I don’t particularly enjoy giving such an uncharitable take extra oxygen, but in this case, I think talking about it is instructive. It is a near perfect representation of an antique, paternalistic mindset toward employee/employer relationships and work culture. Reading it, I immediately recognized the tone because it is the very voice that has been drilled inside my head since my first job as a teenager. It is a voice and an argument that I’ve heard repeated by my bosses, family members, teachers, and even some friends throughout my life. It has taken me years to stop listening to this voice. Even now, in odd moments, I find myself feeling guilty for trying to resist it.
The voice says: You are free to choose your job. But once you’ve done that, it’s time to fall in line. It argues that you should be extra grateful for what your company provides you — a salary, purpose, any auxiliary benefits — and not to think as much about what you provide to your company. After all, you agreed to take this job. You signed the contract. And, most importantly, you have options. If you don’t like it, leave.
These are the words of a bully. This line of argument is designed to make those speaking up feel as if they’re being ungrateful, unreasonable and hysterical. [ . . .] Who do these people think they are?
Charlie Warzel on.
Remember kids: definitionally, if you got more out of your company then they got out of you, they wouldn’t be hiring you.