February 9, 2018

10 Years of Corporate Life in America

Classic post by Redditor u/norobotyouretherobot on his 10 years of corporate life:

I was groomed from childhood to be “successful.” I dedicated my life to a bank for 10 years. Now I look 10 years older than I am, balding, fat. I look tired and dazed. Everyone who worked there worked like maniacs so I did, too. They fired 30,000 people while I was there. After that, they started replacing people with poorly paid consultants who didn’t know anything and rotated in and out every 6 months (you know, the ones they dangle green cards over like a carrot on a stick). They made us pick up the slack. The rest of the jobs got offshored and those who remained were instructed to automate themselves out of their jobs or they’d be fired (lol).

Everyone who worked there had Stockholm Syndrome. During Hurricane Sandy, the entire Northeast was underwater and we had a director working from a command center chastising people by phone and email in a Game of Thrones fashion. “Does nobody care about their job? You all wonder why you never get bonuses or promotions! This is why!” Nobody had power. People had to take care of their families. So a girl (not on my team) felt guilted into driving to another state so she could make the director happy, and she hit a telephone pole on the way there and died.

Women were so, so abused. The men would talk about the girls they fucked, and they passed them around to each other. Indian managers would gang up on Indian women and verbally assault them and call them worthless. I saw Indian women sitting in hallways balling their eyes out. It was so hard to watch and my boss said, “Don’t you fucking dare open that can of worms,” despite hours per year of diversity training. Pssst: None of that is real, they’re just trying to avoid $500 million discrimination lawsuits... shhh... don’t worry, all the executives and middle managers are still white... you can rest easy...

No vacation. Only pussies took vacations. At the end of the year, my boss made me retroactively put in fake vacation time so he could approve it and stay off a list.

All metrics are faked. They tell you what the numbers need to be, those numbers are impossible, they say, “If we don’t get those numbers somebody is going to get fired.” So you lie. The company is falling apart but senior executives on the top of the pyramid scheme use your fake metrics to tell shareholders the company is doing better than ever, and they siphon money to the top for their accomplishments. If anyone outside of the company discovers the metrics are faked, the company gets a slap on the wrist and a senior executive says, “We cannot comment on our internal investigation.” If they’re forced to admit their blatant fraud, they say, “We had a few bad apples. These individuals violated our core values and were immediately terminated.”

I always worked. ALWAYS. There was no separation of work and life. I was on-call always, forever. There were plenty of people who worked harder than me. They never slept.

One guy sat down because he had a headache during a long software release (often we’d be on the phone for about 35 hours straight, sometimes more) and he didn’t wake up. My boss had two heart attacks, my Director had 3 heart attacks. People were constantly working from hospitals.

One day they decided (after initially pushing us in the opposite direction) to get rid of their work-from-home program. They wanted me to move to some suburb 1,000 miles away that they opened specifically to replace people like me with cheaper labor.

I told them no and they laid me off a week later, after giving my life to them.

Putting my job first was the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever done. My mom was dying in the hospital and I couldn’t be there. I could never go to valentines dinner or weddings or funerals. One time I had surgery and was wearing a gown with my ass sticking out and I told the surgeons, “Hold on, I have to get on a call.” Most recently, I had a trip planned to visit my wife’s dying grandmother who was trying to stay alive just to see her one more time and my boss called me (on a Sunday, knowing I was leaving town) and made me handle a production issue. I missed the flight. We went to the airport 3 hours late and they told us we had to buy new tickets for $1,500 each (which was 5 times what they had originally cost). We couldn’t leave however until the next day so she went back to bed crying and having a mental breakdown and I went to work. Her grandmother died without seeing her the next day and I got laid off the next day. She has never forgiven me.

That is work life in America, and I’m certain that was a best-case scenario because at least I was paid well. Now I am still unemployed after 9 months.

I decided that I will never, ever buy into the Corporate Kool-Aid again. I refuse to spend anymore time behaving like this. And it is the standard here. What’s the first thing everyone asks you in the US?

“So what do you do for a living?”

I have been on a crusade to make my own path, and companies have been putting me through so many hoops. I did four rounds of interviews with a company recently interviewing with a total of 16 people. They never called me back. You’re so worthless they never call you back. They treat you like shit at interviews because Americans have been hoodwinked into thinking abuse is acceptable. Toxic country.

I think they can tell that I’m not afraid of them anymore. I’d rather work at a smoothie shop around nice people than make six figures around fucking psychopaths, and they are absolutely so full of themselves at higher levels they think they deserve to choke you to death with their bare hands.

I did an interview recently and the guy said, “Well we have a lot of people here who can be difficult, you know, a lot of people in IT can have egos.”

And I said, “Egos? Egos for what? For fixing computers? For having a sphere of control over a single hallway in a world that has billions of people? Is it because they think they are smart? Because if they are so smart, why don’t they own a company instead of working for one?”

The guy thought it was funny but he seemed like a fuse blew, like what I was saying did not compute.

My career is now everything I do outside of work.

Fuck corporate culture, and fuck these politicians who have sold us out and left us out to dry. Fuck Republicans for making corporate feudalism the norm. Fuck all the yokels who would give their lives to sustain their own abuse as long as they still get to pat themselves on their backs and say, “At least I’m not black.” Fuck a country where people die in the streets but McDonald’s can afford $1 billion per year in marketing, Apple is considered a sacred institution, and the “Jeff Bezos in his office” meme is spread around suggesting anyone can become the next Amazon if they just work hard enough.

A quick story about hard work. My dad worked 100 hour weeks for 30 years. He was a roofer. He worked at the same company that entire time. He got cancer probably from exposure to asbestos and the sun. He couldn’t work, and they let it slide for a month but then he got laid off. He lost his health insurance. His cancer was caught early and was treatable but with no insurance he couldn’t get treatments, so he slowly withered away and died, but not before herbalists, churches, and snake-oil salesmen got their cut. We found out that the company had screwed up his life insurance paperwork so we got nothing.

Fuck a country where both of my parents died from treatable diseases because they didn’t have health insurance. Bonus: my mom died because she refused to get Obamacare because talk radio and her dopey Tea Party friends turned her from being the sweetest woman I ever knew into a hateful maniac who spent 24/7 talking about how Obama was the antichrist. She thought if she signed up for Obamacare that Federal agents would storm her door and put her into a FEMA death camp.

Fuck a country where to succeed you need an education, but since it’s mandatory, lenders and schools are riding the moolah train, baby! Woo wooooo! And unlike any other debt, it never goes away! My wife and I bought the education thing hook, line, and sinker. Now we have $395K in student loan debt and live in a one bedroom and share a car. Boy, we really fell for that one. Another huge regret, investing in “the best” education like we were told.

Fuck a country where my wife is a doctor and our health insurance is so shitty I don’t even use it because we never meet our deductible. If our country doesn’t even care about doctors, just imagine how little value your life has.

Honestly, having visited quite a few poor countries, they seem a fuckload happier than people in this goddamn country. At least they don’t die (if their country has universal healthcare) when they get sick. At least the hospital doesn’t attempt to take their mom’s house when she dies there and you spend $4,000 to get a lawyer to fight to save it.

Hey, at least the food is good.

My advice to anyone who hasn’t fallen into that trap yet: live simply, live inexpensively. If you can support yourself with a job at McDonald’s, you are in control (edit: as noted, until you get sick). Nobody can turn you into a serf. And if you do get a corporate job, you can walk out at any moment if mistreated (and stand up for those who can't). Fuck nice cars and houses. If you have to do that shit to impress your friends, those friends will abandon you at some point. I made these mistakes and I can never get that time back. If wearing suits and Audemars Piguet 15400 and driving an S550 are your dreams, you are fucking up big time. All that shit is just a mental buffer to distract you from your miserable life by convincing yourself you’re successful. Successful people are the ones who think this behavior is insane.

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