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Free Agent, My Butt

One thing I like about my race – the human race, yo – is that we have this uncanny ability to shake shit up. We are generally wired to sniff out an injustice. And if enough of us get a whiff of the same injustice, it invariably leads to tear gas and thrown rocks and burning cars. Some times it turns into a bunch of dead people too…which isn’t very cool. But that’s another rant for another time.

In the last 12 months, the world has witnessed more broad-scale grassroots conflict than really any other decade since the 1960s. From the Arab uprisings and ousters to this mounting Occupy Wall Street shindig. We have ants in our pants, fo sure. Rebellion is contagious…if it catches, there really isn’t anything off limits. Which leads me to wonder whether the stars have aligned, whether the fruit has ripened, whether the boat has floated…the dog walked…the muffin buttered. Are we likely to see an age of revolt in the workplace? Has the average American worker had just about enough?

Don’t like the fact you haven’t received a raise in two years? Sit-in.

Frustrated that your manager doesn’t pay one iota to giving you feedback? Raise a little.

Angry with the inept leadership “at the top?” Revoke.

Tired of paying so much for healthcare while your fellow employees hit the parking lot every 2o minutes to catch a smoke? Get a bullhorn.

Appalled by those golden parachutes that keep floating by from the ivory tower? Renounce.

Saddened by the number of colleagues you’ve seen thrown to the street? Lock the doors.

Had enough of doing the work of two…or three? Rise up.

Come on, my brothers and sisters. Young ‘uns have overthrown dictatorial regimes for smaller infractions. Yet you sit there day after day, month after month, and year after year taking it on the chin. Again and again.  You don’t have the gumption to stir it up at work. You like to think you’re a “free agent,” that you let your feet do the talking, and that every evening you walk out that door you might not come back. But you don’t have that upper hand, my friend. No you don’t. You are far too dependent on your sense of security afforded by your current employer to even give the idea of workplace revolt a reflection. And here’s the deal: every employer since the dawn of feudalism gets that. They play a good game, but they know they have (most of) you right where they want you.

So at least one of four things must be true: 1) you’re a glutton for punishment, b) you’re a pansy, 3) you are in fact shackled to your desk, 4) none of these injustices you relentlessly bark about really and truly bother you all that much. Or I suppose you could be reading this from the “other side” – having already revolted…having already raised the middle finger while saying, “Eff this mess. I’m out of here!”

So which one is it?

Image Credit: Glamhag (via Compfight)

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  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    Oh, so you wonna go hard on Halloween weekend? Good stuff, I recently wrote something about an occupy jobs movement. I think if one is paying attention to this social world of unrest that people are not happy and they want freedom in all its forms. Freedom of speech, religion, human rights, economically and financially.

    Rock on!

  • Jody S

    Out of your choices 1), b), 3), and 3), I choose b). Proudly. As I revolted from my HR job in May and six months later am still unemployed – in a recession. I choose b) with experience. The power distance is real, not imaginary.

  • Anonymous

    the question i always have, though, is how to identify and draw that oh so fine line between need for “freedom” and sense of “entitlement.”

  • Anonymous

    you. go. proud of you!

  • http://twitter.com/cindyelizabeth Cindy

    I am a straight up pansy. I have bills to pay.

  • Anonymous

    you and me both.

  • http://twitter.com/blogging4jobs Jessica Merrell

    Amen, Charlie. I gave the corporate world the middle finger during one of the scariest times of my life. I will tell you that the warm, comfortable, and safe confines of that HR office some days had me rethinking what was important. I am glad, though that I saw this through.

    Great post!

    JMM