A job? Why would I want one?

First, some context. I was up too late last night, I’d had a teacher try to volunteer me to help at school on short notice with the jibe “and it’s not as if you have a job”, I’d had the £10 pig phone call, I’d listened to the OH talking about a friend whose husband is at risking of losing his job and so on.

So when I penned the following I had steam coming out my ears and was feeling like the Rajah of Rants, the Nabob of Negativity and the Duke of Declamation.

I had almost decided not to post it, but the Other Half persuaded me to. If you read it, blame her and not me!

“Your boys are both at school now, why don’t you get a job again”, or “isn’t it about time to got a job”, or “why don’t you have a job”, or “it’s not like you have a job or anything”.

All are popular jibes cast in my direction as I effortlessly loaf about with the boys, live off the Other Half, and play crofter with our animals.

I just smile benignly at the afflicted, domesticated and socially conditioned, because it is true. I don’t have a job and life is fun.

The affliction is the one that infects you upon leaving school or university, the one that conditions you to go out and get a job to support your debts, your family and yourself – in that order.

It’s also the affliction that causes you to despise and look down on those who choose to cast aside or reject the affliction so as to support themselves in ways that are more meaningful, more personal and more direct.

It may be a mass affliction, but that doesn’t make it healthy, wise or smart.

In fact, getting a job is one of the worst things you can do to support yourself if you’re intelligent, self-motivated and principled.

Taking on a job to support yourself is no better than being a serf who sells themself into indentured servitude.

You get a roof over your head (but it’s not really yours until the mortgage is repaid), you getting the trappings of success (but they have to be maintained and replaced to maintain and enhance your status), and you escape making real decisions (who really decides what mortgage you can have and on which house?).

But you will always owe someone else for those privileges and signs of status, and you will always be indebted to the system.

Accepting a job is actually about submitting yourself to a human re-education programme.

You are being programmed to be a good pet.

Yes, you are.

Are you really a human who is free to make your own choices, to choose your own surroundings, to choose the people who surround you, and to choose your own direction?

—–

The workplace is a cage for unconscious humans.

Your colleagues are chosen for you, your surroundings are chosen for you, your tasks are chosen for you, your direction is chosen for you, and you have no real choices to make.

All is ordained by policy, procedure, custom and precedent.

What happens when you fail? Does master reward your “good” behavior? And discipline you for the “bad”? Do you do the appointed tasks in the set time when master rings his bell?

Are you are a pet for life, without a spark of free will left?

Is there any spark of free will left inside you? Or has your conditioning made you a pet for life?

Of course, well-conditioned wage slaves will argue they don’t have a master, there’s just the “boss”.

Take down your dictionary and look up “boss”. It’s from the Dutch baas, meaning master. (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 8th Edition.)

Further, the noun “boss” is defined as “a person in charge, an employer, manager or overseer”.

They’re all one and the same in meaning – it’s just that some sound a little nicer and less domineering than “overseer”.

And what’s this? The verb “boss” means “treat domineeringly; give constant peremptory orders to”.

Yes, you have been conditioned and broken to do jobs at the dictates of your masters. Is that really how you want to be?

The well-conditioned jobbing masses will now argue that having a job is the safest, most secure and risk-free way to support themselves.

Absolute bulldust!

It is the exact opposite of the truth.

Your masters can turn off the income tap at any point by uttering those immortal words: “you’re fired”.

They can cloak the phrase with dysphemisms such as, “riffing” (reduction in force), “outsourcing”, “outplacement”, “a workplace imbalance correction”, “headcount reduction”, “staff re-engineering”, “downscale”, “downsize”, “a career enhancement opportunity” and more.

But the fact remains the same – you’re out and the money stops.

If you know and accept the risk then, like a professional gambler, you know that you win some and you lose some.

But if you’re one of the mass of dumb, naive suckers who’ve accepted the conditioning, then the reality of being fired is usually devastating. Even the threat is devastating.

—–

The fact is that you can’t have security if you don’t have control, and employees not only have the least control of anyone but they also bear the brunt of the risk. The system is designed like that.

Now, should you be lucky enough to hang onto your job, what happens when you’d like to have a little more than you have already, when you’d like to take a more expensive holiday than usual, when you’d like to buy a bigger house, and when you some extra cash.

You have to go to your master and show him all the new tricks you’ve learned.

Not only do you have to roll over hot coals, jump through blazing hoops and operate six infernal contraptions at once, but you’re expected to sit up and beg for your master’s amusement until he decides you can have an extra doggy choc.

What about your freedom to say “no, I won’t jump through that hoop”.

If you have a job and a customer says “do this”, “give me that”, then your master will often expect you to to make the sacrifices necessary to keep the customer. The business never really makes the sacrifice, it just shifts the costs to the employees.

But if you’re free to make your own choices, when someone comes to you and says “I want that for this”, you’re free to accept or free to say “no, next please” as it suits you. Or “p*** off”, as I am known to do…

Even better, you’re free to reject them socially as well.

For the jobbing masses, jobs are the primary social outlet, and all too often the only one.

Employees socialise with people working with the same employer, in the same field and with customer’s employees who are on the same level.

Like incest, such relationships are dead ends. Do you really want to discuss the rollout of the new content management system today, tomorrow and the next day?

Do you really want to talk about how Sally in accounts is doing it with Brian in sales, while Kim in IT is also doing it with Brian, who doesn’t know about Sally, but everyone else does?

Do you really want to continue the office conversation about the new order processing system over lunch, and then in the pub at the end of the day? And if you’re Brian, in bed the next morning with Sally – or Kim?

What happens when one of your fellow serfs has their indenture transferred to a new master? Has your friendship also been sold? Is it terminated?

—–

How does you job conditioning affect your view of others?

If you work in a job environment dominated by white professionals, how do you interact with black or Asian people above the level of cleaners as you never meet them?

If you work in a job environment dominated by men, how do you interact with women above the level of receptionist as you never meet them?

If you work in a job environment that is entirely female, except for the boss, do you treat all men as the master?

Of course, it is much safer to let the master decide who you associate with. There’s less risk and it’s less threatening to your unconcious, non-thinking conditioned self.

If you meet and engage with the jobless, they could infect you with crazy notions of freedom.

And that’s the big one. Freedom.

Freedom is the antithesis of job bondage and a major threat to the corporate direction of consumer capitalism, which needs tame employees who are also good consumers.

Theoretically, it takes a great deal of effort to break a human being against their will but as sadists and torturers know all too well, if you can persuade them to co-operate in their breaking and taming then you’re pretty much there.

And so it is with creating an employee.

The first thing to do is to give you a detailed contract that you must agree to before you get their job. Even better, get you to sign off on all the key points individually.

Next, present you with several bulky manuals of policies, procedures and regulations, then remind you that you have just agreed to all of them – no matter how nonsensical, inimical, ill-thought out or just plain daft.

Then inform you of the company dress code, which further reinforces uniformity of action and thought. You look the same, you act the same, you are the same.

Then, once you’ve signed up to all that, you will be reminded of the consequences of stepping out of line – punishments that range from ritual humiliation, to loss of privileges and status, to the the ultimate – loss of your job.

All of this leads you to become more pliable, more obedient, more obsequious and more fearful.

Obey the master no matter what and all will be well, oh puny serf.

Something else is needed though. Even the most dullard wage slave needs an occasional thrill, a taste of power and a sense of control. Office politics meet that need.

Put it all together and you become a willing and obedient wage slave.

—–

It might be daft to have a corporate recycling policy while simultaneously keeping 30 ancient fax machines that churn out reams of blurred and smeared pieces of dadaist art.

It may be illogical to ban kettles and mug from people’s desks while requiring them to walk up three flights of stairs to the coffee machine, then walk back down clutching their plastic cup of boiling poison.

It may be a complete waste of time to require someone to spend eight hours of their 10-hour shift writing up what they did in the other two hours.

But you know it is not your place to question. The masters have said it shall be so, and so it shall be.

Free-thinkers know such rules and regulations are silly, petty and stupid, of course. That’s why they have to be isolated, broken, marginalised or forced out.

But that’s fine because free-thinkers only have to deal with five policies:

1. Think smart.
2. Think nice.
3. Think free.
4. Do what you love.
5. Have fun.

What about supporting yourself and your family, I hear the broken masses cry.

Look, having a job is a really stupid way of supporting yourself.

You only get money when you’re working. If you want more money, you have to work more.

And why is money the only means of supporting yourself? Because you’re told it’s the only means of supporting yourself, so if you want more, work more!

Personally, I’d rather support myself and my family 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – not just in the hours when I’m in a job.

I’d rather support them by doing things with them and for them, then by earning money from a job to which I’m indebted for life.

To put it another way, does a tree only grow when you’re feeding and watering it? No, it grows constantly.

It’s the same with humans. If you want your life to grow, then you have to stop relying on the job to feed you, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Apart from the drones around you, who cares how many hours you work? Who, apart from the master and his cronies, cares that it took you three hours to do the job instead of four? Or four instead of three?

Don’t get me wrong, money is useful as a means of exchange but it’s stupid to trade your time and value simply to earn money to spend in the company store, which is effectively what consumer capitalism is about.

You sign yourself over for a lifetime of debt and tokens to spend on the things the masters tell you that you need.

—–

Don’t overlook a simple fact, the money you earn is not the money you are paid.

I worked in an industry where the average revenue per employee in 2006 was around £175,000 (depending on exchange rates) while the typical wage of the employees in my field was around £20,000.

In other words, the employees were paid 11.4 per cent of what they earned the company.

But that’s nothing compared to the really big corporate sharks in the US Fortune 500, where the leading companies have revenues per employee of between $1.5 and $5 million.

A handful are even higher -$11.8 million, $13.5 million and $15.6 million in revenues per employee. I wonder what percentage of those sums finds its way to the employees?

Then there’s the taxman, who takes not only the employee’s direct taxes but also the corporate taxes that also get bumped down to the employee – either directly though lower pay or indirectly by encouraging them to consume more, thus generating more sales revenue for the corporations.

I can hear the snarling and whining intensify at this point as you start to become restless about this rant.

Have you noticed wage slaves have an endless capacity to whine about problems, challenges, hurdles, change or innovation? You need to vent your spleen in a safe way and make excuses.

You’ve become cowards who have to to turn on the free. You belong to your master so totally that even though you hate him deep down, you can’t acknowledge it and so have to turn your hatred elsewhere.

After all, if you rebel against the master you will be fired and then where will you and your family be?

—–

Where was I? Listening to the sounds of whining and spluttering rage.

First, you become cowards. Then you become dishonest. Then you lose your integrity and principles. Then you lose their will and your independence. And then you are gone, sunken into the mire.

That’s not a reality you want to face though. You don’t want to face the fact that your entire being is held face down in the muck by the master’s boot and that you are compliant in your servitude.

Instead of throwing off the boot, you blow bubbles in the muck and occasionally try to splash those who haven’t succumbed or who have rejected voluntary servitude.

What are the alternatives to a job, I hear you ask?

Support yourself through other means and join the happily jobless.

If you’re money oriented, start a business of your own and sell value, not time.

If you’re creative, an artisan or a maker, then create, build and make things that both satisfy you and are valued by others. If you don’t like the selling and money side, find an equal partner who does.

If you’re a nurturer, rearer or grower, then take small things and help them to become bigger, better and more valued. Find other like-minded people to work with and find partners who value the tasks you don’t.

And most importantly, share.

Share your experiences, share your time, share your skills, share your values, share your happiness and share your support.

The more you support others, the more they will support you. The more value you supply, the more value will return to you.

Do you still want a job? I certainly don’t.

20 Responses to “A job? Why would I want one?”

  1. Now I’ll take my meds, apply an icepack to my forehead, and go and lie down for a while.

  2. He’s so cheeky!

  3. Wow! That was Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night all exploded into one!
    I hope you are feeling better now, Stoney?
    OH, you were right to encourage the posting.

    As for the person whose comments sparked the outpouring……I find it absolutely dreadful that somebody who is employed as a teacher of your children has proved to have such a closed mind!

    I hope you have pointed the ‘said teacher’ towards your blog (somebody needs to) ….not only will he/she learn a little about what life is really about, he/she might also just recognise him/herself ….and take stock.

    Now I’m going to have a cuppa. I expect you are already hard at work on your croft by now…. doing your un-job?

  4. mummys little angel Reply 1 November, 2007 at 08:17

    ah but he is right!

    In a ‘former life’ I was a slave to the must have the latest gadget brigade and the must have the biggest and best and whack it all on the credit card brigade. But now I can’t afford to do that I have realised, finally, that having bigger, better and generally being materialist does not make me happy.

    I used to shop every week spending £80 plus every week and just popping those little extras in my trolley because I thought I not only need them but I would feel ‘good’. Now I shop once a month and spend £100 or LESS and don’t pop those little extras in my trolley and I feel BETTER and HAPPIER!

    A cousin of mine has just received from her husband a watch costing £14,000. I felt physically sick when I heard this, not because I am envious but because all I could think was I know many people who could live off that for an entire year and still have change.

    Does it make her happy knowing she has this on her wrist. Nope but she can boast about it whilst her marriage is still rocky!

    So money doesn’t buy happiness it’s the way you decide to live your life that does.

  5. An interesting piece of writing indeed Stoney. Having seen the way you live your life and the effort put into that way of living I “takes me hat of to you” and yours.
    Yes, you do have something in your “rants” there is no doubt about it. However not everyone is in a situation to take on such a challenge. What I definitely find disheartening however, is the way many, or is it most, people/families tie themselves to massive debt for home ownership, consumer goods and therefore status symbols.
    Where is the self control which we are all presumably capable of? Yes, tied down in debt one becomes a slave/serf or servant to lifes financial demands. Is it so hard to stand on ones own feet and say I will direct my life this way; I can allow myself to enjoy life as I work, while including my family in far more positive and enjoyable way.
    Look at the houses that are being built today for the average family; here in Australia there are even restrictions in many areas which say you cannot have a smaller type home. They are usually big places, using tremendous amounts of energy and commit the residents to large amounts of housework and maintenance, as well as massive debt.
    Do the couples really look at what they are doing, committing to such debt and workload, both in and out of the home. Why not stand back and say what do we NEED, not what do we WANT.
    Yes, jobs are necessary for most people, but so is a decent life and I would hope that more people can find a balance that matters to them and not what others might think or do.

  6. feel better now that’s off your chest?

  7. “and it’s not as if you have a job”,
    Will you be asking the ‘teacher’ to come and give you a hand with the chores on the croft, through the summer holidays, everyone knows teachers have way to much holiday!
    It made me think of the year 1 teacher, handing my friend a bundle of ‘nativity clothes’ for a forth comming production ‘your wife may need to iron them, they are a bit crumpled’
    She picked on the wrong, guy, he is ‘house-husband’ and very proud of his ironing!
    Some folk just don’t get it, and never will!

  8. First, this is a rant! Don’t take it too seriously, don’t logically deconstruct and analyse it, and don’t think of it as a nutter’s ill-thought out panacea for the ills of the corporatisation of the world. It’s simply the result of a rush of blood to the head.

    Also, it wasn’t just comments from one person that sparked this, but comments from quite a few over several months and then a rush of jibes, insults and ill-mannered conversations in the space of two days. I do give it back at the time, but there just comes a point when it’s best to rant, rave, denounce and declaim. (The Other Half will be laughing as she reads this! :D )

    One thing I will say though, and this isn’t just a rant, is that one of the things I really loathe is the way so many of the public services and professions have been corporatised and turned into “jobs”.

    Teaching, the emergency services, the armed forces, nursing, dentistry, social care in all its guises and all the other public services are callings, vocations and professions – not “jobs”. Many people who go into frontline public services do so because they want to make a difference for everyone, because they want to be part of a greater whole, and because they have a purpose in life (a calling).

    Unfortunately, the corporatisation of public services is squeezing those people out, exploiting their willingness to make personal sacrifices, and forcing them to become unthinking, pliable, obsequious and fearful wage slaves.

    Most frontline police officers I know, and quite a few who have been unwillingly relegated to so-called support roles, joined up because they wanted to make a difference. But instead of being out there making a difference, they find themselves doing “customer relations surveys”, being set to chase one paper target after another, compiling reams of meaningless statistics, being told “you’re not here to think or use your discretion”, and being told to toe the corporate line. The result is situations like the Menezes shooting, where the men and the women in the frontline try to follow often contradictory and muddled procedures, then get blamed when it all goes pear-shaped. Meanwhile, many of their senior managers – and I emphasise managers because most of them do not appear to be leaders – enjoy the luxury of Teflon suits to which no shite ever seems to sick.

    I see the same thing happening to teachers, soldiers and nurses that I know, while I’ve heard and read of much the same happening in all the other public services.

    Is there a solution? I’m not sure, but if people don’t start resisting the corporatisation of everything then things will only get worse.

  9. And Lesley, yes, I’ve been out doing the chores, making piglet porridge, feeding the other pigs and the chickens, carting water, cycling the youngest to nursery, and more. Now I’m enjoying a cuppa before doing some paperwork and trying to re-organise the pig sales.

  10. I think you work harder than most people who have jobs!

  11. Enjoy your well earned cuppa…Cheers!
    I agree with Poppy about the way so many people get sucked into dreadful debt.

    I find myself shouting at the TV screen when ‘lending companies’ give the impression that they can eliminate all debt by putting it in one place (under the carpet?) and you can still have enough, now you are ‘debt free’, to go on holiday or buy a new car, even though the problem had recently had you at suicide pitch. And clearly you now have an even bigger debt to pay off.

    Grrrrrrrr. But I digress… sorry!

  12. Is being a crofter not a job then?

  13. I can’t believe people are actually reading this! And Alf, is priceless good, bad or indifferent?

    Sarah, crofting most definitely is not a job. Nor is it a lifestyle. It’s life, death and everything in between.

  14. Man, you ain’t wrapped real tight, are you?

    This is the most darndest, tootin’ post I’ve read in an age. :D

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sumdood tells it as it is « Musings from a Stonehead - 2 November, 2007

    [...] was left by “Sumdood” in response to my rant of the other night and reads: Man, you ain’t wrapped real tight, are you? This is the most darndest, tootin’ post [...]

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