Thoughts on Chronic Employment

Several months before quitting my job and, hopefully, all future jobs, I started writing down my thoughts about employment into the Notes app on my iPhone. The following are those notes. This shouldn't be read like a regular blog entry. Instead, think of each paragraph/sentence as an individual thought (like a Tweet). Some of this is quite cynical, but felt cathartic to express at the time. Make of it what you will.

I now have little doubt that working for a company in an office is a bad fit for me. Fortunately I find myself in a position to leave the world of chronic employment behind perhaps partly due to luck and perhaps partly due to the very personality traits that make me ill suited to thrive as an employee.

I do feel some sense of melancholy as I slowly and fully accept the notion that I am not normal and therefor unfit to thrive as an employee. I have after all spent much of my time in the fog of youth feeling insecure about such things.

But perhaps the chronic feeling of detachment, mild depression and anxiety is because I just don’t belong in the office habitat.

I’ve observed that after a long vacation I start feeling secure, approaching mental and physical health. This is at least some evidence that removing chronic employment from the picture can result in positive effects.

While I no longer indulge in arrogant thoughts about being superior to my fellow employees, I have a hard time finding much in them to be inspired by.

All of the blind enthusiasm of youth is gone and I’m left with the plain realization that there’s no more upside. This is the plateau. The only way up is out.

At least another year of watching the clock. I might as well make the best of it, if I can stay awake.

If I ever become an employee again I’ve failed.

So many are more than willing to endure employment. Observations even indicate that some are perfectly content in domestication.

My family is thriving and I’m dying. As a testament to the death of my narcissism, I’m ok with it.

I could not have predicted that my old lady would be my ticket out of chronic employment.

The only cure for being reduced to the average is to leave the fucking corporation.

It is better to ignore than seek to be acknowledged.

The energy always comes (especially in the morning) but chronic employment ensures that it’s wasted.

A sense of dread comes from being compelled to continue for fear of failure.

The idea of getting another job is nauseating.

It’s 2 o’clock and the most reasonable thing for a body to do is take a nap but dogma has me glued to a desk.

Now after contemplating this for a time, I’m realizing how far there still is to go.

A middle management employee has the worst of both worlds—the accountability of an owner without the ownership. The only incentive is losing ones steady income and therefor falling behind on his mortgage.

Some soon-to-be-former coworkers of mine are so pathetic in their intransigence. Every guttural noise, sniffle and cough, every mannerism simply oozes complacency, mediocrity and indifference. In other words the perfect employee; the corporate barnacle.

Although the corporate propaganda would lead you to believe the opposite. To me, everything about employment screams “it’s not yours.”

The more free you begin to feel, the more free you begin to appear, and the more trouble you’re bound to get in to.

Thriving as an employee has much less to do with skill and competence than how you appear to those in power.

Employment can become chronic for an otherwise free person due to the ease at which corporatists can be hoodwinked into doling out easy paychecks.

Being an upper management employee is the worst of both worlds—all of the accountability without the ownership.

The notion of performance as an employee is often abused. One employee may appear to be outperforming another but a closer examination will reveal that it is a matter of engagement.

My departure from employment comes with some sadness as it will in no way cure the problems of social disconnection which will remain if not worsen.

When one is unhappy at their job the answer is not a new job.

Think about how none of our childhood heroes had a 9-to-5 yet it has somehow become normative.

In a way, high paying employers are insidious. They get one accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle where the “rational” decision is to remain employed to maintain it.

It is a bit tragic how many individuals are spending their productive prime afflicted by dead-end chronic employment, convinced of its necessity.

The feeling of dread I’ve felt in the workplace. It’s chronic. A persistent sense of insecurity. Not belonging. Your position in the hierarchy always in question.

I can hear the sales guy speaking enthusiastically. As if there’s something to be enthusiastic about. Is it the commission check? I’m way to pensive for that.

I can’t help but think of those who claim to be content in their employment as domesticated animals.

Parasitic characters can survive in the office environment for a long time. Corporate parasitism is a successful survival strategy.

Occasionally something positive happens, leading you to believe it’s not so bad. But the anti-employment sentiment will inevitably creep back and take hold as the forces that drive corporatism re-assert themselves.

Cruel to say, but a thought that occurs to me nonetheless; financial industry employees are on the bottom rung of humanity.

Again, the reality sets in, how far I actually have to go. And a life of chronic employment still feels inevitable.

No more forced relationships with “teammates” who you’d have nothing to do with on the street.

Corporatists imitate each other for the sake of imitating each other.

I hear stories of the utopian work environments provided by tech giant corporations, but I still see all of it as compensation in exchange for personal freedom.

Much of what happens day to day at companies is make-work. Ephemeral. Nothingness. Noise. Even worse, it can hinder whatever art remains at the heart of the enterprise.

Corporations are fundamentally anti-individual.

As the date draws near, I’m feeling things I’ve either never felt, or haven’t felt in a long time. With it is power.

A testament to how little the individual actually matters to the corporation is how little difference it makes when someone who’s devoted years of his life leaves. And how little he’s left with.

But my expectations were not higher. The universe is indifferent to the vicissitudes of man.


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