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I love my jobs
A bit of gratitude and reflection about work.
I love my jobs. I really do.
I’ve had easy jobs, sham jobs even, where I got paid overtime to sit in a dark room for hours on end because someone had to have a body on the premises. I loved all of the hours I had alone to do whatever I want on my computer. I would even sleep on the job; no one cared. Nobody watches the watchmen, apparently.
I’ve had hard jobs, so hard that many people fall out of them, because it’s basically a workout you’re getting paid for. I love having a gym membership I get paid handsomely for rather than paying up for. I love the people who stick around, they’re so grounded and fun to chat with when the lines are slow. They have feelings and lives and we get to share that for a moment. It makes life a lot more real.
I love going to work because nobody hates me at my job. Nobody is ever sad to see me there. Nobody is ever annoyed or aggrieved by my presence. There’s no drama or office politics to navigate. No reason to drink at night. The craziest part is, I get paid on par with early-career white collar folks doing this. Our household of three full-time blue-collar workers is on track to break $200K/year in 2023. None of these jobs even required so much as a forklift certification out of me; I was, and still am, nothing more than a warm body who knows how to follow orders and show up on time.
I love all of the people at my job, because they never give me any trouble. They’re all there for the same reasons I am, and so we never have any structural reason to conflict. Anyone who doesn’t like the terms quietly leaves. We all just go there to get paid and forget, and I love that. It’s so easy, even when it’s so demanding and physically painful. I love how my coworkers all have lives outside the factory that they’re nursing with this job, doing other jobs, raising kids, going to school and sometimes just chilling. They found freedom in this servitude, just like me.
I know that so many jobs aren’t like this. I know of people who work at CVS, or Starbucks, and you can tell even when they don’t make it obvious that they really don’t want to be there. The “reverse ATM” type establishments are truly the worst mix of village pillaging and corporate sterility. I have worked at some of the big names in America, and they’re not like that in places where the stakes are real, like shipping and food processing. Amazon is an exception though, Bezos was a real piece of shit and it’s permanently embedded into the company culture there. But other than that, it’s actually kind of great. Who has time for bullshit when there’s product to load? Bezos seems to think we do, but he’s wrong, and all of the other companies are proof.
Work sucks, right? Life is hard, right? I don’t think so. I make so much money that I’ve kept pace with our ridiculous inflation with change to spare, regardless of the shifting sands in my household dynamic for keeping the bills paid. That’s more than most people in America can apparently say, let alone the rest of the world where things are statistically even worse.
I sympathise with the plight of the Office Space worker, I really do.
But I think people should do what I do and just refuse to work in degrading positions. We strive to have family and real friends to fall back on in order to do exactly that. If you have no one to lean on, what are you doing with your life? The 90s are over. Historically, the norm for humans are living in groups that teamwork shared obstacles like living costs and domiciling. Perhaps that’s the limit of my sympathies for the disgruntled worker, but I digress. I really just love my jobs.