The universe did not explode into infinite existence 13 billion years ago for you to sit behind that desk… not getting paid.
A culture has taken root / is in full bloom where many employees are now expected to work outside of work hours… for free! And, well, we do it! We agree to this. We work hour after hour, cutting into evenings and weekends — not watching our children grow up, not spending quality time with our partners, not relaxing… let alone actually growing as a human being or reflecting on our life and its quality or meaning. We’ve become like blinkered horses seeing nothing of anything but what we are told we must focus on. Our lives drift by, our relationships crumble, we get old and bored, and our only hope of a nugget of happiness sits on a beach six months away. And we don’t even get paid.
Why? Why have we allowed ourselves to be bullied and manipulated and frightened into becoming such willing, compliant slaves? We do not exist to make money for other people. I know all of this seems normal, but it’s fucking not! Staring into computers, late nights in the office, weekends at work, heart-attacks in the post… none of this was the norm for our other few million years of evolution. It’s an aberration. And a very, very recent and peculiar one at that. So, if someone is insisting that I take on extra loads for their benefit then they need to be paying me. There is no other reason for going to work. We work to earn money, so, no money = no work. That is fair, that is reasonable, that should easily be acceptable for all concerned. What is not fair is:
‘Would you come into work for the weekend and do more work for me, please?’
‘Yes, okay, will that be at quadruple time because, you know, kids etc.?’
‘No, i’m going to pay you nothing at all because *cough* job security *cough*.’
‘Oh… well, er, okay then!’
Huh? Why is this okay? We have ZERO obligation to our employer other than to work to the best of our ability whilst we are being paid to work. That and not being a criminal. Which is ironic, because, in effect, they are thieves. Fucking thieves. When we agree to work for free then we choose our own exploitation. And, when we justify this exploitation (oh i’m just glad to have a job) and submit to it then we endorse it, we compound it, and, we establish a precedent that our pay-masters will not pass up on. You know that. As they do too.
Such pitiful compliance makes us the master to our own slavery. We put the shackles on, we turn the lock, we throw away the key, and then we — just because we’re audacious like this — bitch about being over-worked and never seeing our families! People wonder why aliens haven’t landed yet, but I just think they’re up their enjoying the show. We are the comedy planet of the universe. A proper hoot, we are. But, like, one of those tragic hoots. Maybe a hoot with a moral.
And, you know, there isn’t even that much work that needs to be done. Most work done by human beings nowadays is just to make and sell products and services that none of us need, few of us truly want, and that we have survived without for millions of years. If you want to know how pointless a product is, then look at its marketing and advertising budget. Why are there no adverts for apples (the fruit)? Because we all naturally want apples (the fruit). We are slaving ourselves towards misery and mindfulness meditation apps for the sake of utter and total rubbish. I think you know that too. Or, maybe not. We’ll see how much debt is accumulated this Christmas.
Is there an easy solution to all of this? Not really. It is a particularly well-tangled web, that is true. But can we come up with some solutions? Yeah, of course we can. We put a man on the moon / filmed it in a studio (love conspiracies) and we’ve developed bombs that can kill hundreds of thousands of human beings in a matter of seconds… We are amazing! There is no need for things to be this way. It’s probably all just been designed to keep us docile and locked down so our governments can tip-toe us to tyranny (really love conspiracies). I know that the ways things are seems to have us trapped, but we can undo it…
Oh God. What if we can’t? What if I have to work in a call-centre? What if I have to work overtime in a call-centre… UNPAID! Lord have mercy.
Only joking. Of absolute course we can change this. I’d rather die than work in a call-centre (again). And, the reason we can change this is because we — little old we — have all the power. Let me repeat that. We have all the power. Let me repeat that again. We have all the power. And, one more for good luck. We have all the power. We have the numbers, we have the intelligence (sort of), we have the resources, we have the communication networks… we have everything that we need to organise and co-ordinate a mass response and rejection of this system of modern slavery.
It is in our hands. It always has been and always will be. But if there is to be change then we need to change. I know that everyone thinks that they are right, that they are amazing, and it’s just the world and everyone in it who needs to change, not them, but really, we all need to change. We have to stop the back-stabbing, we have to stop this ravenous race up the corporate ladder (so ugly), and we have to stop trampling over each other to get a pittance of power and status just so we can maintain an erection. These things divide us and they keep us in competition instead of us working together for common goals and shared benefits. It’s stupid and it’s embarrassing, and it’s utterly self-defeating.
We need to pause. We need to remember that we breath. Look at the stars. Comprehend — you can’t, but do try — the vastness of the universe. Reflect on the mind-bending expanses of existence. Consider that, one day, you will be gone from this planet, and that that day could be tomorrow. You, all your loved ones, all your striving, all your ambition, all your craving, all your clinging, all your pennies of power, all your wealth, all your status… gone. I know we like to think that we are important, but one day it will be as if we never even existed. For real.
So, ask yourself… What is all of this — this horrid tangled up mess — worth to you? What are you doing it for? To survive? Do you think all of this is what is needed to survive? Check how much overtime a ladybird clocks in this month. Her and the other 8.7 million species surviving just fine (well, sans humans) on this planet. Why are you missing out on your children growing up? What do you think the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow can compensate? There’s no time machine, you know. There’s no skip-back to re-experience the things that mattered. It’s here and it’s now or it’s not at all. Your choice.
It’s time for a re-think. There is nothing to be afraid of. If we want a different way then we can have a different way. That are so many of us, and so few of the reptilian overlords from the lower astral planes of the fourth dimension (arh, conspiracies). In unity we have endless strength and endless potential. Whatever world — or even just work situation — we want then, together, we can create it. So, stand tall with your colleagues. Organise yourselves. Fight back. What are they going to do… sack you all? Numbers! Use your numbers! And, also, your spine. That’s important, by the way, because life — real life — requires courage. You can solve this problem — wecan solve this problem. We are not slaves, and we must stop living / dying like we are.