So here's an entry for the Jesus-H.-Christ-are-you-f*&^ing-kidding-me? file: a blog post from technoshaman car hire revolutionaries Uber, praising US teachers for being so badly paid that they've started driving cabs in their spare time.
The blog, posted by "Lindsey" on 4 September, purports to "celebrate the educators who are also our Uber partner drivers". Temping for the car hire firm, it goes on,
“...provides teachers with the flexibility and opportunity they need to continue creating a foundation of excellence for students across the country.”
Which is kind of nice, I guess. Uber’s just praising hardworking teachers, right? It's not as if it's patronising them for being so desperate for income that they'll turn to-
“Every day teachers are asked to do more with less, constantly faced with new challenges and limited resources. Uber opens the door for more possibilities and delivers a meaningful impact to the communities we serve.”
There's more, if you can bear to trawl through it. There's a line explaining why teachers' unique skills and personal qualities make them the perfect people to be driving a cab in their spare time:
"Teachers are among the most dedicated, passionate and hardworking professionals – a few of the qualities that make the best Uber partner drivers."
There's the bit where Uber recasts its enthusiastic international empire building as nothing more than an attempt to help schools:
"We’ll continue to invest in providing opportunities for educators in cities around the world – recognizing the need for more income options on their own terms."
There’s even a logo (with chalk writing!):
And there's this panglossian quote from teacher "Jenny Hochmiller", who tells us cheerfully:
“Teachers, in general, need a little bit more money. With Uber, I get to pick when I want to drive and how much money I want to bring in. I can be a great teacher and make both happen.”
Or to put it another way:
The blog ends by telling us that Uber’s “partners” are “your drivers, neighbors, teachers, and community members... We want to share their inspiring stories with you”. Inspiring stories of not having quite enough money to live on, repurposed as marketing copy, by the world’s most exciting new start-up.
Thanks, Lindsey. Thanks, Uber. Thanks for everything.