He shares how reading several stories and interacting with other people online helped him create a better work standard.
Previous generations have been taught that hard work is the key to success. However, the times are changing and millennials and Gen-Z are looking more towards working smarter and not harder. In a thought-provoking post on the r/antiwork subreddit, user u/FootballMysterious79, a Gen-Xer, shared a powerful reflection on their experience in the workforce and the profound lessons they've gained from changing times. Their story resonates with many who, like them, were raised with the belief that hard work equates to success in the land of opportunities, America.
"I did anything my employers asked. Work late? No problem! Need help with a project? I got you! If I wasn't early to work, I was late. Extra pay??? Naw, I'm just helping however I can," they shared. These lines encapsulate the ethos that many from the Gen-X generation were raised with–a strong work ethic, dedication and a willingness to go the extra mile. This mentality, though admirable, often came at a cost, accepting toxic work cultures and exploitation as the norm. Indeed, the job market during that era was significantly different. Globalization, the influx of women into the workforce, and the promises of "trickle-down" economics led to a landscape where employers wield enormous power. People were desperate for stable employment, which allowed companies to perpetuate unhealthy practices and work environments, he states.
He observed, "The thing that gets me, though, is that we never considered it abusive behavior. People just accepted that your company and boss basically owned your ass." This is where r/antiwork played a pivotal role in their life. "I've learned so much from this sub," the individual admitted. The subreddit helped them realize that employment is fundamentally a business arrangement. It's an agreement where you offer your skills and time in exchange for compensation.
Going above and beyond might occasionally pay off in smaller companies, but often, it leads to burnout without significant reward. The eye-opener was the realization that being poor despite working full-time is a sign of exploitation. This powerful insight underscores the importance of fair wages and decent working conditions. It's a wake-up call to the widespread issues of income inequality and corporate greed that persist in today's society.
One of the most resonant points made in the individual's post is the call to revive unions. "We need to bring our unions back!! This is the only way we can survive the reign of terror that is capitalism." This sentiment highlights the critical role that collective bargaining can play in ensuring workers' rights and fair treatment in the workplace. As the individual concluded their post with gratitude for the lessons learned from r/antiwork, the comments section further enriched the discussion.
u/Frostspellfaeluck emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity among workers, highlighting the divide between conservative and liberal viewpoints. They noted, "The rich want to keep us fighting amongst ourselves when we should be supporting each other. The rich support each other. That's how they stay rich." Another fellow Gen-Xer, u/darinhthe1st, shared their own experience of deprogramming from the brainwashing they received from the boomer generation. This sentiment underscores the generational shift in perspective that is happening, with more people recognizing the need for change and advocating for healthier work environments.