Friday, January 20, 2023

Quiet Quitting

As opposed to noisy quitting?

Image by Alexa from Pixabay 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device  

"It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." -Benjamin Franklin

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

I get it, I do. I quietly quit more than one of the jobs I had prior to retirement, but "quiet quitting" sounds appalling to people with good work ethics. 

{Just how many jobs did you have?}

In my defense, Dana, I had a good work ethic. I never quietly quit before coming to the conclusion that trying to be a conscientious employee at a given job was pointless. Even when I was in my hippie with a job stage (long story) I tried to be as good an employee as was practicable. 

Comic Interlude:

Me: "Hey, _______, I hear ya got a new job."
Unnamed acquaintance: "Yup, minimum wage and all you can steal." 

While I didn't/don't approve of that attitude it's still a great line. 

I never quietly quit just because of the nature of the work itself. As has been said, that's why they call it work. If it's that awful, you need to actually quit and find another job. Note to Stickies: I highly recommend securing the next job before quitting the current one.  

I did quietly quit once or twice while looking for another job once I realized there was just no way to make the situation work. Also, I occasionally took on a job out of sheer necessity, when times were tough, knowing that I'd be outta there ASAP so you could argue that I quietly quit the day I was hired. 

But I never ghosted anyone. I gave as much notice as I could. I apologized.

{What about the time you worked as a busboy for nine days for that psycho that ran the dining room of a Holiday Inn like a female version of Joseph Stalin?}

I ghosted her out of fear for my life. I hope she's long gone or doesn't read this. Shudder...

Sometimes the boss is so incompetent that it's not even possible to manipulate him/her/them into doing their job. You may need to quit quietly while looking for another job and struggling to keep your current boss from screwing even that up.

Some advice for Millies, I'm a Boomer, a population cohort often under attack by succeeding generations. I'm told that many unemployed/underemployed Millies are counting on inheriting some of the wealth my generation has stashed away. Sadly, this isn't something I need to concern myself with. 

Careful, If you plan on killing someone you need to be that much more careful if you stand to inherit anything. The more dough involved, the closer the Homicide Division is likely to look. A given Millennial should be patient and let nature take its course... perhaps with a judiciously applied nudge. 

I'm willing to wager that the parents of most Boomers didn't tell their offspring to find and follow their passion, mine didn't. I think that an often somewhat less-than-ideal childhood, the Great Depression, and a worldwide hot war followed by a worldwide cold one tended to dissolve the stars in their eyes.

I don't think they imagined a future that included an ever-expanding welfare state financed by an ever-expanding national debt, or the decline of a moral consensus that included a work ethic based on paying your own way to maintain your pride and dignity — and three hots and a cot.

I learned the hard way that most people are unlikely to be able to pursue their passion at work. But if you work hard you can build the best life possible under your circumstances, and with a little luck, you'll have a few bucks left over to pursue your passion on your own time.     

The current "quiet quitting" kerfuffle is a new wrinkle for which the wrinkling Boomers are partially responsible. Notions like follow your passion, you can have it all, etceterall, began with the Boomers. We meant well, but it turns out that most people won't make the big bucks, or even adequate bucks, by following their passion.

Trying to compete at work with those who seem to thrive on "hustle culture" sucks as much nowadays as much as it did back in the day but the answer isn't quiet quitting, embracing mediocrity, and hoping for the best. 

Most people can't/won't have it all and chasing that notion is too much like work. But you can figure out what you really want (which will change as you live your life), what you really need to do to survive, and chase your dream — while taking care of business and making the world a better place just by doing your j.o.b., and doing it well,

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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