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‘A Man’s Job or a Job’s Man?’
Crackpot Phone Booth: Gina H. Scalp-Taker wants to Know Why Men Seem So Depressed
My off the cuff answer was their jobs, their mode of living, that most men I have known in my life “hate” their job. This, however, was a trifle overblown.
Let’s start with the grocery business, where I worked closely enough to be on a conversational basis with some 500 men over 38 years. How many of those men hated their jobs?
I didn’t hate the task at hand, constantly lifting, moving and reorganizing things, but usually had a strong dislike for the workplace politics, the lowlife coworkers and the sleazy bosses.
I was quite alone. Every other clerk I ever worked with “hated” his station in economic life.
The department managers hated their jobs to the point of high anxiety and red-faced anger as they became the direct prey of slacker underlings and predatory bosses.
Of the bosses, the only ones that escaped the torment typically afflicting the middle management were the criminals, the thieves who stole from the company and their underlings—evil men. Only evil men liked working in supermarkets.
As for other men I have known—largely through coaching and family life—they almost all state flatly that they hate, despise or dislike their trade or professions, from landscaper to technician.
There are exceptions, in that most people who own and run their own business like the work at hand enough to thrive and only get sour when the government regulations destroy their business and leave them at the mercy of some evil boss.
Halfway between this are tradesmen, carpenters and such, who like what they do and simply hate the bosses who steal from them. My friend, Big Ron is in this category. Despite working with violent criminals, for thieving bosses and in dangerous circumstances, his high social IQ results in a cynical contentment.
No one I know closely making a living on a college degree is at peace with their means of subsistence.
Overall, the only people I know who are consistently content with their job are bad cops, criminals licensed by the State to prey upon the rest of us.
This multifaceted fact of life, represented by the hundreds of mostly miserable men I have known came as quite a shock to me, as my father always seemed happy with his work, even whistled on his way to his work—until the inevitable happened, his boss or business partner defrauded him and or embezzled everything out of the company and he suddenly had no job, until he picked up three short order cook jobs and began working around the clock, as happy as you please, until I heard his head bounce off the bathroom floor one night.
So Gina, of all of the men who I know who have found happiness in working for a company or the government or another man and have not spent most of their life in misery working for bad people, or under bad conditions or doing unpleasant tasks—and often all three—I only know of the following people who have found fulfillment or at least not been weighted down by the negativity of their means and circumstances of subsistence:
-Crooked cops, [1]
-Corrupt bosses, [1]
-Big Ron, who is married.
The salient lesson is that when God is money, toiling for it only seems to be rewarding when one is an acolyte of the system. And, although starvation is generally considered a necessary catalyst for civil war, how can we discount hatred of work circumstances, what with a half-dozen mass workplace shootings each year?
In that light, are not mass school shootings a lethal rebellion of youth against a quasi-workplace indoctrination facility?
Notes
-1. Interestingly, it seems not enough to be a criminal, bad actor or thief to find contentment. For the gang bangers and drug dealers I have known hated their job and the workplace thieves resented management to no end. It seems that one only finds contentment working under the conditions who people I have known worked if they are able to commit crimes AND have a high level of social status. Likewise, only business owners or partners seem not to find their method of economic subsistence distasteful. Could it be that most of what we do to earn is simply against our nature?
Let the World Fend for Itself
Big Ron's Baltimore: A Working Man's View of Urban Blight
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Add Comment
Bryce SharperSeptember 14, 2019 1:19 PM UTC

James,

Over the past several decades, the top two-fifths of wage-earners have diverged economically from the bottom three-fifths who have seen stagnant wages. THe top two-fifths are the MBA class and C-level executives. The top fifth actually gets paid mostly in stock options, so to add insult to injury they pay very little in income taxes on the money they make. Long-term capital gains taxes are something like 15%. It's going to be war to the knife with these pirates eventually because, as you've seen, they're nothing but thieves. All the noblesse oblige of the upper classes towards the lower is gone. These people are happy because what they do is legal. The drug dealer is unhappy because what he does is illegal though barely less moral. The legal MBA thief destroys souls and lives with lay-offs, downsizing, and outsourcing; the drug dealer destroys souls and lives with chemicals and murder. I guess drugs are worse.

Men are unhappy because, in addition to layoffs and a predatory MBA class, we have another Sword of Damocles hanging over our head: the State which interposes itself in our marriage and our rights as fathers and heads-of-household. It can take away our children and property with the help of our wives. I largely blame the American people for this because we have decided to divorce and give fathering over to the State rather than retain marriage and fathering as a sacred, foundational institution in the cosmic order. Here again, the elite should've led us rather than plunder us though.

The economic answer, at least, to this situation is working for yourself: proprietorship. Then you only have to report to one asshole: yourself (and your customers). The GloboHomoMegaCorp structure is dying anyway.

We obviously need massive legal reforms in family law, but these are all downstream of religious and cultural reforms. As our religion and culture have declined, our laws have gotten worse. The State is only so much to blame.

For my part, I'm quite happy. I'm a wage-earner but keep building my skills and assets so that I have a hedge against a highly-cyclical industry dominated by GloboHomoMegaCorps. My wife and I are quite happy together. We're also very religious. Maybe there's a connection. The various Swords of Damocles still dangle over my head, but they'd still be there in a bygone era, they'd just be different.
responds:September 14, 2019 4:21 PM UTC

Part of my experience is being near the bottom of the economy, so is skewed.

I really agree that proprietorship is a big part of the answer, and as you noted, decreased self-employment had legislative and regulatory support.

It's nice to hear you are happy, a rare claim for me to hear.