Showing posts with label working. Show all posts
Showing posts with label working. Show all posts

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

Scroll down to share this column or access my golden(?) oldies. You too can be a patron of the arts! Click here.    

Feel free to love, hate, or troll me on my Facebook page. I post my latest columns on Saturdays, other things other days. Cranky don't tweet, but in light of recent events, I'm considering it... Go Elon, go!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Working, 2021

Top off your coffee it's a long one

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

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — A Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. Viewing with a tablet or a monitor is highly recommended for maximum enjoyment.  

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlereader  

"When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?' 
                                                                                      -Don Marquis

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies and Great-Grandstickies (and Gentlereaders),

Recently Amazon offered me a free copy of a best-selling book that came out in 1974 titled Working. I was a callowyute who had been working (at a real job) for three years at the time. I wish that I had read it back then, it might've changed my life for the better. 


Yes, Dana, but possible. It's loaded with life lessons.

The book was written by Lewis Terkel, a well-known man who was well-known as Studs Terkel. I'd be willing to give up a body part of lesser importance for a nickname as cool as that. 

Ironically, and as you know I'm all about ironicalities, he was dubbed Studs (the name of a character in a novel Terkel was reading) by the director of a play that he was acting in to distinguish him from another actor who was also named Lewis and it stuck. 

[So he wasn't actually a...]

No idea. Doesn't matter. The point is...

[Can we move on, please?]

(Heavy sigh) Certainly. Working is an oral history subtitled People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. Nowadays, it serves not only to provide insight into how ordinary people felt/feel about their jobs, it describes a pre-woke world that has changed dramatically. 

Which got me thinking about my working life.    

I only belonged to a union once, not a very good one, in the course of working full-time for 45 years or so at various and sundry jobs. And I never managed to cobble together an actual career despite a sincere attempt or two... maybe three.  

In spite of distressingly regular setbacks, I never fell back to my fallback position and attempted to join a Taoist monastery in China's Wudang Mountains.

I never gave up, although I confess to having once deliberately remained unemployed for as long as the checks kept coming. When they stopped I was working at a new job a week later. 

In my defense, I was still young enough to think I was bulletproof and ten feet tall — and having a helluva lot of fun at the time.

Several decades later I found myself on the dole again for an unexpectedly long time. It was the height of the Great Recession; I was in my late fifties; I couldn't buy a job. 

This puzzles me since it's illegal to discriminate against someone in need of a job because of their age and I had... 

[Is that sarcasm?]

If you have to ask, Dana, well... never mind.

I had plenty of experience in doing this, that, or even that, but I had to cobble together a clutch of crappy part-time jobs to survive till I could opt for early Social Security due to a busted hip and a major financial crisis or two, maybe three, here at Casa de Chaos.

I worked a lot more hours for a lot less money than I was making prior to the crash.     

I spent decades stumbling through the American occupational landscape, confident that a career, or at least financial security, was just around the next corner. However, no one in their right might would describe me as financially successful. 

But I got by. I'm getting by. 

I was only briefly homeless (long story) for about 24 hours, never lived under an overpass, and never had to brandish a sign that said Will Work For Food.

I'm grateful that I'm a member of the global 1% — just about everyone that lives in the U.S. — and have lived long enough to join millions of my fellow Americans in enjoying an underfunded retirement. 

The Industrial Revolution, which created the modern world that we take for granted, upset apple carts all over the globe. Granted, there were hooge honkin' downsides, aren't there always? But overall, life on Earth improved rapidly and dramatically.

The Industrial Revolution was the coolest thing to happen to H. sapiens since the Neolithic (agricultural) Revolution and led to the eventual widespread availability of bacon-cheeseburgers and french fries. 

[We're talkin' homemade french fries and certified Black Angus beef, right?]

Of course. 

Also, it created jobs for the masses, as well as a thriving middle class, at least in countries that adopted the tenets of what used to be called Western Civilization.

[Used to be called?]

Typing the words Western Civilization in Wikipedia's search box spits out an entry titled Western Culture.

[Po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe?]   

Perhaps... but I smell a Wokie. 

[You're getting paranoid in your old age. A Wokie would use a title like Pasty Patriarchical Hegemonistic Euroimperialism (HT: Robert Greenberg).]

The Dizzinformation Revolution has created a handful of unimaginably wealthy oligarchs and a relative handful of good jobs for talented techies. The nerds have truly been avenged.  

These people are proud of the fact they found/continue to find all sorts of ways to make money by creating cool actual products to sell, and handing out "free" virtual products and services that people used to pay for.

How do you get around the proven concept there's no such as a free lunch? Reframe it. 

First, make the customer the product by harvesting the data accumulated by all those people using all those "free" products and services. 

Next, make the products and services as literally addictive as possible via applied science with the assistance of psychologists with flexible ethical standards. 

Finally, turn all this data into money by selling it to advertisers, using all that information supplied by "users" to sell stuff to — users.

A virtuous circle. Well, unless your job was destroyed by a free virtual product, or you used to make an actual product that's now being built by Chinese slaves.

[Oversimplification and hyperbole, sir!]     

Clarification and entertainment, sir!

The good news is the plague is slowly ending and there are now all sorts of jobs available. 

But in many cases, staying home pays better than all sorts of low-skilled jobs which is good news if you have one of those sorts of jobs but is also bad news because The Fedrl Gummit is funding the difference with borrowed money and driving up the largest deficit since WW2 but ultimately might be good news if you have one of those sorts of jobs because it might force firms to pay more which is bad news for their customers because prices will go up and then more people will want/need raises because inflation is a stealth tax on everyone and I'm getting a migraine I gotta go.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Comment, share this column, or access older columns below. If you find my work pleasing you should buy me some cheap coffee with PayPal or plastic.    

Feel free to comment/like/follow/cancel/troll me on Cranky's Facebook page.

Cranky don't tweet.





Saturday, October 5, 2019

Do You Love Your Work?

Don't confuse your work with your job

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm dead.
This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and approximately 39.9% of all grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering. 



Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I am a friend of the working man, and I would rather be his friend, than be one.                                                                                        -Clarence Darrow

Dear Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

When I began this particular missive I had no idea what I wanted to write about but this is not particularly unusual. Just because I've made a personal commitment to writing a weekly letter doesn't mean I'm necessarily brimming with ideas and can't wait to start writing on any given day.

Regardless, I write nearly every day, even if it's only a few sentences. I do this for myriad reasons but I'll refrain from pouring out my psyche all over the page. Bottom line? It provides all sorts of mental/emotional/spiritual/etceteral health benefits at no charge.

Also, it somehow enables me to tap into something that I can't possibly explain with mere words. Ain't that ironical. 

I've recently made the mistake of re-researching how to make money from wordsmithing, looking into the subject more deeply than I ever have before.

Suffice it to say I've once again abandoned my novel. All the life lessons I would have you learn, carefully disguised in a (hopefully) entertaining bit of fiction, have been put back on a virtual shelf.

Sorry, it looks like you'll have to mine my weekly missives if you're interested in unearthing a nugget or two of useful information.

This is not as mercenary as it sounds. I've made, literally, less than a hundred bucks for my work since I began writing this weekly whatever it is four years ago but it's never occurred to me that I should give it up.

Trust me, I'd absolutely love to make a pile of dough for my efforts. I've tried various methods to turn my words into cash. The campaign continues apace.

But I'm sure you (possibly from me), and my gentlereaders, have heard the cliche that if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life.

It's true.

The bad news is there's a very good chance you won't get paid for your work. But even knowing what your work is, and having the opportunity to do it, is a blessing.

[Could you be a little more vague? What does any of this blather have to do with the title Your Garrulousness?]  

Dana emerges! In fact, I wrote a column (a hobby that turned into my work, these letters) on this very subject quite some time ago.

What would I have you learn, Dorothie's?

                                                     *     *     *

Strive to become skilled at something the world is willing to pay you for and is likely to keep paying you for down the road, that you don't hate, and your life will be a lot more pleasant than otherwise. But there's a good chance it won't be your work.

Your work is something you'll keep doing anyway because you almost have to and it will keep your soul from slowly evaporating as you age. Your work can be almost anything—you'll know it if you're lucky enough to find it.

[Wait-wait-wait, what's this got to do with you dropping the ball, or should I say the keyboard, as far as your novel is concerned?]

The novel's not my work, I thought I had found a job that might possibly lead to me and mine making some cold hard cash. Every time I start working on it again it quickly becomes a job that I don't much care for.

And that would be fine—I've had more than one of those, but I knew what the payoff was and I did what I had to do to take care of business. At this point, the reader might go back to the part about learning a skill the world's willing to pay for.

BIG BUT... even getting signed by a well-known publisher doesn't ensure that two, three, or more years of intellectual bloodletting will result in more than chump change.

I've read articles by compulsive novel writers that have a published novel out there, and two or three more in a drawer, that haven't made enough money to fund a vacation from their day job.

But they continue writing novels, or _______, for the same reason I continue writing my column. There are other forms of compensation besides money.

                                                   *     *     *

I'm doubly blessed.

We share, my Dear Stickies, and have for quite some time, a home. I know that's unlikely to last as you're all headed towards gruphood at the speed of life. But hopefully, one or two of my less annoying attributes are/will be of some assistance to you now and in the future.

And while I've yet to make more than a few bucks for my efforts, I, like serial novel writers who have also have been denied both fame and fortune, love my work.

And just like them, and lottery players everywhere, in my heart of hearts I know that I'm going to wake up one day and discover I have the golden ticket.

You gotta play to win, right?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me a coffee.  

                                                   *     *     *

Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. I post an announcement when I have a new column available as well as news articles/opinion pieces that reflect where I'm coming from or that I wish to call attention to. Cranky don't tweet.