The Almost-Zone

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Quotes: Famous/Almost-Famous

Things to Watch For . . .

The Last Word (almost)


There are several reasons why almost-employees are almost-better than employees. Almost-employees may be cheaper than employees. Another advantage for employers is that almost-employees are more disposable than employees. Another is that they might not be on the tally of the official payroll, . . . which means that your government department or multinational's subsidiary can both grow and shrink simultaneously simply by replacing retiring employees with almost-employees. Almost-employees are the almost-perfect almost-solution for most organizations. The almost-typical business almost-always has some, and they are especially helpful for start-ups. Almost-hiring almost-employees has been the "wave of the future" for almost-ever.

Companies large and small are reaching out to almost-employees, and almost-employees are reaching back. Almost-employees are the almost-best part of almost-Capitalism (especially since actually hiring someone has become so onerous and risky).


1. Contractors: Someone working "at arm's length" from the organization requiring the work. (Some IT personnel, some lawyers, some accountants, mercenaries, private investigators, whole contracting companies.)

2. Part-timers: People working less than thirty hours a week at a job. (People working two or more jobs, students working part-time, an unemployed person looking for full-time employment in another field, anyone who is semi-retired and just looking for a little extra cash.)

3. Illegals: Those not authorized to work. (Illegal immigrants, child labor, anyone on the lamb.)

4. Offshore workers: You hire them through someone. You might not even know that you're doing that, you might just think that it is some internet company doing something here somehow, at an unexpectedly-low cost to you.

5. Deadwood: An employee not pulling their own weight. (Those who should be fired, those who need to be inspired, those who work in a department that is not needed.)



The people at the company that does your company's taxes.


The hows and whys of almost-employees often become political issues for as many reasons as there are almost-employees in the first place. For the almost-employee, working through a series of contract positions is a fast way to get ahead. For someone looking to limit the amount of time they spend working, this is great. Companies often pay a premium to keep people off their own payrolls, not under their own management, and not under their "benefits umbrella." Small start-up companies hire part-time or temporary help so as to avoid committing to the cost of a whole person-year for some tasks that need doing but that might not last.

Someone who is an almost-employee is often also an employee. They might be an employee of a contracting firm, or an employee of someone overseas, or an "employee" of their own company. Many part-time workers also have full-time employment elsewhere.


More Examples:


Even almost-employees need to have something to do. What's he going to do, dig down into the Kellogg's almost-advertisement?


Hiring cartoon characters is sometimes cheaper.


Sometimes newer employees have more energy, but that energy can run out. (Step 1. Break the process up into easy "Mc Jobs." Step 2. The high turnover rate resulting from lower pay for less skills does not mean you have high training costs. Simple.)


Providing seats and offices helps keep up morale.


Are you watching this during an official work break? (Your company wants to know. See our Privacy almost-policy link on the right. We'll never tell. But your company probably keeps track of the sites you go to.)

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