LETTERS : Work may be casual but the bills are depressingly regular

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The Independent Online
YOU GIVE your readers a rough ride. One moment we are basking in optimism with the American author William Bridges, who sees "real opportunities" with the end of the bad old industrial world in which nearly everyone laboured under the wasteful, tyrannical ideal of having something called "a job". Then we turn to Neal Ascherson who sees "a society in which only a minority of the employed population will have full-time jobs" as being a return to the system of "mobs of men waiting in the rain outside docks or building sites for the chance of a day's pay".

Who is right? Living as an urban yeoman, digging potatoes from the allotment, making fishing expeditions to Hampshire for trout for the deep freeze, faxing my offerings from the comfort of home to the publishing giant of my choice, I feel in tune with the fearless fluidity of the electronic future depicted by William Bridges.

At other times, striving to satisfy the cold, temporary demands of a "project" rather than being enfolded by the warm human culture of a company, and being forced to badger accounts departments for cheques, the future looks fearfully as described by Neal Ascherson: sad, lonely, bleak and probably underpaid.

Pearson Phillips

London N1