Scott H Young

Why You Hate Work


Work

Do you hate your job? With popular books like The 4-Hour Workweek and It’s Called Work for a Reason, you probably aren’t alone. Most people will tell you the problem is the job. They say you need to find something your passionate about. The problem isn’t you, it’s the job.

But sometimes it is you. Your distaste for work might come from something other than a job description. In order to love work, you need to change how you deal with it.

Work is a Relationship

When a relationship goes bad, part of the problem might be that it just wasn’t a good match. You weren’t right for each other.

But part of the problem might be how you handle relationships. Jealousy, nagging or commitment issues aren’t usually desirable, no matter what your personality type is. Finding a match is important. But unless you have a healthy attitude and ability to handle relationships, they will never work.

Your relationship with work is the same. Finding the right match, or your passion, is critical. But without getting the right attitude and behaviors towards your work, you’ll always hate it.

Hate From Force

Many people report to hate their jobs, even though they actually feel happier when working. In the book Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi showed research that suggested most people’s leisure time feels empty and boring. At work they are engaged and rate themselves as feeling content. But when asked what they would rather be doing, they want to relax.

Isn’t this insanity? That we’re driven to do what makes us feel worse, and are completely unaware of it?

I believe the reason is because of force. Leisure is optional, work is necessary. Because you choose to relax, that makes you feel happier about it than the work you are forced to do. This is why many people enjoy hobbies but hate work. Both can be equally engaging and challenging, but only one is a choice.

Work is a Choice

How do you remove this unnecessary hate of work. Realize that work is a choice.

Some work might be necessary to buy food and shelter. But unless you are nearing extreme poverty, your income probably covers that several times over. Tuition, clothes, travel, entertainment and cars are all luxuries. Don’t mistake them for the necessities.

If you regard work as a choice, two things happen:

  • You become more aware of your actual level of passion for the job.
  • Any passions you do have can be expressed.

If work is only a choice, you might realize that you absolutely hate your job. As a result, your goal should be to start looking for a new job immediately, even if you need to take a cut in pay.

But what you might realize is that the chains of necessity are depriving you of taking any enjoyment out of a job you might like. If you have the power to choose, then you can appreciate work more. I know many people that got into a career they enjoyed, but feeling forced to work slowly twisted any joy they got from it until they were left with hate.

Building a Work Ethic

Beyond just your attitudes, you need to take a look at how you approach work. If any pressure or difficulty makes you want to jump on a plane to Hawaii, then even a great job will make you miserable. Without a strong work ethic, you can’t get the intrinsic benefits work can offer.

A strong work ethic means you can get satisfaction from working hard and you’ve disciplined yourself to overcome initial frustrations. This work ethic takes practice and skill. Relationships with people won’t work if you lose your temper with the first fight. Similarly, your relationship with work can’t function if you don’t have a work ethic to get you over the hard parts.

I love to write. Although I get paid to do it, I would keep doing it even if it paid me nothing and I was broke.

However, it can usually take ten to fifteen minutes of thinking and tweaking before I settle upon an idea to write about. Sometimes I can write off articles immediately without stopping and other times I can sit at my computer for half an hour, playing with ideas without finding a topic and angle I like.

During these difficult periods, the immediate urge is to give up. But I’ve learned if I can push through momentary creative blocks, the work can be incredibly satisfying. Once you build up a pace, you feel as if nothing can slow you down.

Work can give difficulties in little blocks like these, or major blocks with a manager who can’t meet results with his employees or a programmer who doesn’t know where to start a project. Building a work ethic means you can push through these frustration barriers and actually enjoy the work you do.

Changing the Role of Work

I don’t want to suggest you should stick with a job you hate. I’d never suggest you hang on to a toxic relationship, and the same is true here. But don’t just look for a match. Consider your behaviors and attitudes towards work. Unless you change your perceptions of work and build a work ethic to move through barriers, any job will be painful.


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44 Responses to “Why You Hate Work”

  1. Bart says:

    I like your comments on work. I believe that work is an essential part of life, and you must realize and choose to do it for it the work to eventually uplift you. Mihaly’s study is true to my life, in that I cannot enjoy leisure fully without work.

    Moreover, outside of the need to provide the basics of food and shelter for life, work plays a huge part in defining our lives. Not only in the type of work we choose to do, but how we choose to do it. Sometimes we have little choice in the first, but complete control over the later. There is certain power of character that is absent in people who either do not labor or do not produce quality effort.

    My father shared a poem with me that has always stuck. ( I have also read a variant that replaces the word ‘duty’ with ‘service’, which brings a lot of interesting ideas into play, such as selfishness leading to unhappiness and why do we go to work: for the family wellbeing or for material possessions?).

    I slept and dreamt that life was Joy.
    I woke and saw that life was Duty.
    I acted, and behold, Duty was Joy.
    –Rabindranath Tagore

  2. Quint says:

    Thank you for looking beyond the “I hate my job” mentality, to the core of many work issues. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our attitude and level of commitment. Taking that responsibility seriously can help us find real enjoyment in good old fashioned hard work.

  3. texafornia says:

    Scott, you should really consider making an audio podcast of exactly what you write.

  4. tommy says:

    Hey scott, great insight. i think one of the causes of this is attributed to how people can get ‘suckered’ into a job they don’t really like. They stay because they don’t want to deal with searching for a new one. I’m starting this new website called JobDud.com (http://www.jobdud.com) that has job reviews so people can read about people’s jobs before actually going for the job. I think it can be very useful for people finding the right motivation in a job.

  5. jake says:

    Good article. But one thing you forgot to cover was abusive bosses and bureaucratic environments. Now matter how good of a work ethic you may have these negative aspects of a job can ruin your life no matter how hard you try.

  6. Scott Young says:

    Jake,

    Agreed. One more reason to be self-employed.

    -Scott

  7. nah... says:

    Nah.

    you got it wrong. You probably are the son of a rich man that can afford to take time off work and think that work is a choice.

    You’re stupid and close minded.

    Commit suicide, it might be better for the society :-)

  8. Scott Young says:

    nah,

    I think I’ll pass on your suggestion. But I appreciate the perspective.

    -Scott

  9. Katz says:

    Work makes lots peopler very ill. theres nothing good about it at all, people do it for money, if we used the technology we had properly we should only have to work about three days a week at this point. If works so good how come paris hilton doesnt get a job..

  10. E says:

    You make some good points, but working at a relationship with work simply does not resonate with many people. It is important to find things that make you fulfilled, happy, and passionate about life, but for many, work isn’t it. No amount of working at it will make them feel better about what they do for a living, and some change jobs and careers many times without finding any satisfaction. I think there’s undo pressure to “find your passion”, and if you don’t identify that passion, it magnifies that sense that something’s wrong or missing.

    Most of us have relationships with people — not work — because those relationships enrich our lives. In order to have an enriching, mutually beneficial relationship, the parties that enter into the relationship should ideally be equals and involved because they want to — not because they have to. In a healthy interpersonal relationship, you don’t worry that your “superior” will replace you because you already know your worth.

    This is how work is not a relationship — not if one person has to do all the changing and adjusting to cram their uniqueness into someone else’s preset mold. It’s too one-sided. Sure, everyone could just go out and become self-employed, but many personality types are not suited to that kind of risk-taking. Most people work to subsidize their lives, and their avocational passions (if any) don’t translate into money.

    People need a sense of purpose in life, and the pressure to find that purpose specifically in work is often misplaced. Purpose doesn’t have to come from your day job. Just knowing that can be freeing to many people who are wracking their brains trying to feel good about work.

  11. Scott Young says:

    E,

    Your comments echo some of the writing of Penelope Trunk from the Brazen Careerist. Her thoughts are that you probably won’t like work, so learn to enjoy other parts of life.

    I’ll admit, that can be an effective compromise if it’s truly necessary. I disagree with the statement because I have been involved in work that is truly fulfilling, meaningful and fun. So I believe it’s important to fight towards.

    -Scott

  12. E says:

    Fair enough. You are in the minority, though. I’m not telling anyone to give up on their quest for fulfilling, meaningful, and fun work. I have had work experiences that fit that description, but ultimately were not lucrative, and could not be sustained given the time commitment they required. For me the more apt relationship is to time and money; i.e. what is my work worth to me and to others? People who fight towards a path that ultimately leads to frustration, then acceptance, at least get to find out what work does and doesn’t mean to them.

    (BTW, I realize in my previous comment I should have used “undue” instead of “undo”.)

    Thanks for the post.

  13. Scott Young says:

    E,

    A valid perspective. I think the love/tolerance trade-off is something you can pursue with many different avenues, depending on the relative chance for success (career, health, relationships, etc.).

    -Scott

  14. j says:

    E,

    I could not agree more with what you have said.

  15. Peter says:

    Work or Slavery as used to be called is really stupid to be passionate about and I dont think Work no matter how, you manipulate your mind with feel good solutions, will ever give your life purpose. Work is something you arer forced to do there is no other way this is how the system is set up. Sure you can play around with words and compare it to a love relationship to make an interesting article that ultimately will change nothing for everyone. You SCOTT sure dont like work either that s why you hope to make this site into a money generating machine infact you despise working people but like to take their time and money filling them with above nonsence.
    To all of you people traped in work I feel you and advice you not to listning to gurus but feel allright about beeing negativ because that is the natural thing to be in a situation like this. Bet if you cut of Scotts arms and legs and then told him to positiv and to have a pasionate perspectiv on his lemless life, he would tell you to go to hell. theese gurus are all fakes.

  16. Scott Young says:

    Peter,

    1. I’m not a guru, never said I was, never intend to be one. I’m just a guy with an opinion, like you.

    2. I don’t intend to stop working, and yes I love work. I have no intention of building this website into a completely passive income generator. And, even if I did, I’d start something else when I was no longer needed.

    3. Don’t cut off my arms and legs.

    -Scott

  17. Bob says:

    I agree with Peter

  18. pia says:

    I agree with almost all comments. It is easy to say that there is something wrong with us, that is what our society wants us to think, so we take all responsability for anything that goes wrong, that way the Government or the Corporations have not real responsability, we are the crazy ones if we dont like our jobs, especially in this economy — I can just hear someone saying: you ungrateful fool, be glad to be working…but unless you have done work because you HAD TO, that means you needed money to pay your rent, eat food and pay the insurance on your car, unless you have felt this pain, and it is a pain to the soul, the very core of yourself then you have not right to comment on this site, or to anyone. I dont know what the answer is, many people go to therapy trying to find it but instead they are given antidepressents, lets numb them, that way they dont feel anything!!
    but drugs of any kind dont take the pain away when it is your heart that is hurting, and knowing that suffering is part of life does not help either, I am not Christ, I wish I was but most of us are not spiritually developed to that point so having the Church tell us that we need to suffer to find God only gives us more pain as now we feel like we have failed God too….
    Maybe there is just not an answer, or at least not one we can understand while in our human bodies.

  19. Sam says:

    I agree! I have quite a good job but I just hate being forced to sit at a screen all day. It’s mental torture. I have to be fake all day I work in pr and email people full of fluff and crap and I’m bored out of mind. If u go back to less “civilised” times i bet people were happier. This life removed risk but it is like being in a zoo. I don’t really care about material stuff but we are forced into a cycle where there is no other choice of lifestyle. There is no where else to go as we don’t actually own the world we live in. I know the saying the world doesn’t owe u a living but that is an unfair statement it’s like saying to a lion the world doesn’t owe u a living get on a treadmill and grind all day. And you can have a nice shiny collar to make u feel better. U can’t go back to the savannah because we own it and u have to pay tax. It is not a choice! I c

    I’m not happy in my leisure time because I dread Monday so much and it makes me realise how awful the working week is!

  20. Dan says:

    I too must confess that I hate work. I often think something is wrong with me because the older I get the harder it gets for me to even strive. I have heard that in order to enjoy your job you need to to be good at it or at least believe that you are good at it. I think this is how many people are able to feel a sense of satisfaction form their work. Perhaps this perceived sense of high competency is what kind of feeds their ego, which in turns helps them enjoy there jobs. The problem with this is that I have been told from day one before I even started working that everyone is replaceable no matter how good they think they are at their job and that no one really needs you, which totally kills any sort fulfillment or satisfaction, and I think that people who actually enjoy their jobs secretly believe they are the exception to this rule and their employer actually needs them and finds them at least somewhat irrepacable.

  21. McFly says:

    Interesting article. I found it by googling, “what if you hate working” :)

    Here is my take on it. If you think about people who have won millions in the lottery, I don’t think many of them stayed at their job.

    I’m nearly 50 and worked my way up from nothing; I actually was homeless and slept in my car, to a very lucrative high paying career where I make close to $200k a year. Guess what? I liked this career for about the first 5 years I did it and now I hate it.

    I’ve been off work for over 3 months now because of job related stress. During this time off, sure there was some laying around and just getting caught up on sleep in general, but then I noticed my mind becoming more alive than it had ever been and I began trying new things like singing, running, and various other hobbies. My job is so time consuming and stressful all I had time for after a long commute home was to collapse on the sofa. I was exhausted, my blood pressure was through the roof. After a month of not working, my blood pressure was normal, I was sleeping well, and I felt better about myself and more alive than I had been in years.

    I start a new job next week and I am dreading it. I don’t care how people dress it up or all the various mind games people think up to be able to tolerate going to the same place and sitting there day after day with people you can’t stand, works still stinks.

    I could very well do what I do from home but would a company actually let me do that? Heck no! Yes, I have asked. They want the warm bodies in the chair as to show they are accomplishing something. I have tried consulting for a finite period of time but they always want to extend and get really offended if you don’t stay on and on and on and on. Then what was supposed to be me working 9 months out of the year and having 3 months off turns into working 2 years straight with maybe a week off.

    I thought about changing careers and talked about it with my counselor but really what would I do? Nothing is going to pay what I get now. At my age, I am already seeing the prejudice against older workers especially in my field.

    So I have set a deadline to retire in 7 years and that means paying off all my debts and living a very frugal lifestyle and sure I will miss the money because it is fun to buy lots of cool stuff but I think I will be much happier.

  22. Denise says:

    I hate work. For me it seems pointless. Every day the same mundane tasks. If work was 3 days a week or 4 it would be tolerable. But two days off is not enough time to do much of anything but prepare for Monday. Get your chores done and other things you need to do in order to be in captivity and enslavement for the next 5 days of the week. Over and over. It’s senseless and leaves no time for enjoyable leisure.
    It’s never ending depressing cycle. Them inflation hits and somehow we are brainwashed into thinking inflation is normal but it’s only govt stealing your hard labor. You can never really get ahead in this system. We work to pay for basics to live. It’s like doing your duty for just being a human and needing money to sustain breath nothing more. There’s no fun on the weekend if you’re so tired from work. Got to be better life than this…

  23. Andre Breton says:

    From André Breton’s novel _Nadja_

    “I am forced to accept the notion of work as a material necessity, and in this regard I strongly favor its better, that is its fairer, division. I admit that life’s grim obligations make it a necessity, but never that I should believe in its value, revere my own or that of other men. I prefer, once again, walking by night to believing myself a man who walks by daylight. There is no use being alive if one must work. The event from which each of us is entitled to expect the revelation of his own life’s meaning―that event which I may not yet have found, but on whose path I seek myself―is not earned by work.”

  24. Work hater says:

    Hi all, Work should not rule you. you should be ruling work. you should work like when you feel and you should take off when u feel. That makes life so much easier but it is almost always impossible. It just stays a dream. but anyways I dont like working, Im just working for survival like many others. Not that I hate my job, just that I hate working. Im a work hater. I wanna be a free bird with no restrictions and doing things at my will. but I realize all this is my dream. Cheers.

  25. Minnie Mouse says:

    I can totally relate to all of the sentiment in the comments and I find the honesty refreshing, although I don’t agree with personal bashing of the author. I don’t think he was trying to be judgmental, just trying to be helpful. I hate work too…with a passion and always have. I loved school, but I hate work. I can’t stand feeling like I’m in captivity. I have no work ethic. It’s not that I don’t like helping people or contributing to society. I just don’t like feeling trapped, caged, forced, etc… I would live like a bohemian if I could get away with it. Forty hours a week is ridiculous. Two days off? No wonder people drink and have drug problems. It’s insanity inducing and we feel we need an escape. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. I don’t indulge in hobbies because I’m exhausted and depressed when I get home. The only way I can deal with being a working professional is to tell myself, “Hey, at least it’s not the industrial revolution” (when people were working 14 hours a day). Uggh. Forty hours a week for one fun night at a restaurant a week, if that. There has to be a better way. Let’s go lobby for a 3 or 4 hour work week.

  26. UnemployedinEastCoast says:

    Wow, this is one of the best blog postings I’ve read. Thank you for posting Scott. For a guy who I garner is in his 20s you sure already have keen insight into this topic. I totally comprehend each point you make and can relate. I’ve bailed from several jobs in the past, and most I don’t even have posted on my resume. The environment in each one was not good (harassment from supervisors, etc, waking up thinking..why?..) and in hindsight I should’ve toughed it out and in the meantime looked for another job elsewhere.

    I have to admit the work in my career has (even in the places I stuck out and where my colleagues were cool and non-combative) has after awhile lost its appeal ..after awhile it would feel humdrum and frankly boring. Thanks again for posting this on your blog. I have to look at future work (hopefully I’ll get it sooner than later…) in a different way.

  27. madak says:

    Great post! I really did enjoy the material as well as most of the comments. Like most everyone here, I too feel that work is a vicious cycle with no end in sight. Day after day I pray for a break or somehing to rip me out of the routine. I often find myself questioning if there is a job suited for everyone. Maybe I will approach work like a hopeless romantic… If everyone has a soul mate, does that mean everyone has a soul “career”? Maybe it’s time to live off the land for a change of pace… ha.

  28. Jason says:

    I think it all depends on the person. You made some good points, but I don’t think anything could make me not hate working. Even when my jobs have been more tolerable, they are still only “tolerable”, never really enjoyable, and never not a source of stress and degradation. Maybe I have a poor work ethic, maybe I’m lazy, but every job I’ve ever had has made me feel like a slave and pawn for somebody else to get rich off my sweat and sorrow. I hate working because of that feeling. Working is a waste of life in my opinion. I’ve figured out over the years that depression isn’t my problem. Obligations and work are the reasons that people suffer from depression. A life devoid of these things is a happy life. I guess perhaps it’s life itself that I hate. Either way, I can’t seem to quell my hatred for wage slavery and obligation in general.

  29. Jason says:

    Whoever introduced a 5 day work week needs to be dug up, necromanced, shot in the head, cremated, and then his ashes pissed on.

  30. Rose says:

    I found your article after googling “I Hate Working”. I have a good job that I have been at for many years. Bosses at different levels are good, bad, or just indifferent. Cannot imagine having to work 5 days a week from 9-5 or 8-4 or more for the rest of my working days. It doesn’t seem right that we have to work so many days a week and hours a day.

    Is my work fulfilling? Yes. Do I make a difference? Yes. Do I make a decent wage? Yes. I know I’m luckier than most. I still don’t want to go to work tomorrow. I would rather stay home and do part of my workday here and throw a load of laundry in and brown beef and put it in the crock pot, and have Dr Oz on in the background for an hour in the afternoon instead of wasting time chatting with co-workers that I wouldn’t even be friends with if I didn’t work with this employer. I want to be here when my kids are done with school and have the house smell like a cooking dinner as they walk in instead of rushing out of the office at 5:00 and rushing in the door and facing hungry kids and 20 minutes to whip something up.

    An hour or so before the workday ends I can hear everybody getting stir crazy and visiting with co-workers in their offices or cubicles. Most of them aren’t getting anything done. Why can’t we just leave? Why are typical workdays 8 hours or more plus commuting time? There’s no time for family, or chores, or cooking, or framing the print that has sat in the corner for 3 months. There’s no time to print out photos and make albums of family and friends. There’s no time to read a good book, or go for a daily leisurely walk.

    Squeezing in all of the above means staying up too late, not getting household chores done, etc. It is all too much.

    However, I am going to try to approach it the way you stated in your article just so its not so hellish and maybe, just maybe, it will make a difference and be more enjoyable.

  31. AnotherWorkHater says:

    Reading this article and accompanying comments has made me feel much better about my attitude towards work. For years now I have gone from one job to another, hating all of them for different reasons. Now I see the reason is me. For the last 3 years I’ve done almost everything BUT work, and I’ve found, though I have more free time, I’m still not happier or more productive. Now I even put my hobbies on hold in favour of sitting mindlessly in front of the TV or just staring into space thinking negative thoughts about life. I see that it is not work that’s my problem. It’s my attitude. I bet many people who hate their jobs are capable of much more yet they are afraid to go out and look for something better and more challenging. I bet people who are out of work find it easier to stay in bed than force themselves to get up and do something constructive like plant some flowers in the yard or do volunteer work for a day. We tend to not do things we don’t have to. I think the real winners in the world are those who force themselves to do things they know they must in order to achieve the goals THEY have set themselves. They are the ones who end up ultimately being bosses and running their own companies and having others work for them. And I think most people are quite okay working for someone else, at being robots and just getting through the day, but some of us, like a lot of the commenters here, myself included, aren’t okay with that. We want more. So logically, if the desire is there, it means the ability is also there, and we are capable of more. So what’s stopping us? After years racking my brains trying to figure out what it is that I lack that so many uglier, dumber, poorer and less popular people who find success don’t, I have come to the unavoidable conclusion: it’s courage, pure and simple.

    I WISH I HAD MORE GUTS.

  32. Tara says:

    Really, I don’t think any of the commentors disagreeing with this post holds water. And, neither do they know what they are talking about, because they have no evidence to prove that this post can’t be true. All I read is, “Nope, not going to try it because I already hate it.”

    And going back to relationship (nobody can deny that everything is a relationship if there is influence between the two “parties”), if you hate a person before you even gave them a chance, I’m sure they’d hate you too. Or, they can be impartial like someone who doesn’t need you and say, “suit yourself.” I think Work is more like the latter.

  33. ScootG says:

    Scott,

    I aint all that intelligent but me thinks you are quite one! but I more like your temperence and wee bit sense of humor.

    I like to think of work in two forms work viz

    1, Work with quite a degree of freedom ie the end result need not be as some one exactly requested (art / sports forms of work) and those work that will not rankle your conscience. More importantly you feel some degree of exitement (Maslov called it self actualization)

    2, Work that has elements of frustration ranging from outright stuff for which sane human tolerence is pushed to the edge (crime work / armed forces the like) upto dealing with difficult people at work and whole host of things others in the post talked about like red tape to wasteful process or un reasonable expectation with regard to time or deliverable etc.

    Yup I agree most of the I hate to work moods can be worked on (pun unintentional) but at the same time most who have responded are not talking about whether Picasso likes working or not but more about people in type two I explained above (the burger flippers to other ordinary office dudes)

    No one says ‘I hate to work’ always… usually it is only at some stage (of life) and that too because the reason for working/purpose is not strong even if someone is sucking it up just for the money.

  34. mdjokic says:

    I have to disagree with you. You speak of work as if it weren’t a necessity. But how can it not be? Sure, you can state that we can choose not to eat, to be homeless, but I’m not considering that a choice. So, unless you have rich parents or some kind of wealth that allows you not to work, then you have to. Now we get to the principal of the supply and demand. Because almost everyone has to work, it means there is a large supply of workers which reduces their value as a commodity. So they can’t earn enough to save up to eventually buy out their freedom. Plus, the government takes care of that with inflation because even if you save up, the money you saved up will be worth less one day. So you have to spend it. And now you’re a slave. You are forced into this vicious circle of having to work for the stuff you need and the stuff you don’t, you have to interrupt your sleep, you have to put yourself under stress… The only logical thing to do is to hate work. The same way a caged animal hates it’s cage. It is your prison, one you cannot escape from. I guess you can sugarcoat and delude yourself in order to make it more bearable but it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a prison. And the more (over)populated this planet becomes, the worse it will be.

  35. Anagha says:

    Thanks scott ..i love reading ur thoughts .they are fresh, wise n often to the point n leaves me enlightened .

  36. James Walker says:

    I’d wager that 90% (conservative estimate) of the working population are just doing it for the money. Even if they enjoy their field it’s not really up to them how the relationship will go. It pretty much ends at
    “Do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it and I’ll give you some money”

    In effect we’re no better than a prostitute. We’ll do what you need so long as you pay for it. Unfortunately we rarely get to set the price.

    Workplaces don’t afford a lot of choice. Your talents are used for the benefit of another while being forced to associate with people most of which you wouldn’t give the time of day otherwise.

    Most workplaces I’ve been in (and I’ve been in many of them) are afflicted with toxic environments to one degree or another. To invest your life in such a place is a fool’s errand.

    Yes we need to pay the bills but we don’t need to relinquish our souls. That’s why the idea about the coffee shop or driving instructor makes sense. I’ve been looking at jobs a few steps down from what I’ve been doing because I really don’t want to be responsible for everyone else’s screwups and give up my free time so my boss can get his BMW waxed.

    I.T. isn’t my focus anymore, it’s a black hole. Unfortunately it’s the only thing in my area that can pay all the bills it’s caused. So I’m going after low impact, no pager, support jobs now. That lets me focus on my real interests which I hope to someday let me say goodbye to I.T. forever.

  37. dan says:

    Get rid of money, let technology do the work and share the resources. Everyone would want to, and would enjoy working if working was making the world a better place for everyone. At the moment we work to make the rich richer. We should be working to make the world a better place for everyone. All politicians care about is money, it makes me sick. We are all slaves to these fat cats and most people don’t even realise it. Life should’nt be a rigged competition, everyone should be a winner.

  38. Psst! says:

    The pressure to work more and more comes from the way this system works. Our money is created in this debt-system. This system demands infinite growth. Growth can come from putting in resources like “humans’ work” or “natural resources like trees”. Why does it get worse? Why do we have to work more and more and get less and less?
    Because money in our system has to grow, it is forced to. And to give value to that money we have to put in more resources like “human work”. More money demands more resources. If we don’t grow with the amount of money, there will be inflation. Our governments have debts, which in fact means someone has to work for this debts (and the interest rate).
    Ever wondered why a business has to grow all the time? Because it has to pay for the capital with the additional interest rate. It just can’t stop and will never stop asking for more input from their employees OR cut back their income. Because it is a slave in the system. This is where the pressure comes from.

    Everyone should try to understand how our debt system creates money. Pressure in work and a-hole colleagues are just symptoms of this sick system, which forces everyone to put more and more in and to turn into an inhuman being. Try to get the big picture. Talk about it with your friends. It is an old flaw in the system, there is no scape-goat. No evil man. Just this “money creation with exponential growth flaw”.

    take care.

  39. Michaelmas daisy says:

    Great debate, it’s a wonder we are not all in an asylum. The work patterns that we know today have arisen from the advent of the industrial revolution. People moved, often from necessity, out of agriculture and into towns and cities where they found regular work in factories. unfortunately factory owners cared not a jot about the workforce who were suddenly viewed as almost captive labour. Think on this though, some people in the world are starving to death right now and would give anything to earn money for food. try reading some of karl Marx’s work to get a better perspective. it is the factory cultof the industrial revolution that we have to thank for the hours that we have to put in at work.

  40. Frank says:

    Tried a new job after 13 yrs with old company. I just don’t like it I tried. Been going through he’ll for 3 months its on call 24/7 never really get a day off always waiting for that call. On calls all day , I am a delivery driver.

    And 48 years old and don’t know what to do.

    11 12 13 14 15 hour days, it just never off my mind , never

  41. mpr says:

    this inspiring blog/thread just made me downright giddy.

    so giddy that now i’m posting my own comment after midnight when I need to be going to sleep for WORK in the morning and almost all day…AGAIN.

    but if i wasn’t doing this right now, i would be doing something else equally leisurely and stimulating until the wee hours of the morning (or quite often all night long), prolonging (or quite often eliminating) the moment I fall asleep, the most dreadful moment by far for me on most days because of what I know my very next conscious moment will entail. i am one whom many mis-informed people in this society and especially at work would instantly label a “junkie,” but they shall remain informed as long as my seemingly endless but exhausting resolve holds up. after 12 years, though, it is dwindling and I know it and can feel it.

    Minnie Mouse up there said it best and it nearly brought me to tears of joy that someone else understands this as poignantly (albeit hopefully for her sake not as personally) as I do: “Forty hours a week is ridiculous. Two days off? No wonder people drink and have drug problems.” RIGHT ON, SISTER.

    I work in financial services corporate america. i’m educated and driven to succeed. I would love to fix my monstrous addiction issues sucking my life away…but profits come before people, forever and always, until finally a catastrophic event of epic proportions comes along and sets humankind back a couple thousand years. until then, I feel pretty darn trapped and hopeless and likely won’t make it to retirement age, which by then will be 77 years old, anyway. that way the govt. can go ahead and take 100% of my retirement savings i was never old enough to access (and spend mostly on hospitals and doctors because i’m so damn old) without giving up 2/3 of it in taxes and penalties. wow! what a deal…for them. more slavery in action.

    I guess it is just as well that I would never get the break I need to work on myself for just a mere fraction of the seemingly non-stop 12 years of doing increasingly more with less and with increasing expectations of doing everything faster and better. after the break was over, all that life-sucking job pressure would return, provided we lived in fantasy land and I wasn’t simply terminated for . it will NEVER go away. you have to make money to survive, to eat, for shelter and safety, and the only jobs that pay enough to afford long periods of time to enjoy aspects of life and relationships outside of work are already reserved, for the rest of our lifetimes, for most of us.

    so why maintain good health? to feel great while sitting in front of a desk with ball-and-chain attached the better part of 5 of every 7 days, with a constant stream of never-ending similar tasks that you can never complete quickly enough?

    why try to start a new relationship? to never have the time and energy it requires to (first of all, and most importantly, as i learned this one the hard way…still learning it in fact) choose it wisely, develop, nurture, and maintain that relationship so that it adds benefit to your life rather than sucking it out of you because you were too busy having it sucked out of you by your boss for 40 hours a week, so you lack the uplifting mood and patience that rewarding intimate relationships demand. i’m not even going to entertain the thought of trying to be an adequate parent with a successful career, because it’s not possible when you’re not available most of the time.

    I was so inspired, not by the original post by webmaster scott (nice try, but you end up losing the overall debate here), but by the many others who so accurately and eloquently expressed my sentiments on this subject thread, providing validation i unfortunately very rarely experience in my world.

    well, slave duty commences again for me in 6 hours sharp, and pulling two all-nighters in a row just wouldn’t be prudent.

    so thank you for your consideration of my rants on this topic, and god damn America.

  42. Jan says:

    I do what Scott do. Thought being self employed doing what I do best would change my life. At first it did. Now I just hate sitting alone by the computer writing guides that really does not matter. They are just another crumb in the capitalistic cake. A cake that really should be tossed in the garbage and be replaced with something more ecological, natural so to speak. The reason end of the world movies are so popular is that deep down we all know that it will take some kind of uber disaster to break free from this system.
    I feel that when I do not do anything for weeks my lust for life returns. I wanna learn new things, meet new people, see new places. Be alive for real! Progress is the meaning of life. Inner progress and interrelationship progress. Somewhere along the line we started to believe that material progress is the way to go. Consumerism, the bane of all mankind…

  43. Anais says:

    Dear Scott,

    I’m so glad to hear you are able to make a living out of writing. I would love to too, though my English is rotten I do actually write very well in French. The fact is, however, that there are no such jobs at the moment. In fact, more and more people are taking the worst jobs you could imagine, because the economy has come to a point where you either slave away for minimum wage or you starve on the streets. Even that is an optimistic assessment, because it implies you can just snap your fingers to get a minimum wage job. Well, even those aren’t exactly growing on trees. Nobody becomes a “picker” for Amazon, a worker at Walmart or a factory robot by choice. And I don’t think most people have the luxury of being able to find a new job. Also, you say a car is a luxury. A car is often a necessity on many job descriptions, but also because rents are skyrocketing and most people can’t afford to live in cities with public transport and are forced further and further away where a car is the only way to get to work. I find it strange that you imply that most of us have incomes that cover our necessities several times. That is weird considering that a vast majority of people cannot make ends meet at all. You seem to be addressing a lucky minority, and I’m afraid it makes you sound somewhat uninformed.
    Anyway, good luck with the writing!
    Anais

  44. Kanat says:


    At age 51, I am in line for an appeal hearing for disability insurance
    ​ ​(which is taking over a year!) — in other words, for MY money that the US gov’t illegally took from me all my 30 years of work. (The 10th Amendment forbids any disability insurance scheme, as it does the majority of what the US Government now attempts to do. So much for constitutional [i.e. legal] gov’t. And this illegal gov’t is probably noting my statement of the facts here on the Internet in the so-called National Security Agency. Thank you Ed Snowden for exposing gov’t crimes.
    You are a true patriot!)

    I have burnt out. I have not worked in the last four years. Had unemployment, then used all my savings sparingly and now on welfare, food stamps (also illegal programs of my money having been taken and having lost much of its value and all interest I could have earned). My family’s (MDD both sides) disease has caught up with me. I have no pension or retirement fund and I have never wasted money.
    Both natural parents left me no assets and the ex-step-parent is not reliably supportive (even morally), though he has more than plenty.

    I have been no slouch: I put myself through a good and expensive college and an Ivy League grad school and paid those loans off early. As an undergrad, I studied abroad in other languages on a self-designed study abroad program for full credit. I do not smoke, drink, gamble. I have not conceived, aborted or deserted, any children. I have not been unfaithful to any wife. I have not treated any woman as a wife without the legal bonds thereunto. I have tithed all my life.

    I can even say that I have had work that I really liked and did well — and worked hard to get/qualify for, several times. I am in my element when I can make improvements for, serve people. I was a flight attendant four times — it’s hard to get that very-low-paying job even once! — and a teacher in an inner city, which is one of the two most stressful jobs in the nation (along with air traffic control). This work has consistently been ripped out from under me by unscrupulous co-workers, almost always women (not LADIES: mere women). I lost my first job when I was 17 because the spineless male boss over me did not own up to his word, to his reprehensible female boss. Nice* intro to the work world!

    What about those of us who have no guile, who cannot (not can, but “will not”, but CANNOT) play politics, the “game, etc? Like having Asperger’s Syndrome in the work environment. Those who have guile, oversized, touchy egos, jealousy, etc. screw us over and get us fired.
    I have been fired over 12 times because of poiltics. I always worked well; that was not at issue.

    (I am an obviously WASP male, height-weight-proportionate, 6′tall, a model’s face [so told], cleft-chinned, deep voice), but I “fail” because I have no guile, because I am straight-forward and do not play the games that hurt so many people. I look like I should be a natural at it — and that frustrates the s–t out of others when I do not fulfill their evil expectations. I do not “kiss up”. The “faulty wiring” for guile cannot be learned without loss of soul (and come Judgement Day, I will be very glad to still have my soul unso[i]l[e]d) but until then “life” sucks.

    And the male-female dynamic. There is good reason why both men and women in the American work force consistently say that they would rather have a man for a boss than a woman: women are not good bosses, generally. But it’s too late now, men: feminism has ruined the workplace for you. If you try to hold anyone other than a WASP male to professional standards, she can claim “sexism!” (or “racism” if not white or “hetero-ism” if selfishly pushing their chosen sexual deviance into the public sphere — or a black, female homosexual — gee, she could claim all three! –wait: Jewish or Mohammedan too: four!). And the catty women gang up on anyone that the most powerful one chooses to go after! Truth be damned! when a woman’s FEELINGS have been offended.

    Which employers really want honest employees? If I were ever to interview again — a thought that makes me cry — I would ask the interviewer, at the first possible moment in the interest of not wasting time, to respond to these simple statements:
    (If I am hired by you I need you to know that)
    I do not lie.

    I will not lie to my employer.

    I will not lie about my employer.

    I will not lie FOR my employer.

    That last statement would end the interview and my time with that employer.

    If you know of a good employer, one who wants an honest worker and who will pay what a self-paying-Ivy-League-educated worker is worth without an indenturing non-compete clause(!) , let me know.

    If I do not commit suicide (three family members ended their MDD that way; it IS an option), iI intend to move overseas. I have lived overseas several times and have always been more comfortable — and far more appreciated — there than in the USA. (I am a 12th generation American.) I am fervently hoping that the disability $ will come through because it would be just and because I would be more likely to stay on the earth (until natural demise) which would save a number of people uncomfortable soul-searching.

Debate is fine, flaming is not. Pretend that this comment form is a discussion taking place in my house. That means I enjoy constructive criticism and polite suggestions. Personal attacks, insults and all-purpose nastiness will be removed especially if it is directed at other readers.

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