space to reflect on, the daily grind of the average Jane or Joe: in-depth feature articles on issues from privacy to office relationships, a weekly advice column, a stress-o-meter, a resource guide, and active bulletin boards.
The site's main attraction is the diaries section, which will trace the drama and monotony of working life in two different occupations per month. Written by workers (whose identities will be protected) on stenopads, the diaries will incorporate sound files, staple-guns, memos, and other found objects from the diarists' workspaces. Two examples on their way: a friendly customer service rep. describes what it's like on the other end of the phone and an electrical power employee depicts his odd world in which assistants suffer from persistent neural black outs and bosses log out, never to return.