3 Ways Your Job Is Crushing Your Soul

Have you seen the movie Office Space? Directed by an astute observer of society, Mike Judge, Office Space shows what the little guy goes through in the daily course of his pathetic cubicle existence. The movie opens with one such average guy, Peter Gibbons, trying to min-max his way through the Monday morning rush hour.

Peter arrives at work at Initech, a faceless software firm, but before he can zone out in front of the computer screen, his douchebag boss arrives to casually complain about trivial bullshit.

If you could recognize this guy, that would be great

If you could recognize this guy, that’d be great

Peter is a spineless loser who can’t say “NO!” to his boss, puts up with crap from a girlfriend who is way out of his league, and essentially gets no respect, except from his two colleagues, Michael and Samir. Peter’s girlfriend, Anne, suggests that the two of them go see an “occupational hypnotherapist”, who puts Peter in a relaxation trance but gets a heart attack before cancelling the suggestion. At this point, Peter just stops giving a fuck about everything and that’s when the movie gets interesting.

Squashing Y2K bugs

Initech is in the middle of downsizing and a pair of “efficiency consultants” interview employees to decide who gets axed. Peter, in his newfound state of lucidity, tells them that he only does enough work to not get fired, which is actually about 15 minutes per week. Why? Because he is not motivated to do any more than that.

The plot quickly becomes much more epic as Peter starts enjoying life, taking more risks and eventually decides to rob Initech with his two buddies. Their highly improbable plan involves shaving off a few cents from each transaction and siphoning it to a separate account, supposedly generating millions over time. Peter also dumps his former bitchy girlfriend and upgrades to a hot waitress.

You might have seen her before

You might have seen her before

Office Space is worth watching just for the printer destruction scene, but there are many subtle hints about what the profit-driven capitalist system does to the regular guy who just wants to have a normal life.

The idea of motivation as a crucial factor that determines efficiency in a corporate environment is well known and understood. However, the ways to make employees motivated are not that obvious. Some companies decide to motivate them with awkward team building exercises while others hire motivational speakers who give speeches peppered with fake zest. Neither of these has a long lasting positive effect, if it has one at all.

So, why not just pay employees more? Throwing money at a problem until it fixes itself seems like the best possible solution, but that’s not the case at all. There have been numerous actual studies done about this problem and the answers are surprisingly unusual. As it turns out, this is also the secret to personal satisfaction in the workplace. These are the three factors that cause people to just space out in the workplace:

1. You don’t have any autonomy

Everyone has the inherent desire to be self-directed and possess a feeling of agency. This means the ability to set your own goal and choose the means to achieve that goal. This is completely against how management and top-down decision making works.

Not only are you not allowed to make any decisions, but due to political correctness, everything you say or do can and will be subject to harsh criticism or other repercussions.


Each cog has the illusion of movement, but stays firmly in place

After a certain amount of time spent in such environment, you will either adapt by becoming a faithful servant to the machine and learn the art of passive-aggressive backstabbing or quit outright. In other words, management is great for situations where compliance and abiding by the rules is of utmost importance. For any other situation that requires innovation or creativity, it simply doesn’t work at all.

2. Your job can’t be developed into a mastery

Not only does each cog in the machine have its place, but it has to have its own, strictly defined function and never be allowed to deviate from it. That’s because employees who do one thing only are easily replaced and loss of any of them doesn’t stop the business from earning more money.

Employees that can learn something other than the given function may become crucial for the business and therefore set their own terms. From a purely economic standpoint, having specialized workers as a way to maximize profits is completely understandable.

Well, as long as profits keep rising

Well, as long as profits keep rising…

However, economists also think that having fun or hobbies is absolutely unreasonable. Why would you ever want to do something that’s not making you money?

The truth is, from the day you are born, you strive to become better at things you do, whatever those might be. The ultimate reason is personal satisfaction. Having an insufficient outlet for mastery at work makes the person depressed, apathetic, and waiting for the work hours to run out every single day.

3. Your job lacks purpose

Finally, we come to the most transcendent issue—having a job with greater purpose rather than just simply making money. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be religious and believe in a supernatural being. Simply put, your job has to have some noble cause, it has to somehow do good deeds and make the lives of others better.

Without a greater purpose, the worker will do his job sloppily and run the risk of becoming corrupt, since there is nothing he won’t do for some extra cash.

Office Space screen Milton

I was told there will be a greater purpose

If this sounds too romantic, let me remind you of the most recent case where greed and corruption had a global impact—the 2008 financial crisis. Instead of being money-lending institutions that gave money to people so they can buy houses to live in (a noble cause), banks turned into profit-driven machines that sought whatever generated the most cash.

The end result was the global recession that rivaled The Great Depression from the 30s. Even though those bank managers had autonomy and mastery at what they did, they pursued their own selfish agendas and ended up threatening the entire world.

Don’t stop dreaming

Thankfully, you don’t have to slave at the cubicle anymore if you don’t want to. Globalization has made the world a much more hospitable place for English-speakers, while the internet has opened up countless new and exciting ways to make money while you sit in your underwear at home.

Who knows, maybe it’s your version of sexy Facebook that’s going to provide you with the lifestyle you always wanted.

Read More: Having Sex In Iceland Can Destroy Your Soul

141 thoughts on “3 Ways Your Job Is Crushing Your Soul”

  1. Favourite part of Office Space for me was Peter reporting on his first day of DILLIGAF, when asked what he did all day when he refused to come in: “Nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I dreamed it could be.”

  2. Good Article. To all the Lawyers who frequent this site 2 words- Document Review. Those two words came to mind as soon as I saw the title of this post.

    1. He kind of touched on that in the article. Today work pays less and demands far more, this is causing people to check out, become dishonest, or flat out stop caring.

      1. anyone have any insight on corporate espionage? has it gone up since 2008? no job security, no pensions, equals a fuck you attitude towards your employer.

      2. Pays less compared to when? 5-6 years ago, sure adjusted for inflation, but not compared to 20, 50, or 100 years ago. The difference is people are far more consumeristic today. Everyone has an iphone, cable tv with 500 channels, a nice car, several big screen tvs, fancy clothes, and 500 electronic devices in their home. Today’s poor has a lot of luxuries the extremely wealthy would have only dreamed about even 50 years ago.

    2. Very true. It’s called work for a reason. This attitude sums up a large chunk of the millennial generation. They’re supposed to love their job, get respect they don’t deserve, and become a high level manager in 5 years. You get what you put in, just like in life.

      1. Here’s the problem though. The cost of living has skyrocketed over the past 30 years while wages have been stagnant. As a millenial myself, it’s disillusioning when you work your ass off 40 hours a week at an entry level job and you still are only barely able to survive. I make over 40k a year and can’t even afford a studio apartment. It gets to a point where you gotta just say fuck this.

        1. Move somewhere cheaper. 40k/year here would put you in a 12-1500 sq ft home at only 25% of your income or less if you went in with a roommate. Plenty of jobs in that pay range for starting salaries too–Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Greenville, Charleston, etc.

        2. I totally understand where you’re coming from, since I was in the same boat. It’s tough to be patient but you have evaluate what saying fuck it will accomplish in the long run. Life is long….usually

    3. Technically you are correct. Its not a country club, it is work. However, if what you do is sucking your soul and life. If you live for the weekends. If you get diarrhea every Sunday night. If you cant wait to hit the booze after 5, you are probably in the wrong field/job. You do what you have to do in life to get by, absolutely, but long term there should be some sort of balance and satisfaction out of what you do.

    1. I also message the online sites while at work, prospecting for the next weekend’s cum dumpster.

  3. In traditional societies, taking time off was a common thing:
    Plowing and harvesting were backbreaking toil, but the peasant enjoyed anywhere
    from eight weeks to half the year off. The Church, mindful of how to
    keep a population from rebelling, enforced frequent mandatory holidays.
    Weddings, wakes and births might mean a week off quaffing ale to
    celebrate, and when wandering jugglers or sporting events came to town,
    the peasant expected time off for entertainment. There were labor-free
    Sundays, and when the plowing and harvesting seasons were over, the
    peasant got time to rest, too. In fact, economist Juliet Shor found that
    during periods of particularly high wages, such as 14th-century
    England, peasants might put in no more than 150 days a year.
    As for the modern American worker? After a year on the job, she gets an average of eight vacation days annually.
    It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way: John Maynard Keynes, one of the
    founders of modern economics, made a famous prediction that by 2030,
    advanced societies would be wealthy enough that leisure time, rather
    than work, would characterize national lifestyles. So far, that forecast
    is not looking good.
    What happened? Some cite the victory of the modern eight-hour a day, 40-hour workweek over the punishing 70 or 80 hours a 19th century worker spent toiling as proof that we’re moving in the right direction. But Americans have long since kissed the 40-hour workweek goodbye, and Shor’s examination of work patterns reveals that the 19th century was an aberration in the history of human labor. When
    workers fought for the eight-hour workday, they weren’t trying to get
    something radical and new, but rather to restore what their ancestors
    had enjoyed before industrial capitalists and the electric lightbulb
    came on the scene. Go back 200, 300 or 400 years and you find that most
    people did not work very long hours at all. In addition to relaxing
    during long holidays, the medieval peasant took his sweet time eating
    meals, and the day often included time for an afternoon snooze. “The
    tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed,” notes
    Shor. “Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance
    of leisure.”
    The capitalist system pushes us to work as hard as possible to increase our wealth and therefore our social status. In a world with less emphasis on tribes, community, and extended family, wealth has become the primary indicator of social status.
    Communists/socialists and libertarians/capitalists are equally obsessed
    with wealth, money, and their distribution, speaking of them as if they
    were the beginning and end of all human value, providing us not with
    just essentials for living but also the substance of social status and
    the arbiter of self-worth.
    The traditional view of life places higher value on family and independent pursuits over “work” for the sake of work itself. This is why Evola places action over work.
    In a capitalist, industrial system, without the benefit of organic, local
    social order, there is a tendency for national corporations to grow in
    power until they exert decisive influence over all aspects of human
    society. A social system is created where income is the sole determinant
    of social status, so there is no reason not to work as long as
    possible. This process has reached its logical conclusion in places like
    Japan and South Korea, where fertility rates are at extreme
    lows and people with corporate careers regularly work or spend time with
    their co-workers all day every day. This has led to social
    devitalization whereby many young people have even lost interest in
    romantic relationships. This is the neoliberal capitalist endgame; 70
    hours of work a week, no children, no family.

    1. “in places like Japan and South Korea . . . people with corporate careers regularly work or spend time with their co-workers all day every day.”
      And never even see their paycheck. That is traditionally paid directly to their wives. But hey, the wives must at least pay their husbands traditional deference, at least in public, for the couple hours a week they must suffer their husband’s actual company.
      “This is the neoliberal capitalist endgame; 70
      hours of work a week, no children, no family.”
      And Clarence Darrow is rolling in his grave.

      1. I may be wrong here but I believe that Japanese companies have recently begun compensating the families/widows of workers who died from overwork. This might be the future of the average worker drone in the West.

        1. every time I took a first date to a porno movie, it ended in disaster…

    2. People back then worked to live. Now they live to work. It’s part of the consumer mentality. Can you imagine what would happen if people stopped associating happiness with material possession?

    3. I was once briefly e-pen pals with a Korean girl. She worked in a child care centre, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
      It was important that capitalism defeated the anti-human dogma of communism, but neo-liberalism is tipping the scales too far.
      All people give a shit about is status. I was at a party over the New Year and everyone, even the guys, were talking about how much they earned and how big their kitchens and conservatories were. Fucking demoralising

    4. someone on the forum has this as his signature(and Im paraphrasing):
      the ultimate goal of capitalism is to do away with human interactions and reduce everything to a cash nexus

    5. Wake up, commute an hour, sit at a desk, “grab drinks” with your lame coworkers, commute, sleep, repeat. And for what? To pay your car note and mortgage? The very things that keep you in bondage in the first place? Maybe you saved a little extra money this month so you can spend it on yourself? Nope! Your health insurance premiums were just raised for the 4th time…. This wouldnt be half as bad if the US got well over a month vacation time like most places in Europe but we get around 10 days on average like you mentioned. I dont understand how people are not rioting in the streets calling for a better life. They most be “natural slaves” like the recent article about aristotle.

      1. Have you seen typical Americans. We are kinda stupid on average. Lazy too.
        We still “like” vids and expect things to change without even going outside.

      2. “This wouldnt be half as bad if the US got well over a month vacation time like most places in Europe…”
        Don’t kid yourself. Australia has that, and they still do tremendous amounts of work per day. Plenty of people have vacation time they never take because of indirect pressure that’s applied to them to stay and do more work.

        1. Oh yeah that indirect pressure is very real. Ive experienced it myself when its basically a meaningless pissing contest to see who can stay at work the latest. That being said at least you guys actually have the 1 month + off and I know im not diluting myself because whenever I travel I encounter loads of aussies.

    6. Interesting insight. Thomas Jefferson believed that for the Republic ( limited govt./freedom) to work we needed to remain a nation of small family farms. That has not happened and we can see the massive destruction that has resulted – decimated communities, families, social structures, independence etc.. When a society is being remade by those of a collectivist bent they always focus on destroying small agriculture first. Its a direct impediment in their plans for creating a society of servile dependence

    7. Great post Spider.
      And I might add that the neoliberal endgame is being used as an excuse for massimmigration to offset the negative effects arising from low fertility.
      This in spite of the fact that immigration is a very ineffectual tool at reducing the effects of aging.
      You are offcourse right that the heart of the matter is spiritual. A wholly materialistic worldview is guiding the western World at the moment. Driven by the hegelian dialectic of socialism and liberalism.
      Those in charge of the propaganda do not want the people to think in traditionalist or nationalist terms.

    8. “200, 300, 400 years ago most people didn’t work hard. It’s because slavery was doing all the work, building America and Europe. You glossed over that!

      1. He was speaking of working peasant in Medieval Europe where there was no slavery. If you actually read everything i wrote you would have know that. You moron.

        1. 200, 300, 400 years is a quote from the article. Moron. 1700’s is from the article. Did you read it? Let go back 500 years that’s 1515. You don’t know history, your. Making it up.

        2. A quote you cherry pick and complete avoided the rest. That is called quote mining dipshit. You are the one making up history as the majority of people back then(200, years ago) didn’t even own slaves, only the rich minority in the new world. Not Europe itself. He was actully speaking of the average europen of that time period most which were just simple peasant farmers who never had the money to own a slave to begin with, making your slavery charge idiotic and not actually relevant. No slaves were doing their work, obviously. He also spoke about the peasant of the medieval period in the beginning which you complete ignored, and again no slaves were doing their work.
          Not stop responding and go jump off a cliff since you are obviously a leftist faggot troll.

  4. I would say there is a flip side to this in manual labor. I wewelded, roofed houses, and even squeegeed skyscrapers through high school and the year before i went to college. It’s. Monotonous and youre usually surrounded by idiots

  5. Why are the rugs always grey, the lighting is grey-white, the desks and chairs are white-grey? Also the wallpaint is off-grey.
    can anyone please explain this to me??? every goddamned office Ive ever worked in looked like this.

  6. One answer – b/c the jews are stealing your shit, you future, and your soul.
    Fuck Goldman Sachs – they and their brethren make the world an open air prison.
    As for Israel, that den of thieves and vipers,
    They murder others behind closed doors and through manipulations.
    Soon they will silence all dissent except that which they control,
    Making you believe you have a choice and voice, which is a lie.
    If you don’t understand this, you soon will, because they will do the same to all,
    You can’t just sit there in ignorance, or hoping they will not touch you, or go away.
    They truly are the epitome of self-destruction and evil,
    And our ancestors were wiser than us as to ever let such wickedness thrive.

  7. A lot of this is true. But the biggest soul destroying feature today is parasitic big government that taxes away all work and accomplishment you do beyond base subsistence.
    That is why people say to hell with working hard. Someone else steals it and pretends its just fine.
    No way.

  8. banks turned into profit-driven machines that sought whatever generated the most cash.
    Yeah, I remember when banks were altruistic and never gave a fuck about profits.
    Ok, I don’t. But still.

  9. What a paradox, I’m sitting here depressed at now moving into my 13th month of being unemployed, it’s crushing my soul, I work in IT and when i am employed it also crushes my soul.
    Boo hoo.

    1. Sounds like you need to do some self reflection, and contemplate a career change perhaps? Life too short to be miserable like that. Not worth it

      1. Believe me I self reflect daily, I only kept the IT thing going because i fell into it spending no money on college or education, and it paid decently until employers starting getting cheap labor off shore, screwing the job market.

        1. That’s globalisation and short-sighted leadership.
          At least you have the option to follow prosperity though. 31’s a good age

      1. Single, no debt, no kids/baggage, few K of savings.
        Never traveled, always contemplate dropping everything and moving,

        1. Funny how life works, you should be one the happiest people out there, yet you are in the dumps. Fuck that you’re in perfect position to go out and do what you want to do, when you want to do it. The world is yours.

        2. It’s wierd, had a rough few years moving to different cities, short contracts, homeless in my car here and there so that sapped some of my confidence to go out and try shit

        3. Good luck, this time next year you could have a great job and a hot Korean girlfriend
          Or more than 1

        4. Believe me, life is full of people your age who’d give their right nut to be in your position.

        5. I like the idea, and this gets talked about often in these circles. I’m probably too westernized to see past my culture though, going somewhere east always feels like I would get easily fucked over by the locals who would see me as an easy target… negative thinking yeah, probably just my programming.
          I’m a newb on travel though, i’m sure the western machine is worst machine.

        6. An IT background at least gives you a good, cross-cultural work profile.
          Do you programme?

        7. In Russia local businesspeople may well take advantage of you (I’m speaking from experience). Now’s not a good time to go there anyway, the rubble is in the dumps.
          I’ve heard good things from people who’ve worked in Korea and Taiwan. I should be heading over there in the next few months.
          If you don’t go you might regret it in 10 years time. East Asian women are the best.

        8. Sounds good, always made out to be easy though – just jump on a plane, touch down, stay in hotel the first night and then walk around the east asking people in English for a job?

        9. I wish it were that easy! You need to get a CELTA certificate. Take a course somewhere cheap like Thailand, it takes 2 months and you learn how to teach. Revise English grammar.
          Then go to schools in that country and hand out CVs. For Korea, you’ll need to write yourself down with placement agencies (Dave’s ESL Cafe is a well known website). You’ll also need a university degree (any subject) and a criminal record check.
          If you didn’t go to college or have a criminal record you can still teach in places like Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s like applying for any other job except you have interviews on Skype if you’re not in the country.

        10. It was – like most things worth doing. But you’re at a great age to do it. Many guys leave it until they’re well into their 40’s. By then you’ve left your run a little too late, although it is possible. Sometimes you just have to open a new door, any door.

        11. Right. But when you are so deep in the Matrix, it is very difficult to see, let alone accept the truth.
          I have seen many times how people are fired in their 50s and then reality comes to them like an avalanche. By then, rebuilding yourself is matter of survival instead of ambition.

    2. I was planning to work in programming years back, got halfway through basic monkey-code-school before deciding this was not for me. Didn’t feel right at all, past the initial excitement of learning something new.
      I believe that everyone has some special talent, something they are good at and naturally drawn to. Figure out what that is and manage to earn money doing it and life will be good. Don’t, and you might walk through life confused and angry and wondering why things are not a lot more fun. Keep searching.

    3. Ended up in a similar fix in 1990. I was couch camping at one point. One day, I got up, packed a small bag with a jar of peanut butter and some clothes and walked out to nearby I-20 and stuck out my thumb. Two days later, I was in New Orleans. I waited tables for a while and camped in a crappy hotel out in Metarie. Few months later, I partied with a dude who was writing bad checks and being sought by police. We caught a greyhound to Dallas – I was still drunk when we got there. Went down to some of his friends’ home in the country and worked in cotton for a time. Some time later, I left and ended up on the left coast. At one point, I ran out of money and slept like a bum under a catamaran at a marina. Toured all of that side of the country. Even hopped a few trains with some cool ass hobos. Went back East and down to Miami, then to Key West. Before I knew it, a year had elapsed. I went back to Atlanta, got a haircut, camped at my ex girlfriend’s ,took a job with ESPN as a grunt for the TV crews and ended up middle class a year after that. Been a square ever since.
      Hell, it was the best time of my life. Love telling my kids about it.

      1. change 1990 to 1950 and espn to abc, and it sounds like an excerpt from On The Road…cool story…

        1. I was, at that time, probably inspired by such works. May have been the impetus for the whole trip! Wish I still had that sort of courage. But the last time I walked out after an argument with the wife, I made it to Motel 6 for about half a night. LOL

      2. Nice! So glad to hear that there will be some kids whose father will not force them into a life of classrooms, cubicles, and debt.

    4. I may share my story with you bro, since I was in your position too. At 25, I began an 18 month unemployment stint, was depressed and didn’t know what to do with my life. I didn’t know myself and my life lacked direction. Then, I read a shitload of self-help books and went to therapy and life-coaching. By 30, you could say that I finally matured, knew me, accepted me and, more importantly, began to love me.
      At the end, I was able to make a personal inventory of my skills, strengths and weaknesses. I planned, saved enough to live a couple years and actually quit my job this week to begin a new life.
      What you need to understand is that you cannot change your life if you don’t know/control yourself. You need maturity, self-love, life experience, wisdom and many other personal assets to make the leap. Nothing of that comes easy. But it can be done with time and -balls-.
      You lack debts, obligations or kids. You may begin anew at 35 with enough self-discovery (perfectly doable, youth is still on your side).
      However, if your are unable to be supported by your family, I recommend you get a load of credit cards and small loans, max them, take your money and buy a single-way plane to a very cheap country to being from zero. Shock therapy.

      1. Yes I definitely know what you are saying, I’ve been knee deep in
        self-help books etc for a few years and have done therapy. I haven’t
        had it easy in terms of self-esteem, getting to where I am at (even
        though its a place i dislike) and most importantly- being given actual
        information about the world from good role models, I’ve just winged it,
        got a pseudo-career to make some money but now seem to be at an endless
        crossroad, living back in my hometown worst of all.
        “Time and balls” – I loathe time now, sounds weird but, it’s the sort of thing where I just want it to stop while I sort things out, I guess it’s the contrast between how bad I wanted things and where I am ..
        Good to hear someone coming back from the grave though, What sort of work do/did you do?
        Do you mean you started at 30, or that is where you are now quitting your job?

        1. My self-discovery path started at 28. It took me 3 years of studying and reflection. At 30, I finally realized what I would like to do with my life, and definitely what I would not like. I have been saving for months, reducing my expenses, and minimizing my lifestyle. Like all things worth, it wasn’t quick or easy.

  10. The great number of people work way beneath their intellectual limits.
    This is basically akin to pretending to be stupid for 9 hours a day.
    This can’t be psychologically healthy.

    1. I know what you mean. I fantasize about a society akin to Star Trek where everyone worked to further mankind. A society with purpose, jobs with purpose that utilize critical thinking. I didn’t go to college to cold call people all day.

  11. You want real soul crushing?
    It’s not the job.
    It’s putting up with people.
    And I’ve worked the same job for 8 years. And it’s the same job. Only the people I have to deal with have gotten worse.

    1. Right on. Even “Office Space” made it pretty fucking clear that it wasn’t the job or the tasks that were the problem for Peter, it was the assholes around him. That and pointless bureaucracy, which will infiltrate any job.

  12. The problem with corporate based environments is office politics, and the fact that it is not meritocracy based anymore. With the exception of a pure sales/commission job as well as a trader in the market, The Meritocracy which this country was built on has gone out the window in Corporate America
    Having worked in Corporate American for almost 20 years now while building up my side business, you have 3 choices:
    1) Play the game and see how far you can make it. (C-Suite is the target, but the amount of fakery and back stabbing get worse as you go there. Also need to know how to sit through boring meetings and network) Plotters, Schemers, etc.
    2) Sit back and accept things the way they are and do not try to get ahead (Betas)
    3) Work hard enough to keep the job, but not too hard to get noticed and waste your time working extra for a non-promotion or weak raise in the future. All the while, finishing your day job fast enough so that you can work on your side-hustle during corporate work hours. You either juggle both for extra money, or build up your side business to a big amount so you can ditch Corporate America forever. (Red Pillers)
    IMO, if you are not shooting for the C-Suite, which is where the money is at, eventually, your salary will cap out if you don’t play the game. The only other option for a while is to jump jobs. Job jumping has reaped me 25% gains versus a measly 5-6% on average after having a great year performance wise. Then you can work the side hustle. Once you recognize that it is not a meritocracy, you make 1 of the 3 choices above and go from there.

    1. Right on the money – the office politics will break you. Not to mention that when you work in environments where there are a lot of women the politics are generally much worse. Having said that, so many of the dudes play the politics as well, because they need to – wife, massive mortgage, kids.
      I sure don’t miss that working life. Office jobs kill you – I believe its an environment much more suited to women.

      1. Definitely. The stuff you own, ends up owning you. Then you are stuck working a job that will drive you to an early grave to pay off debts from your overleveraged life.
        It’s shocking to see what life is like when you are debt free and want to stay that way. Things are smaller and simpler, but the pressure from The World for you to go back into debt to “upgrade” into stuff you don’t need and never will, is amazing.

        1. Women have a lot of problems with that pressure. Suppose that is why so much marketing and advertising is aimed at them.

  13. Take this advice too heart people. The modern day faceless corporation could give two $hits about 99% of its employees. You are a number in the ledger. It doesn’t matter if your boss likes you, you are a top performer, everyone around the office has a good opinion about you, or if you have decades of seniority. You are still a number in the ledger.
    Profit projections down? Quarterly reports off? The boss wants to sell his company? Third world contractors can do your job cheaper? You are a number on a ledger.
    The faceless corporation views you as a number and you are as disposable as deleting a number in a spreadsheet. When the time comes for cuts, layoffs, downsizing, the corporation will show you absolutely no loyalty. The second a number needs to move you are in play. Nothing else matters.
    Sure if you are well liked or a top performer that may be enough to squeak you by a round of cuts, but you are really dealing in the margins. And, do you really want to be working for a company that just cleaned out half your department but still expects the same amount of work to be accomplished?
    Approach every day as if you could be out of work by the end of that day. That is the modern reality. Never assume continued employment or that the next paycheck will come.
    1. Keep your personal expenses as low as possible.
    2. Save money every paycheck
    3. Keep liquid savings that can reasonably cover six months of your expenses.
    4. Get some sort of side business or hustle
    It is number 4 that people don’t do and it is probably the most important. Sit down and assess your skills and talents. If you are decent with IT think about doing some outside consulting. Fixing a few home computers a month can bring in several hundred dollars easily. Same with dog walking and animal sitting. Watching teenage children that don’t do much other then play video games is also a cash cow. A night’s worth of work and you leave with $100 in cash.
    Point being, having a side business that produces a real revenue stream is KEY to living an independent life not at the mercy of a corporation. It doesn’t take much more then a little drive and creativity to generate real amounts of cash every month. Also, make sure it is scalable so when you do lose your job (or quit because your job sucks) you can expand your efforts to generate more revenue. Heck, you may even find that you are making more money with your side business then you were working your old job.
    One time I was between jobs and was relying on my side business to pay most of my expenses. I got a month long gig working on a website. My lease was running out. Instead of renewing and creating another expense obligation that would last a year, I let it lapse and went to a tropical resort of the month. The all inclusive ended up being cheaper for the month then my usual rent and food per month. I got to sit on an island, drink and eat, and build websites whenever I was sober.
    If you don’t have a side gig, get one started NOW. It is either that or be a slave to a corporation.

    1. I get what youre saying, but the image of 30- something men(as if!) babysitting is hilarious

      1. I get the image is funny, but it can be real serious work that should not be overlooked. The gig I used to have was watching two teenager for three hours after school before their mom got home. (They called it “mentoring” but it was glorified babysitting). I picked them up from school. We stopped at the grocery store. I would take them home and mess around on my laptop for an hour. Stick whatever the mom had put in the fridge in the oven for dinner. And occasionally play some video games with them. They were cool kids. Even got to impart some manly advice to them along the way.
        For all of this back breaking work I averaged about $100 a day in cash. If I watched them on a weekend it was usually about $250 for eight hours. It easily covered my expenses for the few months I did it.
        Seriously though, you have to be careful doing this kind of work as a man. One fake cry of molestation and your goose is cooked. I would only ever watch boys and only if they were in their teenage years and seemed somewhat mature. It’s not foolproof but definitely reduced the risk a good deal.

    2. I think the main problem with number 4 is finding the creative energy to do that while working for a corp. I tried it, it sucks. Being surrounded by noisy, smelly idiots, trying to freelance. It sucks. Arriving at home at 8 pm, after the commute and 10 hours of bullshit, and then begin to work again. It sucks. There is a reason 5 hrs in a nice coffeehouse, with eardrums/earphones can be more productive than 12 hours in a grey cubicle.
      Your are spot on the liquid savings enough for six months. I am actually taking another route: enough liquid savings for 2 years, quit my job at a corp, and then begin my business/hustle from scratch.

      1. I hear you. A corporate job can literally suck the life out of you. The notion that you have to commute an hour round trip to sit in a dull workspace for 8-10 hours then commute back in probably the most life suck about the corporate world.
        The thing you need to do is think up of ways to get out of the hamster race. A few years ago I went to my boss with a “cost saving plan” whereby my position would be reduced to 80%, I would work four days instead of five, and some of the mind numbing work that was a legacy duty of my job would get passed off to a third world contractor. Instant win for both me and him. He looks like an innovative manager cutting costs and I get out of corporate jail an extra day a week at a modest pay cut. Heck, just losing the extra day of commuting saved me enough cash to significantly make up for part of the cut.
        Try to get your work arrangements to where you get to ditch the commute by working from home or you transition to a 4 days (or better 3 day) work schedule. This will give you not only more leisure time but time to set up your side business while still being able to rely upon your income from the day job.

        1. I tried such arrangement. My corp is a monopoly, and paternalistic-autocrat. Cost-saving measures are not required, and Vice-Presidents count heads instead of results. Like a feud.

        2. Dude your soul is not worth it. It took me about five years in a soul sucking job to finally figure that out. I thought I had mad it because my salary had six digits and I had a nice office. The problem was though I spent five digits of that on alcohol and another five digits on clothes and a car so I could look the part. Now I make 35% less, have just about as much disposable cash once I dropped the booze, but have my life back.

        3. That is more or less my plan. I calculate that once the commute and other work expenses are over, I would need to earn 50% or less than my salary for the same life quality.

  14. I honestly do very little at my job because working for a huge corporation you start to realize there is tons of mediocrity, even in management, who are lazy because they have the security of moving throughout the organization. And all the bureaucracy stifles innovation and independence, it’s true. The contractors have no rights and are basically the gophers in the organization. I don’t take my job seriously because I am not salaried and the job is basically a ‘mind the store’ type job that should be part-time but isn’t. It was a big jump in pay from my last job, but I am still having trouble saving money. Millenials have seen the struggles of boomers and Xers, and we are being compensated less than they, we are in more debt, and the cost of affording things is higher now than it was. I don’t believe I will ever have enough equity to own a house, nor do I care to what with the costs associated with maintaining that lifestyle. I’m lucky I have a friend in the Airlines who gets me very cheap flights when I want to go places. I have pared down my possessions, donating clothing very often and living a simple, modest lifestyle. The way we are headed, the human race and the planet are doomed of our own ignorance, and at the present momentum it doesn’t look like we have much control to reverse our course despite our wisest intentions.

  15. Your point is well taken, but your mortage lending example was overly simplified. This crisis, particularly in America was precipitated by legislative manipulation designed to give housing to those who truly could not afford it. Of course greed does come into play. Lots of people did get rich on the backs of the tax payer who is forced by gunpoint to bail out the bad loans.

    1. listen to the whole thing, think it was written in the 70s, he was already concerned about out of control debt levels.

  16. The LACK of a true “profit-driven capitalist system” is the problem for men…it is NOT the cause of the horrible modern workplace for men.
    (Did a feminist write that?) (See paragraph 6).
    If governments did not favor big corporations and companies due to its tax laws and policies, men would be more independent and not beholden to the feminists in HR.
    Any man who is against profits…must only pay for essential living expenses, and give the remainder of his money to the National Organization for Women.

  17. It is impossible to exist as an alpha when you are working in the low and middle tiers of corporate america. Your boss will work overtime to make sure you “know your place bitch” and your beta coworkers will attack you when they smell “blood” in the water. I know this from personal experience

  18. “I don’t want to take my time going to work. I got a motorcycle and a sleeping bag, and ten or fifteen girls, what the hell I wanna go to work for? Work for what, money? I got all the money in the world. I’m the king, man! I run the underworld, guy! I decide who does what and where they do it at. What am I, gonna run around and act like I’m some teenybopper somewhere, for someone else’s money? I make the money, man. I roll them nickels. The game is mine. I deal the cards.”
    -Charles Manson

  19. I don’t give a shit about earning big money. I’d happily work 3 – 4 days a week in a casual, bartending job or something of that accord and just live more sensibly. It’s amazing how much money you actually do have when you don’t buy coffee/lunch/dinner out every day, and when you don’t go out to night clubs, or trade your blood for a mortgage on a house or car that won’t make you happy anyway.

  20. This movie office space and fight club came out the same year. Both of these great films highlight our institutionalized existence pretty well I think.The maker of office space Mike Judge also did the movie idiocracy though I’m fairly certain that one is a documentary.

  21. #4. Everything inside your typical corporate office is colored grey.
    Grey? The color of depressing weather? That’s going to foster long-term job satisfaction – NOT.

    1. Yyyyyyeah, we’re gonna need to move you down to the basement, so if you could do that by the end of the day, that’d be greeeeeat.

  22. I retired from a large international corporation in 1997. During the time there, 31 years, I read a lot of training materials supplied to management. Note that management never read their training materials. Surprised?
    Turns out when people work 70 hours a week, their total production is less than when they work 40 hours a week. In fact, around 40 hours a week is maximum total output. Anything more, and total production goes down.
    And, they learned this with simple tasks, like standing at the end of a line and tossing stuff in shipping boxes. Imagine what happens on thought or creative work.
    But, I found that in general management folks were dumber than rocks. Just my personal opinion, of course.
    A few years ago, some guy wrote a book explaining why the stupidest people always get promoted. I once asked my boss if management folks were born that way, or if the company took normal people and damaged their heads until they were qualified for management jobs.

  23. I really wanted to like this article, but bad examples in the first and second points and a ridiculously simplistic conclusion kept me from doing so.

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